Spreading love, joy, peace, faith & unity

Posts tagged ‘Memories’

Embrace 5 Ways to Keep Long-time Friends


Bob & Victor

Victor Salazar and Bob have stayed in touch for 50 years. How has that happened?

Victor was Bob’s wrestling student when Bob coached at Hillsdale High in San Mateo, CA. back in the 1970’s. Every year at Christmas, we exchanged Christmas cards. Victor let us know where he was each year – and his career took him to over 30 different countries! What a joy to have Vic come from Alabama to reconnect with us here in Montana this week!

I have had the fun of that kind of connection with former students, too. This is Ty Stiles and his wife with Bob & me. He was my kindergarten student in 1962! I named our first child, Ty. We never let Ty Stiles out of our sphere of contact. He was in my prayers daily. He came with his wife, Roxanne, from California to visit us a few years ago. About a year after his visit, sadly, Ty left this earth for is eternal home. My memories of him and his visit warm my heart every single day as I look at the cross he welded and sent to us shortly after his visit.

There’s no greater joy
Than to reconnect with friends
From long, long ago

Look up for your purpose!
Look up to the cross
Recall its loving meaning
Embrace those friendships

5 Ways to Keep Long-time Friends

  1. Pray lovingly for them daily.
  2. Be sure to keep them in your address book and write to them often (don’t just rely on social media)
  3. Pick up the phone and talk to them, emptying yourself into them… it’s an investment. Be loyal and be confidential.
  4. Let them know how much they mean to you, but don’t force the relationship. It has to be natural. Don’t insist that the relationship is forever reciprocal. Some friendships are meant to be seasonal… and the season may last years – but maybe not. You can’t control that.
  5. Be honest and transparent with them … let them see your warts. It shows you trust them not to hurt you… and you are trustworthy in return.

Embrace Long-time Friendships
Never let those precious folks go
Keep them forever in your heart
How long we’ll be here, we can’t know

Embrace Long-time Friends
My heart’s covered with footprints.
How about your heart?

See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Being 26 Again!


Happy 26th birthday
to our new pastor
and dear friend,
Mary Grace Reynolds!

If you’ve followed my blog
for a week or more,
you have seen posts about
Mary Grace Reynolds.

For the past year and a half,
my life has been consumed
by the Pastor Nominating Committee.
The search was arduous, extensive,
long and detailed… and successful!

We reviewed over 100 Pastor Information Forms,
Followed up with phone calls, texts, ZOOMs
and reference checking on at least 40 of those.
The bottom line: We believe
Mary Grace was God’s choice for us!

Happy 26th birthday, Mary Grace!
God bless you!
Just two puffs – and all 26 candles were out!

Do you remember your 26th birthday?
Where were you?
What did you do?
What was your station in life?

1939 +26 = 1965; I was a new mom.
On this day, my baby, Ty, was 3 months old.
We were living in San Francisco –
Park Merced, near San Francisco State Univ.

I was teaching in Daly City, California.
Bob was working for Shell Oil in S.F.
Mama Fran was our babysitter –
But, I had the summer off.

Ah, to be 26 again!
What would I do differently?
I am not sure.
What would you do differently?

This was March of 1966. Ty is 11 months old!

Yes, I was 26 once upon a time.
Seems like an eternity ago.
Would I change anything if
I could go back and do it again?

Actually…
Nope!!

How about you??

Embrace Your Last Best Place


Embrace your last best place
It’s where you call your “Forever Home.”
It’s the place you’re destined to stay
When you decide to land – not roam.

“Our Last Best Place” is written on
Our Montana license plates.
It’s a motto for Bozeman,
But Ennis is our place that rates.

It rates a forever stay.
It’s where we want to be
Until it’s time to eventually
Leave for Eternity.

Our neighbors have a sign –
It says home is a collection.
It says home is a story –
One with happy recollection.

I say home is a heartfelt
Place where love is true –
A place where when you have you go there,
They always have room for you.

It’s a place where happy memories
Have seeped into the wall
And everywhere you look,
Is a story to recall.

Grandpa DeAngeles’ cheese press
(or is it an apple press – I wonder)
Reminds me of my dad who had
These treasures out in rain & thunder!

We had the piece restored
And found a grape press to match.
They sit in dining room corners –
This one came without a scratch!

If rocking chairs could talk
This would have stories galore.
Bob’s great-grandma used it
And our grandkids rocked some more.

This clock has a great history –
It hung in Bob’s mother’s school.
That was back in 1908-16
His mom was certainly no fool.

When the school house caught fire
And the kids were evacuated,
A lot of stuff ended in a pile.
His mom saved this… she was elated.

The clock is not the only thing
We inherited from our folks.
Our house is full of those memories –
Full of love and life and hopes.

The horseshoe has a history –
The mortar Dad found in Merced River does, too.
The pestle that goes with it
Has seen more than a grind or two!

The books that line the living room
Have stories – some written by friends,
And the picture from Grimentz
Has Swiss memories without ends.

I love the little angels
On tables, counters and floor.
Each one has a story
And there’s always room for more.

That first one is from Terry,
A friend who has my heart.
The next one’s from our Laina –
It’s meant for garden art.

Up in my sanctuary,
There’s an angel in a dish.
She’s playing the accordion –
And she came with a great wish:

I wish you happy memories
In this “Last Best Place” of yours.
I know you’ll live here happily,
Welcoming strangers through your doors.

It’s true, we love our Last Best Place –
And we’ve welcomed many a guest.
And we’re not through inviting them –
Come – sit with us – we’re truly blessed!

Embrace Your Last Best Place

Are you in it now?
Or do you anticipate where it will be…
the one on earth, that is…

Tell me about it!

See ya tomorrow (God willing)

Love,
JanBeek

Roy Rogers was my favorite as a kid…
And never did I imagine I’d
find a Home on the Range
where the deer and the antelope play
as my Last Best Place
someday.
Yup, antelope…. right here in my Last Best Place

Embrace Loving Memories


In Loving memory
Of my dear, only sister
All of us gathered

Many remembered
The loving kindness of her
I wrote and read this poem:

Sisters are a real treasure –
A gift from Heaven with love.
Sally shared with me a relationship
Designed by God above.

When Sally and I were little,
Mom dressed me as her twin.
People thought we really were –
But she would say, “I’m the oldest –
so I win!”

I used to blame my sis for things
When I was the culprit – clearly!
“I no pick the flaws – maybe Sally d!”
Fist full of flowers, I’d point sincerely.

She never held it against me;
Her heart was too big for grudges!
Always first to shrug nd forgive,
She didn’t need a lot of nudges.

We both joined Turlock High Band;
Played clarinet – marched in every parade.
But she preferred being treasurer –
Being sure ny dues were paid.

When God gave out number sense,
I must have hid behind the door –
Or else I missed it because my sis
Had enough for the two of us -and more!

We never really competed with each other.
She did her own thing – for sure.
A more unique soul never existed –
Cut from a loving mold – honest and pure.

She’d give you the shirt off her back
If she thought you needed one –
And she never missed a potluck –
Or any other activity with games and fun.

Her closet was quite organized
From Valentine’s to New Year’s Day.
You never had to guess the holiday –
Her clothing was the display.

After God created Sally, though,
He threw away the mold.
No one earth could match
Her heart, her style – so quirky and bold!

Sally loved her family – of that we had no doubt.
She loved her church and her yippy pups.
She adored her Lodge sisters and her scouts.
She generously gave us oregano, bee stuff, and cups.

I smile when I look at her pictures.
They tell a story of a life filled with joy.
They help me recall my sister’s love –
And be grateful – She was the Real McCoy!

Here is Sally with my grandson, Jordan. The two of them shared a December 20th birthday.

I ended my remarks at Sally’s Memorial with this scripture:

1 Kings 3:12b
“…no one like you has been before you
and no one like you shall arrive after you.”

Rest in peace, Sis.
I’ll see ya later!

And my dear blogging friends, I’ll see YOU later, too.
Bob & I will head back to Montana via Delta Airlines tonight.
Your prayers for our safe travel and smooth connections will be greatly appreciated.

Embrace Cherished Memories


Go back to your past
Embrace cherished memories
Cherish family

Yesterday we celebrated family as we gathered at our son, Ty’s place in Placerville, CA.
It was Ty’s mother-in-law, Ruthie’s birthday (behind me on the left with hubby, Darrell).
We are so blessed to have such a close, loving family! That’s my niece, Jodie,
on the right with her hubby, Bill, and son, Liam. Monika’s in back right.
Ty & our grandson, Sam are front left.

We were gathered not only to celebrate Ruthie’s birthday,
but the day before we all gathered at the cemetery
to honor the life of my sister, Sally.

Here is Sally on the right with her best friend, Bonnie Dauley, at a River Cats game.
Bonnie & many of Sally’s friends from the Sacramento area
joined our family & friends in Turlock for the lovely memorial.
It had to be postponed last December due to COVID.

It was a lovely, blue sky day. Here I am reading my poem about my sis to the gathering.
Sally’s ashes joined those of her husband and eldest daughter
in this beautiful spot where my parents’ ashes also are.

Bob & I have a “drawer” right next to this one where my parents’ ashes are.
You may think this is morbid, but I find comfort knowing
this detail is taken care of.
Do you relate?

Ty introduced the various speakers who remembered the best qualities of my sis.
The remarks helped solidify for us all what a unique person Sally was.
She was very devoted to her Rebekah and Odd Fellows Lodges,
so those organizations were well represented in the service.

Sally’s daughter (my niece, Jodie) has a best friend, Melissa,
who came from Utah to celebrate and honor the memory of Sally DeAngeles Butters.
Melissa has been Jodie’s best friend since early high school days.
What a blessing best buddies are!

My best CA buddy, Marcie, invited us to stay at her place –
and had a mini-class of ’57 gathering the night before the service.
What a joy to see my old high school buddies!
I was so busy enjoying them, I didn’t take any pictures that night.
Amazing!

Here’s Marcie out on her patio.
And below there is Bob… enjoying the beautiful California sunshine.

After the service, Jodie & Bill invited everyone to lunch at El Jardin in Turlock.
It was great food, and a wonderful opportunity for family and friends to connect.

Marcie & Ty with Monika’s parents and Bob’s brothers & sisters-in-law.
Below are three of my cousins, Jan DeAngelis Jones, Maria DeAngelis, and Leni Assali.
I had not seen them in waaaay too long!
(behind Jan is Tim Allen, who enhanced the ambiance with his music)

Jodie, me & Melissa… so good to have time together!

For dessert, we remembered my sister’s love of holidays
with cupcakes decorated with all her favorite days.

Wasn’t that a clever idea?

Before returning here to Ty’s in Placerville,
we stopped by my cousin,
Adrian’s in Modesto,
for more visiting time.

Adrian DeAngelis

Leni Assali & Laura DeAngelis

God bless Jodie & Bill!
They worked so hard to make this a memorable occasion –
One that honored my sister’s memory
and will live in our memories
for as long as we live.

We wish our daughter, DeAna, and her hubby Andre’ could have been here –
but they are in Switzerland. Too far to come … and they are busy with their restaurant right now.
But the picture above is De & Andre’ with Ty & Monika two years ago.
You can see they enjoy one another’s company!
My hope is that someday Ty & Monika can go to Vissoie
to visit De & Andre’ and their gorgeous Swiss Auberge.

Sante’, my friends.
Thank you for visiting JanBeek today
and sharing this important family time with me vicariously.
Today is more chance to spend time here in CA with loved ones.
We will have two of my other grandchildren
plus my sweet great-granddaughter,
Cosette, joining us today.

I hope you have a blessed weekend.
What are you planning to do?

Cheers!
See ya tomorrow (God willing)!
Love, Jan

Embrace Going Home!


Today we went to Bob’s old homestead.

This property on Geer Road in Hughson, CA
(just north of Turlock) is where Bob grew up.
His mom & dad started the Beekman Honey business
when Bob was a kid.
His mom moved to this place
from Pasadena when she was a small child.

Now Bob’s brother, Bruce, and his wife, Ann, have the place.
They have made so many improvements,
including the change of the old “Rumpus Room”
into a Honey and Wine Tasting Room.

The old windmill still stands,
and the hollyhocks that Bob’s mom planted
are thriving.
The bees love them!
Ah yes, this smells and feels like home!!

The Ranch is home to about 9 cats with nine lives each!
They all came to greet us when we arrived!

Out in the field Bruce & Ann have planted lavender.
It is a popular commodity in the Honey Tasting Room
along with other items such as honey-scented soaps,
various honey samples, and bee related items.

That house below – beyond the lavender field –
is where our daughter, De, and her husband, Andre’,
lived when they were first married.
Ah, memories!

Back at Bruce & Ann’s home,
which is just a quarter of a mile
through the almond trees from the bee ranch,
their oak tree has grown so large,
it hides the house
as you approach it from the driveway.
And the almond trees in the driveway are laden with nuts!!

But, as you get closer, you see the beautiful home –
And behind the house, the landscaping pulls you in!

It’s a gorgeous day here.
Wanna join me for a swim?
I’m outta here.
Too pretty to be at my computer.

See ya tomorrow. (God willing)
Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Storytelling


Don’t let your stories
Die inside you when you’re gone
Let stories out now

We are headed to California to spend time with our son and his family and with Bob’s brother and his family.

With my niece and her family, we will have the Memorial Service for my sister that had to be cancelled last December. My niece wants me to say a little about my sis at the memorial service. Where do I begin? Where do I stop? How do I choose? There is so much to tell.

That picture of the two of us was taken 30 years ago at my daughter’s wedding. It brings back so many memories!

There is Sally with her two nephews and two nieces (our son’s children)… taken when the youngest two were around 8 years old. They are 25 now! I could write a book about my sister’s affection for holidays and the joy she got out of dressing up for each one of them. Her closet – full of clothes – was arranged according to holidays!

I don’t have to tell you what time of year this was! She and GiGi (or was that MeMe?) were headed to celebrate with us. Life with Sally was one celebration after the next. Lordy! Don’t let the stories die with her. Keep them alive!

Let those stories out
Just Embrace Storytelling!
Share more tomorrow…

Lord help the mister
Who comes between me and my sister
And Lord help the sister
Who comes between me and my man…
(or something like that… hah!)
We never had that trouble!

… but isn’t that a cute song?

Embrace Memorial Day


Memorial Day is an American holiday, observed on the last Monday of May, honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. … Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971.

I went to our Madison Valley Cemetery this morning. The grave sites of veterans were marked by American flags. Many of the tombstones were freshly decorated for this important holiday. Come visit with me – and let’s honor the memories of our brave military ancestors.

The music at the end of this blog is so beautiful, you may want to scroll down there, click on it, and listen as you view the rest of this post.

Only in Montana might you find a gravestone decorated with a set of antlers!

The Daems memorial was especially meaningful to me. Doris was a friend of mine here in Ennis who was a faithful volunteer with the Women’s Club as well as the Madison Valley Manor and at the Medical Center. What a wonderful lady! Her 86 year-old brother and 90 year-old sister were there today to honor her memory as well as the many veterans.

Doris Daems served her country, too…
here at home in so many ways!

It was a beautiful blue sky day. A memorial service brought many people from our area out to this beautiful cemetery today… an opportunity to honor those brave men and women whose blood was spilled on the battlefields so we might enjoy the freedoms we have today.

If you were given the opportunity to select the 3 words to go on your tombstone to describe who you are, what words would you choose? Gene Wilkins was known as “Doc” here in Ennis… “Healer” was a perfect word for him!

Two of my words would probably be “Mother” and “Grammy” – A third word would need to be “Wife” since that identifies 60 years of my life. Although I was a teacher, a principal, and a district office administrator for 36 years, I think I’d have to choose “Child of God” or “Friend” before I’d call attention to my professional career. But, I don’t know what I’d do if I had to limit it to just three. How about you?

Here’s a wife, mother, daughter, sister,
grandmother, and friend.
Melissa’s family couldn’t limit it
to just three descriptors!

Would you include “Hero” for a description? How about pets, would they be part of your cemetery memorabilia? I’d like an angel by mine… (my maiden name is DeAngeles – and angels are a big part of my world!)

Some of the tombstones were decorated in very special ways, but a simple stone flush with the ground with letters worn away by time and weather intrigued me a lot. Who was that veteran? Is his/her family still in this area?

Thank you for your service, nameless one!

Rest in peace, dear ones. May your service to our country never be taken for granted!

God bless you, dear friends.
May your life be a long, happy one
and may you leave a legacy
that inspires your grandchildren.

Happy Memorial Day!

See ya tomorrow.
Love, JanBeek

Embrace Mothers


Me n Mom

Happy Mother’s Day to our moms!
Whether they are alive or dead,
They live daily in our thoughts –
Either lovingly or with dread.

Some folks weren’t as lucky
As I feel I was born to be.
I had a strong-willed mother
Who passed her strength on down to me.

Mom & Dad

Mom moved from her home in Washington
To marry my handsome Italian dad.
She spent her life in central California.
Musta made her mother rather sad.

Mom raised me and my sis, Sally,
To learn to stand on our own two feet.
From day one we were taught to know
School wasn’t done ’til college was complete.

She was born fifth of six children –
And her dad died when she was a teen.
College wasn’t an option for her, but for sure
Her girls would experience that scene!


Sally, Dad, Mom & me

Sally went to Jr. College and Brigham Young.
I graduated from University of Pacific (UOP).
Mom was pleased as punch to know –
If I needed to, I could take care of me!

She and Dad were great supporters
Of Bob & me their whole lives through.
I couldn’t have asked for better folks.
I hope you can say the same about you.

Dad Mom, Bob & me
That’s me with Mom, Sally & our daughter, De –
behind us is Dave Butters,
Sally’s husband who died way too young.
Mom’s selfie

Mom took selfies with a smile
Long before digital cameras and internet.
If she was alive today, she’d post ’em daily
And she’d have a huge following – you bet!

Today’s the day for us to remember
Our moms – and conjure up some joy
As we recall their better selves –
and set aside all thoughts that annoy!

I must remember no one’s perfect,
And I just hope when I’m dead and gone,
Our children will recall my better self,
And set aside times I was a moron!

I hope my kids will say,
“My mom was the Bee’s Knees”
and laugh at any bitterness
while remembering only the honey!

Happy Mother’s Day!
Embrace your Mothers today
(for real – or in your memories).
They did (or are doing) the best they could!!

Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Haibun


There are days when it seems harder than others to put on a happy face, don’t you agree? I don’t have a lot of those, so when I do, they usually are memorable.

I remember one such day when my dad was out of sorts. He was a business owner. Not the typical image of a “business owner” that comes to mind when you hear that description. His business was a Tallow Works. Do you know what that is? It’s a place that picks up dead animals from farmers and ranchers and meat scraps from butcher shops. All parts of those animals and scraps are processed. It’s a smelly business.

It’s devastating
Beloved animals die
Someone hauls them off

This is called a Haibun. It is a brief couple of paragraphs of prose, followed by a Haiku that adds dimension to the prose!

Oh, Lordy, Lordy!! My blog is supposed to share love, joy, peace, faith, and unity. How I got off on a kick of wanting to share various forms of poetry is all Dwight Roth’s fault! Blame him! He tried my Shadorma poetry and invited me to try his Haibun.

https://rothpoetry.wordpress.com/2021/04/08/on-fire/

But he can’t be blamed for my morbid Haibun and photo today. My mind just went there after reading a post by someone who was recalling a sadness from their childhood. That day when Dad and I went to pick up a dead horse sticks in my memory because the horse was a child’s pet. It wasn’t like one of a herd of beef cattle or some old cow that got into the clover field, ate too much, bloated, and bit the dust!

My experiences with my dad, riding with him on weekends as we went to various farms to pick up the dead animals, usually were not sad times. I treasured one-on-one time with Daddy, and I was happy to get that time under whatever circumstances! The death of animals didn’t seem morbid to me. It was just part of the cycle of life! You know – like egg to tadpole, froglet to frog!

But on that particular Saturday, the animal’s young owner was there, crying as Dad hauled her beloved horse into the truck and we drove away. The horse did not represent the cycle of life. It was too young, and so was its owner! That was a day when it was harder to put on a happy face, you know?

This weekend Bob & I are headed to my brother-in-law’s funeral. He was 86. He led a good life. He was a believer who knew where he was headed when he left this earth. But, he had just had a knee replacement – just a week before – and he thought he had a lot of years left to enjoy the greater mobility that knee would give him. However, it is not our privilege to count our days!

Dying is, indeed, part of the cycle of life!

“Everyone who lives
and believes in me
will never die.
Do you believe this?”

— John 11:26

S’pose that horse and sweet little girl will be reunited in Heaven?

It’s the life cycle
Beloved animals die
Are they in Heaven?

Bye for now.
See ya tomorrow –
God willing!

JanBeek

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