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A September Moment


A Haibun is prose followed by Haiku. At https://dversepoets.com/2022/09/26/haibun-monday-september-song/#comment-361572 today, we were invited to share a September moment using that poetic format. Here is mine:

Look carefully – I m in there, holding my grandson’s hand!

On September 10th my oldest grandson, Mike, was married to his sweetheart, Tania, in Switzerland. It was the most enjoyable wedding ceremony I ever have attended. Following the beautiful wedding, the 100+ guests drove to a lovely mountainside venue for appetizers, libations, and music. The music was eight alpenhorns, one of which was played by my grandson. Before the last song was played, the director announced that this number was dedicated to ME!! Mike knows how I love the Lord and how much their horns playing “Amazing Grace” would touch my heart. I wish you could have been there to hear it. What a special moment!

Unique instruments
Alpenhorns in Switzerland
Play Amazing Grace

Back in the Swing


I’m getting back into the swing of things.
It’s not easy after being gone so long.
The 8 hour time change took its toll.
Awake at 2:30 AM feels so wrong!

Back to sleep a few hours later;
Waking at dawn feeling tired.
Gotta get my zip back again.
Connect to the Source and get wired!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Wired to what, you may be asking…
Well, my home, faith, and community –
Thankful for those things and my family –
Grateful for vaccines and immunity.

A COVID outbreak occurred here
Exposure at a church funeral Saturday.
We were still in recovery mode, so didn’t attend.
Grateful we decided to stay home that day.

Daughter De and her husband, Andre’
Went on a road trip after we left.
I’m missing her lots already …
Knowing she’s OK, I’m not bereft.

Mike and Tania, the newlyweds,
Have been so kind to stay in touch.
They send us pictures from their honeymoon,
Knowing we miss the two of them so much!

Today I returned to my favorite volunteering
At the nursing home here in town.
I helped with the residents’ fun with Bingo.
Helping others picks me up if I’m feeling down.

Getting back into the swing of things –
Cooking, cleaning, laundry, volunteering
Catching up with the lives of dear friends –
Even on a gray, cold day makes me feel like cheering!

Mike & Tania’s beautiful silhouette in Italy

I can look back at the fun we had
And I can see my family from afar.
I can thank the Lord for safe travels
And thank them for letting us see where they are.

I can treasure the opportunities to travel
And share the highlights of our trip…
But it’s time to get back into the swing
Of things here in Montana. Come and sit!

Come walk in the park
and go for a swing with me!

Enjoy your Friday, my friends.
Have a great weekend.


I’ll see if I can get back with you Saturday.
Tell me what you’re up to…
What are you doing that makes you cheer?

I’ll keep you in my prayers.

Love,
JanBeek

Blessed to Be Home


Travel is wonderful
It takes us to friends
It connects us with family
Our little world extends

DeDe, our daughter, was a wonderful chauffeur

Visiting family is a treat
Especially on special occasions
Participating in events
Receiving honored invitations

Our oldest grandson, Mike
Married the love of his life
We were blessed to be there
When they became husband and wife

Mike and Tania were sweet –
Sent us photos from their honeymoon
Some of the scenery was
Enough to make us swoon

Love is beautiful when it’s new
Full of promise and creating dreams
God blesses those who build hopes
On His Word and what it means

1 Corinthians 13:4-7
“Love is patient, love is kind.
It does not envy,
it does not boast, it is not proud.
It does not dishonor others,
it is not self-seeking,
it is not easily angered,
it keeps no record of wrongs.
It always protects, always trusts,
always hopes, always perseveres.”

While we were blessed
To be able to go and see
Our loved ones who live afar,
Home is indeed a great place to be.

I loved being able to go
Up into my sanctuary again
To spend time with my angels
And time in prayer – Amen!

(Yes, I know you can pray
Anywhere you are – every day –
But there’s something about a place
Set aside for that in a special way)

We loved being able to have
Bob’s former student and his wife
Come and spend time with us –
Sharing our home – sharing our life.

So glad Peter & Alice Martin came to visit!

Returning to our church family
Was a treat for us as well –
There is comfort and joy
Being where Christian friends dwell

One of my dear Ennis buddies
Took care of my plants while we were gone
Another came and took care of our yard
Checking the flowers and mowing the lawn

Enjoying the company of our pup
Is another bonus of being home
Our TazE is twelve years old now
She’s loved by dear friends when we roam

Ah yes, it’s a blessing to be home
We appreciate from the bottom of our heart
All that our family and friends did
But we miss our bed and pillow when we’re apart!

We certainly enjoyed Andre’s phenomenal cooking
All the Swiss cheese and bread it contained…
But it’s time to return to my cooking each day –
While we take off the pounds we both gained!

Come visit us, dear friends.
We’d love to see you here.
We’ll take you to Dave’s Sushi –
In Bozeman – a city that’s pretty near.

Or… just feed you here at home –
It’s a blessing to be here, you know.
And a blessing to travel and see family –
Where is a spot that you’d like to go?

Love,
JanBeek

A Bustling End


The last two days of our marvelous three week trip to Switzerland were a bustling, busy, blessed time. Our daughter, DeDe, and her hubby, André, treated us royally with a trip to Chamonix, France on Monday and then a tour of the Gruyère Cheese Factory in Gruyère, Switzerland on Tuesday.

Up, up, up and over!

That’s the Rhone River Valley below.
We were headed through Switzerland to France.
It was a surprise gift for us
plus De’s best buddy, Laina (our daughter#2),
and her daughter, Katy.

Wow!
Look at this chalet next to ours.
We stayed in one named “Soli.”
(That’s De’s hubby’s nickname)
Enjoy the views out of every window!

See the snow covered peaks up there? We took a cog train up to that glacier!!

After settling into our beautiful chalet,
we walked to the place where the cog train (tram)
took us up to the top of the high peaks
where the glacier is.
With climate change, it is melting fast!

Here are Laina, DeDe & Katy –
taking the tram up to the glacier
that you could see from that first window view.
Bob with Laina & Katy at the glacier.
Here’s a live view of that trip up in the tram to the glacier…

That night we were treated to a phenomenal dinner.
My choice was veal with mushroom sauce. Mmmmm!
Thank you, De & Andrê.

We’re so grateful for their love of us and one another
… and their generosity!

Tuesday morning we drove back
up and over the mountains into Switzerland
to another surprise destination:
the town of Gruyere.
Gruyere is our favorite cheese.
How fun to see the place where it is made!

Wow! Look at the gruyere cellar where the rounds are aging!
De is showing us how heavy a round of gruyere is!

Tuesday night we returned to De & Andre’s chalet in Vissoie.
We packed, and prepared to go to Geneva to fly home.
Wednesday was supposed to be a smooth set of flights home.
However, with the Queen’s Procession,
our flight to London was delayed,
so we missed our connecting flight from Denver
and had to spend the night there.
This morning we finally made the flight to Bozeman
where our kind neighbor, Gary, met us and drove us home.
It’s a gray, dull, cool day …
not like the warm, blue sky days of Switzerland.
We’re spoiled!
But our hearts are filled
with the beauty and warmth
of our fabulous trip.

The rolling hills and milk-producing cows of the Gruyere area.
Here’s the fun of cheese fondue
and having our grandson, Nick, join us.
Our 3 grandsons & their sweethearts
were with us for so many fun and delicious occasions.
What a joyous three weeks we had!
Goodbye, France and Switzerland… thanks for the memories!

Thanks so much for traveling with us.
Back to reality in Montana now.
(Not a bad place to return to –
just a little smokey and cool right now)

Our house is behind those trees.


God bless you, family & friends.
We love you. 😍😘

See ya tomorrow –
Hugs, JanBeek

(of course God is willing, Laina!!)

Fairytale Wedding


Have you missed me? We’ve had a whirlwind four days here in Switzerland. Each day from eye opening early mornings to collapsing in bed at night has been phenomenal. If you’ve been following me, you know it was the weekend of my oldest grandson’s wedding.

Let me take you to the church and two fairytale receptions. Sit back and enjoy!

The wedding was full of music, fun, smiles, tears, promises, family & friends. A choir sang, our daughter, De, and Chrissy (our youngest grandson) sang a duet with Nick ( the middle brother) accompanying on guitar. I even had a role by reading a message ( in English, thank God) that they prepared for me – a message if forever love and devotion. Then we all headed to the outdoor reception nearby where wine, hors d’oeuvres and music flowed. Mike played in his alpenhorn group.

Look carefully! I’m holding Mike’s hand. The group just played “Amazing Grace” and dedicated it to me!!!!

The second reception was a sit-down dinner after more wine, beer, and socializing in this gorgeous outdoor setting:

We woke this morning back in Vissoie. Ready to go on another adventure. See ya later! Thanks for sharing and visiting with me.

Love , JanBeek

Visiting Zinal


What a wonderful way to spend a Monday afternoon in Switzerland! DeAna drove us up to Zinal… just to enjoy the time together, the scenery, and an ice cream. We did all three. Wanna join us?

Mountain majesty

Views usually not seen

Except in movies

Sharing with our De

Made all the more beautiful

By stream and mountains

Blue sky up above

Flowing River at our feet

Life can’t be more sweet

Then add some icecream

And the cows that made the cream

Surely it’s a dream!

Hearing the children

Laughing and playing outside

Yes, it’s Paradise!

Meantime, the Groshongs

Continued their hiking fun

In this same region

Found a gentle cow

Grazing on the Swiss hillside

Up close – personal!

Lucky the bovine

Was feeling cooperative

But don’t press your luck

Here comes another

He’s looking mighty leery

Don’t try petting him

Onward to glacier

Visit before it is gone

Then back to Zinal

What will tomorrow bring? Come back and see! I love sharing with you. Which of my pictures today did you like best?

Love to you from JanBeek (and Bob & De, too)

Sweet Swiss Times


Our weekend began with a cloudy day in Sierre, Switzerland, but soon the sky cleared and the weekend was sunny and beautiful.

It was a beautiful fun-filled time with family and friends. Let me share some highlights with you. We’re having such sweet Swiss times! One highlight of our weekend was a choir festival in Véraz (near Sierre) where our daughter, DeDe, and grandson, Chris, sang with the Chippis choir.

Every day here in this beautiful country is full of the blessing of family and friends. Sweet catch-up time. I love sharing the fun with you.

Me with DeDe at the choir festival
Bob with DeDe

After the festival, we went to André’s brother’s fiancée’s place for a raclette evening. So nice to have catch-up time with Kad & Roger.

Meantime, our friends, Jim & Terry, took the bus from Vissoie up to Grimentz where they are enjoying a few days of hiking in those fabulous mountains. They’re sharing a few photos of their experiences. Have a look!

Wow! Great photo, Terry!
Terry, the hiker
Jim … the trooper
Hah! Listen to Terry’s description of their hike and Jim’s take on this!

Yes, the mountains are alive with the sounds of water and hikers and joy! Once upon a time, a dozen years ago, Bob & I took that hike. Now we are content to enjoy those high Alpine views through others’ cameras! Oh, and from the bus- of course.

Thank you for your responses to our posts. We love sharing our trip vicariously with you, dear friends. Wish you could be here in person.

See ya tomorrow (God willing)-

Love, JanBeek

The Hills Are Alive!


The hills are alive with the sounds of family!

Yesterday our daughter, DeAna, drove us down into the Rhône River Valley, through Sierre, and up into the Alps on the other side to an area called Crans-Montana. It is where she & André lived 30 years ago when they first moved here. On the hillside e hind the restaurant André managed way back then are a few chalets. One of them, built in 1772, is owned by ZuZu & Célia. They invited us to spend the day there with them.

ZuZu (Christian Zufferey) was our AFS son in 1980-81. He is André’s first cousin. He and Célia prepared an amazing meal for us! The first plate was an outstanding eggplant quiche. The second plate was lamb (my favorite) and a ratatouille. All the vegetables they grew in their gardens here in this gorgeous high Alpine place.

The opportunity to be together again with ZuZu was so very special. After the meal we shared various liqueurs – also made by them using various fruits, etc. that they grew.

After our time there, De took us back down into Sierre where we had a nice visit with our friend, Christiane Rielle.

Then (as if day was not already blessed enough), we were treated by our DeDe and our grandson, Nick, to a wonderful dinner at Capri Restaurant in Sierre before returning to Vissoie for the night.

Then today we went on a guided tour of Sierre. Our grandson, Mike’s new bride, Tania, provided the tour. At the Sierre Tourisma Office, my buddy Terry found a hat for a souvenir… and I found a terrific pair of funky glasses that I could not resist!

Now you can see why I didn’t bring a pair of sunglasses with me on this trip. I needed THIS pair!!

Bob, Jim & Terry Groshong, our MT/CA best friends, learned all about the history of Sierre. There is the town hall behind the 4 of us. If you saw my post about Mike & Tania’s civil ceremony, it’s the same place where they were married last weekend.

Then Tania guided us to an old (1700s) chalet. Look at they key Jim is holding. It opened the cellar door where we did some wine tasting.

Next Tania drove us to Chateau Mercier where she explained the history and we tasted more fine Swiss wines.

Lovely Chateau Mercier has beautiful gardens, too. We walked around and admired them before going to Chateau Villa for Raclette dinner. Mike joined us there.

Mike & Tania’s church ceremony is Sept. 20, so we have another couple weeks here to enjoy the hills alive with family. Stay tuned!

Jim & Terry will leave tomorrow – so you can say farewell to them for now nit’s been wonderful to have them with us this week!

I can never tire of these beautiful Swiss Alpine views! Come back tomorrow. We’re going to take the bus down to stay with André’s mom. I’ll share those views with you, too..

Thanks for traveling vicariously with us! Bee 🐝 well, dear friends! See you tomorrow (God willing).

Love, JanBeek (and Bob)

Terrific Tuesday


Yesterday and today we woke to the magical sound of children across the road from our bedroom here in Vissoie, Switzerland. What a joy!

Yesterday evening we were treated to an Alphorn concert. Nine dear people (one being our grandson, Mike) played this age-old instrument. I became acquainted with it when I was a child. My Uncle Hans was my mom’s oldest sister’s husband. He was a young German-Swiss cheese maker when he moved from Switzerland to Washington back in the 1930’s. He & Aunt Evelyn had 3 children. He taught them all to yodel and he taught his son, my cousin, Hanslie, to play the alpenhorn.

Mike is on the left.

My mom would be so proud to know her great-grandson is following in the musical tradition of her family! I get sentimental and cry when I hear these instruments and think of how mom & my aunt and uncle would have adored hearing this!

Today our friends, Jim & Terry, are here to enjoy a few days with us in this marvelous place. Last night they were able to meet Mike & Tania and we all celebrated Jim’s 75th and DeDe’s 55th together. André fixed an incredible dinner of ribs with a medley of vegetables. Yum!!

Here is yesterday’s delicious roast beef lunch.

Last night’s ribs

It is so wonderful to have my forever friend, dear Terry here to share these experiences with us.

This is Vissoie’s Main Street

Later this morning we’ll walk down that street and get a few groceries at the store. Wish you were here to go walking with us!

See ya later! Thanks for traveling vicariously with me. Hugs, JanBeek

Walking in Sierre


Today Denise (our son-in-law’s mom) took Bob & me on a walk in Sierre. Thirty years ago, when we first started coming here (when our first grandson was born), we would have jogged up the trails into the vineyards. Today we were content to take a leisurely walk on a relatively flatter terrain.

We walked up to the hospital where Mike was born. His grandpa was the chief executive officer there. André had been a chef in its kitchen before he came to California and married our daughter.

The grounds around the hospital are beautiful. Lots of trees and flowers and park benches where we could sit and take a break.

The leaves on the acacia trees are starting to show signs that autumn is coming. The grapevines are laden with fruit ready to be harvested.

Look at the base of this grapevine. It’s over 100 years old! All gnarled and twisted behind the protective wire fence.

I thought of Derrick & Jackie Knight and their beautiful garden when I saw these gorgeous rose bushes.

Beyond this water trough, with its constantly flowing fresh drinks for the cattle that used to come through this town, you can see the concrete sides of the round church. We went to mass there this morning with Denise. This morning I posted the sounds of the bells for you. Did you catch that blog?

I pray you had a beautiful Sunday, too, my friends. Tonight we’re going up to De’s chalet in Vissoie. We’ll be there all next week. Wait til you see it!

Oh, and tomorrow is DeAna’s birthday! Our DollyWolly will be 55. Can you believe it?

Our arthritic hands show our age – even if our active spirits deny it! Stay young in spirit, my friends. Thank God every day for the gift of another opportunity to live and play, breathe, and enjoy life. Live in the now! And stay vibrant!!

See ya tomorrow (God willing). Love, JanBeek

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