G M Originals!!

Hi Folks:

At the end of July we had one of our grandsons come for a visit, and we did our best to squire him around town and visit/revisit some of the highlights Victoria has to offer. Of course we had to involve him with creating new chalk art patterns, to which he willingly acquiesced. Here then are the world’s first G M hugging spot originals!

First, in front of our house:
a chalk art drawing with a rainbow rising from above a cloud. The text reads, "GET RAINBOW HUGS HERE"Because every cloudy sky needs a rainbow. The shadow is from a street sign, but if it looks to you like a bunny jumping up into the rainbow, that’s okay too!

An image of a rainbow chalk drawing on the sidewalk. There are coloured footprints leading out from the chalk art in both directions, showing traces of all those who have passed byEvidence of people carrying our rainbow with them – even if it’s only on the bottoms of their shoes!

A few days later we went downtown to our old hugging spot at the Homecoming Memorial and we created Hugscotch 2.0!

a chalk art hopscotch with start points at both ends. In the middle is a large circle and text that reads, "HUG HERE"
Marcia and our grandson sharing a hug in the middle of our hugscotch drawingIt works! (as evidenced by Marcia and grandson). We were even lucky enough to see spontaneous hugging taking place before we left! We applauded, of course. 🙂

Remember to hug the ones you love today! We trust G. will put to good use the box of sidewalk chalk that arrived at his house before he returned home. 🤗

Hugs,
M&M

Receiving (More) Kindness!

Be a Hugging Star chalk artHi Folks:

A year ago we posted a blog post titled, “Receiving Kindness“, where we wrote about two gifts we had received in exchange for our ongoing hugging spot chalk art project. The first was a beautiful painted stone someone left on top of our gate, and the second was a lovely note someone taped to the inside of our gate.

Our last blog post (A Smile from Niklas) profiled a smile rock we received from someone named Niklas, left on top of our gate, and this has since been followed by another lovely note! We found it after setting out our BE A HUGGING STAR design; the note looks like this: Continue Reading →

A Smile from Niklas 🙂

an ocean-rounded stone with a hand-drawn happy face on it. On the reverse side is a name (Niklas) and the word happyHi Folks:

Last year we did a blog post called Receiving Kindness where we highlighted two gifts we had been left. The first was a beautifully painted stone left on top of our front fence, and the second was a note letting us know how much someone loved our chalk art on the sidewalk in front of our house. We were quite touched by both of these gifts!

Well, yesterday we found another gift: an ocean-rounded stone upon which someone had drawn a happy face with a black marker. 🙂 On the back side was a name (Niklas A.) and the word happy. We don’t know if Niklas left it for us or if it was passed along by someone else, but it doesn’t matter. We are very happy because of it!

It continues to amaze us how much beauty and kindness there is in the world, every day. We’re a little saddened sometimes that there are those who don’t seem to see much of this, but this must be an individual choice. Grow joy in your own Being and you will radiate it out everywhere you go. As you do, you will become attuned to seeing it, and it will continue to show up spontaneously in your life.

Sending love and hugs your way,
M&M

P.S. Special thanks to the woman this morning who stopped to read the Hugging Poem on our fence and who called out, “I love this!” Made our whole day. 💗

For those of you who can’t walk by our front yard to read it, the poem is here:

Hugging is

Hugging is healthy. It helps the immune system, cures depression, reduces stress and induces sleep. It’s invigorating, rejuvenating and has no unpleasant side effects. Hugging is nothing less than a miracle drug.

Hugging is all natural. It is organic, naturally sweet, no artificial ingredients, non-polluting, environmentally friendly and 100 percent wholesome.

Hugging is the ideal gift. Great for any occasion, fun to give and receive, shows you care, comes with its own wrapping and, of course, fully returnable.

Hugging is practically perfect. No batteries to wear out, inflation-proof, nonfattening, no monthly payments, theft-proof and nontaxable.

Hugging is an underutilized resource with magical powers. When we open our hearts and arms we encourage others to do the same.

Think of the people in your life. Are there any words you’d like to say? Are there any hugs you want to share? Are you waiting and hoping someone else will ask first? Please don’t wait! Initiate!

We need four hugs a day for survival, eight hugs a day for maintenance, and twelve hugs a day for growth.

– Virgina Satir

Sharing Hugs on Canada Day

Hi Folks:

Marcia standing in front of our hugging tree, and by a chalk art circle. There are two circles, one 4 ft in diameter and one 2 ft in diameter. The inner one has a chalk drawing of the Canadian flag. Between the circles the text reads, "Happy Canada Day" and "Share Hugs Here".This being the first Saturday in July, as you’re likely well aware, today is International Free Hugs Day! If you’re lucky enough to live here, today is also Canada Day! 🇨🇦

To that end we thought we’d combine the celebrations and take our sidewalk chalk down to our old hugging spot at the Homecoming Memorial. For full disclosure, we scanned the Canada flag image into the computer and used CorelDraw to create and print out the template.

We had fun making the drawing and interacting with those who stopped to chat, and when we were finished cleaning up, we retired to a nearby bench to people watch. While it felt a little strange not to be there with our FREE HUGS posters, in the short time we were there we were immensely gratified to see people stop to photograph the hugging spot and even more so to watch two couples and a group of three engage in hugs at our hugging spot! We know our hugging tree (a western white pine) was also happy to witness these events.

Speaking of our hugging tree, the oldest image we have is from July 2, 2011. At that time our tree was a sapling, barely reaching the top of the fence:

Marcia with her Free Hugs poster (decorated with ladybugs) standing in front of our hugging tree. The top needles of the tree barely reach 3 ft.Eleven years later, you may notice that our tree has grown, just a little bit. We’ve been feeding them love, hugs and gentle needle caresses for 14 years.

A very tall image showing Marcia standing in front of our hugging tree, with the chalk art before her. The pine tree is now approaching 30 ft tall.

Same hat, same jacket, same beautiful smile. 🙂

We had such fun downtown that we decided to use the same pattern to update the hugging spot in front of our house.

An image of a chalk art circle. There are two circles, one 4 ft in diameter and one 2 ft in diameter. The inner one has a chalk drawing of the Canadian flag. Between the circles the text reads, "Happy Canada Day" and "Share Hugs Here".So, if you’re in Canada, help us celebrate Canada Day and International Free Hugs Day by hugging the ones you love! Today and every day…

Hugs,
M&M

Happy Father’s Day!!

A multi-coloured chalk drawing of a large circle, encircled by smaller circles around its edge. There's a two-coloured heart in the middle, and on opposite sides outside the circle it reads, "Hug Your Dad"Hi Folks:

All of Marcia and Mike’s parents are gone now, but we have two sons and a son-in-law and five beautiful grandchildren. We are Grandy and Grandalf! 🧙‍♀️&🧙‍♂️

As with those who are moms, Happy Father’s Day today to all of the strong, loving men who are fathers, to those who are chosen dads, surrogate dads, step-dads, adoptive dads, and to the women who are also dads.

Special thanks to all those who love and support them.

Hugs,
M&M

Happy Mother’s Day!!

A chalk art drawing of a flower within a circle. Outside the circle the text reads, "Hug Your Mother"Happy Mother’s Day today to all of the strong, beautiful women who are mothers, to those who are chosen moms, surrogate moms, step-moms, adoptive moms, and to the men who are also mothers.

Special thanks to all those who love and support them.

Hugs,
M&M

It’s Our Birthday!!

Hi Folks:

Generations

Generations – Cathedral Grove, Port Alberni, BC

Well, it’s now been 13 (!!) years since our blog took its first breath. The world is quite different today from what it was 13 years ago… the world is quite different from what it was 3 years ago, but we’re slowly finding our way back to each other. As Ram Dass said, “We’re all just walking each other home.”

It’s been a somewhat quiet year, but we currently have 678 blog posts and 153 pages on our site. The posts cover poetry, photography, our hugging adventures (88 countries and counting!) and various other musings; our pages include some of our stories and free Adventures of Rainbow Mouse colouring pages to download and enjoy. We’ve shared some wonderful adventures with you through these and are looking forward to sharing more in the future! This blog is our gift to you, our readers, and we very much appreciate having you here with us. Feel free to drop by any time, check out Marcia’s books, download our colouring pages, read our stories, leave a comment or reach out, relax and enjoy yourself. We don’t have any birthday cake that we can share (this is the best we can do: 🎂), but we send you love.

Remember to hug someone you love today, even if it’s just screen to screen. You’ll both feel better for it! 🙅‍♀️🙅‍♂️

M&M

P.S. Extra special thanks to our son Nick, who does all of the techie stuff that keeps us afloat!! 🙂

Our Hugging Tree

Hi Folks:

If you’ve been following our Free Hugs adventures, you’ll know that we’ve done (almost) all of them at the Homecoming Memorial by Ship Point in downtown Victoria. Part of the reason for that was that we could stand away from the sidewalk (we offered, but people had to come to us). Part of the reason for that is the statue in the Memorial itself:

Homecoming Statue
Continue Reading →

Happy Canada Day!!

Hi Folks:

Today is officially our country’s birthday! We were a part of the Living Flag event here in Victoria for Canada’s 150th birthday a few years ago, and after the past couple of years it’s good to see the city starting to come to life again. People still need to be cautious, but people are being cautiously optimistic as well. Yes, we have challenges to overcome, both as a country and as a planet, but Canadians overall are quietly proud of who we are. We can’t forget the past, but we can move forward together.

2022 also marks the third Canada Day we haven’t been out with our Free Hugs posters (maybe next year) so we wanted to share an image with you from our first Canada Day Free Hugs session back in 2010. This was just three weeks after our first ever session, and we were already hooked!

Free Hugs on Canada Day

image © D. Gibson

Whatever Canada and Canada Day means to you, we encourage you to invest some time with loved ones! Continue Reading →

We Have Huggers!!

Hi Folks:

If you follow our blog you’ll know that for some 11 years we took our FREE HUGS posters to downtown Victoria and shared hugs with thousands of locals and visitors from (at least) 88 countries. Sadly, we had to quit in March 2020, and we have yet to return. Someday… In the interim we continue to give out Hug Certificates and we have sent out a smattering of Free Hugs postcards. We also continue to share hugs with loved ones where we can… but yesterday we tried something new…

Continue Reading →