There is an old saying that goes like this, “There’s no friend like an old friend.”
I choose to say it this way, “There’s no friend like a long-time friend.”
We’re not old… we’re forever young at heart! We, the heart of the “Turlock Union High School Class of ’57” Met at Latif’s Restaurant in Turlock yesterday. Doris and I came from out of state. It was such a joy to see everyone doing so well. None of us used a walker or came in an electric wheelchair. That’s actually pretty amazing given the fact we’re all in our 80’s.
Do you have “long-time friends” with whom you stay in touch? It is such a blessing!!
No post about long-time friends would be complete without a picture and mention of my dear Marcie. She’s here in Turlock. We stay with her when we come back to the valley. We are soul-sisters. She’s a gift from God.
I pray that as you read about these long-term relationships, you are inspired to reconnect with long-time friends of your own. Maybe there is a person out there that you have lost touch with. Someone you care about. Reach out today!
This week Bob & I visited El Paseo Drive in Palm Springs, CA. It was a beautiful day to window shop those exquisite boutiques. But, ooh-la-lah, heaven forbid we go inside!! The prices are out of sight! However, if is is not a lovely shirt or a cute, little apron with a cute saying on it, then it is a convincing salesman with a free gift he is handing out in sweet little bags.
I made the mistake of accepting the bag and then being drawn into his shop where he had a “Miracle Cream.” He invited me to sit down so he could put it around one of my eyes. “Look at how it removes the puffiness and lightens the dark bags,” he said.
Bob followed me in and the slick salesman invited him to come and see how much better that eye looked. “We men don’t care about the aging process,” he told Bob. “But women – they care – and your wife would love this cream. If it can do this much in one very short treatment, imagine what it can do with weekly treatments over a few months!”
The salesman offered to throw in an additional jar of “finishing cream” for FREE …. if we would buy one jar of the miracle cream.
“How much?” Bob asked.
“Only two hundred…” he paused before quietly adding “ninety-nine” at the same time Bob was gasping at 200 and missed the 99. Wow, only $300. for that miracle cream. A bargain! Just think it’ll last a month or more!!
Aging Like Sea Glass
Yes, I have a well-earned patina! Yes, I add a few wrinkles with each passing year. Yes, my skin lacks the freshness of my youth. Yes, I care about AGING. In fact, I embrace it! It’s not true that men don’t care about it. They want to age like sea glass, too.
External vs. Internal Beauty
I want the wrinkles that come with age to be a beauty that expresses my inner peace and radiates my inner joy. This dear photo by Nandhu Kumar depicts a lovely lady whose face sparkles with an inner beauty and a well-earned patina that is envious! Don’t you agree?
This sweet man’s face and his gesture of affection radiates a love so real, so dear, so beautiful that only the waves of time can achieve it. His face reflects his journey – and the changes he has gone through to achieve that beauty. Hers, on the other hand appears to have endured many fewer tumbles through the tide. Maybe she’s his daughter … or maybe she used that “magic cream.” Her face doesn’t reflect the inner glow, however wrinkle-free it may be, does it? She looks a little apprehensive to me.
Don’t get me wrong; I am not opposed to outer beauty!! I don’t knock those who get monthly facials or buy expensive creams or have face lifts. (I actually put a pretty costly cream on my face every morning. It’s a Lacome – designed as a sunscreen and wrinkle reducer – hah!)
Look at this lovely “elderly” model. She has a job that requires special care of hair and skin. Gotta look good on camera! A few lines add character, don’t you agree? The only way to avoid those lines is to stop smiling, stop frowning, stop expressing emotion. Even Botox doesn’t take them all away!!
Yes, I’d like to reduce my frown marks (those railroad tracks on my forehead). I was warned when I was in my twenties that this would happen if I didn’t stop frowning. But how do you keep a straight face when you’re teaching a room full of twelve year olds or scolding a 4th grader who just punched a classmate? Why should you keep from smiling when you’re confronted with a class of giggling kindergarteners? How do you avoid the wrinkles on your nose when that’s what your face does a million times a day? My dog, TazE, doesn’t seem to mind!
Ride the Waves and Go With the Flow
I want to age like sea glass. I want my hard edges to soften. I want to be picked up gently and admired by those who appreciate what these 80 years of life have meant to them and to me… what I’ve learned, and what I can pass along. I want to enjoy the journey, and always remember to be grateful for each day the Good Lord gives to me. I want to ride the waves and go with the flow.
You with me?
Ride the waves with me… and share your wisdom, too. How do you feel about aging?
Ever wanted to Wear your angel wings right now? Why wait for heaven?
Here I am in wings Before my heavenly home How did that happen?
Sadly, fifty-eight Beautiful souls were gunned down; But their souls live on.
Riverside City Has many wings on display For would-be angels.
They’re just waiting for Angelic folks like I’m not – Ready to pose there.
Doesn’t it look fun To pretend you’ve earned your wings Long before you do?
Keep working at it! You, too, can look angelic… Now – try acting it!!
After our angel tour in Riverside, we went with Janet and Charley to the Mission Inn. The Christmas decorations all still were up – only of course, the outdoor light display was not twinkling. We could see all the light bulbs, though. Must have been a million of them.
I hope you had a happy Saturday, too. You can see mine was quite enjoyable. I think I already see some feathers growing …
Psalm 90:12 (The prayer of Moses – the man of God)
“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”
80th Birthday – 2018
A year ago this day, we also were here in Placerville with our son and his family, joined by friends who came to celebrate Bob’s 80th birthday. The picture above shows Bob with the card Ty & Monika created for him using candy bars to accentuate the message.
The days between then and now find us both slowing down a bit. He finds it necessary to catch cat naps during the day more often. Outdoor chores take a toll on the back and leg muscles. Physical activities (like downhill skiing) are still fun, but hours on the slopes, taking the double diamond runs, without a break… well that’s not a good idea anymore.
How can we accept the aging process that seems to limit our energy? Well, duh … what’s the alternative? We die – or we become grumpy – or we listen to our bodies and take those breaks when the need arises! Aging gracefully means thanking God for all the things we CAN still do … and not focusing on the things we CAN’T do anymore… at least not at the speed and length of time we used to. Right?
Number our Days
We know our days are numbered… and only God has the answer. We know Jesus Christ promised He would come again and take all who believe with Him to our eternal home. Only God has the number of that day, too. So, our job is not to worry about what the numbers are, but to live fully for as long as He gives us.
That photo of Bob with our son, Ty, granddaughter, Faith, and her husband, Kyle was taken at our house in Montana last Thanksgiving.
A year ago Bob went skiing with Ty & Faith here in the Sierra Nevada mountains. This year, the crowds and the conditions caused Bob to say, “Let’s wait til we come back through in January and ski then.”
Someday Bob’s skiing may be limited to pulling our great-grandchildren on a sled in the snow… that is if we are fortunate enough to live long enough to gracefully accept the limitations that numbered days may bring!
Meantime, there are spring times and summers, autumns and early winters when the fishing is great in Ennis, Montana…
And there is always yard work that beckons him to keep the lawn trimmed, the flowers healthy, and the weeds at bay…
… and in the winter there is rarely a time when there is not snow to shovel!
We look forward to the numbered day on our ATV when we can enjoy with friends the beauty of the mountain trails above our Madison Valley.
Gain a Heart of Wisdom
Yes, looking at what we CAN do and not dwelling on the things we find more difficult to do as we add to the number of our days… that’s part of wisdom.
So is taking time daily to read God’s Word, and apply his principles to our lives.
In Psalm 90, Moses’ prayer also says, (in verse 10) “Our days may come to seventy years, or eighty, if our strength endures; yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass and fly away.”
Thank God, Bob can say, “The best of them are here and now… and with God’s blessings the best are also yet to come.”
They may quickly pass (as we age they seem to fly by more quickly with each sunrise and sunset), but we do not focus on the trouble and sorrow.
Focus on your blessings, my friends. Focus on the CANS, not the CAN’Ts!!
Enjoy each day… and look for the wisdom it contains.
Thanks for visiting JanBeek on the occasion of this wonderful 81st birthday. See ya tomorrow.
While perusing FaceBook this evening, I came across this article that I thought was so well written. The author, Nancy Guthrie, said what many of us know, “… for those who’ve recently lost someone they love, the holidays can seem more like something to survive than to enjoy.”
Nancy Guthrie is a guest writer on the FB page, desiringGod. She goes on to write,
“While those of us who surround grieving people can’t fix the pain of loss, we can bring comfort as we come alongside those who hurt with special sensitivity to what grief is like during the holidays. Grieving people wish we all knew at least five truths, among others, at Christmas.”
You can click on the link below to see the full article, learn what those five truths are, and learn a little more about Nancy Guthrie.
Today is my mom’s birthday. She’d be 104 today. I woke early and was greeted by this gorgeous sunrise peeking over the beautiful Madison Range.
As I zoomed in on it, it became more vibrant.
Orange was my mom’s favorite color. Good morning, Mom! I see you smiling down from heaven. I remember your best days, and set aside the years when Alzheimer’s robbed you of the sparkle, the tenacity, and the wisdom that marked your best days.
Always involved in activities, Mom loved the Rebekahs (female branch of the Odd Fellows), and her bridge club, which weekly met in our living room. Even into her 80’s she loved her 20-Ands Club. She represented a lot of “Ands.” She was an impeccable dresser, beautifully groomed. Managed always to stay fit. She was probably the person who invented the “Selfie”!!
I wrote this poem on December 18, 2004 with Mom in mind. I used phrases she spoke in her last weeks on earth. She was big on giving orders – right up to her last days – even telling God when to take her “home.” She died the day after I composed this, on December 19th.
Before I Die
Before I leave this earth I have a few requests Listen up, my dears, Tomorrow there’ll be tests.
Take my diamond necklace And convert it into cash. Use it for my funeral, Then live life within the dash.
It’s too late for me, friends, To change the things I’ve done; But you have time to listen And teach others of God’s Son.
“The Dash” is all the years Between birth and when you die. Those in-between years Are where your stories lie.
Take my gold and silver, Go out and help the poor. Make amends for all the years I lived from store to store.
Take my many angels, Give them to folks who are Ill, hurting, or lonely. Tell them about the star:
The star of Bethlehem that Was where the angels went To see the newborn baby – Our Lord from Heaven sent.
Take my many clothes and find Folks who are in need. Take the food that I have stashed. Go to the hungry. Feed!
Take my shoes and slippers. Take them all and give Them to the cold and homeless. Help them to warmer live.
Take my chairs and tables, The lamps and bedding, too. Give them to a Home or Mission. They’ll help out quite a few.
Then look around your house, friends. And see the excess treasure. Take it to the needy. You’ll be blessed beyond all measure.
Live your life within the dash In loving generosity. Before you leave this earth, Reach out in pure humility.
Take your gold and silver. Go out and help the poor. God will bless you richly, and You will never want for more.
And we did give most of her angels away – my friend/former student, Lorei, hung them with a note on the doorknobs of the other residents at her care facility where mom lived. Mom had dozens of angels in her collection! And, we gave her clothes and other “stuff” to the people and places that could use them.
However, I have a few of her angels in my “Sanctuary” upstairs. My maiden name is “DeAngeles” (translates to “of angels” – in Italian). Mom lives in me… and today I celebrate her sunrise, her best qualities, and the gifts she instilled in me: self-confidence, unconditional love, tenacity, and a love of poetry.
Happy Birthday, Mom! I am “Living in the Dash” just as you taught me.
If you’ve followed my blog for a week or more, You know that I attend the Presbyterian Church in Ennis, Montana each Sunday, and I take sermon notes. I take them in poetry – that’s just the way my brain filters the message as I hear it. It helps me listen, and remember, and share with Bob when we get home.
Today’s sermon by our pastor, Rev. Steve Hundley, was titled, “What is Heaven Like?” Here’s my take-away on it:
If Heaven is as it should be, Then I’m gonna sit on the bank Of a beautiful river with my rod And thank God for every yank.
But I know Heaven is beyond My wildest imagination. I know it’ll be flowing with life, With no death, tears or stagnation.
I’m gonna ask God for help to Understand what Heaven is like; And since I have a Harley here, I’m gonna ask if I’ll have my bike.
I’m gonna ask God for help to Understand how I’ll recognize The loved ones who went before me. Will I know ’em when I look in their eyes?
Our Bible assures us that we Will experience joy beyond bounds, So I’m sure I’ll know the angels Who’ll welcome me with glorious sounds.
I know I’ll be healed and whole In Eternity with those I love. So, Heaven will be as it should be When I join my Lord in Heaven above.
When I get to Heaven, I’m gonna Run and leap like a frisky deer. So, when I leave this earth, friends, Don’t weep, don’t cry; Take joy and cheer!
It’ll be Thanksgiving with all our loved ones gathered ’round, and it’ll feel like a Homecoming!