We had a wonderful day yesterday – the day of Bob’s 81st birthday. It started at our son’s house in Placerville where happiness definitely knocked on our door and entered in full array!
We went to church with our family at “Jesus Culture” in Folsom. We filled a row in the congregation of more than 1,500 people. It was amazing! Every seat was filled. People were standing in the aisles. The music and the message were God-inspired.
After church we visited dear, long-time friends whom we had not seen in a decade. We learned that our friend has stayed in touch with us (between years of Christmas cards) by following my Facebook posts. She doesn’t click “like” or leave a message, so I had no idea that she was one of my regular followers. When we got together, the years dissolved … and it was like we had never been apart. Do you have friends like that?
After that wonderful visit, with a delicious lunch and memorable, heart-felt, warm conversation, we returned to our son’s house where we celebrated Bob’s 81st birthday. Our daughter-in-law and granddaughter made Bob’s favorite birthday “cake,” a Jamoca-Almond-Fudge pie. Mmmm!
I pray that the happiness we feel be in your heart today. May it knock on your door, stay late, and leave the gifts of peace, love, joy and good health behind.
Psalm 90:12 (The prayer of Moses – the man of God)
“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”
80th Birthday – 2018
A year ago this day, we also were here in Placerville with our son and his family, joined by friends who came to celebrate Bob’s 80th birthday. The picture above shows Bob with the card Ty & Monika created for him using candy bars to accentuate the message.
The days between then and now find us both slowing down a bit. He finds it necessary to catch cat naps during the day more often. Outdoor chores take a toll on the back and leg muscles. Physical activities (like downhill skiing) are still fun, but hours on the slopes, taking the double diamond runs, without a break… well that’s not a good idea anymore.
How can we accept the aging process that seems to limit our energy? Well, duh … what’s the alternative? We die – or we become grumpy – or we listen to our bodies and take those breaks when the need arises! Aging gracefully means thanking God for all the things we CAN still do … and not focusing on the things we CAN’T do anymore… at least not at the speed and length of time we used to. Right?
Number our Days
We know our days are numbered… and only God has the answer. We know Jesus Christ promised He would come again and take all who believe with Him to our eternal home. Only God has the number of that day, too. So, our job is not to worry about what the numbers are, but to live fully for as long as He gives us.
That photo of Bob with our son, Ty, granddaughter, Faith, and her husband, Kyle was taken at our house in Montana last Thanksgiving.
A year ago Bob went skiing with Ty & Faith here in the Sierra Nevada mountains. This year, the crowds and the conditions caused Bob to say, “Let’s wait til we come back through in January and ski then.”
Someday Bob’s skiing may be limited to pulling our great-grandchildren on a sled in the snow… that is if we are fortunate enough to live long enough to gracefully accept the limitations that numbered days may bring!
Meantime, there are spring times and summers, autumns and early winters when the fishing is great in Ennis, Montana…
And there is always yard work that beckons him to keep the lawn trimmed, the flowers healthy, and the weeds at bay…
… and in the winter there is rarely a time when there is not snow to shovel!
We look forward to the numbered day on our ATV when we can enjoy with friends the beauty of the mountain trails above our Madison Valley.
Gain a Heart of Wisdom
Yes, looking at what we CAN do and not dwelling on the things we find more difficult to do as we add to the number of our days… that’s part of wisdom.
So is taking time daily to read God’s Word, and apply his principles to our lives.
In Psalm 90, Moses’ prayer also says, (in verse 10) “Our days may come to seventy years, or eighty, if our strength endures; yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass and fly away.”
Thank God, Bob can say, “The best of them are here and now… and with God’s blessings the best are also yet to come.”
They may quickly pass (as we age they seem to fly by more quickly with each sunrise and sunset), but we do not focus on the trouble and sorrow.
Focus on your blessings, my friends. Focus on the CANS, not the CAN’Ts!!
Enjoy each day… and look for the wisdom it contains.
Thanks for visiting JanBeek on the occasion of this wonderful 81st birthday. See ya tomorrow.
Today is the 28th birthday of my #1 grandson, Mike.
I have written a memoir titled, All My Marbles. I did it with my grandchildren in mind. I want them to understand who their grandmother is (from my inside perspective), how I met their grandfather and what our early days of marriage were like. I hope they enjoy getting a glimpse into who their great grandparents on their mom’s side of the family were, too.
In the memoir (of which I have only printed a couple rough draft copies), I devote one chapter to each of my seven grandchildren. The chapter devoted to Michael, Grandson #1, begins this way:
Let me tell you about our first grandchild, the one who was “in the hatch” when DeAna and Andre left California to live in Switzerland.
“Paaaay-shuns!!” Mikey whined. I chuckled. Standing in the tiny Swiss kitchen, heating milk to put in the plastic pouch for her toddler’s bottle, our daughter, DeAna, felt a tug on her apron. He had heard his mom say, “Patience!” so many times already in his young life. It makes me smile twenty-six years later when I think of it.
Since this is now his 28th birthday, you can see I wrote that memoir two years ago.
After taking a look back at how our daughter happened to be in Switzerland – how she and Andre’ met, etc. – I go on to tell more about Mike.
Mikey was two weeks old in December of 1992 when we arrived to visit for his first Christmas. De and Andre had a cute little apartment in Crans-Montana, a ski resort area high in the Alps above the city of Sierre where Andre and Mikey both were born. What stands out in my memory from that three-week visit are four things: 1) the joy of holding that healthy, chubby little baby, and seeing our lovely nineteen-year-old daughter as a mommy, 2) the fun of introducing Mikey to the village where he was living as we took him in his stroller through the snow to the little resort town down the mountain, 3) the luck of meeting Liz Bestenheider in a Montana boutique and introducing her to DeAna a day later or so – they would ultimately become very good friends – and 4) the love of the extended Swiss family who took us in so graciously. We had been acquainted with that extended family of Solioz/Zufferey since 1981 when our first AFS exchange student, Christian Zufferey, came to California. So in many ways it was “old home week.” But now we weren’t just related through an international organization, God had sealed us in a covenant! What a joy!
Mikey was a very easy baby. Quiet by nature, he was generally happy. He didn’t cry unless there was something really wrong. He would sit for hours in his stroller or the infant seat, content to watch patiently whatever was happening around him.
By the time we saw him on our second visit the next December, he was the toddler who was reminding himself to be PAAAY-shunt – and he was learning other words and actions that amused us. Since he was the first grandchild on both his maternal and paternal sides, adults doted on his every word, every burp, and every new action. We have a drawer full of videotapes taken of him before his brothers came along.
Mike’s been here to Montana with his brothers and his mom, but it’s been a while. Time to bring Tania and come back to Grammy & Grampy’s. In the picture above, Mike’s youngest brother and his mom (our daughter, DeAna) were here last May. It’s time for Mike to return, too. Happy Birthday, Mike!
Here he is (the one next to Bob, his Grampy) in his younger years – with his two brothers.
Have you written a memoir? Do you have grandchildren? If so, how old are yours? We wish we could see ours more often!
What do you think might be three things you need in life?
You NEED food, air and water. But do you need to impress? Is recognition one of your needs? That’s linked to that need to impress.
I found this quote some time ago and saved it. Sorry I don’t know who said or wrote it:
“To thrive in life you need three bones. A wishbone. A backbone. And a funny bone.”
I saved the wish bone from our Thanksgiving turkey! I’m waiting for the right person to share it with.
I’ve got the funny bone – carry it with me always.
Think I’ll borrow that backbone up there! (Actually mine is pretty sturdy!)
How about you?
It’s been a busy season in these six days of December so far. What have you been up to?
Today I invited a friend come to our house mid-day, and she helped me decorate our Christmas tree.. It looks great, don’t you agree?
Last night we helped my friend, Bernice, celebrate her 87th birthday. Take a look at her. Don’t you agree she could pass for 70?
This morning I baked cookies to donate to our Madison County Library. They gave them to people who came by the Library during this afternoon’s “Christmas Stroll” in Ennis.
After baking cookies, I met with our Madison County Writers’ Group – and we spent a delightful hour and a half together. We started with a “Free Write” on the topic we drew from a hat… My Favorite Season. We had 15 minutes to create an essay, poem, or some kind of reflection on the topic. This is what I wrote:
My Favorite Season
Seasons come and seasons go There are winters, summers, falls and springs; But the season that appeals most to me Is the one that stays because of what it brings.
It brings my favorite music and stunning colors. It brings loving generosity and untold joys. It prompts people throughout the world To open hearts with gifts for needy girls and boys.
The trees all sparkle with snow and lights. The houses hang wreaths and let candles glow. The bells ring out to announce the reason For my favorite season: the birth of Christ, you know?
The season brings out the best in us. It helps us open wide our arms in love To show gratitude for the gift He promises Eternal life with our God above.
After Writers’ Group, I went home to do the Christmas tree decorating before going to meet with the “Ennis Ringers.” We had our picture on the front page of the local paper this week. Can you see me front and center back row?
The Madisonian, our local newspaper published a nice article about us this week. I am first in the picture below. My bells are the smallest ones (notes of F and G ring out when I am in the right spot in the music).
I would post a video so you can hear us, but for some reason, WordPress is not allowing me to include it here. I’ve posted videos in the past, so I don’t understand the glitch.
Oh well, maybe it will let me post the video tomorrow. As the news article indicates, the “Ennis Ringers” will play again this Sunday at our church.
Yesterday I had fun at our annual Madison Valley Woman’s Club Christmas luncheon. My buddy, Lucy Ennis can be seen here in red with one of our new members who is an activities director at our local nursing home.
The ladies from the nursing home really went all out with their Christmas costumes. There’s evidence of that “Funny Bone” we all need!
Below is one of my favorite people, Bev Claussen. Her reindeer antlers light up and blink!
Remember a second bone we all need is a “Back bone.” Our Woman’s Club Executive Board is the “back bone” of this very active group of ladies. They provided a delicious lunch for the more than 50 ladies who showed up for this event. (Remember, we are a community of only 1,000 residents in Ennis – so this is quite a lively organization!).
Besides the back bone and the funny bone, we need a wish bone, right? And we need food, air and shelter. Here you see the food; earlier you saw the butterfly that adorns the air we breathe. And in my home, with the tree decorated, you witnessed my beautiful “shelter.” What about the wish bone?
Before she blew out her candles. my friend, Bernice made a wish.
I don’t know what her wish was, but I know my wishes are for you:
May you always have all the good food, clean air, and lovely shelter you need. May you always have a back bone, a funny bone, and a wish bone. And May the bells of joy ring in your land and bring you peace…