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Archive for the ‘Aging Gracefully’ Category

Embrace Laughter


Comic Tammy

If you can laugh at yourself,
Laughter will always be with you.
We do the darndest things!!

Flight Attendant

On our trip home from Eugene, Oregon via Seattle, WA, we “lost” our carry-on suitcase. Because of a shortage of overhead bin space, we were asked to leave our carry-on at the entrance of the plane. At the end of the flight, the cart rolled out with all the luggage and ours wasn’t on it. There was a blue bag like ours, but it had a strange-looking lock on it, and it was a little bigger than ours, and the color wasn’t exactly right.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

We figured somebody had accidentally picked up the wrong bag. We reported the missing bag to the flight attendant.

“You’re sure this isn’t yours?” she asked.

“We’re sure!” we both chimed in.

So, this gracious masked flight attendant escorted us to the Alaska Airlines Passenger Assistance desk.
On the way we exchanged pleasantries.
She discovered we’d been married 59 years.
She asked about our destination.
We asked about her life.
We had plenty of time to share.
It was a long walk to the help desk.

Photo by Anna Tarazevich on Pexels.com

At the customer service desk, the attendant took our phone number and other contact information and assured us that we’d be contacted when the person who mistook our bag for theirs realized their mistake and returned it.

We thanked her again and got her contact info from her. Later she sent us a picture of herself unmasked so we’d recognize her if she came to visit us in Montana. We really hope she will!!

As we were headed for our next departure gate to continue our travel home to Bozeman, MT, we saw another flight attendant wheeling a blue carry-on toward the help desk. Something caused us to turn around, follow him, and inquire about that suitcase when he got to the Alaska Airlines customer service area.

Our sweet and helpful flight attendant still was in that area. She came over to see the blue bag that was left behind and get an update on what was happening. The two attendants looked at the bag, turned the tag on it over and examined the name/address on it.

“Beekmans?” the male attendant asked?

“Yes,” we replled.

“This is your bag!” he told us.

Photo by Alexander Krivitskiy on Pexels.com

We felt soooo stupid! We BOTH had denied that bag could be ours. We had created a hassle for the flight attendant and ourselves. NEEDLESSLY. We felt like such morons! We profusely apologized. They chuckled. We laughed out loud… a laugh filled with embarrassment.

Our sweet flight attendant patted us on the back. Gave us a comforting smile and said, “It could happen to any of us. Don’t worry!”

She said she wanted to adopt us as her “Marriage longevity role models.”

Thank you, Lisa!!

Ah, 59 years together! We often tell folks it takes the two of us to complete one another… two halves make a whole.

At that moment we thought we had both become slightly senile. Neither of us felt like half of a whole!! Maybe a quarter?

We can’t afford to have BOTH of us lose a few marbles. HELP!!

As we rolled our bag – hmmm… why hadn’t we noticed that lock on there before? Hmmm … was it really this size? Hmmm … why hadn’t we noticed the shade of blue?

We got the giggles. We laughed at our own feeble-mindedness and decided what we needed was a good glass of wine, a taco snack, and a chance to just sit and relax before we boarded the next flight.

I received a text from our dear flight attendant. She assured us that we were the highlight of her day. She sent us a picture of her beautiful family and invited us to come visit her if we are ever in the area where she lives. I can just hear her sharing the story about this “adorable old couple, married 59 years, not recognizing their own suitcase” and getting a good laugh for years to come.

We’re able to laugh about it, too. We hope she really will take us up on it and come to visit us in Montana!

The moral of the story:

The next time you do something stupid, give each other a high five. Get a good laugh at yourself, and realize:

You are not alone!
Laugh together.
No one can laugh AT you,
if they are laughing WITH you!

Embrace laughter.

Photo by Blue Bird on Pexels.com

And, by the way,
do you have some kind of bright florescent ribbon
that we can tie onto our luggage?


Something that we can’t mistake for someone else’s?

Send it along to us!!
And have a great Thursday!



Love,
JanBeek

Hah!!

Oh- and by the way, that girl at the top with her tongue out?
That’s Bob’s niece, Tammy.
She has a great sense of humor.
As a nurse – especially during this COVID-19 pandemic,
Laughter has been a saving grace!
Gotta keep your spirits up!!

Thanks, Tammy, for all you do to help others!

Embrace Your Journey


The word “Race” implies competition when you “Run the Race.”
But life lived in competition rather than collaboration is a lonely one.
When I was an elementary school principal back in the 1980’s,
I wrote our school theme song using the California Poppies tune.

The California Poppies song went like this:

“Poppies, golden poppies, gleaming in the sun,
Closing up at evening when the day is done.
Pride of California, flower of our state,
Growing from the mountains to the Golden Gate.”

The words I wrote for our Caswell Elementary School in California were:

We’re the Caswell Cougars.
We are Number One!
Green and yellow banners
Waving in the sun.
Caswell is a place for
Learning and for fun.
We’re the Caswell Cougars;
We are Number One!”

One of my fellow principals objected to our song.
She felt I was in competition with her school.
I responded, “There’s room at the top
for more than one.
Come up and join us!”

As I have journeyed through this life,
I am going and growing.
I am understanding better
where my colleague was coming from.

Thirty years later I can look back
And I can see my competitive spirit
At work in that school song…
Unintended yes, but obvious to others.



If life is viewed as a race,
then there is room for only one at the top.
The race goes to the swiftest.
But a journey has room for many.

Hold my hand as we walk this path.
Pray with me. stay by my side.
Soon enough we will reach the mountain top
And when we do, celebrate with me.

Today Bob & I are journeying to Oregon
where we will join his sister and her family.
We will gather to give back to one another
The love we have shared on this life’s journey.

We will hear the echo of Bonnie’s husband
As their daughter and son speak of the ways
Their dad sent out, sowed, and radiated love
During his 86 years here on this earth.

As we travel today, Bob and I acknowledge
The grace of God that has allowed us to share
These six decades with one another –
And we take not one of those chapters for granted.

Stan Hunt’s chapters on earth have ended,
But we know his story doesn’t end here.
We know death is not an end to our journey;
It is a beginning of our eternal life – forever with our Lord.

We will share, hug, and weep for our loss,
And we will assure one another of the faith we have.
We know we will see one another in eternity.
We will continue the journey – writing our masterpiece!

Have a beautiful Sunday, my friends.
I send you my love
as we journey this life together.


See ya tomorrow (God willing),
JanBeek

Embrace Maturing


Embrace Maturing –
Not everyone does with age;
Some remain childish!

Happy Birthday, Son,
Our 56 year old boy –
You’re God’s gift to us!

I posted some pics
On my Facebook page today.
Here’s WordPress sharing:

Maturity is to be embraced.
Never fear growing older.
It is a privilege denied to many –
Embrace aging and getting bolder.

Life is full of great surprises.
Improving since those Little League Days.
From riding toy horses and tractors
To inheriting a Porsche and a smile that stays.

If you have your dear wife and your health,
If you have friends, a good job, and kids
Who love and appreciate who you are,
With God’s help, you won’t land on the skids!

Our son, Ty, always was a great ham.
He played George’s role in the school play
When he was about ten-years-old.
Of course, a star was born that day!

We’ve always been proud of who he is –
Pleased as punch with the man he’s become.
A devoted husband, a loving grandpa, too –
And to many a neighbor, a reliable chum.

His faith in the Lord has strengthened with age,
The maturity of his belief’s a wonder to behold
May he live a long, fruitful life in retirement –
And never fail to share God’s wisdom. Just be bold!


Our daughter-in-law, Monika by his side
Is a marvelous complement to our son.
May they live to a ripe old age together –
In the end hearing, “Well done, good and faithful ones!”

Love from Mom & Dad Bee

Thanks for visiting JanBeek today-
Embrace Maturing!

See ya tomorrow.
Happy Birthday, Ty – and Bill Welge, too!

Embrace Proximity


Proximity
Is nearness
Space that’s measured
Feeling a treasured presence
Closeness

Tomorrow may be in heaven…
But there is a tomorrow for all Children of God

Movement
Closing in
Walking toward you
Feeling your loving care
Proximity

Bonnie & Stan
60 years of standing together,
Leaning on one another
Treasuring proximity

Movement
Closing in
Walking toward you
Feeling your loving care
Proximity

Dream
Embrace Proximity
We never know
How long we’ll have
Together


Bob & Jan
59 years and treasuring our proximity

Wishes
Are important
Dreams stay big
My wish for you:
Proximity

My sister-in-law, Bonnie, had the gift of her children and grandchildren’s close proximity yesterday as she dealt with the grief of separation. Hopefully they will ease the pain with beautiful shared memories. One of my other sisters-in-law sent me these pictures of Stan today. (If you follow my post, you know Bonnie’s husband died yesterday). I will post a few of Ann Beekman’s photos here so you can feel the proximity of this crazy family – full of joy and love for one another.

The Beekman/Hunt/Payne family guys
Stan clowning behind Bob & Bruce
Bonnie & Stan at a family dinner
Bonnie & Stan at our granddaughter, Faith’s wedding
Stan & Bonnie after an Hawaiian trip
A souvenir hat from Hawaii
Stan loved hats –
Guess where this one came from!

May the memories of my dear brother-in-law remain alive in our hearts
And the proximity of his character comfort and sustain all his loved ones.

What’s a favorite memory you pray
your family and friends will use
to help them remember you
when you are gone?

What photo will keep you in close proximity to them?

Here’s mine!

Stand by me
Lean on me
Embrace Proximity

See ya tomorrow
JanBeek

Embrace Flexibility


Being flexible:
A sign of a healthy soul!
It’s well with my soul.

Rigidity means
There’s inflexibility…
Like old, wrinkled skin.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Rigidity lacks
The ability to spring –
Spring up and bounce back.

Flexibility
Is living life on the edge –
Edge of Adventure!

When Bob & I were much younger, we were living in the San Francisco Bay Area. I was happy in my teaching job, but Bob was restless. He had been coaching wrestling and teaching drivers’ education for about nine years. He’d had the “Seven Year Itch” for a couple years… looking for a way to feel compensated for the tons of extra hours he put in as a coach. But, coaches don’t get paid more than a measly $500 stipend for the gajillion extra hours. They watch the guy who comes and goes with the bells. In at 8: am and out at 3:00 pm. It was discouraging after a while. Love his students as he did, it was not “well with his soul.” He wanted the freedom to be compensated fairly for his efforts. So, he left teaching and returned to the family farm. Farming allowed him the flexibility he was craving.

He went back to the family farm … almonds, walnuts, and mainly – beekeeping. Producing honey, selling his bees’ product, scheduling his own time… Ah yes, the flexibility was good for his soul. He thrived!

Flexibility
Is important for your soul.
Keeps your life limber.

Retirement brings flexibility

The freedom to fish
Or go four-wheeling with friends:
Retirement JOY!

Are you flexible?
Can you readjust your life
When it feels too stiff?

Do you feel you’re trapped
In a spot not fulfilling?
Make your soul feel well.

Listen to your heart.
Life’s too short to be rutted –
Stuck and unhappy!

Just dig yourself out.
Uncover many options –
Start digging today!

There’s a world waiting
For the flexible and strong
To step out in faith.

Know you are not stuck
In an unfulfilling place.
Exercise options!

Do some exploring.
Embrace flexibility.
You have just one life.

Look for your purpose
Find it in your prayer-filled time
Embrace Flexibility.

You were born to start
The work set out just for you.
God bless you today!

Just live your own dream –
Not the dream of someone else.
Step out in faith now!

Photo by Josu00e9 Luis Photographer on Pexels.com

Yup, that’s right –
Flexibility means JOY –
Jump into it NOW!

We’re living in joy!
Thanks for visiting JanBeek
See ya tomorrow.

Embrace Today


If you knew today
Was your last day to be here
How would you spend it?

Lao Tzu:

“If you are depressed you are living in the past.
If you are anxious you are living in the future.
If you are at peace you are living in the present.”

“Respond to anger with virtue.
Deal with difficulties while they are still easy.
Handle the great while it is still small.”

Today is the day
It’s the only day we have
How will we spend it?

More from Lao Tzu:

“Your own positive future begins in this moment.
All you have is right now. Every goal is possible from here.”

Productivity
Is not always busyness
Take time to settle

When difficulties
Nag at you from every side
God is growing you

Take time to be still
Hear His gentle voice; listen
Think before flying

Caterpillar waits
Inside a tight chrysalis
Time is transforming

Embrace your today
Spend it busily waiting
For the right flight time!

Time keeps on slippin’
Slippin’ into the future
So, Carpe’ Diem!!

Embrace Today!

Photo by Frans Van Heerden on Pexels.com

Thanks for visiting JanBeek today
See ya tomorrow.

Embrace Aging


I could have called this “Embrace Maturity,”
but that would have been pussyfooting around the issue.
Not everyone matures as they age,
but aging is not an option.

You do it or you die.

However, I embraced this meme when I saw it:

Aging is a privilege only given to the lucky ones, you know.
So, yes, I will count this year …
but at 81, I sometimes forget if it is 80 or 81
and if I try to get by with the lesser number,
I have an 82 year old husband who is quick to remind me.

Hah! Can’t fool him…
He keeps a check on me – – –
but he’s not big on donuts.
Darn!

My daughter
(most of you have met her on this blog in the past –
DeDe – lives in Switzerland)
sent me this a little while back.
She particularly liked it
because one of Bob’s nicknames for me
is “Rocky”

Most of you also know that I have a sanctuary
where I spend the first hour most every morning…
and in it I have three antique rockers.
Ah, yes, it’s the perfect image of me!

But the chair that brings us
mutual joy
is the one we put in the back of our ATV
and pull out when we stop for a break.
The best way to embrace aging
is to find a hobby that you can enjoy
with someone you love.

For Bob and me, it is joining friends
and going four-wheeling
on these wonderful Rocky Mountain trails. ..
stopping to fish the mountain lakes.
Ah, that’s livin’!!

What hobbies
make your aging process more enjoyable?
One of our mutual hobbies
(besides four-wheeling)
is teaching Sunday School.

Here are darling Ruby & Cord.

COVID got in the way
of being able to meet each Sunday morning
with these two darlings and one other…
and then these two moved away.
As they age, their mom sends us pictures.

Getting picture from family and friends
is a great way to welcome the new day
and look forward to the next time you can visit.

Aging is easier to embrace if you have dreams –
something to look forward to, right?

We dream of next October –
when COVID-19
will be controlled
and it will be safe
to travel to see our daughter,
De, and her husband, Andre’ –
and stay in one of the hotel rooms above the restaurant.

As we age,
some of the benefits
outweigh the struggles
that come with aching joints
and lowered energy levels.

One of them is,
when your grandkids act up
and get on your nerves,
you can just send ’em back to their folks!

Couldn’t do that when you were younger
and they were your own kids!

Gotta look for the perks in this aging process!

Oh my!
Take ’em home!!

Another advantage of aging
is that we have time to reminisce
about the “Good Ole Days”
and the songs we used to sing
that these youngsters with their guitars and drums
don’t seem to understand anymore.

And if those songs
and the memories they bring
aren’t enough to make you feel good
about still being on this earth,
try singing this one:

Another way to “Embrace Aging”
is to relish the extra time
you have to just find a good book,
pour yourself a hot chocolate or a glass of wine,
curl up in front of a warm fire,
and spend some uninterrupted quality time.

When you were younger, that luxury was seldom yours, right?

Now, if you are a youngster (under retirement age)
reading this blog,
you are probably thinking that I am a dreamer.
You’re right. I am!
And each day I dream up all kinds of things
to keep me exuberant about life.

Yesterday it was effervescence.
The day before it was … oh, do I have to go back that far?

Nope!
A trick to aging gracefully is to remain playful.
Keep your hobbies,
and make up ways to keep the sparkle alive.
Take those boots that were left at the front door
and get creative!

If you can’t get out because you’re snowed in –
and you’re longing for sushi,
but the nearest place is an hour away,
send money to your kids
and tell them to go out for sushi on you.
But make sure they send you a picture…
and drool all over the computer screen
when they send it!

Ask your friends to send you a picture
of the table they decorated for some recent holiday –
and then marvel at their creativity
as you sit down for the 10th night in a row at your kitchen counter…
thanking God for your life,
your food, your kids, and your kitchen counter.

A trick to embracing aging
is to always remain thankful for your blessings…
even if they aren’t at a yacht club!!

Now, here’s a couple who knows how to live it up:
My friends, the Rosens.

Embrace Aging
by feeding your mind
Hope, Truth and Love
on a daily basis.

Don’t let your mind tell you you’re OLD.
That’s a state of mind for the senile.
It’s not for you!

Tell your mind
that aging just adds to your story…
and you’re not finished telling it yet!

Have fun, my friend.
Make room for sunsets.

Photo by Trung Nguyen on Pexels.com

Look forward to sunrises.


And believe in miracles…
Because you are one!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.
See ya tomorrow.

Embrace Marriage


Happy 59th Anniversary today to my sweetheart, Bob, my life’s partner!!

February 11, 1962
Bob & his brother, Bill…
The week when we first met…
What a ham!!
While we were dating, and engaged,
I was bridesmaid in Bob’s sister, Bonnie’s wedding.
Our engagement was “trying times”

Bob & I both have a deep faith. It was God who put us together. It was our faith and prayer that kept us together. During our engagement, he was in Germany, in the army. I was in college, wanting to enjoy college life. I broke up with him. But, God knew we belonged together. He made sure we got back together again! (Thank You, God!) And He helped us stick it out all these years through good times and bad. I’m so grateful!!

In the car – after the wedding – headed for the reception
We were married nearly three years
before I became pregnant
There’s DeDe and Ty with Bob –
-blowing out his birthday candles

Our children, Ty & DeAna, have been such a blessing in our lives. Thank You, God, for the gift of these children!! During our early married years (after the first 8 months in Germany), we lived in Turlock (for a year) and then San Francisco and San Mateo. Bob worked for Shell Oil and then went back to college (San Francisco State). He earned his teaching credential and then coached wrestling and taught Driver’s Ed at Hillsdale High School in San Mateo, CA.

Bob curled his hair when he became a beekeeper in the 70’s.
We had lots of fun on weekends in the winter
going skiing together.

We moved from the Bay Area back to the San Joaquin Valley in CA. Bob took over his Dad’s beekeeping business when his father retired. Did you know that beekeepers with hair that is close their head (hair that gets greasy or sweaty) are targets for bee stings? With a perm, the bees couldn’t get to the scalp.

You ask why he didn’t just wear a hat like most beekeepers do? Bob hates wearing a hat! He didn’t wear protective gloves either. Those are topics for another day!

I was teaching in Hughson, Ceres, and Modesto, CA in those days.
Then I moved into administration for a dozen years.
Principal and Curriculum Coordinator
Time passed.
Gray hair started to change our appearance!
We both claim we were the one who loved the most!!
After retirement, we were able to travel.
I dyed my hair for awhile before I learned to embrace the gray.
(That’s a good topic for another day)

Our Daughter, De

In 1987, our daughter, DeAna, married Andre’, a Swiss (the first cousin of our AFS exchange student).

She wore my wedding dress 25 years after I did!

I have written about De & Andre’s fairy tale story in the past. She moved to Switzerland when our first grandchild was “in the hopper.” That was nearly 30 years ago! Every other year we would go to visit them (so, no, we didn’t really wait ’til retirement to travel … we just got to do more of it after Bob left beekeeping and we moved here to Montana).

Thank you, Diana Housel, for this gorgeous photo of our dear Montana!!

This is the village of Vissoie, Switzerland where DeDe and Andre’ live now.
Andre’ and De have three boys.
Our Swiss grandsons are Mike, Nick & Chris.
We hope to travel there this October to spend time with them.
Virus, be gone!!!

You will recall, they have a restaurant there!
We NEED to go and see it in person!!

Our Son, Ty

Our son, Ty, blessed our family in 1989
by marrying his sweetheart, Monika.
The two of them adopted four children.
Sam, Hope, Jordan & Faith are young adults now.
I’ve written about them here on my blog.
Our lives are so enriched by this extended family.
Ty & Moni live in CA, near Lake Tahoe.
This picture of them was taken of them
at our youngest granddaughter, Faith’s wedding.
We hope to travel to CA to be with them this year in June.
Virus be gone!!

Pleeeease God, help us be able to travel to CA in June!
I need to see my darling great-granddaughter, Cosette!

Life is Full

Life is full of love and joy and promises for a bright tomorrow. We have so much for which to be grateful. We know we are blessed to have one another and to have lived into our 80s and remained married to that same partner for nearly 60 years.

Embrace Marriage, my friends! And EMBRACE YOUR LIFE’S PARTNER if you are fortunate as I am to have one!

Today, February 11, 2021, our 59th anniversary, starts our 60th year of marriage, doesn’t it? When a baby turns one, they are starting their 2nd year on earth. Yes, that’s the way it works! Sixty years with one life partner!! I am extremely blessed!

With God every day is full
of simple delights
and unexpected joys.

Couples that pray together, stay together.
And it helps to do other things together, too!

On Super Bowl Sunday, we had a Pizza Party.
We made our pizza together.
Turned out pretty well!
We plan to keep on doing things together
as long as the Good Lord allows…

The road is long… and
We’ve come a long way together.

With God’s grace and blessings,
we will continue to travel this road of life together
for many more years to come.
We don’t know what the future holds,
but we know Who holds the future…
and we let Him lead us.

Happy Anniversary,
Sweetheart Bob.
I love you!

Wherever you lead me, I will follow…
I’ll go with you, with you, all the way!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.
Have a blessed February 11th.
See ya tomorrow.

Theme for 2021


Do you have a theme picked out for 2021?
Several of the bloggers I follow
have selected and shared
their themes
for 2021.

My husband, Bob,
said his theme is
“Don’t Let the Old Man In.”


Mine is
“Embrace”

Each day this year I will pray for
the revelations of God’s Will
for the new day,
and I will ask Him,
“What (or who) shall I embrace today?”

January 1st it was “JOY!”

I Embrace JOY!

There is room for JOY
In this life of mine.
There is room for it ‘cuz
This life is mighty fine.

January 2nd I embrace
God’s Will for my day.
Read His Word and
Walk in His Way.

His Way – His Will –
always includes compassion!

Have a blessed weekend, dear friends.
What (or who) will you embrace today?

Most people when asked
what they missed most in 2020
said it was HUGS!

Thank God for the people close enough to you
that you can safely hug
even in the midst of this pandemic.

What are your plans for today?
Our day will be a quiet one
here in this beautiful place.
I hope yours is as peace-filled.
God is shining His Light
down on you.
Be at peace!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
See ya tomorrow.

Two Birthdays in Big Sky


Where’s the perfect place
to celebrate a birthday
if you live in Montana?
Well, Big Sky, of course!

Bob & Jan in Big Sky on Bob’s 82nd birthday

And what’s the best way to celebrate in Big Sky when you get there?
With a friend who shares the same birthday, of course!

Caroline & Chuck Feldman –
CG’s birthday was today, too.

It was their first trip up to Big Sky
through the Jack Creek Canyon …
and the day could not
have been prettier for the trip!

Headed up to Big Sky via Jack Creek Canyon
Jack Creek thawing
I love the jack fences when they are snow covered!
Gorgeous blue sky and snow-covered peaks
Montana Jack’s – the perfect spot for lunch
Easy to socially distance
Tables set 10 feet apart
Complimentary dessert for the birthday boys!
To heck with a plate and spoon –
We all ate outta the dessert plate!
We stopped for some extra fun on our way out.
Of course, we masked up when we were not eating.
Everyone was equally obedient.
Can’t be too careful in this COVID world!
We hate wearing them… it’s hard to breathe….
But we’d hate more to get the virus, so we comply!
My friend, Doris, sent me this meme this morning.
While up at Big Sky, I saw a lot of mask-wearing
that confirmed the concern!!
Back home to Ennis – cross the Madison River
It was a lovely trip –
and a memorable, fun day.
Back Home with my feet up…
Time to kick off my boots!

I hope your Tuesday was a Terrific as ours.
Do you have a birthday to celebrate this end of the year?
If so, I hope you do something memorable.

Have a Happy last week of 2020…
time to kick it off, too!

Photo by YI on Pexels.com


Where would you like to kick 2020 off to
while you welcome 2021?
A beach in Hawaii might be nice!

Thanks for visiting Big Sky with me vicariously today.
We all need to look forward to a safe, healthy 2021
I wish you could travel here for real.
We’ll take you up Jack Creek Canyon!

Hugs,
JanBeek

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