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.
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
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:
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.
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!
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:
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!!
And the HodgePodge Continues…
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.
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!!
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.
(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!!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
Have a wonderful Saturday.
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!!
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…
Enjoy your Father’s Day. See ya tomorrow. Hugs, JanBeek
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.
Got rainier as time went by.
When we arrived home, our neighborhood antelope were there to greet us.
Look carefully – there’s mama antelope followed by her two babies in the field.
Yesterday I watched them out my living room window.
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.
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.
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?
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?
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!
Hope you had a good day. Tell me about it... or share a childhood fantasy.
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.
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.
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!!
I hope you have had a Memorable Mother’s Day. What memories do you treasure of your mom?? JanBeek ;o)
When I was a child at Bonita Elementary School in Crows Landing, California, May Day was a very special occasion. We always created a May Pole around the flag pole at the front of the beautiful, two-story brick building. We dressed in colorful clothes and practiced days in advance to be sure we knew how to weave the ribbons properly. Parents came to watch as students assembled in the front of the school. The band played. The principal spoke, and teachers did special art projects in the classrooms.
I especially remember Mrs. Horwedel, my 4th grade teacher, who had us go out into the fields near the school and pick wild flowers. Then we made paper baskets, filled them with the flowers, and created unique cards.
They weren’t as pretty as the one pictured here, of course, but we thought they were! Some of us took them home to give to our mom. Others hung them on a doorknob of a friend’s house as they walked toward home. (You hang it, ring the doorbell, and run to hide). It’s a surprise! A few decided to hang them on the door of a favorite teacher’s classroom.
In today’s world, there are few schools surrounded by fields with wildflowers, and buying flowers is too expensive. So, the tradition of the May Day baskets has pretty much gone by the wayside, right?
But May Poles didn’t cost much. Just a few bucks for some crepe paper or ribbon strips, and time to practice. I think it’s a shame that in most places we seem to have forgotten this day’s history and we have failed to preserve it.
History of May Day Celebrations
According to Wikipedia, “May Day is a public holiday usually celebrated on 1 May or the first Monday of May. It is an ancient festival of Spring and a current traditional spring holiday in many European cultures. Dances, singing, and cake are usually part of the festivities.”
Let’s get back to dances, singing, and cake! Let’s reinstate the celebration of spring. Let’s recreate the May Pole. Let’s make it a part of our “new normal” once this VOVID-19 pandemic allows us to go back to our schools and hug our neighbors. What do you think?