When I chose my word for 2023, “Ready” back on January 1, 2023, I did not know what I needed to be ready for. But I told myself, “Whatever comes my way, I will be cheerfully ready!”
This past week, we had the privilege of hosting my niece, her husband and 16-year-old son, and her bff from Utah, Melissa. And mid-way through their visit, our son and his wife came for 3 days and 4 nights. A house full! Was I ready?
Yes! When your guests are happy, helpful, and relaxed, it’s easy to be cheerfully ready for them!
A day in Yellowstone was a highlight. We all were ready for the bubbling geysers and pools, bison and other animals. Old Faithful always was a hit!
Are you ready to visit Yellowstone? Are you ready to ooh and aaah?
That photo captured only about 1/4 of the herd. It was the largest group of bison mamas and their calves that I’ve ever seen!
We were ready to see the elk and deer 🦌 So, yes, they did not disappoint us! We even saw a black bear. Rare!
My grand-nephew, Liam and I were ready to have our memories of “Artist’s Point” captured by a kind tourist. It’s my favorite Yellowstone spot!
And the guys were more than pleasantly waiting with alacrity for their day of fishing on the Madison. Each of them caught at least one fish … some caught three. No, we didn’t have a fish fry! The Madison River has a “catch & release” policy.
What are you ready for today? I hope you’re anticipating it with alacrity!
Bob & I met in the summer of 1958 at a hometown dance. We had many mutual friends because he came from his little town of Hughson, CA in to the bigger town of Turlock (about 15 miles) to church every Sunday. I didn’t go to that same church, so I didn’t meet him while I was in high school.
That summer after my freshman year in college, I returned home to Turlock and attended a dance at the War Memorial building. It seems like all our mutual friends decided it was time for us to meet.
“Fine to meetcha!” he would say each time we were introduced. “What did you say your name is?”
It took two weeks after that introductory dance for him to call and ask me out. And it was three and a half years later when I was graduated and teaching, and he was stationed at an army base in Germany, that we married and I went to Wurzburg to join him.
I don’t have a photo here of us in Germany, but it was a magical 9 months. I got a job teaching on the army base … a darling first grade. And when we returned to the states, I resumed my teaching career and Bob finished college.
His job at Shell Oil in San Francisco lasted only a year or so. Then he went back to college and earned his teaching credential. Bob taught at Hillsdale High in San Mateo for nine wonderful years. During that time our children, Ty & DeAna were born.
We moved back to the Turlock area in 1969 and our kids attended school in Modesto while I taught in Ceres & Hughson and Bob returned to his roots: beekeeping. The rest is history!
I just want you to know that I thank God every day for the love Bob & I have shared these 60+ years – and the gift of family God has given us.
I pray that you other moms & dads out there can look back as I do, and feel enormous gratitude for the person God gave you to be co-creators… may your children honor you this day, dads.
The dreary, cloudy, Saturday in February of 1962 that we chose to be married made the stained glass window in the University of the Pacific’s chapel rather dull in color. But the moment the UOP choir blessed our vows with “The Lord Bless You and Keep You” – at the top of the three fold amen (or was it a seven-fold? You need to listen!) ~ the sun came out!
That is my “Favorite Moment.” It was definitely a memorable, beautiful, defining moment when God smiled down on us and blessed our marriage.
God has certainly blessed this union!
Then, 25 yers later, out daughter, DeAna, wore my wedding dress and married her sweetheart, Andre’ in the same chapel.
Happy Father’s Day, Andre’ – – – you and De produced three delightful boys. We are so blessed!
And our son, Ty married his sweetheart, Monika, a year later. What a beautiful union that is! They have given us four more grandchildren!
Happy Father’s Day to our son, Ty, too!
What is your most “Favorite Moment” ???? Is it related to your wedding day or an experience as a parent?
Teacher – 24 years – loved every minute! 1961, Stockton, CA – 1st grade 1962, Germany, Wurzburg Army Base – 1st grade 1963-64, Turlock, Cunningham School – kindergarten 1964-67, Daly City, CA – K, 4th, 7th-8th 1968- 79, Hillsborough, CA – 7th/8th, K, 4th, K-6 summer school 1979-81, Hughson, CA – 1st grade & GATE classes 1982- 99, Ceres, CA – 4th grade, principal (K-8), then…
This is Lorei with me. She was my first grade student in 1961 when I first started teaching in Stockton before Bob & I were married.
Like so many of the students who came after her, my life is richer because she has stayed connected all these years.
Teaching is not just a job. It is a life choice, a passion, a joy!
Some of these dear kindergarteners are my Facebook friends today. Reach out Ortners, Leslie, Pamela Pon (where are you?), Sean, Kurt, Karen… You’re all in my heart!
… then, yes, after years in the classroom, I spent 9 years as a Principal – – – had wonderful colleagues —
The Ceres Unified School District was a delightful place to work. I have so many fond memories!
This was a great staff!!
I was invited to try my hand at working as a mentor to new principals and as the coordinator for various programs such as art, new teacher training, federal and state programs, etc. So, I went to the district office as a curriculum coordinator. It was too far away from the children! I returned to my first love: the classroom.
I had these little second graders I picture below here for two years (as 1st & 2nd graders)… it was a wonderful way to end a delightful career.
Recognition for a job well done came in many forms, but the best is knowing I made a difference in the lives of a few children and maybe helped some of my colleagues along the way, too.
I enjoyed my life as an educator immensely. I retired in 1999, but didn’t stop working. I supervised student teachers for a few years at Stanislaus State College before volunteering for a couple of years to teach illiterate adults how to read. Loved doing that! So rewarding!!
But the most important of my “jobs” in my lifetime was:
… wife, mom, homemaker, sister, friend … Never underestimate the impact & importance of those jobs! Take them seriously. Some people say that there – -on the home front- there lies the most important job of all!!
That photo is the whole Beekman clan at Bob’s parents’ 50th wedding anniversary. I love this photo … our daughter, DeAna, and her “Swisster” Sylviane, and our son, Ty, are on the right of this picture next to us. So, this had to have been around 1984…
And now, volunteering is part of my life … and those jobs I choose, like the Senior Center or the Food Bank, the Manor (our local nursing home) or church fellowship hour, those “jobs” are what continue to give me a sense of purpose.
When I was in high school, I sang in the choir and I played clarinet in the band and orchestra. I learned a lot about music.
During the summers of my junior & senior years, my parents made it possible for me to attend Music Camp at the College of the Pacific.
I learned there that the accordion was not considered a real instrument.
(Hah! “Welcome to heaven, here’s your harp. Welcome to hell, here’s your accordion.” My friends always shared jokes about it.)
I had to learn to play the piano! That was so hard. (My hands are small and my fingers don’t reach an octave!)
I also learned that a choir or band/orchestra conductor could be very humble and quiet and still demand and receive respect.
During my senior year, I viewed those conductors in my high school with a new set of eyes and ears after singing and playing under the guidance of folks like Jester Harrison, Dr. Bodley, and Curt Herbert Adler during summer camp.
And because I was exposed each summer to music therapy at C.O.P., I listened to music and internalized it with a whole new set of ears.
Different kinds of music creates different responses. You can blow it off. You can dance to it, or you can join in! Hah! That music makes me hyper! That’s our DeDe and her hubby, Andre’ in there!!
Music from a cello or other soothing stringed instrument sets my mind and body at ease. Piano music can be very soothing. Depends on the choice, of course.
What’s one way I used “Music Therapy” in my classroom? It’s based on the Iso Principle. Match the mood of the music to the person’s mood; Change the mood of the music, and the person’s mood changes with it.
When my students came in from recess, they were all hyper. I played hyper music on my accordion to match their mood and gradually changed it to calmer sounds. Then we sang a song,
“It’s math time, math time, Time to have some fun. Please get out your books now, Turn to page ___, Be ready. OK, we’ve begun.”
Parade Magazine once had an article about music. In it, the author wrote, “Can you imagine your life without music? It’s almost impossible. Whether we are cruising in the car headed to the beach on a hot summer day or listening to muzak at a doctor’s office, we are constantly surrounded by song. Makeups, breakups, parties, hanging out with friends, singing along with our kids, or caroling a Christmas tune— music stamps nearly every aspect of our life. Much in the way a killer soundtrack accompanies a movie, most of us have songs that accent each phase of our lives, melodies that instantly bring us back to specific moments or memories when we hear them even years later.”
Is there a song or a piece of music that impacted your life? Here is one of my favorites.
You can go to YouTube to hear this music or you can ask “Alexa” or “Siri” to play this song by Susan Boyle. It is the Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi. I love it… and I want to be exactly that.
Let music change your life – every day! Thank you, JetPack, for this prompt. Thank you, dear blogging friends, for visiting.
“You will find enough of the abnormal in the so-called normal to meet your needs,” Mrs Wilhelmina Harbert said to me.
A Country Living quote shared by Sue Newell prompted me to remember that advice from my college counselor. I was majoring in music therapy. It was my junior year. I was having sleepless nights.
Music Therapy jobs were few and far between. Most were in State Hospitals where severely disturbed patients were. The thorns in my dear music therapy patients at the Stockton State Hospital where I was interning kept me from seeing their beauty. I only saw their distress. And I cared too much. I couldn’t leave the thorns behind when I left. I carried them with me.
Mrs. Harbert wisely suggested I switch my major to regular education. “You love people. You care about them. Our public school classrooms need people like you.” So, in my senior year, I began the work of obtaining my regular elementary education teaching credential.
Smartest move I could have made!
I used my music 🎶 as therapy every day in the classroom with countless so-called normal kids. It helped calm the abnormal in them. I helped them appreciate their uniqueness. (I’ll write more about how music therapy worked in another blog later that week.)
It’s fun to know I have a lot of the abnormal in my so-called “Normal” self!
I was born singing – well, I sneezed first before I cried. Then I cooed – a humming song! By the time I was five, I wanted to be in an all girls’ choir and tour the world!
No, I didn’t end up doing that. I’m not in that choir! But, you can understand why I was so enamored by the unique sounds of this girls’ choir, Jitro (Daybreak) from the Czech Republic! What a privilege to hear them! And they ARE touring the world!!
I posted a couple of short videos from the second half of their concert this week. Here are a couple from the first half. Listening to them will cause you and all who hear to want to ask “Alexa” to play some of their music for you! I did that. They are recorded on Spotify.
One of the girls told us during the fellowship time after the concert that she’d been singing all her life, too. And she joined the choir when she was four! See, I could have lived my five-year-old dream!
When you were five, what did you want to grow up to be?
What do you think you were born to be?
Thanks for joining me at JanBeek today. Have a lovely 🥰 rest of your Friday – and enjoy your weekend!
Porcelain dancers – Gift from Mom: “You’re forever these!”
She gifted me On my fortieth.
The Septolet is a poem consisting of seven lines containing fourteen wordswith a break anywhere in between the two parts. Both parts deal with the same thought and create a picture.
My porcelain girls are a 1979 gift from my mom for my 40th birthday. Created by German artist, Lorenz Hutschenreut, they are called “Ring Around the Rosie” – This 3 Girls May Day dance figurineis priceless to me!
Mom knitted my sweater, fixed my hair, arranged for the photographer, captured our love forever in this photo.
But, the real capture of love for me was more than just in my childhood… She continued to gift me with her strength, her optimism, and her encouragement for the rest of her life.
When I take out my dancing girls and decorate the vase with flowers, I am taken back to my fortieth, back to my childhood, back to time with Mom.
What a treasure!
Here Mom is with my sis, Sally, and me – – – and my daughter, DeDe. I like to think that we three are the “Dancing Girls.”
Ah, such sweet memories!
Do you have a special item of some sort that brings you back to your childhood?
Something that’s priceless to you because of the memories packed into it?
Tell me about it. Maybe try your hand at a septolet!