I am the Trunk; You are the Branches

I am the Trunk; You are the Branches

“I am the trunk and you are the branches.”

Like a wise middle-aged sage, my husband dropped this metaphor on me last night when I was having a rough day.

My initial thoughts were: 1. Damn, that’s a helpful metaphor (I’ll explain). and 2. Is he feeling okay? Who stole my husband and who is this guy? While my always husband tries, he’s usually having a love affair with his cell phone and robotically responding “yeah, yeah” to my woes. Ladies I know you feel me. So this reply was not only shocking, but also everything I needed to hear to put a smile on my face. 

Lemme explain: I was crying, frustrated and sad, venting bout the fact that I don’t care for the fact that I can be so moody and up & down based on what I ate for lunch, which way the wind is blowing, and all these physical drivers. To make me feel better (and it did), my husband told me he was the trunk and that I’m the branches…and that it’s okay to be the branches. What he essentially explained is that he is the stable rock that never wavers in the relationship (which he very much is) and I am the one who sways a bit with the wind, BUT I’m the one who blooms the flowers and makes the tree beautiful. 

Yeah. He Ryan Gosling’d me SO hard.

Of course then, I cried so hard at my new poet Don Juan of a husband. 

On to today….I was thinking of this trunk/branch metaphor a little deeper. Abe had mentioned that day that I was the “trunk” of the house. So I started to think in terms of roles in different areas of our lives. And of course, thought about Mr. Gray and how he’s the trunk of the family, and how important a role that is.

How is Mr. Gray is “the trunk”? Here are just a few examples:

  1. Which pie are you going to slap on your overstuffed plate at Thanksgiving? The one freshly picked up from Wegman’s OR the blueberry one your Grandma used to make. I mean DUH. Is it all about taste though? Mostly. But it’s the feeling you get too when you eat it. There’s just something about eating Grandma’s cooking/recipes, using the special “china” she had at the table, and placing the handmade crochet ornaments on the tree that make the Holidays feel like the Holidays. It’s just not the same without it because she’s the root of the family.

  2. You know those times when you’re really upset, and your Grandma or Grandfather’s advice pops into your mind like an Ed Sheeran song and suddenly, you feel a little better about things? (My grandpa’s favorite was: “Don’t worry. It’ll all turn out in the wash.”) There’s nothing like Mr. Gray’s simplistic, yet wise advice, to ground you and make you see life a new way.

  3. Like branches flow from the trunk, traditions, values, and sayings, all flow from the Mr. Gray of the family. I mean, I reuse aluminum foil sometimes…Why? We certainly don’t have a shortage…but because I saw my grandmother flatten out the wrinkled aluminum foil and reuse it from years when she couldn’t afford not to. It just stuck with me (and actually makes sense anyway— Waste not, want not! Oh, there’s another Mr. Gray saying again ;o)

Without the trunk, there are no branches. Without the branches, a tree has no fruit or beauty. Both pieces are important in our relationships and our lives. Unfortunately, our society is focused on and most values the “branches” (i.e. non-seniors) because they directly produce the fruit and provide youthful beauty. They’re the showy part, ya know?

BUTBUTBUT (But cubed), how can we forget that without our dearest seniors, our Mr. Grays, that none of it would exist or have any meaning? Well, we have forgotten; our seniors are hidden and disregarded. This makes me a sad sap :o(((( (Pun intended). So I encourage you to bark up (ooo I’m on a roll) and express your gratitude for a trunk in your life today!

This post is in honor of my grandpa, Leonard Rusnak, an amazing man and the source of inspiration for this blog! He would have been 106 this month (Sept 9)! Born 1912.

Here’s how you can show the seniors in your life some love, and get others thinking about their “trunks” too! It only takes a few minutes, but a little love goes a long way!


1. Share! Share! Share!

One way to help Mr. Gray is by helping us young’uns to be more aware of him! Share this post with your friends!


2. Take the Gray Pledge!

Taking the Gray Pledge is a simple way to re-orient yourself toward those terrific seniors in our lives. It’s all about deliberately choosing to recognize Mr. Gray and honor his place in our society!


3. Get ‘em on the ‘Gram!

Got some great pictures of a beloved Mr. or Mrs. Gray? Post a picture in honor of them on Instagram or Facebook, and if they’re still living and on social media, tag them in it! Put that Gray Pledge into action. Use #LoveOfGray and see how others are honoring their seniors too. I’ll share as many as I can find in my next post!



Move with the CHEESE

Move with the CHEESE

You gotta move with the cheese man. You gotta move with the cheese.

Yeah, I’ve never heard this either, but it’s a hot phrase on “Bachelor In Paradise” right now (one of my guilty pleasure tv shows):

Move with the Cheese Blooper

I don’t know about cottage cheese and gas (and I wouldn’t tell you if I did! Actually, I would. I have no filter lol) BUT, I do know that cottage cheese is popping up ever-y-where in my life right now. It’s like a sign from the cheese gods or something…and as always, Mr. Gray is involved.

I’ll explain. Since I’ve been essentially dairy-free for 10 years, the last time cottage cheese came into my mind or mouth must be years ago, but the past 2 days, I’ve oddly had numerous “encounters” with this old school, classic snack. Let’s put it this way, if the lottery were played in food types, I’d be playing cheese curds:

1. Last night, out of nowhere, I talked to my hubby about how I used to love cottage cheese, wished I could eat it again, and asked him if he likes it (he does NOT).

2. Today, I didn’t move WITH the cheese, but I moved TO the cheese. Yep. You guessed it. Cottage Cheese. But not for me —to help Mr. Gray locate it in the grocery store.

3. After I helped Mr. Gray #1 (who is really a Mrs. Gray) find the cottage cheese, a Mr. Gray #2 was in line behind me in the grocery store check-out, and you guessed it, he’s holding at leaning tower of Pisa, i.e. SIX containers of cottage cheese.

So I’ve started to think, what is going onnnnnnn?!?! I felt like there was a Gray Lesson somewhere in this…and of course, I realized there is!

Let me now elaborate on my encounter with Mr. Gray #1…

Mr. Gray was staring, for at least several minutes, at the dairy section like the way I would stare at, well a sea of Mr. Grays (SO MANYYYY- HOW DO I CHOOSE!?! I LOVE THEM ALLLLL). Actually, I wasn’t sure if this lady was mesmerized by the variety OR couldn’t find something, so naturally, I took this as an opportunity to be a hero:

“Hey, so many choices, huh?”

She responded, “Yes, and I can’t find the cottage cheese.”


Shelly to the rescuuueeeee!!! Time to swoop in and help Mr. Gray. I’d like to thank the Academy, my friends, family, and mostly, myself for this Gray Award for being the best helper ever.

So I directed her away from the milks and yogurts over to the cheese section. I explained that there were a selection of cottage cheeses to choose from, including whole fat to skim. *Ahem* She stopped me. Without the *Ahem* but it felt like that.

Mr. Gray very kindly, but firmly noted that none of THOSE was the brand she likes and often buys.


Luckily I quickly saw the brand she was after underneath so I pointed it out and saved myself from a soul crushing experience. Then she goes: “Have you tried this? It’s the BEST!” She continues to tell me with such enthusiasm that this brand is like the original, old school cottage cheese. The hallmark of cottage cheese if you will. She said it was “the way it used to be, just like her grandmother used to make it.” I then asked her if she adds fruit and she responded “Oh no, I just add salt and pepper and it’s delicious.”

And that was it. She drifted away into the shadows of the grocery aisles……………………. (at least that’s how I perceived it when I tried to find her 2 minutes later for a picture!).

So I thought about, what could all this cottage cheese Hooplah be telling me? Why have the stars collided this way. And I thought why Mr. Gray was so dead set on that one brand. It’s because it made her FEEL something. It was the cottage cheese of her childhood, the olden days.

So what, right? Well, for seniors, nostalgia is so important. Being able to connect to the past through any avenue, whether it be music which I talked about it one of my past posts, or conversation, or food.

Warm and fuzzy moments of our childhood make us all feel good, but seniors have a special need for it since they are typically focused on the past, assessing it, and hopefully concluding that their life has been fruitful (pun unintended!). So don’t you think they’d want and need to focus on the good stuff in their former lives? I know I would. And if that warm and fuzzy feeling is evoked simply through little things such as finding the RIGHT Cottage Cheese, then by all means, help Mr. Gray when you see him or her to “Move with the Cheese. Move with the Cheese.”