This is the image of the Caldron fire in Amador County, California… only 14% contained … with strong winds moving it northeast toward Tahoe. According to our daughter-in-law today, the fire has grown to 177,260 acres and has destroyed 653 homes.
The line on the right shows you the 5.77 miles from the fire to our granddaughter’s house yesterday. Today it has moved closer and ALL residents (22,000) of South Lake Tahoe have been evacuated. They have only one exit highway open – and it leads to Nevada.
The line on the left shows the 5.49 miles from the storm yesterday to our son’s house. The purple dot in the fire’s “mouth” shows the place where the home is of our son’s friends – the ones who were evacuated and are now living in Placeville with Ty and Monika.
It is hard in the midst of such danger, loss of property, loss of homes, loss of lives and livelihoods, to keep a positive attitude. But, we cannot allow ourselves to despair!
For our granddaughter, Faith, and her husband, Kyle, the running water they are appreciating today may not be from their own faucet, but it is in the home of life-long friends of her other grandparents…
… and they were able to evacuate their home with some clothes… not just the pajamas they were wearing like some who were rushed out of their homes in the dark of the night…
… and they have food, love, shelter, and their dog! Of course, there is so much for which to be grateful!
But, as I thank God for the safety of my loved ones, I am remembering to be especially thankful for the firefighters who continue day and night to try and save people’s lives, homes, our forests, and our cities/towns/businesses. God bless our firefighters!
Keep smiling (if you can) through the storms of life… And try not to let the struggles get you down. They are designed to strengthen us!!
Remember the scripture that says,
7 “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea; The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.”.
My grandson, Sam, told me a few days ago, “Grammy, just wear dark glasses.” Don’t forget to listen to the advice of your kids – they are smarter than you realize!
See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Be a friend to a firefighter Be a friend to your neighbor Be a friend who gives someone in need a reason to smile today.
Are you blessed with a daughter who is your DollyWolly? We are! Today is her 54th birthday. Happy Birthday, DeAna Laura Beekman Solioz!
Born August 29, 1967, DeAna was given her name because it was as close as we could come to having the DeAngeles (my maiden name) carried on. Just drop the tail on the g and that’s how the spelling of DeAna came to be.
Recently DeAna had surgery… and it was hard being a mom with a daughter so far away at a time like that. But I sent her encouragement and love – like this meme:
If you have the blessing of a daughter who is a DollyWolly in your life, embrace her once for me, wouldja?
And have a good night. See ya tomorrow (God willing) Hugs, JanBeek
Today’s topic was chosen before I read Caralyn’s post today. After seeing what she shared yesterday, I decided I cannot say anything on this topic that would be more meaningful than what she wrote. So, I am reposting her message for you here.
One of the most special things in my life, is the fact that my best friend since literally birth, is my neighbor in NYC.
Truly. Neighbors. Our buildings are 157 steps apart, and I couldn’t be luckier to have my true blue — someone who has been with me through thick and thin, the most supportive, loving friend right there — it is one of my life’s greatest blessings.
Anywho – I was over at her apartment last weekend for a movie night. We ordered Chinese food, drank wine, it was truly like we were a scene out of Friends.
We watched The Last Five Years. A very obscure movie musical that, truly, only the “buffiest” of musical theater buffs know about.
But anyway — there was a line in the movie that literally made me stop and say…WOW.
Has that ever happened to you? Like something is just such a truth bomb that it literally stops you in your tracks?
Before I get to the big one liner, a little background about the movie: it’s about a couple’s marriage that falls apart. How uplifting, right?
But it’s scenes from when they first met, all the way through when the man leaves her, told in an alternating fashion from their different perspectives, him: starting from beginning to the end, her: from the end to the beginning….if that makes any sense at all.
But there was a line in his note to her, telling her that he was leaving…and he said, “I could never rescue you.”
And, I mean – wow, not only did that hit like a sack of bricks to the heart, but when I heard, I immediately thought – truer words have never been spoken.
This — this is exactly why I was single for so dang long. This is exactly why only now, have I embraced and welcomed love into my life: because I was not in a whole state, where I could bring someone into my life.
I was not yet at a place where I could welcome someone into my life as a woman who loved herself, had forgiven herself from the anorexia in her past, and freed herself from that shame.
And now — sitting here in an amazing relationship with an incredible man, I can easily say that the most beautiful thing in life, is to love and be loved in return. For so long, I feared doing just that, keeping people at arms length, not opening my heart, because I believed that my past made me unworthy of love. But friends, that is the biggest lie and bunch of malarkey that was keeping me from living fully alive. And though that makes me so sad to think about the abundant life I missed out on, I know that God was in control all along, and allowing things to unfold and bloom in the perfect timing.
Recovery is a long and winding road, and long after you put the weight on, you still wrestle with that inner voice shouting that you’re you’re not enough, you’re too broken, you’re unlovable and full of shame. I thank God everyday for drowning out those lies with His truth. Because that is the only way I fully healed: Him. . The fact is: no one can rescue you. No one can love you enough to get better. No one can do it for you, or want it for you: You have have rescue yourself. Or rather — you and Jesus – together – have to rescue yourself. But you can’t expect your partner to save you: that’s not fair to them, not fair to you. And that’s why it took me so long to get to the beautiful place I’m in today: because I had to do the work. I had to go through that long, arduous, and difficult process of believing that I was worth loving.
And the crazy thing is: it turns out that LOVE reaffirms all the healing truths God was whispering to me all along: truths that I was precious in His sight, that I was forgiven, that my life has value, but more than that: I was loved beyond my wildest dreams.
Love is truly the last step to a full recovery. It is the key that unlocks the freedom to live fully alive — the life of abundance that God created us for.
And it makes sense too, because God is love. And His love sets us free.
And, now – living in that freedom, I can safely say it is the most beautiful thing in the world. And dare I say, what we were created for.
So — The Last Five Years — just goes to show that God can speak to you even in the most obscure ways: reminding us of His love, and the beautiful journey He’s brought us through, and helped us overcome.
Maybe this is super cheesy, and yeah, it probably is. 😉 But reflecting on all this, just makes me feel super grateful for this man who makes my heart feel safe, seen and loved. I might not need rescuing, but it is a beautiful thing to have a partner who loves and supports you just the way you are.
What’s a movie quote or song lyric that has stuck with you?
“This is what the Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” Ez 37:5
So, since Caralyn has reminded us that “Life is vulnerability,” and “Love is truly the last step to a full recovery,” help me embrace these bruises and love the changing colors, ok?? Love your troubles away! Are they on their way to full recovery?
I dressed in yellow to match the yellow hew of the bruises yesterday (I’ve always loved the cheerfulness of yellow) and by this morning, the yellow is accentuated… maybe chartreuse is the color for this beautiful, sunny, blue-sky Saturday. ADD A LITTLE GREEN AND BLUE TO THE YELLOW.
Don’t you love it?
Caralyn wrote, “it is a beautiful thing to have a partner who loves and supports you just the way you are.”
And I couldn’t agree more. I am certainly grateful for my partner of nearly 60 years who told me I was looking better this morning! Oh my… better than what? Love me just the way I am??
My heart is breaking over the loss of the lives of 13 of our military in Afghanistan yesterday. The death toll from the blast includes 11 U.S. Marines, a Navy hospital corpsman, and one Army soldier, American officials said.
Today we learned the identity of one of those Marines who was needlessly killed yesterday in that bombing. He was only 20 years old. A young man who wanted to be a Marine all his life, according to a report I just heard. A young man who was due to be a dad in just three weeks. My heart goes out to his family and friends, the mother of his child, and to his unborn child. My prayers are with all those who lost loved ones in that attack yesterday… including the more than 100 Afghans who died in that bombing, too.
The above photo is Texas Marine David Lee Espinoza, 20, killed in Kabul airport attack… who was lauded for ‘courage and bravery,’
The young man is Kareem. His father’s interview was posted on-line. A portion of it was, “Kareem loved what he was doing, he always wanted to be a Marine,” said Nikoui, noting that his son had been stationed close to home, at Camp Pendleton. This made it easy for Kareem to visit on weekends, and he often brought along “10 or 15 other Marines” with him. When the holidays rolled around, Kareem always brought a few buddies with him for a home cooked meal.
As I write this post, additional names are being released of those who were killed in the Kabul bombing. This one just came in:
Jared Schmitz, 20, of Wentzville, Missouri, was among the dead, his father, Mark Schmitz told the radio station KMOX.
“This has just been absolutely devastating,” Schmitz told the station Friday.
Schmitz told the station the U.S. Marine Corps came to his home to deliver “the horrific news” around 2:40 a.m. Friday.
U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley confirmed his death in a statement posted to Twitter.
“Today I spoke with the family of Lance Corporal Jared Schmitz, of Wentzville, Missouri, a Marine who lost his life yesterday in the Kabul attacks, while proudly serving this nation. I promised his family that his service and his legacy will not be forgotten,” Hawley wrote.
I THANK OUR MEN AND WOMEN IN UNIFORM FOR THEIR SERVICE TO OUR COUNTRY AND THEIR WORK TO KEEP US FREE AND SAFE.
God bless our military. Keep them safe, Lord. Let them come home to their families alive and well… not in a box!
Dear Friends, EMBRACE OUR MILITARY. They need our appreciation and support every day.
“The fun part of getting not one, but two black eyes, is making up some wild, harebrained event that caused them.
Sky diving accident?
Or when they turn yellow… trying out for a clown part in an adaptation of a Stephen King novel.”
I think I could pull off a clown part in a Stephen King adaptation, don’t you?
I don’t need to wait til they turn yellow… just match the magenta with my lipstick, clothing, and earrings, and (as Derrick suggested) EMBRACE THE BRUISES!!
If you’re just tuning in to this messed up face saga, I need you to know that I got into a wrestling match with a tiger – and I won. The tiger ran off into the woods, never to attack a human again!
And if you believe that, you need to buy my latest novel… published by Porterhouse … available on your next steak.
If you can’t embrace sunglasses and hide the damage, then ya gotta smile and bare it, right?
And while we’re at it, I have another story to tell you:
You know I’d not be likely to buy a case of beer – but good wine, now that’s another story!
Now if you think I have any flawless dance moves left in me, I have a glass of Kool-Aid to sell you. I have waaaay too many birthday stories to tell – and a whole lot of receipts for the Kool-Aid I’ve sold.
But, we’ve decided flying is a better way to go instead of driving these days. Driving requires sitting next to one another and trying to talk to each other. After nearly 60 years of marriage, what’s left to talk about? On a plane, if you’re lucky, you get the center aisle – and somebody new to talk to.
Seeing better was a perk of younger years. Hearing better is a perk of aging… but it takes a set of $4000 aids to do it.
As the birthdays pile up, we have to be sure we have our bifocals and our hearing aids before we leave home.
Next it’ll be our walking stick or a walker!!
Try not to lose your glasses or your car keys – That’s one of the problems we multi-birthday folks have. But that’s not as bad a losing your memory.
Did I tell you the story about how I got these black eyes? Oh, I did? It was back on the blog called EMBRACE HARD HEADS –
Oh well… That’s a story for another day.
Do you have a story to tell? Come on, be a sport… Entertain me!
Some days it takes courage to get out of bed! Some days it takes courage to look yourself in the mirror. Have you had days like that? Today was one of them for me!
So, I could go back to bed and feel sorry for myself – – or I could get up and face the day. I had to ask myself, WWJD?? (What would Jesus do?)
Jesus said to me, “Get up and face the day! Be courageous!” So, I did… and by noon the one black eye was better and the color had shifted so it was on the other eye, too.
“But Jesus turning and seeing her said, ‘Take courage, daughter…’ “
My devotional for today in Mornings with Jesus reinforced the prayer response. So, up and out I went!
We have been having day after day with skies filled with smoke from the fires that are all around MT, ID, CO, CA, and OR. The mountains have been invisible to us weeks on end. But today I could see the mountains!
By the time I spent a little time with a friend and returned home this afternoon, we had the clearest blue sky in months! See, if you have courage to face the day, God is good – and He will make you glad you did!
The moral of the story is, EMBRACE COURAGE!
Don’t let your hesitancy keep you from facing the day.
Get up, Get going, Get out, and Get happy!
God is good. Trust Him!
Please keep the firefighters and those in Harm’s Way in your prayers. Our son and his wife are sharing their home with a family of 8 who were evacuated from their home… but it is not destroyed… just in the evacuation zone … and the fire is still headed toward our granddaughter’s in S Lake Tahoe. So keep the prayers flowing!
See ya tomorrow – God willing!
EMBRACE COURAGE – and reach out to do what you can to help others…
Do you have a hard head? Have you ever tested it out?
I tested out the strength of my skull yesterday!
Not on purpose, of course.
I was walking to the back of the car to push the button that closes the hatchback. Friends approached from my right, so I turned to greet them as I kept walking. Little did I know Bob had pushed the button and the hatchback door was on its way down. I walked right into it! Ouch!!!
I heard a loud crack when it hit. A softer head would have split open and (as head wounds go) it would have bled profusely! But, I have a hard head, my friends! The blood stayed inside and created a black and blue goose egg!
Speaking of friends, Bob drove me home. My head was throbbing like crazy! I called our neighbor/friend, Janet, who is a nurse. She came right over. Ice packs, pain killers, Hugs and consolation… then alternating heat & ice. Just what the doctor would have ordered!
As if the care of a friend wasn’t enough, I was blessed with a very concerned, loving TazE. She never comes and crawls in my lap, but yesterday she wouldn’t leave my lap (except to get up every now and then, look me in the eye, kiss my cheeks and chin, and then crawl back into my lap). Aren’t animals amazing? So intuitive! She knew “Mama” was hurting… and she was there for me until the neighbors all arrived to make sure everything was OK and to pamper and feed me. Then TazE was content to go back to her own bed!
This morning, after a shower and a couple of pain pills, I was smiling once again… feeling no pain… and grateful that the swelling had gone down and the bruising had not traveled too far into my face.
Ah, my friends, EMBRACE HARD HEADS! They come in handy at a time like this!
Oh, and by the way, watch in the direction you’re walking today, okay? Hah! No point in testing how hard-headed you are!!
It helps to comb my hair over the bruise. You can hardly notice it, right?
Do you have big-hearted folks in your life? How do you recognize them?
This morning my husband, Bob, was driving to the nearest gas station on a new mower for the church that was donated by a big-hearted anonymous donor when the mower stopped. It didn’t have enough gas in it to get the two and a half blocks to the gas station.
He was stalled in front of the house of a lady we have known casually (she used to work at a furniture store in town). We didn’t know where he lived, but Bob recognized her when she came out and asked, “Can I help you?”
A few minutes later she returned from her garage with a gallon of gas for Bob to put in the mower so he could get to the station and fill up.
Yesterday our son, Ty, learned that a family of eight from his church had to be evacuated from their home. The Caldor fire is the one in El Dorado County, CA where we were concerned that Ty & Monika might have to evacuate, but their home seems to be below the fire line sufficiently for them to be “out of danger.” (We pray!)
Ty and Monika are such big-hearted people that they offered their home to the family while our son and daughter-in-law moved temporarily into their RV.
Now our concern is for our granddaughter, Faith. She and her husband are in South Lake Tahoe – and the fire seems to be headed for their neighborhood.
Our choir director/pianist for or church fell from the top of her steps leading into her garage a few weeks ago. She dislocated her shoulder and tore a bunch of ligaments – needing surgery. She lives about 40 miles from here – 40 miles from the nearest medical and physical therapy center.
Our big-hearted friends here in Ennis opened their home to her and her pup. They drove her the 50 miles from here to the surgery center – and back/forth to the major hospital over a couple weeks. Big-hearted people like them keep showing up in our lives. How about your life?
Today Bob was using the new mower to cut the grass at the church. We have ordered a mulching kit for it, but it is not here yet, so the grass was piled up on the sides of the mow strips as he cut the overgrown lawn.
Big-hearted friends who are members of our church offered to go and help rake and bag the lawn trimmings and take them to the dump.
It is that heart full of love that is big-hearted!
Reminds me of the story of The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. If you will recall, when he reached out to the people in Whoville to help them, “His heart grew ___ sizes that day!”
Do you remember how many sizes?
That’s the key to being big-hearted… Reaching out to help others without expecting anything in return.
Whether it is with a gallon of gas or loaning your shelter to friends in need or taking a friend to their doctor appointment or providing food for a family who’s hurting or bagging lawn clippings, there are countless ways we can use our big-hearted generosity to make the world a better place.
Join me as we extend our heart to those around us…
and pray for those in need of food, shelter, friendship, health, safety, etc.