There were two d’Versepoets.com prompts for today. The instructions are “Write a piece of prose (flash fiction, memoir, nonfiction) that is 144 words or less and includes, word-for-word, ONE of the lines indicated above from Carl Sandburg’s Jazz Fantasia. I chose this line: “… a red moon rides on the humps of the low river hills.”
Successful Independence Day
It is a hot July 4th afternoon. My husband and I are on the shady side of the bleachers. Across the arena sun-lovers shade their eyes and strain to see the gate open as the rider emerges on the hump of an angry, cinched bucking bronco.
One by one they buck out of the gates. The audience holds its breath as the rider tries to stay on the required number of minutes before the whistle blows and they are free to dismount. Too often, the rider is bucked off before the whistle. We pray no one gets trampled as the clowns emerge to divert the horse’s attention and the rider scrambles out of harm’s way.
Back home in the pasture, the horse nibbles its reward as a red moon rides on the humps of the low river hills. Another successful Independence Day!
This is a purple and yellow July 4th! Purple for all those people who are hurting on this day. Yellow for all the varied colors that make up our rich racial cultures (Asian, Native American, Black, Hispanic, etc.). Yes, Black Lives Matter. Yes, they endure untold prejudicial treatment… and so do toooo many in our world.
Do you know why purple and yellow look so nice together? Turns out they are what’s called complementary colors. They appear opposite each other on the color wheel. Other complementary colors are red and green, and blue and orange.
Interestingly, complementary colors are one primary color, and the color formed by a combination of the remaining two primary colors. Maybe you don’t find this as nifty as I do , but perhaps it explains why I like the images from “July 4th Morning in Glacier National Park” so much!
Not just red, white, and blue, but purple and brown and yellow … all the colors of the rainbow make up who we are.
Check out the gorgeous photography by Paul Holdorf by clicking on his name here.
“Uncle Sam” gives us the “OK” sign… but everything is NOT OK. Too many people are dying of COVID-19 and too many people are suffering the injustices of prejudice. Too many people are not feeling “Free to Bee” (as I posted on my blog yesterday).
We’d bee “OKer” if we just “Love One Another” and respect one another and practiced the “All are Created Equal” beliefs that are part of our constitution.
A Haiku to Remember
Last year on this day Seniors served the parade crowd No parade this year
Last year on this day More than four thousand came here This year we are still
Stillness gives think time Time to ponder our blessings Figure how to share
Share the grace of God As He’s blessed you, bless others Love One Another
In this photo from last year, I can see I needed a haircut! This year I’m feeling perkier by the minute. Life is improving. Hallelujah!!
Thanks for your prayers! What are your plans for today? Let’s sing in unison and think UNITY!!
Back in the mid-1800’s, the land for this church was deeded to the Methodist- Episcopal Church of Madison County. Sometime in the 1860s, around the time of the Montana Gold Rush, this wonderful church was built on the property.
History of the Church
“Brother Van” served as a traveling preacher/minister and had people from miles around come to worship here in the 1850s through to early 1900s.
Sometime in the mid-1900s, the Methodist Church and the Presbyterian Church traded properties from the Ruby Valley to the Madison Valley. As the story goes, there were not enough folks in each valley to support both a Presbyterian and a Methodist church in such close proximity to one another. (These denominations are so close in theology and worship practices!) So, this church building joined the Presbyterian family while the Ruby Valley Presbyterian Church became a Methodist worship center.
Use of the Church Today
The church has no running water, but it does have electricity. Once a year, in early September, the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church in Ennis holds services out there in the McAllister Church. Porta-potties are brought in. And it is a challenge to provide coffee and goodies for fellowship in this waterless place! But, the service always is a memorable experience.
Future of the Church
Last week we had wind gusts up to 62 mph here in the Madison Valley. A few of the roof pieces blew off in the storm. So, we were out here yesterday with a roofer, getting a bid on what it would cost to repair or replace it.
Seeing the trucks on the property, several neighbors, new to the area, came to check it out. It’s a curiosity for those who have never been inside, and they were glad to be invited in.
This dear gentleman, new to Montana, even offered to help with the roofing project. We hope he retires soon from his home in California and moves with his family to our “Paradise on Earth” full time so we can become better acquainted – and take him up on the offer to help.
Meeting New people
Do you enjoy meeting new people as much as I do? Donnie is a firefighter in California. He and his wife have built a home in those mountains you see behind him there. Welcome to Montana, Donnie! Nice meeting you!
Birthday and Anniversary
And by the way, Happy Birthday today to my dear son-in-law in Switzerland, Andre’ Solioz… and De & Andre’s anniversary is tomorrow. Wish we could be there to help them celebrate!
Have a wonderful Saturday.
Hope you enjoyed those photos of our wonderful old church. Do you have old buildings in your area that are worthy of preservation? I bet some of you have places that make an 1800s church look like it’s NEW!!
He left us his roses and hydrangeas, and his garden with zucchini, but he forgot to take the old wheelbarrow, and he forgot the bocci ball court. He left his mother’s crucifix on my wall, his watch in the top dresser drawer, the Balsamic vinegar in the cupboard, but he forgot to take his Gallo Burgundy. He left in each of us his love of family, his teary-eyed sentimentality, and he left the aches and pains of his earthly body, but he forgot to take his spray paint, and his love of convertibles with the top down. He left the wife he loved so faithfully, the family and neighbors who miss him so, and the unconditional love; but he forgot the collection of nude calendars, and he forgot to take his twinkle. I know – I have it!
I thank God that my daddy and I had such a wonderful relationship. I am so grateful for Dad’s unconditional love and warm hugs. This photo was taken in the early 1960s when I was in college… home for Father’s Day weekend.
And here is my dad with Mom, “the wife he loved so faithfully,” at their 30th anniversary, back in 1968. Can you see the twinkle is his eye? He and Mom were married for nearly 60 years before he died in 1998.
Happy Father’s Day to my dear hubby, Bob, father of our children, Ty & DeAna. In this photo, he was enjoying a day out on the Madison River last year on Father’s Day weekend. The weather prevented us from getting out today, but the fish are waiting. We’ll get out there soon.
Happy Father’s Day to all you dads out there. How will you spend YOUR day?
In another couple decades, when Bob & I leave this earth, his poem will look far different from my dad’s. Parts may be the same, because he will leave his unconditional love in the hearts of all who know him, but other parts will be quite a contrast: no Gallo Burgundy for him! And he won’t leave his Runquist Wines behind… no way!! It will all have been consumed…
Enjoy your Father’s Day. See ya tomorrow. Hugs, JanBeek
Our daughter, DeAna, sent us this video this morning of her duet with Sylviane, her “Swisster.” It warms my heart to see and hear them singing together. De is the one in red.
“Syli” (as we nicknamed her) lived in our home/became our daughter and De’s “Swisster” in Modesto, CA when De was a senior in high school. DeAna then lived with Syli’s family in Sierre, Switzerland the next year. When she came home, she brought Syli’s first cousin, Andre’, home with her! They were married a year later.
Seeing and hearing these two sing together is such a joy! (Sit back a couple minutes and enjoy)
Our grandson, Chris, was named after Syli’s brother, Christian. Christian was our AFS exchange student in 1980-81. That’s how this whole Swiss connection got started.
If you have followed my blog for awhile, you met our grandson, Chrissy, when he came to Montana last year and attended the Job Corps program.
And you saw Chris with his girlfriend, Natalia from Colombia, in this related post:
“… So wrap your troubles in dreams, and dream your troubles away!”
Do you remember that song? I thought of it today because it has something in it about “no matter if it’s sunny or gray” – and today is another gray day in s-w Montana. We’ve needed the rain, but enough already! I’m ready for summer sunshine and no “w.” (We never say that “w” word for fear the gusts will follow and blow us right off our Pintail Ridge!).
We had gusts up to 52 mph last week. Oh my! I was praying to God that our hanging baskets wouldn’t blow off to the end of our Madison Valley!!
Sing Your Troubles Away
Both Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby sang this song… I like the Sinatra version because I love the swing! But listen to the original, too… that’s Bing Crosby waaaay back in the beginning of his career. Doesn’t even sound like him. Accompanying music is 1930s melancholy stuff…. but yup, it’s the Crosby whistle! He had it perfected even in the late 30’s.
Oh, if you hang on, following Sinatra, we hear Doris Day’s version on this first link. She was a favorite of mine, too. (Wasn’t that his whistle I remember in “Singin’ in the Rain?”)
“Just remember that sunshine always follows the rain, so wrap your troubles in dreams, and dream your troubles away.”
I don’t know about you, but I really enjoy hearing various versions of the same song. It’s fun to hear how different artists take liberties and make it their own.
Another popular artist back in the 40s and 50s was Perry Como. Here’s his version of the song:
By the time you heard that last one, you HAD to sing along, right?
Have you wrapped your troubles in dreams and dreamed them all away? I wish it were that easy!
Do you remember dreams? If not, maybe you need a dream catcher by your bedside. Catch your best dreams – and live them!
I have a dream catcher by my bed … and a nice big one in the window down in the guest bedroom.
This dream catcher is really special. It was a gift to us from my sister, Sally. (If you’ve followed my blog for awhile, you know my only sister, Sally, lives in a care facility in PA near her daughter. Sally has Dementia.)
Come and dream your troubles away here in Montana. It’s a perfect place to do so!
Do you have troubles you want to “dream away”? Tell me about ’em and I’ll add ’em to my prayer list. No better place to put your troubles than in the hands of God!
Thanks for singing with me. Share your troubles. I care. I’ll pray for you. Hugs, Jan
We spent the day in Bozeman, Montana. Bob & I had much-overdue dental appointments to get our teeth cleaned. Then we did our grocery shopping, bought a tree to plant at our church where a tree died and needs to be replaced, and then had “linner” (lunch + dinner) before heading home.
It was a rainy drive home.
Got rainier as time went by.
When we arrived home, our neighborhood antelope were there to greet us.
Look carefully – there’s mama antelope followed by her two babies in the field.
Yesterday I watched them out my living room window.
A second antelope joined them. She has little ones, too, but they weren’t with her. Probably hiding in the grasses – not too far off.
It is such fun to watch them.
A Fun Place to Live
In the picture below, our house is behind those trees… a wonderland for birds – and a haven for us. That field on the left is where the antelope were today.
Isn’t it fun to live in a neighborhood where the deer and the antelope play? You know that song, right? Home on the Range, a favorite from my childhood.
“Home, home on the range, Where the deer and the antelope play, Where seldom is heard a discouraging word, And the skies are not cloudy all day.”
Sing it with Roy and me:
Do You Remember Roy Rogers?
You may be too young to remember this cowboy – or you’re living in a different part of the world. Roy Rogers was my favorite when I was a child back in the 1940s. As a real treat, my sister and I would go to the Saturday matinee at the little theater in Newman, California. I loved Roy Rogers even more than the Micky Mouse, Bugs Bunny, and Popeye cartoons! That’s really saying something.
Roy’s sidekick was Trigger, his beautiful palomino. His wife, Dale Evans, was his singing partner. As a child, I was sure Dale Evans would grow old and die – but Roy Rogers would never grow old. And after is wife died, then I intended to marry him!
Did you ever have childhood fantasies like I did?
Did you dress up and pretend to be a princess when you were a child? Or did you imagine yourself to be Roy Rogers’ wife and ride away into the wild blue yonder?
Well, if you dreamed of being a princess on a horse riding off into the wild, blue yonder, come to Montana. This is the place where such dreams come true!
Hope you had a good day. Tell me about it... or share a childhood fantasy.
My friend, Doris, who graduated from high school with me back in the Dark Ages, sent me an e-mail today with 48 pictures designed to demonstrate acts of kindness in the midst of this world-wide time of struggle with COVID-19 and racial injustices.
I selected my favorites from the 48 – and want to share them with you here as an encouragement to go out and do likewise. Pick your favorite from these seven that I have chosen. Tell me why it touches your heart.
Each of the seven (selected in random order) were important to me. They demonstrate our need for ONENESS, UNITY, RESPECT, GOODNESS, LOVE, and KINDNESS.
The numbers attached to the pictures were on the website… they are not in any way prioritizing. And that message above was part of the post… “Bored Panda” was the source. Their word “tolerance” is not mine. It seems condescending to me. I prefer “LOVE.” Don’t just tolerate me! Love me… and treat me as I am: your equal! One of God’s children!! Just love me!!
I love YOU!
Can you choose one from those seven? Tell me why it resonated with you.
The YouTube below was also sent to me by that same high school friend, Doris. It’s a wonderful children’s choir singing about the memories that will live on in their lives after this time passes. Click on the arrow, sit back, and enjoy the voices, the melody, and the message.
And don’t forget the message here: ONENESS, UNITY, RESPECT, GOODNESS, LOVE, and KINDNESS.
Bee well, my friends. I’m so glad I didn’t lose you… Memories bring back YOU!!
See ya tomorrow. Hugs, JanBeek
(Oh, leave me a note about your favorite of those seven, will you?)
I first posted this poem back in 2012 on this JanBeek blog. I have revived it today because most of you were not my followers to see this back 8 years ago!
In 1991 I wrote a poem for my mom to wish her a Happy Birthday. With the framed poem, I gave her the ceramic teeter-totter you see pictured above.
The piece is a wind-up music box that plays “Playmates” as the little mice go up and down. She always had the poem and music box with her the next fourteen years as she was in and out of hospitals, rehab facilities, and nursing homes. When she died, I inherited them – and I treasure the memories they bring to mind.
My mom had a cousin close to her age, Madge Pickering, who lived with mom’s family when she was a child. Eventually Madge married and moved into a home of her own. She and her husband had two sons, Ronnie & Donnie.
Mom married and moved to California where my sister and I were born. I loved meeting and spending time with my cousins when we would go to spend Christmas vacation back in Washington with Mom’s family.
Stayin’ in and Losin’ Touch
Through the years I have stayed in touch with the older of those two cousins, Ronnie. He is near my age. However, I had lost touch with Ronnie’s little brother, Donnie, until a Saturday about a decade ago. Found out Donnie also lives here in Montana now!
Donnie, whom I had not seen in 60 years, and his wife, Patti, came to spend Labor Day weekend with Bob and me about ten years ago. What a treat! We reminisced and told stories and went through family photos and various family “artifacts.”
One of my inherited treasures is a letter written on the occasion of our mutual great-grandparents’ 50th wedding anniversary. They were married September 1, 1875. The letter is “A Saga of the Valley” – the valley in and around North Bend and Fall City, Washington where my mother and Donnie’s mom were born and raised. The letter was typed on onion skin, is brittle and faded, and hard to read – but is is legible.
I retyped it and sent it to my newly reacquainted cousin, Donnie. I trust he shared it with his daughter who is into the study of genealogies.
As I was headed into the office to my computer, I spotted the ceramic teeter-totter music box. I realized I had forgotten to share that artifact with Donnie. His mom, like mine, was a devoted mother who was wonderfully supportive of her two sons. I hope he appreciated this funky little poem. I didn’t hear back from him. But, now – a decade later, it is more true than ever… and I know he will concur:
Life is Like a Teeter-Totter!
Life is like a teeter-totter –
Full of ups and downs.
Kids learn to roll and toss with it,
To shake away the frowns,
If they have a loving home
To lean back and reminisce on when they roam.
Life is like a teeter-totter –
Full of bounces and of bumps.
Kids learn to rock with a jolly jump
And shake away the lumps
If they have a loving mother
To hug them tight and with kisses smother.
Life is like a teeter-totter – It works better in pairs, They keep each other balanced And handle love in shares If they have had their mother’s arms To guard against abuse and harms.
Life is like a teeter-totter –
Full of laugh and silly giggle.
Full of noise and wonderment –
Girls to squeeze and boys that wiggle –
If they have been secure in love
Both from home’s hearth and God above.
Thank you, Mom, for filling my life
With love… more ups than downs, for sure.
You seemed to know my every need;
For every hurt you had a cure.
Happy Birthday, Mother dear –
I thank God each day that you are near!
God Bless our Moms!!
I hope you have had a Memorable Mother’s Day. What memories do you treasure of your mom?? JanBeek ;o)
“… forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward…”
I need you to see a photo of my youngest granddaughter when she was a little baby. Read on and I’ll tell you why I want you to see this on a post that’s all about where you’re headed. Here’s Faith Austynn Beekman:
Faith was adopted at birth by our son, Ty, and his wife Monika. The story of her adoption is a good one for another day. But for now, let me fast-forward:
Faith has grown to be a woman of great faith. This photo of her between her two grandmothers was taken two years before she graduated from High School. I tried to find my photo of her at her graduation, but this was as close as I came to it.
Ah, tenacity… it paid off… I found it! Here Faith is with us on the day of her graduation. Look at how much taller she is! Or did I just shrink?
Why do you think it was so important to see Faith on her graduation day – on this post titled, “Where ya Headed?” Well, a scripture with ta similar message as Philippians 3:13 – was printed on the top of her commencement hat! Hebrews 12:1 …
Fast forward again. Here is Faith with her fiance’, Kyle McSparron, on the day of their engagement:
And here they are at the rehearsal dance the day before their wedding:
Faith’s life so far is a fairy tale of love and success and faithful direction. Obedience to God and to her parents’ teachings, adherence to Biblical Principles, and the tenacity to “run with endurance the race God has set before [her]” are criterion that characterize her young life.
Living the Race
Faith and Kyle joined her parents (our son) Ty and Monika with their dog, Nakota at our home for Thanksgiving last year. Kyle has an electrical business that is suffering the downturn caused by this COVID-19 pandemic. He needs our prayers as he works to keep the company afloat.
Faith is working for the state of Nevada as a “Disaster Preparedness Advisor” (that may not be the exact title, but you get the idea. Her job is particularly vital right now… and much can be done on-line. Moving forward, we can see the two of them are living Hebrews 12:1 as fully as possible.
Bob & I are in our pj’s in that photo because it was very early on the morning they were leaving to head back to California.
“Don’t look back. You’re not headed that way!”
“I don’t know what the future holds, but I know who holds the future.”
I don’t know to whom I should attribute that quote, but it sounds like somebody like Billy Graham would have said it… or Mother Theresa.” And I know it is so true. God is in charge of where I’m headed. If today’s world and our circumstances are any indication, then we know the path to where we’re going is a rocky one. The only way to navigate it is through faith and prayer.
See that moose on my bed? When Faith was about 6 or 7, she and her family came to visit us. We spent a day in Yellowstone National Park. It’s ony an hour’s drive from our home. At the end of the visit, she and her three siblings were given the opportunity to go into the gift shop and buy themselves something to help them remember the trip. Faith bought this moose – and then gave it to me! She has such a loving heart!
Each morning when I make my bed, I place “Faithful,” this little moose in front of the pillows, and I say a prayer for Faith and Kyle. I thank God for Faithful, my reminder of my granddaughter Faith – and I thank Him for her and her faith, for her beautiful marriage to Kyle, and I ask God to watch over them.
May God watch over you today, too, my friends. And may He guide you as you “Run with endurance the race He set before you.” Look to a bright future… It’s coming! Face Forward – That’s where you’re headed.