In March Susan got to visit With Phyllis, our dear sister, Before our dear friend’s life Ended on earth. Oh how we missed her!
Tomorrow we’ll remember Stories of Phyllis’ life And share them with each other. She was a loving wife.
Her husband died too young, Over thirty years past. Phyllis made his ring a heart And wore the love that last.
The heart hung ’round her neck All these many years – She willed it to her Yana Through memories and tears.
How many of us have A memory to share Of a loved one gone too soon To their heavenly home up there?
If life is lived so fully That when time comes, we are ready, It’s easier to say good-bye. Live your life with grace. Be steady!
Be loving and kind-hearted. Be compassionate to those you meet. Then, like my good friend, Phyllis, Your friends’ memories all will be sweet.
Her children know the treasure Of a mom whose love was always true. She shared her life with God and friends. I hope there is a friend like her for YOU!
Keep your memories of friends Alive and smiling in your heart. Make memories others will treasure. Today’s a perfect day to start.
Phyllis was a grown up who did not “act more like children than children” BUT She was one of those people who needed people… just as I am. We are/were “the luckiest people in the world!” We each have (had) the person who made us whole… … thank God for that “very special person.”
Share your memories of a loved one with me. I’d love to read some of your thoughts on this subject in the comments below. Hugs, JanBeek
The older we get, The more ready we must be For our angel friends To leave you and me.
They ascend to heaven Where loved ones wait To greet them in song At the pearly gate.
When our hair turns silver And wrinkles show our age, We have to be ready To turn the eternal page.
The eighties are great; It’s a decade of reflection And a time to appreciate Every earthly connection.
But it also is a time When we look at this season As the winter of our years, And we search for life’s reason.
We look at life differently Than we did in our teens. We see through our experience What life is – what purpose means.
It’s not about what we can get, Or what riches we acquire. It’s about the love we give To the people we admire.
It’s about reaching out to strangers Who are falling between the crack. It’s about filling their needs – Helping give the things they lack.
Reaching up in prayer and praise I thank the Lord for all His gifts. As long as I have life and breath, I’ll reach out to give others lifts.
I hope you’ll use your senior years To do the same – to spread your love – Because we are blessed to be a blessing. For every day, I thank. God above.
My Prayer for You
When your time comes To say good-bye to earth, May the angels welcome you And your friends rejoice at your New Birth! Amen
Welcome to Heaven, Phyllis. I miss you here… But I rejoice at your Eternal Reunion. May all who were blessed by your presence And who entered the pearly gates before you did Be there to welcome you HOME. God bless you! Keep the light on!
Have you ever been living in a house for a week without the benefit of running water? That’s been our situation this week.
If you don’t have water running in your house, then your toilets don’t work. Have you lived in your house without a toilet working and with no outhouse? That’s what we’ve done… and our dear neighbors let us drive the 1/4 mile to their house to use their bathroom when we needed it this week. At night, we’ve slept in the church manse where we could use the toilet when needed without driving to the neighbors’ place at midnight!
We’ve been updating the water system in our house – replacing the water tank, pump, radiant floor heating system, etc… Long story as to why this was necessary, but suffice to say, I am not complaining. I know I am blessed.
I know there are people in this world who have to walk miles to get drinking water – or any kind of water for that matter – and they carry it on their heads to bring it home to their families. So, am I complaining about driving a quarter mile to use a toilet – or about not having running water in my house for a week? No way!!!
But an outhouse would come in handy right about now! Maybe I should just pretend I’m camping right now. Ya think?
When you go to Amazon.com and buy something on-line, you have a chance to donate a percentage of your dollars to a charity of your choice. I give to
Water to Thrive provides clean safe water to rural African communities by connecting donors, sponsors, congregations, schools and community groups directly to communities in need.
There are many organizations related to clean water and building wells in remote places around the world – where fresh, running water is a luxury. I hope you find one that you can support – – – The people who receive your support will rejoice, for sure!
People all over the world are in need of fresh water for their survival. Being without running water in my home for a week has certainly taught me empathy.
What charity is dear to your heart? Have you ever been in a situation where you lacked the water you needed for your daily needs? Tell me about it.
Ya gotta read this post! It’s full of gorgeous flowers from derrickjknight
and you don’t want to miss seeing more! It’s full of a variety of humor and thoughtfulness!
Do you know the word “HodgePodge”?? Is it real or is it one that my mom made up? When I put it in Pexels to look for a picture, nothing came up. But my iPhone dictionary had it! Here are some synonyms:
Don’t you love the concept? It doesn’t say “junk” (which is often what I thought of when I used the word hodgepodge). No, not junk… just a mishmash of unrelated ideas or an assortment of things that can actually be related – like this meat on a grill.
Need to Share
Today’s blog is a mishmash – a hodgepodge of various things, ideas, photos that caught my eye this week. I saved them because I either loved them or hated them, laughed or groaned at them, and I wanted to share them for your viewing, too.
Love One Another
My blog’s subtitle is “Loving One Another” – so I try to share ideas that represent ways we can reach out in love more fully and unconditionally to one another.
A friend (who was born in Canada but is now a USA citizen) sent me these pictures/memes/jokes/thoughts today. I decided if the election goes the wrong way next November here in the USA, Canada may be my next residency! It appears they have a handle on how to “Love One Another.” Even their graffiti is kinder than ours!!
And if they wear a hat with something written on it, I guess it is positive, too…
Going on with my hodgepodge, I received this meme from a friend today. It made me laugh. I think laughter is what keeps me going these days!
Oh, Other Options?
You say you have other survivor options? One way my blogging friend, Derrick Knight and his wife, Jackie, are surviving this pandemic is by being voracious gardeners. And Derrick is a phenomenal photographer. Let me add to my hodgepodge today by sharing a couple of my favorite photos he posted recently from his rainy vistas in Great Britain:
Pictures Bring Back Memories
In my past life, some of you know I was a teacher for 24 years and a principal for 9 years and worked in the district office as curriculum coordinator (wearing a hundred hats with all kinds of responsibility and no authority to back ’em up!)… and then I decided to do what I loved most – and go back into the classroom before I retired. I taught a first grade and took them on to second. Oh, what a joy that was! Many of those students are my FaceBook friends today… 21 years later!!
That poppy brought back those memories because the school where I was principal for 9 years was Caswell Elementary in the Ceres Unified School District in California. Our school song was:
“Poppies, Golden Poppies, Gleaming in the sun. Closing up at evening when the day is done. Pride of California, Flower of our state, Growing from the mountains To the Golden Gate.
We’re the Caswell Cougars, We are Number One. Green and yellow banners Waving in the sun. Caswell is a place for Learning and for fun. We’re the Caswell Cougars, We are Number One!!
And the HodgePodge Continues…
Yesterday, if you read my blog, you know we went for a farewell ice cream social to say “See ya later” to our two favorite little Sunday School friends, Cord and Ruby. We are praying for their happy resettling on their dad’s home ranch in Jordan, MT. It’s a six-hour drive from here. They’ll have horses and cattle and dogs and cats and lots of room to roam. Our love and prayers go with them. We gave them great big farewell hugs and told ’em how much we love and will miss them.
Great HodgePodge Finish
A great end to my hodgepodge for today is this wonderful photo that I JUST received via the magic of WhatsApp from my daughter, DeAna. She wrote,
“I took this photo from the parking lot near our restaurant this morning while thinking of you.”
Ah, our children certainly know how to melt a mothers heart, don’t they? Nothing could make me happier than to know that when my daughter sees a symbol of our faith, she thinks of me! What a gift, huh?
Maybe I am not so disturbed after all!!
What HodgePodge of thoughts captured your imagination today? I hope they were a medley of love and laughter, memories and musings that lightened your soul.
Job 5:9 “He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted.”
The fact that I was able to go on that ATV ride yesterday on those bumpy, rocky trails is in itself a miracle. You know I had hernia surgery on my mid-section last month. To enjoy yesterday with Bob & our friends was a WONDER, for sure! And today I am no worse for the wear… Thank God!
The miracle of the sea and the tides, the daily rising and setting of the sun and moon, these are miracles that never cease to amaze me.
And if miraculous healing, sunrises and sunsets are not enough for you, look in the mirror!!
It’s a wonder that We can see the miracle in us And in others, too.
Keep searching for them Wonders and miracles are Everywhere you look!!
Just keep looking up. God will show you His wonders- And you will share them.
Thank you to Pexels For putting God’s wonders here At our fingertips!
I may not travel To Thailand to see this sight But Pexels shares it
Where do you want to Go – and what do you want to see? What interests are yours?
I may not see Guam In person in my lifetime, But I can Google.
I can imagine The miracle of the flight That takes me to Guam.
“Why Guam?” you ask me. “Why not?” I respond to you. It fascinates me.
Why does Pexels show An undersea photograph Of a Guam turtle?
Surely there is more To Guam and its miracles – More than sea turtles!
Did you know that Guam Is U.S. territory? I am in wonder!
I wonder when Guam Became part of the U.S. It’s a miracle!
A miracle that I chose that place to learn more – Not having a clue!
The inhabitants of Guam are American citizens by birth.
I must have learned that When they had a hurricane – ‘Twas devastating!
I remember now The terrible destruction And our lack of help.
I wonder why we Didn’t do more to assist? Do you wonder, too?
Google says, “The Micronesian nation offers beautiful white beaches, exotic wildlife, and intriguing culture and history.”
Through the miracle of You.Tube you can take a virtual trip to Guam and you can learn about its history and see its beauty… and you will WONDER how many of these gorgeous places might have survived or been destroyed by that hurricane. This video was created in 2016 and the hurricane was in 2019.
Like me, you will WONDER why this site doesn’t list the PEOPLE who died in this tragic event. Certainly they are more important than the $3.3 million in damage. And you want to hear stories of the MIRACLES of survival in the midst of such devastation, right?
As I quoted from the Bible at the beginning of this post, in Job 5:9 it says, “He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted.”
Everywhere we look in this world, there are wonders and miracles to behold. Open your eyes to them, my friends.
I told you some of the ones I see and some I would like to travel and see. How about you? What miracles do you see? What wonders do you want to see?
How do you see yourself? Do you know YOU ARE A MIRACLE? How alert is your funny bone?
Are you ready for the miracle of laughter that brings healthy endorphins into your body?
Keep on laughing. It does wonders for your mental health! Love ya, JanBeek
My heart is heavy. God answered my fervent prayer. So why am I sad?
My cousin, Cliff, died. I received the news today: God answered my prayer.
I prayed for freedom – Freedom from this earthy pain. Our God is faithful.
His family gathered; All his loved ones surrounded, And God took him home.
God of Great Mercy, Thank you for answering prayer. Now, heal my heart’s hole!
Cliff & Janine with their two daughters and sons-in-law, two sons, daughter-in-law, and three grandsons
Cliff and Janine are two of my favorite people in the world! And now Cliff has left this world… but he lives on in the hearts of all of us who will always love him.
Janine’s mom is my second cousin, Betty. Her mom was my mom’s oldest sister’s oldest daughter.
That sounds rather confusing and maybe like a “distant relative”… but there is nothing distant about my relationship with Janine. I was twelve when my family drove from California to Washington to visit mom’s family near Seattle in Issaquah… and to meet Aunt Evelyn’s first grandchild.
Aunt Evelyn and Uncle Hans were my first connection to the land of Switzerland which claimed our daughter DeAna about two dozen years later! Uncle Hans immigrated from the German part of Switzerland to the state of Washington. Their daughter, my cousin, Betty, with her husband, Nick, lived right across the alleyway from her parents. Knowing we were there, she came over with her new baby, Janine. You know my name in JAN – and so I immediately claimed JANine as my own!!
I was there for Cliff and Janine’s wedding. I claim Cliff as my cousin, too!
Cliff was “Opa” to his three grandsons. A more doting and loving grandfather never graced this earth! I am so sad that those three boys will not have the presence of the Opa as they grow into adulthood. And the youngest one is too little to have lasting memories of him. It makes me cry!
Cliff was a robust man – a former University of Washington champion rower – weighing over 200 pounds most of his adult life. Cancer and the chemo treatments wasted away his body and took away his strength – and eventually his life. But his spirit lives on.
He’ll remain strong and robust forever in all of us who knew and loved him.
We are a vast array of Cliff-Dwellers!
God bless you, my Word Press family. Thank you for praying for my cousin, JANine, and her family. See ya tomorrow. JanBeek
How do you speak – especially during social distancing – with a loved one who has dementia?
My sister, Sally, has dementia. She lives in a Masonic Home less than five minutes from her daughter, Jodie. It’s in Pennsylvania – a loooong ways from me in Montana! But, even though they are close, in today’s pandemic world, Jodie can’t go to visit her. Sally is on the second floor of the care facility and when Jodie drives to see her, she is not even allowed out of her car. They just have to wave to one another out their windows.
I am sure that is a very smart safety precaution on the part of the Masonic Home. Jodie just tested positive for the virus last week! Now she is in quarantine for two weeks.
On Sunday I had my first ZOOM meeting with my sis. Rochelle, the Activities Director facilitated the meeting. Sally was basically non-responsive, so it was hard to know what to say. Rochelle repeated my comments to be sure Sally heard, but even then I barely got a nod most of the time. Still, it was good to see her.
Do You Relate?
Do you have a parent or sibling, a neighbor or friend with dementia? If so, you know what I mean. You’ve been in my shoes, and you long to be up close and personal with your loved one so you can look into each other’s eyes and make real connections.
Here are Bob and me with my sis, Sally, and her husband, Dave, waaaay back in the days of flat-tops, skinny ties and thighs, and 3″ heels! It must have been Easter … we’re all decked out. I will send her this photo. Dave died of a massive heart-attack more than 20 years ago. Pictures are an important way to tap into memories.
Using Technology to Tap Memories
I took my laptop out on the porch and showed Sally our scene of the mountains. I reminded her of the Thanksgivings we have spent together here sitting on the porch (or looking out this window), enjoying that view. Still, no change of facial expression and no words. Maybe it’s because the ground and mountains are often snow-covered in November!
Don’t Give Up – Keep Trying!
I talked about our times together at various Thanksgivings around the dining room table and showed her that scene. She has visited us in November at least ten years in a row before she needed to go to assisted living and wisely chose to be near her daughter and grandson.
Reach Way Back
Reaching back into the cobwebs of my brain, I remembered us as young girls sitting on our grandmother’s porch, reaching out into the “weeds” and finding stalks of sweet anise, breaking them off, and munching on them like you might snack on a stalk of celery.
Actually, I still love to munch on sweet anise. I remembered I have some in the refrigerator. So, I went with my laptop over to the kitchen. I opened the fridge and asked Sally if she remembered sitting on Grandma’s porch, nibbling on this while we waited for mom to come and get us after school.
When I showed her the sweet anise (commonly known today as fennel), I got my first real smile from her. She nodded. Ah, folks, smells and food are great memory triggers!!
The greatest trigger for memory when you are visiting with a loved one who has dementia is music. Find an old tune. Dig out that old pair of shoes that might bring back memories and play the sweet old songs that mom used to sing to us.
Study and Seek advice
Today on Facebook, my niece Tammy, who is a registered nurse and works with many Alzheimer’s patients, posted this helpful reminder:
Apply What You Learn – Reach Out
I have a friend in our nursing home here in Ennis who has dementia. During this COVID-19 pandemic, the residents have been on lock-down. No visitors. No outings. But recently, the nursing home constructed a “Visiting Booth.” It’s a little 8′ x8′ structure with a roof, two side walls (north and south), an opening to the east. It has a plexiglass partition to the west.
On a sunny day this week I called the nursing home and scheduled a visit with my friend. The nursing home arranges half hour visitations. At the appointed time, the CNA, Bonney, wheeled the resident (my friend) out into the fresh air and into the booth. I sat on the outside of the plexiglass on a park bench. It was hard to hear, but Bonney did what Rochelle had done for my sister and me. She repeated to my friend whatever I said.
I brought my laptop and my cell phone. Used the cell phone “hot spot” to connect to the internet. Logged on to a five year old video of my friend’s daughter singing and playing the SAW in a church service. Bonney brought the laptop into the booth and held it close to my friend. Of course, she thoroughly enjoyed seeing her daughter, hearing that beautiful, inspiring song, and visiting with me about things we had done together in years past.
I left with a song in my heart at the end of our visiting time. I couldn’t figure out how to get the video of Peggy and her saw from my FB page to this post. But, I found Peggy with her violin singing and playing “How Great is Our God” with Jordy Christo, on You.Tube, so I’ll post that here.
If you go to http://www.facebook.com/janbeekman you can find the “Amazing Grace” video with Peggy and her saw. It’s worth the click and your time. This is what it’ll look like when you get there:
I pray that you are inspired to reach out to someone today who needs to hear from you.
We may be limited by this pandemic, but we are not frozen. Do what you can to brighten someone’s day!
See ya tomorrow. Have a Wonderful Wednesday. Love and Hugs… Stay Well!! JanBeek
When troubles come… Where do you go to be lifted up? I go into the mountains. There God fills my cup.
I was not able to go with Bob these last couple of weeks when he took our ATV up into the Tobacco Root Mountains and the Gravelly Range.
If you’ve been following my blog, you know I had surgery to repair a hernia a couple of weeks ago. The doctor said those bumpy rides on our four-wheeler, “Lucille” (she’s red-headed and she is a BALL), were off-limits.
So, Bob took our friend, Julie, last week… and this week he took our friend, Elaine. Both of them loved it. I’m so glad he shares the fun with friends who appreciate the beauty of Montana’s mountains as much as we do!
Elaine is the wife of our minister and friend, Steve Hundley. I share my poetic sermon notes each Sunday with you. It’s Steve who preaches those captivating messages! Elaine took the pictures I am sharing with you today. She has some real beauts here!!
You can see the tip of Lucille’s tire here … obviously Bob stopped many times along the trail so Elaine could get out and snap a shot of the view. As you can see, they traveled up above the tree line into the snow. It’s mid-July and Montana’s mountain tops still have snow. Bundle up! Yup, it was cold up there while I was enjoying a 75 degree day down in the Madison Valley.
No camera lens is as miraculous as the lens God gives each of us with our eyes… especially if we have 20/20 vision. But, a skilled photographer can come close with a good camera. I love the composition of this one with the rocks on rock in the foreground, don’t you?
Thank you, Elaine, for sharing with us your day with Bob and God! We are so blessed to be friends with one another and with nature and with our Creator! I love you! ❤
And thank you, my WordPress friends, for going with us into the mountains where we can all feel closer to God. There, He fills my cup! Did He fill yours, too?
I added the words below here to my blog from a couple days ago where I had a video posted of Susan Boyle singing this song… but some folks weren’t able to access the video.
I leave you today with this wonderful Peace Prayer by St. Francis of Assisi. Make Me a Channel of Your Peace…
Thank you, Lord, for your great creation. I find such peace in Your mountains!
I hope you did, too, my friends. See ya tomorrow. JanBeek