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Saturday, May 26, 2012

LOVE AT 80--Doug and Wilma Cross

Doug and I were Bank of America employees, but did not meet until after we had retired and attended a retiree luncheon with our spouses.. We found we had many things in common. We had lived, attended school, and knew some of the same people in Idaho. Several years later we had both lost our spouses, but we remained just friends.

On our first date we planned to go to dinner and a movie. I was getting ready to go to Russia with a Missions group. That morning I had to get a Hepatitis C injection before I could go. After eating dinner, we were finishing a glass of wine when I became violently ill and lost consciousness. Doug had to look in my purse to find my insurance card and call my son to tell him where I would be going by ambulance. He stayed with me at the hospital until my son could get there. That really impressed my family. We still have not seen the movie. We dated a few more times, but neither of us was interested in getting married and we drifted apart.

One morning, two years later, Doug called me and asked me to lunch. After a couple more dates, I began to think Doug had "changed" and I kind of liked him. It was probably me who had changed. I began to pray for guidance. I didn't know it then, but Doug was praying also. It didn't take long before God revealed his plan for our lives in a very dramatic way. We were married about 6 weeks later. On January 30th we celebrated our first wedding anniversary. What a wonderful year this has been!

Friday, May 18, 2012


Relationship Skills Center, Sacramento, California from

I have lots to say about kissing, but I'm only going to focus on one aspect today: the 10-second kiss.

Last week my mother-in-law told me about a segment on The Today Show about kissing. You can watch the 4-minute video about the importance of kissing here. A big part of the segment is about the first kiss related to dating, but right about 3:00 minutes into the conversation they talk abut the 10-second kiss (the article on the same page talks about it a bit more).

What they don't mention on the show is oxytocin, sometimes known as the "love hormone" (Google it, I swear this is true!) as the reason WHY kissing for longer than just a peck on the lips is important. When we cuddle, hug, kiss, and engage in other types of intimacy our bodies release this hormone that increases and reinforces attachment.

We first learned about this shortly after we were married. A counselor we knew suggested that engaging in long drawn out hugs (10-20 seconds) at least once a day would strengthen our marriage over time. The reason-oxytocin! Our bodies are actually created to chemically respond to the love and nurturing of a committed relationship. And longer kisses do the same thing.

Fascinating, isn't it?  For more information on relationship skills check out my book, Becoming Soul Mates--How to Create the Life-long Relationship You Always Dreamed Of.

Friday, May 11, 2012


                                           Gourmet food to watch the Super Bowl

Saving the life of another person has to be the ultimate gift of love. To be a living donor of half of your liver goes way beyond the love most of us are willing to give. Incredibly we have had five volunteers for our daughter, Janee', over the years. The hospital puts them through a host of tests.

The first volunteer, our son, Eric, turned out not a match. Over the years three more people did not qualify. Unfortunately, neither her father or I were eligible because of our ages. Under age 55 is a hard and fast rule.

I would have given my liver gladly for any of my children or my husband, but I don't think I would be willing to do it for someone outside of the family unless they were a long time friend.  Kathy, Janee's donor, had known her for a relatively short time when she volunteered. Neither Kathy nor Janee' has ever had surgery so that is a huge unknown and of course produces a lot of anxiety. What love! Kathy and Janee' have become soul mates in a very short time. Kathy's liver should regenerate in two to three months after the surgery and she will have saved Janee's life. Can you think of a greater gift of love?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Are Marriages Ending at Mid-Life?

Newspapers this week featured alarming news about escalating numbers of people in mid-life and older ending their marriages. The question was, WHY?

Every morning I get up to a good-natured fun loving guy. My first question to him is, "Are you going to work on the computer today? The computer turns him into a raging angry man whom I no longer recognize. I have decided that the computer is destroying marriages and blowing up any chance of great relationships evolving into soul mate status.

SO PLEASE! Listen to me.
Everyone take those computers and donate them to the electronic waste collectors and take back your marriages. Maybe getting rid of all electronic devices would give you a chance of walking or riding bikes in the park, walking on the beach, going skiing, and a thousand other things couples in love like to do.

There still are thousands of love stories out there and many people who have learned how wonderful long-term marriage can be in spite of owning computers. Sometimes it takes a second or third try at relationship, but you can get there. It helps to have a good counselor who believes in long-term relationships to help you figure it out. Reading blogs like this one can help as well. GOOD LUCK!