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Archive for the ‘Memories’ Category

What Jobs?

Today’s JetPack prompt was:

What jobs have you had?

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.

We never stop having jobs – right?

John 6:27

27 Do not work for food that spoils,
but for food that endures to eternal life,
which the Son of Man will give you.
For on him God the Father
has placed his seal of approval.”

What jobs have you had?

Music Changed Lives

Today’s JetPack prompt was:
Describe something you learned in high school.

Here’s my answer:

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.

This video is an experience with music
that my Swiss family shared.

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.

This is my choice for soothing music.
If you have some time and want to just listen for a while,
see how this music relaxes you!
In contrast, ask “Alexa, shuffle music by Fluffy Machine.”
That’s my grandson, Nicky’s band. Oh my, it’ll jazz you up!

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.”

black click pen on white paper
Photo by Lum3n on Pexels.com

It worked!
They were all on the right page
and ready to begin!

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.

See ya tomorrow.
Love,
JanBeek

Are You So-Called Normal?

“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!

Sure enough- there’s a lot of crazy in each of us! Sometimes it’s our most lovable part!

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.)

Music helped my students
appreciate the fun
in those outside the norm
parts of us.

I hope you appreciate the parts of you
that are outside the norm, too.
They make you special.
Do you know what some of them are?

Tell me!

It’s fun to know I have a lot of the abnormal
in my so-called “Normal” self!

See ya tomorrow.
Thanks for visiting
JanBeek

Born Singing

When you were five, what did you want to be when you grew up?

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!

Hugs and happy music to you!

Porcelain Dancers

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 words with 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 figurine is 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!

Hugs,
JanBeek

Make Way!

The scriptures and the devotionals that popped up this week
all point the way to our preparation for spring.
Get ready!
Be prepared!
Make way for the new!!
It will come, won’t it?
Eventually?

I am more than ready for our ice (used to be snow) piles
to melt and allow the bulbs to wake up and begin to sprout!

Isaiah 43:16,18-19-

This is what the Lord says,
“Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing…”

But, I do remember those former things!!

These were the last of them from last spring.

I am ready to hang my spring wreath
and I am ready to “Spring Up!”
my clocks tonight in preparation for
Daylight Savings Time.

I am ready to keep that time schedule
all year round to give us more hours of daylight
in our waking hours. How about you?

Get ready for a sunny Sunday!
I am ready for more sunshine.
How about you?

I love it when my friend, Lisa,
sends me photos of her sunrises
above the lake near her home in North Carolina.

I’m ready for a ride on “Lucille”
(our redheaded ATV who is a “Ball”)
into the springtime wildflowers
on our mountain trails around here.

Right now, looks like that’s a couple months away.

This year we won’t have our TazE
(our beloved Boston Terrier
traveled over the Rainbow Bridge
last December. We miss her!)

to keep us company on our rides.
She was sure a great trail companion!

We saw some mighty PURDY sites together on those rides!
Sometimes we’d take the trail all the way over to Pony, Montana,
the cute little town northwest of us where there is a
cute little tavern. We’d meet our other ATV friends there.

So, get ready, my friends.
Make way for the realization of
those dreams once more
when we can take that ride again!

But, will springtime ever come to Montana?

Have faith!
It will!!

Ecclesiastes 3:1-22 
ESV 

For everything there is a season,
and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born,
and a time to die;
a time to plant,
and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill,
and a time to heal (that’s my time right now);
a time to break down,
and a time to build up;
a time to weep,
and
a time to laugh (that’s ALWAYS now!);
a time to mourn,
and a time to dance (let’s do!!);
a time to cast away stones,
and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace (let’s do that, too),
and a time to refrain from embracing; …

May your storms diminish
and your sunshine increase;
May your troubles decrease
and your joys abound.


May your eyes clearly see
the beauty all around you.


God bless you, my friends.
Make way for those blessings!
They are coming!
Rest assured!!

Love and Lotsa Hugs,
JanBeek

P.S. My eyes are healing after the cataract surgery last week. Thank you for your prayers. The farsighted vision is bright and clear – beautiful colors. Single lens replacement instead of the multiple variety was my only option. It has to do with the age of these tired 83 year old eyes and the shape they were in. But I’m not complaining. Another follow-up appointment is scheduled in 3 weeks. I’ll keep you posted. Thinking positively!

Reblog #4 – Nostalgia

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

NanoPoblano2022 has invited us to reblog an old post each day during this month of November. I’m having fun going back through some of my first posts… Here is one from our vacation in southern California in 2014. The roadrunner picture in the original post was not available so I borrowed one from Pexels. Thanks!

January 27 2014

There was a Time Magazine article by Lily Rothman in which the author quoted artist, Brendan O’Connell, “Nostalgia makes memory warm.” O’Connell stopped to say parenthetically, “That’s actually a significant thought,” and I paused. Hmm – memories, nostalgia, warmth. Yes, it’s true. Not all memories are warm, but all nostalgic memories are warm. Do you agree? When you think of warm memories, what comes to mind? Here’s mine:

Childhood

Climbing
Hillsides
Into
Lands
Dense with
Hidden
Occupants
Ordering Hot
Dogs.

Hah! That’s my whimsical acrostic for today – looking back on yesterdays.

But, how about Making Memories Today?

Image

There’s no better place to make memories than where you are right now today! For me, whether it is in the warm desert on vacation in the southern California sun with roadrunners scampering by and sun casting spakles on cactus, or back home in the cold snows of Montana, each day is a memory in the making. The climate doesn’t determine the warmth of the memories. The people I am with, the events we choose, the lessons I learn, the visions I absorb: those are the nostalgia of tomorrow. I am making warm memories today – wherever I am!

Nov. 5, 2022 – our snow is almost all melted now. With today’s winds, the rest of it will blow off the roof of our house (peeking through the trees there).

That acrostic up there was mine back in 2014… but I have no idea how that could have been true. We lived in the flat central valley of California. No hillsides to climb! If I were looking back at my childhood and creating an acrostic today, it would say:

CHILDHOOD

C hasing
H ounds
I nto
L ittle
D ugouts
H aving
O odles
O f
D ead animals

Oh my! That one is reality! My dad owned a Tallow Works and one of his jobs was picking up dead animals from ranchers and farmers and bringing those animals back to the “plant” where we lived. We always had at least one dog as a pet… and they were always “hounds.” No money for pedigrees!! In our bare fields behind our house, my neighbors (cousins) and I would dig holes and create pretend worlds. That 2014 acrostic must have come out of that pretending. Sometimes our best memories are the imaginary ones, don’t you think?

If you were to write a childhood acrostic today, would yours be real? Or would you pretend?


I hope your real world is full of happy memories – warm nostalgia.
Have a great day today, my friends.

.

I had a warm, huggy, loving daddy. My memories of him are certainly warm nostalgia!!

Thanks for visiting
JanBeek
See ya tomorrow

Reblog #1 – Most Beautiful Things

Beautiful Things
Are sometimes visible things;
Most = Invisible!

This Persian’s pretty;
Her purr’s the absolute best –
And the love she gives.

These roses are grand,
But their fragrance is the best;
And their “giver” too!

This bird is gorgeous,
But its song is the greatest –
And its Creator!

This scene’s amazing;
But the peaceful feelings here
Are magnificent.

Adorable child –
She’s so beautiful to see,
Her trusting heart’s best!

The cake’s impressive,
But memories are more grand.
Beautiful moments!

(By the way that’s us: Bob & Jan… 57 3/4 years ago)

The moments, feelings,
The sweet smiles and the laughter –
That’s where beauty lives.

Life’s luxuriant
When people and places reign.
Beautiful visions!

Thank you for being
A beautiful part of my life
In my WordPress World.
You add JOY by your presence.

See you later!

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

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