Everybody Needs a Hug/First Day of Harvest

Original Written: September 5, 2013  Modified: December 5, 2018

Seymour Alban and Mi Corazon, Augie Hug way back in the beginning

I thank my Lord for all of my rich experiences, including the ones that were not “so rich.” They have made me the strong, independent and grateful woman I am, today. 
I have been taught through the tears. There is an adage in Spanish that states, “los golpes de la vida, son los que nos enseñan/o los hacen más fuerte,” which translates to the blows of life teach you/or make you stronger! Mi Familia spoke in sayings and adages; using them as learning tools. They worked!
I made the concerted decision many years ago to forgive, purge and follow my Lord. It has been work, but the Lord has guided me through.Our stories all differ and yet they are all the same only the characters have changed. I wish to be soft. And not allow the world to make me hard. Or let pain make me hate. And, walk sensitively with our Lord. As I have repeatedly said. To have picked grapes as a child in the richest fruit/vegetable basket in the country; the San Joaquin Valley to owning a small winery was a true “full circle experience for me.”Both experiences were very  enriching. But, we not only picked grapes we chopped weeds, picked cotton, thinned, picked potatoes, picked garlic, worked on tomato harvesters and harvested lettuce. In addition to picking plums in Healdsburg, Ca., as young children. We were young and all of it was difficult. But, these are the valuable experiences that made my siblings and I strong people. Waking up very early, it was usually cold and then it would get so hot we couldn’t stand it. Our family wanted us to learn that if we did not study and pursue an education, field work would be our life! I and my siblings were raised to be strong willed with strong opinions and good morals.

And, I Thank my Lord and am so grateful that I am not still picking grapes or working in the fields! But, grateful for the opportunity. 
So glad we did the latter, (made wine and owned a tiny winery) Hug Cellars, for over 20 years in Paso Robles, Ca., while we were still young, Mi Corazon (Augie Hug). My heart is full. The only thing I wish to say about this is that it was an enriching, fun and exciting experience (since I could write a book on these years) but people tend to glamorize the wine industry. It entails a lot of hard work. In addition to a lot of money. The saying in the wine industry is how do you make a million dollars in the wine industry? You start off with two million! Personally, the most rewarding aspect of it was interacting and meeting people, and the life long relationships we have developed.

Selecting and limiting a few pictures to a 20 year span is difficult.

Lorraine Mckillen (Alban), John Alban, Mat Garretson, myself y Mi Corazon, Augie Hug at Central Coast Wine Room in Harmony Ca.
Yours truly with customers in Harmony, Ca population 18
Mi Corazón and I at Alban Vineyards way back in the beginning with Paul (Pablo) Wilkins.
Another oldie at Alban Vineyards with Glen Srabanik and Paul Wilkins
Our First Label
Mi Corazón and I at Hug Cellars 
Edgar & Erica have taken the reigns of Hug Cellars
“20 Years of Hugs”

Our Lord gave Mi Mama and Familia the insight to know that education was the only ticket out. Mi Hermanas and my favorite topic seems to be; Mi Mama and our upbringing. We all recognize she made many mistakes, but she did more things right in bringing us up. We were raised around gangs, heroin, bars, poverty, teen pregnancy, apathy and depression. We were well aware and taught about all of these evils, but we were also very sheltered and protected from that “scene.”
Mi Mama and Familia wanted a better life for us; but they didn’t only talk about it! They worked very hard and took measures to assure we had a strong foundation. My uncles became entrepreneurs owning mom and pop grocery stores, restaurants/bars, panaderías and tortillerias. 
Mi Mama being a single Mama struggled, but my uncles (we had four) and Abuelito’s made sure we always had our hair cut, good clothes, shoes, food, rides to the dentist and dr., etc. They reinforced discipline and loved us. My Uncle Gilbert took us to Yosemite and Disneyland as children. They did everything possible to help Mi Mama and supplement her/our needs. In addition, I recall three factors that have always prevailed in my head and I am of the opinion are important; Mi Familia although, not formally educated had more common sense than some people with college degrees. I always saw my family reading and lastly, our family conversations were always about how we as Mexicans would advance and what needed to be done. But, most importantly how we as a family, and individually would advance. I recall that when we became teenagers and our uncles found out any of us had a “crush” they would say, “you don’t even know how to clean your noise and you already have a boyfriend!” And there other famous words were “you can’t live on love!” In their minds we were already getting married! As I grew older I wondered what the heck does that really mean? Until someone finally asked, and we all received a lesson on budgeting, babies, marriage and relationships. Whew! We all walked away never wanting to be married, since it entailed so much responsibility and was so expensive! And we knew we could not have boyfriends or we would  get punished or a spanking!

n retrospect I wonder what would have become of us if we had not had them (our extended family) in our lives? They and Mi Mama instilled a very strong work ethic and disciplined us when we needed it. They were determined that the life they had been born into would not be ours! I must add at this point that I was an above average student and the first one in my family to attend a 4 year college. But, we have some geniuses in our family that are quite successful, and I am very proud of their accomplishments. I have cousins who have graduated from very prestigious universities such as Yale, Wharton and Tufts to name a few. And, the ones that are not geniuses, “most” are very hard-working individuals, who have also done well in life. All due to the Glory of our Lord. I also realize we are just one family in the sea of hard-working people.
Of course like many families we have much work to do. In conclusion, the Lord has Blessed me with many gifts and at one point in my life I thought the best legacy you could leave your children or grandchildren was money or other material things. Now I know, the best legacy you can leave your children is to teach them about our Lord.

November 30, 2018

Most recently, I had a lengthy conversation with a very successful young man, named Amit (36 years old). In which he stated, “I am the last of my generation in my family that believes you must work hard and pay your dues.” He went on to say his cousins want the “good life” but do not wish or feel they have to work for it. They feel entitled! Amit, said he lives in a small town, to work his way up the ladder and one day,  if he “chooses” he can move to a larger city and own a larger business. He went on to explain his cousins did not understand what he was doing in a small Texan town and wondered why he didn’t move to the city.  

And, I don’t understand “what has happened in our society?”


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I am perpetually creative, and my eyes “feel” art everywhere. Who am I, I am an open book. I believe that sharing “from the heart” with one another is what connects us, heals us, and inspires us! My love for my Lord, family, friends, cooking, crafting, gardening/nature, vintage, sewing and different cultures; these passions and too many more to list, have moved my hand to paper, thus, Abrazos y Besos. In addition to a nudge by my baby sister, Dudies. My last name is Hug which means Abrazo in Spanish, hence the name of my blog: “Abrazos y Besos” translating to “Hugs & Kisses.” I will focus on our personal life journey with Mi Corazon (Augie Hug) sprinkled with love, spice and fun. Please tune in. Philippians 4:13 New King James Version (NKJV) 13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

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