Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘Memories’

When I first told my family…


We were having one of my favorite meals, spaghetti with meat sauce, when I first told my family that I had broken up with my fiance’. My dad nearly choked on his mouthful. My mom shoved her plate of spaghetti half-way across the table!

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on Pexels.com

To this day, I can’t eat spaghetti with meat sauce without remembering that day.

My fiance’ and I had been engaged for about a year. He was in the army, stationed in Germany. I was a senior in college, missing the social life, trying to remain true to my engagement. I wanted to attend the school’s dances and other social functions. It was hard!

Rather than being untrue to my boyfriend who was so far away (we had not seen each other in six months), I broke off with him. Obviously, my parents were devastated. Especially when they learned the guy I wanted to date was a divorce’.

“Why buy a used car when you can have a new one?” my dad finally spoke. Then he got up and walked out of the room. (Yes, Dad was a man of few words, but a list of prejudices a mile long!)

Mom followed him, without speaking a word. That was so unlike her.

Proverbs 6: 20-23

20 My son, obey your father’s commands,and don’t neglect your mother’s instruction. 21 Keep their words always in your heart. Tie them around your neck. 22 When you walk, their counsel will lead you. When you sleep, they will protect you. When you wake up, they will advise you. 23 For their command is a lamp and their instruction a light; their corrective discipline is the way to life.

The man I broke up with was from a family very much like my own. He grew up in the same area I did. We shared common roots. My parent and his got along wonderfully. The man I wanted to date was nine years older than I. I won’t get into why he was so attractive to me, but suffice to say, my parents’ dismay touched me deeply.

They let me have my “fling.” They did not bad-mouth my new friend. But when my ex-boyfriend came home on leave, they invited him over. When I returned home from college that weekend, he was there. I realized how much I loved him. That love has carried us through 58 years of marriage. Not always perfect, not always blissful, but always respectful, and always knitted together in prayer, faith in God, and common purpose. The love has grown as years passed – and I am grateful every day for my parents’ wisdom.

Put a plate of spaghetti and meatballs in front of me. I can taste the kindness of my parents in every meatball. I can hear my mom’s silence and feel her prayers in every slurp of pasta. I feel my dad’s concern about age differences and divorce. I keep their love in my heart with every Italian meal! God bless ’em!!

Today at d’Verse we are trying a new form of poetry. Synesthesia is a neurological phenomenon in which stimulation of one sense leads to automatic, involuntary experiences of a second one.   There are over 80 types of synesthesia described by science.   Nearly every combination of sensory experiences or cognitive concepts is possible.

Seeing music as colors is one form of synesthesia. Perceiving letters as personalities is another one, or seeing numbers in color. Even hearing colors or touching smells.

How about tasting memories?
Do you have any of those?

Photo by Ali Nafezarefi on Pexels.com

This post is a combination prompt: 1) My Madison Valley Writers’ Group Prompt was the title of the blog, and 2) the d’Verse prompt informed the style and content. It’s not poetry… but it may qualify as Synesthesia. What do you think?

My Italian Daddy and me

See ya tomorrow.
Thanks for visiting
JanBeek

Memories


Susan Hardwick & Phyllis Wasick

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.

Rest in peace, dear Phyllis.
I’ll love you forever!

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

A Day to Remember


This is a day to remember –
Remember the lives lost on 9-11-2001.
Remember the heroes who risked –
Risked their own lives to save others.

Today is a day to acknowledge
We as a nation are not impenetrable.
I used to think we were;
I used to think wars were someplace else.

Now I know wars rage right here.
Wars rage in our hearts and homes.
Wars rage on our streets.
Wars don’t need tanks and guns.

Wars are acts of hatred and violence
Against those we wish to oppress.
Wars rage where love is absent.
Love is the only way to douse wars.

So today, remember the feeling
Of fright and disbelief – – – the horror.
Remember how we came together
Joined hands as a nation to help.

And let’s do it again!
Let’s join hands to save our souls.
Let’s reach out to heal our wounds.
Let’s just love one another.

Never forget 9-11
Never let it happen again!

Revisit HodgePodge on Tuesday


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:

  • jumble
  • mishmash
  • collection
  • combination
  • medley
  • miscellany
  • potpourri
  • melange

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.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com
A hodgepodge of meats

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!

You can’t fix stupid. Don’t even try…
unless it’s YOU!!
Then get some help…
But God says we gotta LOVE everybody!
So, cover those unused socket holes!!
One of my blogging friends wrote a comment this week.
She said to me, “You’re a mess!”
Should I laugh or be insulted?
You have four choices for how to survive this virus:
champ, chump, clump, or chimp.
What will it be?

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:

Derrick’s peach rose
Magnificent!!
Derrick’s Mamma Mia
Amazing!!
Derrick’s gladiolas
I love ’em!
Derrick’s California Poppy –
My favorite.

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!!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
The Cougar… our mascot

And the HodgePodge Continues…

Cord and Ruby

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.

Vissoie, Switzerland

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!!

A Puuurfect Ending

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.

See ya tomorrow.
Love,
JanBeek

Future Cuddles


(The poem below was written on my flight back to CA after some 4: AM cuddles with my newborn grandson in Switzerland two and a half decades ago)

Two fellow bloggers wrote yesterday about their grandchildren – and how this pandemic has taken away their ability to visit and hug them. It reminded me of this poem I wrote 26 years ago… and how much I miss my hugs and cuddles with my grandkids (and the three great-grandchildren). I decided to repost my poem and give you an updated picture of my three Swiss grandsons.

Here’s Nicky, the 26 year old for whom “The 4 o’clock Cuddle” was written. I seemed to know even when he was a newborn that someday he would have a “bearded cheek!” Hah!

The Four O’Clock Cuddle

Recalling our precious time together,
I wonder about
Future four o’clock cuddles.
Who will be there
In a decade or three?
Where will your bearded cheek
Nuzzle in four decades?

Will your big, round eyes
Remain innocent,
And your heart remain pure,
And with perfect trust,
Will you find the world
Always loves you
As I do?

Wrap your fingers
Around carefully chosen thumbs,
My dear grandson.
The world is yours,
But here
There will always be
A four o’clock cuddle.

Nicky is in the middle of this adorable picture of my three Swiss grandsons today.
Ah yes, a photo only a Grammy could call ADORABLE” … It’s a kiddie pool in the back of Nick’s new house that he’s sharing with two or three buddies in Switzerland. Here he is flanked by his brothers: Mike (28) and Chris (24)… Oh Lordy! I miss them!!

What kind of cuddles are you missing these days?
Tell me about ’em!!

See ya tomorrow.
Love,
JanBeek

150-year-old Church


Back in the mid-1800’s, the land for this church was deeded to the Methodist- Episcopal Church of Madison County. Sometime in the 1860s, around the time of the Montana Gold Rush, this wonderful church was built on the property.

McAllister, Montana

History of the Church

“Brother Van” served as a traveling preacher/minister and had people from miles around come to worship here in the 1850s through to early 1900s.

Sometime in the mid-1900s, the Methodist Church and the Presbyterian Church traded properties from the Ruby Valley to the Madison Valley. As the story goes, there were not enough folks in each valley to support both a Presbyterian and a Methodist church in such close proximity to one another. (These denominations are so close in theology and worship practices!) So, this church building joined the Presbyterian family while the Ruby Valley Presbyterian Church became a Methodist worship center.

Use of the Church Today

The church has no running water, but it does have electricity. Once a year, in early September, the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church in Ennis holds services out there in the McAllister Church. Porta-potties are brought in. And it is a challenge to provide coffee and goodies for fellowship in this waterless place! But, the service always is a memorable experience.

Looking at the front of the worship center
Looking toward the back (Bob in doorway)
On the side wall… notice the picture; here’s a close-up of it:
Precious picture!
When we first came here about 15 years ago, this pump organ actually worked. I wonder what it would take to get it operational again?
Isn’t this a grand old stove? It’s in the kitchen behind the pulpit area. I wonder how they cooked here with no water? Must have had a well outside, you think?
There is a place out this back door where it looks like a well once was.

Future of the Church

Last week we had wind gusts up to 62 mph here in the Madison Valley. A few of the roof pieces blew off in the storm. So, we were out here yesterday with a roofer, getting a bid on what it would cost to repair or replace it.

Seeing the trucks on the property, several neighbors, new to the area, came to check it out. It’s a curiosity for those who have never been inside, and they were glad to be invited in.

This dear gentleman, new to Montana, even offered to help with the roofing project. We hope he retires soon from his home in California and moves with his family to our “Paradise on Earth” full time so we can become better acquainted – and take him up on the offer to help.

Donnie – my new friend!

Meeting New people

Do you enjoy meeting new people as much as I do? Donnie is a firefighter in California. He and his wife have built a home in those mountains you see behind him there. Welcome to Montana, Donnie! Nice meeting you!

I hope Donnie and his wife, Cheryl, will come and visit us… you, too, my friends.
We have an “open door” policy. Come and enjoy this “Big Sky Country” with us.

Birthday and Anniversary


And by the way,
Happy Birthday today to my dear son-in-law in Switzerland,
Andre’ Solioz…
and De & Andre’s anniversary is tomorrow.
Wish we could be there to help them celebrate!

That’s me kissing Andre’ !!
Happy Anniversary tomorrow to my dear daughter, DeDe, and her fun-loving hubby!

Have a wonderful Saturday.

I hope YOU have a lovey-dovey day, too…
Enjoy it, wherever you are!!

Hope you enjoyed those photos of our wonderful old church.
Do you have old buildings in your area
that are worthy of preservation?

I bet some of you have places
that make an 1800s church
look like it’s
NEW!!

Have a wonderful Saturday.

Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
See ya tomorrow.

He Left Us


He Left Us

He left us his roses and hydrangeas,
and his garden with zucchini,
but he forgot to take the old wheelbarrow,
and he forgot the bocci ball court.
He left his mother’s crucifix on my wall,
his watch in the top dresser drawer,
the Balsamic vinegar in the cupboard,
but he forgot to take his Gallo Burgundy.
He left in each of us his love of family,
his teary-eyed sentimentality, and he left
the aches and pains of his earthly body,
but he forgot to take his spray paint, and
his love of convertibles with the top down.
He left the wife he loved so faithfully,
the family and neighbors who miss him so,
and the unconditional love; but he
forgot the collection of nude calendars,
and he forgot to take his twinkle.
I know – I have it!

I thank God that my daddy and I had such a wonderful relationship. I am so grateful for Dad’s unconditional love and warm hugs. This photo was taken in the early 1960s when I was in college… home for Father’s Day weekend.

And here is my dad with Mom, “the wife he loved so faithfully,” at their 30th anniversary, back in 1968. Can you see the twinkle is his eye? He and Mom were married for nearly 60 years before he died in 1998.

Happy Father’s Day to my dear hubby, Bob, father of our children, Ty & DeAna. In this photo, he was enjoying a day out on the Madison River last year on Father’s Day weekend. The weather prevented us from getting out today, but the fish are waiting. We’ll get out there soon.

Happy Father’s Day to all you dads out there.
How will you spend YOUR day?

In another couple decades, when Bob & I leave this earth,
his poem will look far different from my dad’s.
Parts may be the same, because
he will leave his unconditional love
in the hearts of all who know him, but
other parts will be quite a contrast:
no Gallo Burgundy for him!
And he won’t leave his Runquist Wines behind… no way!!
It will all have been consumed…

Cheers, my friends!
(Sante’ – as we “prost” in Switzerland)

Enjoy your Father’s Day.
See ya tomorrow.
Hugs, JanBeek

Where the Deer and the Antelope Play


What did you do today?

We spent the day in Bozeman, Montana. Bob & I had much-overdue dental appointments to get our teeth cleaned. Then we did our grocery shopping, bought a tree to plant at our church where a tree died and needs to be replaced, and then had “linner” (lunch + dinner) before heading home.

It was a rainy drive home.

rainy drive home.JPG

Got rainier as time went by.

Raindrops on window.JPG

When we arrived home, our neighborhood antelope were there to greet us.

Bob w antelope in field.JPG

Look carefully – there’s mama antelope followed by her two babies in the field.

Yesterday I watched them out my living room window.

antelope doe w 2 babies.jpg

A second antelope joined them. She has little ones, too, but they weren’t with her. Probably hiding in the grasses – not too far off.

2 does w 2 baby antelope.jpg

It is such fun to watch them.

A Fun Place to Live

In the picture below, our house is behind those trees… a wonderland for birds – and a haven for us. That field on the left is where the antelope were today.

Home - golden field -Mallards Roost.JPG

Isn’t it fun to live in a neighborhood where the deer and the antelope play? You know that song, right? Home on the Range, a favorite from my childhood.

“Home, home on the range,
Where the deer and the antelope play,
Where seldom is heard a discouraging word,
And the skies are not cloudy all day.”

Sing it with Roy and me:

Do You Remember Roy Rogers?

You may be too young to remember this cowboy – or you’re living in a different part of the world. Roy Rogers was my favorite when I was a child back in the 1940s. As a real treat, my sister and I would go to the Saturday matinee at the little theater in Newman, California. I loved Roy Rogers even more than the Micky Mouse, Bugs Bunny, and Popeye cartoons! That’s really saying something.

Roy’s sidekick was Trigger, his beautiful palomino. His wife, Dale Evans, was his singing partner. As a child, I was sure Dale Evans would grow old and die – but Roy Rogers would never grow old. And after is wife died, then I intended to marry him!

Did you ever have childhood fantasies like I did?

Photo by Donald Tong on Pexels.com

Did you dress up and pretend to be a princess when you were a child? Or did you imagine yourself to be Roy Rogers’ wife and ride away into the wild blue yonder?

Photo by Brett Sayles on Pexels.com

Well, if you dreamed of being a princess on a horse riding off into the wild, blue yonder, come to Montana. This is the place where such dreams come true!

Join us where the deer and the antelope play!

Hope you had a good day.
Tell me about it...
or share a childhood fantasy.


See ya tomorrow.
Hugs, JanBeek

Life is Like a Teeter-Totter


Image

Remembering Back

I first posted this poem back in 2012 on this JanBeek blog. I have revived it today because most of you were not my followers to see this back 8 years ago!

In 1991 I wrote a poem for my mom to wish her a Happy Birthday. With the framed poem, I gave her the ceramic teeter-totter you see pictured above.

The piece is a wind-up music box that plays “Playmates” as the little mice go up and down. She always had the poem and music box with her the next fourteen years as she was in and out of hospitals, rehab facilities, and nursing homes. When she died, I inherited them – and I treasure the memories they bring to mind.

Mom’s Cousin

My mom had a cousin close to her age, Madge Pickering, who lived with mom’s family when she was a child. Eventually Madge married and moved into a home of her own. She and her husband had two sons, Ronnie & Donnie.

Mom married and moved to California where my sister and I were born. I loved meeting and spending time with my cousins when we would go to spend Christmas vacation back in Washington with Mom’s family.

Stayin’ in and Losin’ Touch

Through the years I have stayed in touch with the older of those two cousins, Ronnie. He is near my age. However, I had lost touch with Ronnie’s little brother, Donnie, until a Saturday about a decade ago. Found out Donnie also lives here in Montana now!

Donnie, whom I had not seen in 60 years, and his wife, Patti, came to spend Labor Day weekend with Bob and me about ten years ago. What a treat! We reminisced and told stories and went through family photos and various family “artifacts.”

One of my inherited treasures is a letter written on the occasion of our mutual great-grandparents’ 50th wedding anniversary. They were married September 1, 1875. The letter is “A Saga of the Valley” – the valley in and around North Bend and Fall City, Washington where my mother and Donnie’s mom were born and raised. The letter was typed on onion skin, is brittle and faded, and hard to read – but is is legible.

I retyped it and sent it to my newly reacquainted cousin, Donnie. I trust he shared it with his daughter who is into the study of genealogies.

Treasuring Memories

As I was headed into the office to my computer, I spotted the ceramic teeter-totter music box. I realized I had forgotten to share that artifact with Donnie. His mom, like mine, was a devoted mother who was wonderfully supportive of her two sons. I hope he appreciated this funky little poem. I didn’t hear back from him. But, now – a decade later, it is more true than ever… and I know he will concur:

Life is Like a Teeter-Totter!

Life is like a teeter-totter –
Full of ups and downs.
Kids learn to roll and toss with it,
To shake away the frowns,
If they have a loving home
To lean back and reminisce on when they roam.

Life is like a teeter-totter –
Full of bounces and of bumps.
Kids learn to rock with a jolly jump
And shake away the lumps
If they have a loving mother
To hug them tight and with kisses smother.

Life is like a teeter-totter –
It works better in pairs,
They keep each other balanced
And handle love in shares
If they have had their mother’s arms
To guard against abuse and harms.

Life is like a teeter-totter –
Full of laugh and silly giggle.
Full of noise and wonderment –
Girls to squeeze and boys that wiggle –
If they have been secure in love
Both from home’s hearth and God above.

Thank you, Mom, for filling my life
With love… more ups than downs, for sure.
You seemed to know my every need;
For every hurt you had a cure.
Happy Birthday, Mother dear –
I thank God each day that you are near!

God Bless our Moms!!

Mom, me, Dad, and my sis, Sally
(Hah, some things never change…
I wore that necklace with a new blouse just yesterday)

I hope you have had a Memorable Mother’s Day.
What memories do you treasure of your mom??
JanBeek ;o)

A Crappy Day


It’s a crappy day
A gray and cloudy Tuesday
There’s no place to go

California’s far
For a one day drive in car
And flying is out

Switzerland’s too far
To drive, fly, or even swim
It’s a crappy time

I want to hug them
I want to see my grandkids
One has a birthday

This week is her day
To celebrate twenty-six
No, I can’t be there

Are you feeling it?
Is your separation tough?
Is your day crappy?

We just want to love –
Love one another right here
Is there a good way?

Thank God for the Net
Thank God for phones and e-cards
Thank God for your life

Gratitude’s the key
For changing crappy to good
Do you feel thankful?

Thank God you’re alive
Thank Him for your daily bread
Reach out to your friends

Write a card today
Put it in the mailbox
Brighten someone’s mood

Personalize it
With a special note from you
Let shared love cheer you

And if you live close,
You might deliver a piece
Of your berry pie

Or the cinnamon
Sticks you learned to make from Mom
Who never wasted

The left-over dough
Does that memory bring smiles?
It does that for me!

Day’s not so crappy
When you reach out with a smile;
So, try it yourself!

Don’t think of crappy
Think of happiness instead
You are what you think!

Thanks for visiting
JanBeek
and sharing below a little bit
about what you did
to change
crappy to happy
for you and your loved ones today.

Just Love One Another!

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