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TN Tornado Update


Dear Friends,

Thank you for your prayers for the people of Tennessee who were so grievously affected by the 50 mile stretch of devastation in and beyond Nashville this week. My friend, Debbie, who lives in Nashville half the year, sent me this update this morning:

“Morning, Jan. What I didn’t tell you in the text was the immense response of the people of Nashville. Hands on Nashville, with 25000 volunteer slots, is full. People connected with houses of worship or no connection to anything other than this is home are pouring out of their comfort to help. People are showing up with strong backs (including team members of the Titans and Predators), chain saws, showing up with blankets (it was 29 degrees this am and no electricity in the tornado zones), showing up with ready to eat meals (son Joel is preparing 1500 meals each day), showing up with diapers, flashlights, batteries. Celebrities, including our beloved Dolly (Parton) and Taylor (Swift) and many others, have opened their checkbooks very wide, as have organizations such as the National Football League and the National Hockey League. In Nashville, as we did during the devastating flood of 2010, we show up. In Nashville, We Rise.

By Jon Haworth and Emily Shapiro March 3, 2020, 7:39 PM18 min read

Tennessee tornadoes kill at least 25

Tennessee tornadoes kill at least 25. More than 150 people were hurt and thousands of homes and businesses were flattened when the twisters hit in the middle of the night.

Thank God for answered prayer as more than 25 thousand people have stepped up and in to physically help the people devastated by this disaster! They are using their money, time, and talents to do what they can to alleviate the suffering and aide those in dire need.

Photo by Sebastian Voortman on Pexels.com

God’s Angels

They are angels stepping in to lift the spirits, clean up the debris, and rebuild where possible. They are using their talents to feed the hungry (God bless Debbie & Steve’s son, Joel, whose place of business was spared. It had $50,000 worth of food in freezers and storage, and was only 1/4 mile from the tornado’s path). Now he is using those resources to feed the homeless and hurting. God bless him! He’s one of thousands of angels on earth… God’s hands and feet!

Use Your God-given Talents

I wrote this poem this morning while reading my devotionals and Bible and praying for help to arrive in Tennessee – before I saw Debbie’s update. It certainly fits the way folks are using their talents in and around Nashville right now.

Use Talents Wisely

God has given each of us
Talents that are unique to us.
Some are singers, others plow,
Others use their funds somehow.

Some are math-magicians – true;
Others are writers, just like you.
Whether science or literature,
Use your talents and be sure
They are developed as your own,
Gaining skill as seeds are sown.
Don’t envy others for what they do.
Use the talents given to you.

Moles must dig, and roosters crow,
Unique gifts they use and grow.
Likewise we must search and know
Just what talents from us must flow.

Like a poet who thinks in rhymes,
You might paint or prepare a pot.
Keep your eye on what you’ve got,
And never try to be what you’re not.

Mark Humphrey/APA woman walks past buildings damaged by a tornado,
March 3, 2020, in Nashville, Tenn. Mark Humphrey/AP
View image on Twitter
One of several churches devastated by the tornado

Dear Lord,

In the wake of this devastation, give the people strength and courage. In the aftermath of death and destruction, give the people hope and tenacity.

We know this “ordinary day” in the lives of so many is not “ordinary” in Tennessee. The extraordinary natural disaster has left more than 25 dead, countless wounded, and thousands without home, church building, or business. Some have lost their jobs as the place they worked no longer exists. Please be with these people. Be with the loved ones of the deceased.

We look at today, grateful for sparing our lives, knowing but for Your grace, we might have been in the midst of Harm’s Way. We thank You for the miraculous way you saved people, like the teenage girl who was whisked in the gale up and out of her home and dumped under a pile of debris into her neighbor’s swimming pool!

We thank you for the rescue workers who pulled people out, for the hospital staff who are working overtime to save lives, and for all those who have stepped up to help by using their time, talents, and money however You placed it on their hearts to do so.

Help us hear, dear God, what You are asking us to do… besides pray. Prayer is a given!

In His Name we beseech Thee,

AMEN

Keeping in Touch


Do you enjoy keeping in touch with long-time friends?

This morning I posted “No Friend Like an Old Friend”
with pictures of the long-time friends I met with yesterday.

Among the long-time friends I posted pictures of
was Ly, my favorite hair stylist, whom I have
known since 1979. Today she gave me a new hair cut and
helped me get my “perky” back.

Also, today I had the privilege of reconnecting with dear friends from my years of working in the Ceres Unified School District. I was Caswell Elementary School’s principal from 1988-1997. Some of my favorite people to work with met me today for lunch. Most of them also are retired now. What a joy!!

Jackie (wonderful 3rd grade teacher),
Maudie (extraordinary instructional aide),
Fernando (he and his brother, Louie, were the world’s greatest custodians)
& Marge (Support staff leader & Resource Teacher
who helped coordinate this gathering)
Dora (impressive & dedicated first grade teacher)
and Kim (superb sixth grade teacher)
Jess (loving special ed teacher)
& Candy (beloved special ed instructional aide)
JoAnn (one of the best secretaries anywhere)
& JoAnn’s son, Kenny (I remember him as a kindergartener!)
Me (before haircut) with Peggy (everybody’s favorite Reading and Resource Teacher)
She was my go-to person
whenever I screwed up and needed help recovering from some difficult learning experience!

Have you had the opportunity to reconnect 20 years later with co-workers who were instrumental in tour personal and professional growth? If so, you know what a JOY and a privilege this day was for me.

If not, I pray you will live 20 years into your retirement and have the delight of reconnecting the way I did today. It was indescribably wonderful.
I wish you this kind of joy.

Thank you, dear Caswellians, for a wonderful day.
I love you!

Come visit me in Montana!

Don’t Wait


Don’t wait for later;
Tomorrow may never come.
Do whatever NOW!

Taking my advice –
Taking it for me right now –
I am outta here!

Go do it!

See ya tomorrow!

Granddaughter’s In-Laws


We’re so grateful that our granddaughter, Faith, married into this beautiful McSparron family! Such a gift to the Beekmans to extend our hearts into Kutztown, PA!! This is a sweet, quaint college town.

Here’s Lisa, Kyle’s mom
Allen, Kyle’s dad

Their house was designed by Allen & Lisa and built by the McSparron boys & dad.

They call it their cottage
It is amazing!
Their view is beautiful.
The stained glass window was created by an artist inspired by a picture Allen took in Switzerland. It’s the church where Lisa’s ancestors, the Caveltis, worshiped.

Such fun to have Lisa’s heritage also be in Switzerland where our DeDe and her family lives.

After a delicious breakfast topped off by the wonderful pear dessert left from last night, we went “hunting and gathering” in the gorgeous countryside.

Wooden Bridge Dry Goods
I’d never seen multi-colored sheep before. Have you?
Many of the farms are owned and managed by Menninites.
Inside Wooden Bridge Dry Goods was an amazing display of every kind of fabric imaginable.
These are spools of thread!
The Reddinger’s Farmers Market had a variety of apple for sale I’d never heard of before: Faith! That’s our granddaughter’s name… so of course, we had to buy some.
Lisa is with Bob – and Allen is over at the register behind them. In his retirement, Allen enjoys working at the Pinnacle Ridge Winery.

As you can see, we are busy “hunting & gathering” in a variety of places.

So it’s wine tasting time. See ya later!

You can see that Allen enjoys his job!
And we enjoyed the wine!
We bought some Pinot Grigio to enjoy with tonight’s dinner.
What’s your favorite varietal?

The Lion in Me


Hello, Sir Lion!
I feared you had gone away.
Welcome to today!

Miss Kitty out here
Threatened to take me over
While you stayed hidden.

I’m glad you appeared
To help me face challenges;
Today’s full of them.

My To-Do List

  • Finish cleaning that darn office
  • Go up in my sanctuary; worship and consult with God
  • Figure out what to put in our suitcases and pack ’em
  • Fix and eat a healthy breakfast
  • Go downtown and buy hostess gifts
  • Confirm our flights and choose our seats
  • Leave a list of helpfuls for the folks who’ll be in our house
  • Visit shut-ins
  • Go to Bell Choir Practice
  • Fix and eat dinner
  • Clean up the kitchen and dust the house
  • Get a good night’s sleep for tomorrow’s long travel day

Take strength and courage
From Mr. Lion in me.
Tackle those To-Do’s!

Have a productive day, my friends.
I’m headed into that darn office.
Can’t have it looking so messy
when our family arrives for Thanksgiving.
Do you have a room like that at your place?

See Ya Later!

Montana Service Award


Awarded for Reaching Out

man and woman holding hands on brown wooden table

It’s always the right time to reach out a helping hand!

At the AARP Annual Awards dinner in Helena, MT tonight, Bob & I were awarded a wooden Montana serving plaque as a thank you for our years of service to the Ennis communty. (Thank you, Elaine Forsberg, for nominating us). We do so little compared to so many others!! But, we know every helping hand matters.

What an honor to be among a room full of people from all over our state who enjoy serving others during these, their senior years. Our community of Ennis is filled with people who work tirelessly to help others in a variety of unheralded ways.  On behalf of all of you who volunteer to help others at:

  • The Senior Center
  • The Madison County Library
  • The Lion’s Club (Park & Auction, etc.)
  • The Manor
  • The Madison Valley Medical Center
  • The Food Bank
  • The Ennis Arts Association Festival
  • The Fly Fishing Festival
  • The Ennis Children’s Community School
  • The Senior Companion Program
  • Local Churches
  • The Ennis Schools
  • The MVWC (Madison Valley Woman’s Club – Nearly New)
  • Etc., etc., etc

We thank you … and we encourage you to keep on giving of your time, talents and love.

This award is for all of you who volunteer!

AARP Award

Tell me some of the ways YOU enjoy volunteering your time.

No Action wasted
See ya tomorrow.

Love of Climbing


When you think of “love” – it usually is love between persons, right?

pexels-photo-2144300

But at our Madison Valley Woman’s Club meeting yesterday,
LOVE was expressed as it relates to nature and the love of climbing.
Our guest speaker was Wendy Gustin.

Wendy Gustin

Wendy doesn’t like climbing.
She doesn’t like it a little bit.
She LOVES it!!
Wendy told us about her adventures in 2017
when she hired a guide and a sherpa
and took off to climb Mt. Everest.
It is the Earth’s highest mountain above sea level,
located in the Mahalangur Himal sub-range of the Himalayas.
Nepal and China run across its summit point.
Wendy reached the summit.
She is one of the 450+ woman in recorded history ever to do so.

The summit is 29,029 feet!!

The Summit

I had the privilege of sitting this close to the slide show.
After seeing a few slides in the presentation, I grabbed my cell phone.
I knew this was going to be a treat – and I wanted to share it with you.

I didn’t take notes in order to give you exact words,
but the pictures speak for themselves.
Just look!!

boots for mtn climbing

Strap on your 20 lbs of boots, and let’s go!

Tiny airport

The tiny airport where she landed
is one of the most dangerous in the world.
(Sorry I don’t remember its  name)
Miss the landing and you end up in the mountain
sooner than you anticipated!

Start Everest climb

The steps were steep, but much more doable than
the glacier-covered, steep mountainsides.

2 climbers - Everest

Doesn’t look THAT steep, you say?
Guess again!

Base Camp

Those tiny orange and yellow specks
at the bottom of the glacier are the tents
at Base Camp.

row of climbers

Climbers had to connect to a single rope
that guided their path – and required teamwork.

Ladder-Mt. Everest

No way you’d catch me climbing that ladder!

(My kitchen stool –
and the circular staircase
to my sanctuary each morning…
that’s my idea of climbing!)

Hats off to the brave souls
who love this kind of climbing!

 

Ice Flow- Everest
They had to navigate these kinds of ice flows.
Wendy said to look carefully –
can you find some climbers up there??

tents-Camp2
Here is Camp 3.
From this 20,000 ft. level, they climbed
up to 25,000 ft. and back down to this camp
several different days to get acclimated
for the final climb to the summit.

The wind at this level was brutal at times.
We saw a video of the tents being blown away
(if they did not have climbers in them to hold them down).

Sherpas in tent - bkfst
This is the sherpas inside Wendy’s tent.
They greeted her each morning,
“Good Day, DeDe!”
as they gave her the hot tea
they had prepared for her.
(“DeDe is a term of affection and greeting
used by the Nepalese).
They also made her breakfast.
Wendy said she got pretty spoiled!

12 sherpas

This is the sherpas’ tent.
Many of them stay the whole season
up there at the 25,000 foot level!!
Some are born at the 17,000 foot level
and are acclimated from birth to these elevations.

Top of Everest

It is hard to imagine the exhilaration
of reaching Mt. Everest’s summit!

Have you ever had a hankering
to do something like this?

I have the utmost respect for Wendy,
her team, her courage,
her determination and tenacity,
her success!!

Imagine the fitness routine,
and savings plan, for 5 to 10 years
to get ready –
strong enough –
and have sufficient funds –
to do this.

Hard to imagine, isn’t it?

Congratulations, Wendy!
Thank you for sharing your passion
and the beautiful slides with us.

My pictures of them often reflect light-
and do not do them justice,
but you, my friends, got the idea, right?

Wendy Gustin- end
Do you LOVE climbing?
I must say, it’s not one of my passions,
but I certainly enjoyed doing it vicariously!

What is YOUR passion
that you’d train and save money 
for a decade to be able to do?

pexels-photo-256450.jpeg

Tell me about it. What do you love THAT much?

See ya tomorrow.
Have a Fabulous Friday night.

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