How many setbacks Has life tossed your way? Have they made you stronger And more confident today?
What kinds of setbacks Add quality to your life? Do you gain ultimate happiness By walking through major strife?
What constitutes a setback? Loss of a job, death of a spouse, Disappointment at a missed goal? Losing a bid on your dream house?
How do setbacks make us stronger? COVID-19 is a world-wide setback. Will this pandemic make us better? Will it teach us the compassion we lack?
We are one… We all have setbacks… We need to reach out to one another… We need to help one another – pull each other up – And be sure this setback teaches us the lessons we need to learn. What are they?
There I am in the top-middle – happily holding my two bells, ready to practice with the Ennis Bell Ringers. This photo was taken last December before all this COVID-19 pandemic was known. We learned a series of songs to play at a Christmas concert, and were set to start learning patriotic songs so we could give a concert here in Ennis on the 4th of July. And all of a sudden, everything was cancelled. You know the feeling.
I sing in our church choir, too… and those practices had to be cancelled.
I volunteered (past tense) at our Senior Center as a sous chef, and at our local hospital as a receptionist one day a week. Those opportunities to serve were cancelled.
singing with the choir
playing with the bell ringers
volunteering as a sous chef
volunteering to work one day a week at our local hospital
visiting my friends at the local nursing home
having neighborhood parties
hugging my friends
the carefree safety of flying to California or Pennsylvania or Switzerland to be with my children and their families, my sis and my niece
the freedom to shake hands with people I meet
and so much more…
I am grateful that we live where we do because here in the Madison Valley of Montana, we still are able to:
go four-wheeling in the mountains with friends in the wide-open spaces
attend church services outside on the lawn
hug one another (Bob & me… thank God!)
wear a mask and socially distance at CostCo or our local grocery store to do our shopping
interact with family and friends using the internet… here’s my sister in her last FaceTime meeting with her daughter and grandson (a real smile – yay!)
We still can hop in the car and go to see the beautiful scenery around us. In places up high, there still is snow on the ground!
And thanks to the internet, friends who go to visit Yellowstone Park can send pictures of the bison – and we can enjoy the sights they see vicariously!
So, instead of focusing on what I miss, I guess I should look at the joys we still can enjoy, right? My grandson, Mike, in Switzerland, went to a friend’s wedding last weekend – and he sent me a lovely picture of him with his darling girlfriend, Tania. I miss seeing him in person and meeting his friend in person, but I am grateful that he reaches out to me and that he sent this terrific photo:
They have those same beautiful mountains there – even prettier – that we have here in Montana. See them behind the couple? The Alps are pretty spectacular! And of course, you noticed that foot that’s stuck in the photo there, right? Someone’s having fun. I can feel the joyfulness, can’t you?
What is it that you are missing? And what are you grateful for today? Tell me!
See ya tomorrow. Love ya…. thanks for visiting JanBeek
Bee kind to yourself – You are a special person. You “moose” treat yourself with love.
Bee kind to yourself – Wrap yourself in perkiness. Smile in the mirror.
Bee kind to yourself – Find the most perfect head wrap. Wrap yourself in love.
There’s where I found those beautiful head wrap pictures. I may have to “Shop Now” to find that perky, beautiful fabric. Will you teach me to tie it that way? Will they make me a gorgeous as those lovely ladies?
Bee kind to yourself – Hug your sweetheart every day. Don’t let life skunk you!
Bee kind to yourself – And share your love with others. Reach out to loved ones.
With today’s virus, Social distancing’s a must. Don’t let it stop you!
Sharing’s essential – And loneliness is rampant. Kindness is two-way!
Share kindness with friends. ‘Cuz what you give blesses you. Imitate Jesus!
Kindness lifts others. Just as Jesus lifts you up, Imitate His love!
Be kind to yourself – Go find a beautiful spot, And share it today.
Julie and Lisa Shared with each other the view And walk in the park.
Beauty’s more lovely When shared with one another. Who might walk with you?
Or who might visit, Enjoy the flowers and porch? Reach out to someone.
Let your love brighten The life of those around you. Be kind to them, too.
Share your gorgeous views And notice how your love shines And kindness returns.
Love and prayers sending your way. Bee well … Bee Safe … Bee Kind!
What did you do to “Bee Kind” to yourself or others today? (Or what do you plan to do?) Live intentionally.
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
Baby robins often hover Near the nest that was their home. Soon they’ll spread their wings And farther they will roam.
Like those little robins, Our children need to fly – Spread their wings and explore The vastness of the sky.
But in this COVID world, We’ve lost the freedom to soar. Our children may be caught Somewhere – longing for more.
If you’ve followed my blog for a year or more, you’ve met this young couple before. They are my grandson, Chris, from Switzerland, and the love of his life, Natalia, who lives in Colombia. Just before this pandemic hit us, Chris traveled to Colombia to meet his on-line girlfriend and her family in person. Now, the two must tuck in their wings and live with the limitations again of on-line romance. Neither is free to travel and face-to-face with the other.
When they were 2 and 4, this brother-sister duo joined our family. Hope Morgan and Samuel Leland were in foster care and God knew they needed to be Beekmans! Now Hope lives here – only a hour from us in Big Sky – and Samuel (who has special needs) had been living happily in a group home near Sacramento. They are now in their late 20’s.
Hope has two of our three great-grandchildren.
Samuel, in the group home, has been in a quarantine mode since this pandemic hit. Life is pretty empty when you can’t go out – and you can’t have visitors. Some of you may know the feeling. Family Connections are SO important!
Years ago, when the grandchildren were teens, we would often drive or fly to be together as a family. Now the family is spread out over several states and even across into Europe. Family Connections are sooo important to us! We live in Montana, and this group shot was taken at a gathering in California.
In the picture above you see (l to r) nephew Zak, Samuel, Bob’s sister Bonnie, her husband Stan, sister-in-law Ann beside Bob’s brother, Bruce, granddaughter Faith with her sister Hope (I’m between them), Bob, grandson Jordan, and behind him – daughter-in-law Monika (mom of Sam, Jordan, Hope & Faith) and lastly, Bob’s sister-in-law Marge. I think our son, Ty was taking the picture.
Yes, Family Connections are important to all of us!!
Gathering the Flock
When will we be able to gather the flock again? Is there a foreseeable end to this isolation?
Ty and Monika were so concerned about Sam and his isolation in the group home that they went yesterday to get him. He is now living back in the nest! God bless them for responding to the felt need!
Returning to the Nest
Sam may not be able to hug friends and visit up close during this pandemic, but at least from his home, he has his parents to hug, and he can see friends from a safe social distance. He is no longer isolated. Social connections are so important to our mental and physical health!
So, unlike the robin parents, We are free to go and rescue. Thank you, Ty and Monika, For returning Sam to the nest and to you!
God bless you!
Have a Happy Weekend. I hope you have opportunities to make Family Connections. Tell me about them!
Usually a person who sees the glass full, not just half-full, and seldom empty, this COVID-19 is getting to me. A friend wrote a poem called a QUADRILL. I decided to use its format to vent.
Quadrille – 44 words –
All the world seems blue Sadly holding its breath Some behind masks Some behind fear Some behind doors All afraid to breathe Lest virus droplets lurk Hanging in the air Waiting to land And infect Particularly blue Are the young Socialization matters Sooo Much
Reach out across the blue. Connect. We need one another.
What are you up to on this Tuesday, the last day in June? What a month this has been, huh?
I had to have a COVID-19 test before I was authorized to have my surgery today.
It really was a test with a swab that tickled my sinuses. Results were negative.. so the surgery is a go.
A robot guided by my very capable doctor is going to repair a hernia that’s about the size of a golf ball – it’s right in the front of my mid-section. Surgery is at 12:45 PM. I have to be at the hospital by 11:00 AM.
I don’t expect any trouble. But, just in case there are unexpected glitches, I have my positive mind-set all primed.
And while I am paying special attention to #5 above, looking for some fun in the midst of all this, I am also focusing on #8 and all the ways I am grateful for the ability to get this fixed before it grows and gets worse.
Friends have come by in anticipation of our needs tomorrow when we get home. They have brought us with soup, biscuits, Brownies, muffins, and lots of love and prayers. Our pastor came by to pray with me… and family have texted and called. I feel wrapped in love! I have so much to be thankful for!
So, off we go… Headed for Bozeman…
I’ll see you tomorrow with a report on what’s up (or out). Thanks for your love and prayers. God is good. He’s got me covered! Hugs, JanBeek
… but they need to stay out there! No, Annie, don’t come down our driveway!
Yesterday we had a beautiful bed of red petunias in our wheelbarrow…
This morning the blossoms were gone! See that chewed off stem there? Darn those antelope! My attitude toward them today is not very loving.
Fortunately, they left the geraniums alone.
And they don’t seem interested in the columbine…
…or these sweet yellow ones ( I think they’re lilies).
So, while I may be dismayed over the loss of our petunia blossoms, I still have reason to be happy, right?
I found a new book yesterday. It’s a type of journal. I’m going to have fun with it:
I don’t have much to stress over, besides stray, hungry antelope, but life always throws us curves, right? It’s always a challenge to stay calm when trouble strikes, and achieving balance is a constant pursuit for me.
So the topics in this little book caught my eye… especially the “Stay Positive” and “Dream.”
Yes! One way to be happy and find joy in life is to dream. Live in the NOW, but never stop dreaming about a better tomorrow.
I signed up for Bob Goff’s “Dream Big” Workshop. Do you have big dreams? You’re never too old to dream big, you know. At age 80 and 81, Bob & I find that our dreams keep life moving forward!
I am dreaming of a trip in the spring of 2021 to Switzerland to visit our daughter and her family.
I dream of the day when it will be safe to travel, to freely socialize, and to gather with friends again to enjoy our pastimes.
What pastime lifts your soul? I love writing (can’t you tell?) and your responses to my daily posts lift my soul.
I also love music 🎶 – both listening to it – as well as playing my accordion and playing in the bell choir.
I enjoy playing for friends at our Madison Valley Nursing Home, however with this pandemic, they are off-limits now. But they are safe… no cases of COVID-19 there. Keep looking at the bright side. Thank God for their health and ours!
We can’t gather as a group to practice our bells right now. But, think positively! This pandemic can’t last forever! I pray daily for a vaccine or an effective treatment.
Think Can’s – Not Can’ts
Don’t dwell on the “can’ts”… Concentrate on the “cans!”
I CAN enjoy this beautiful day and go for a walk with TazE in Lion’s Club Park along the gorgeous Madison River.
I CAN meet new friends, chat with this adorable little girl, get acquainted with her mom, and keep social distance at the same time.
Lion’s Club Park has this great little lake where kids can fish and keep ’em. Our Madison River is a “Catch and Release” only. Today the fish were jumping. I CAN enjoy this beautiful day!!
I CAN visit with my family in Switzerland via social media. Thank God for the internet! We got to share Andre’s birthday with him via the computer. Doesn’t his smile make you smile?
Happy Birthday, Andre’
Heck, when Bob and I were dating back in the 50’s, and he was stationed in Germany, it took two weeks to get a letter to him… and another two weeks to get a response. No such thing as computers – and phone calls were too expensive!
Think of how blessed we are today! Instant communication!
Back home, the lawn is mowed. The grass is going to green up again because the automatic sprinklers will water it and the sun is shining to encourage it. Thank you, Bob, for your work on the mower yesterday. (Don’t you love his creative designs?)
Today Bob is out fishin’ … Summertime, and the livin’ is easy! Fish are bitin’ and the …
How does that song go? Let me leave you singing it.