Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘Montana’

2,200% increase in COVID-19


Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

We thought we were bullet-proof;
We thought we were too far out of it.
Guess again, my near-sighted friends –
This virus doesn’t know when to quit!

From lowest number of cases
In all of the USA,
We made miserable strides.
We had 26 new cases in one day!

The percentage sounds so much worse
Than telling you the number 26,
But numbers can be deceiving –
Just ask those who are newly sick!

Montana is a state with barely a million
Total in its entire population,
But when Yellowstone opened up,
People came from the world, not just the nation.

We visited with friends in their yard yesterday,
But we were able to socially distance easily.
Look at the space between house and table
And the blue sky – with God helping quite breezily!

We sat and watched the sunset
Reflect on the gorgeous Madison Range,
And thanked God for our open spaces;
With the absence of hugs – feeling strange!

But when today’s news reported the increase
In the number of cases in our state,
We thanked God anew for our health –
And the blessing to continue to feel great.

I pray you are being wise and safe too, my friends.
Enjoy your social situations,
But remember to wear a mask if you can’t distance
And keep happy and healthy relations!

I’m off to the park to walk again with TazE.
It’s another beautiful, blue-sky day.
“Bee” happy and stay healthy, will you please?
I hope our numbers go down – and stay that way!

Don’tcha love that fence post?
See ya tomorrow.
Virtual Hugs,
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.

Shared Sunsets & Sunrises


My good friend, Lisa, who lives in North Carolina, sent me this sunset video last night. I was home here in Montana on a dark, stormy night… missing the chance to see a sunset here… and along came this gift:

Yes, it is God’s gift of love!

In the past, Lisa has sent other sunsets … and a lot of sunrises … along with prayers for blessings and health and happiness. What a wonderful friend!

My collection of sunsets and sunrises come to you with prayers and love, too.

If you love the way God chooses to start and end each day as much as I do, let me share with you other sunsets I’ve received:

And I love sunrises just as much. Let me share a couple of those with you:

Fran McNeill’s sunrise

I shared that last one with you a couple weeks ago, but I couldn’t talk about sunrises and not include hers. Talk about beautiful! Isn’t God the greatest artist ever??

So, whether you are ready for your next sunset, like we are here in Montana, or your next sunrise, like my daughter in Switzerland, let God’s handiwork amaze you…

… and share your love of the Light with all you meet. Have a blessed day – and a restful night. I’ll see you tomorrow.

Virtual hugs from
JanBeek

Montana ATV Father’s Day


If you lived in Montana – west across the valley from the Madison Range – with two mountain ranges north and south of you filled with trails for All Terrain Vehicles, and you had an ATV, how would you spend Father’s Day?

Yup, you guessed it! We went on “Lucille” (our red-headed ATV who is a BALL) up into the Tobacco Root Range to the top of the world this afternoon.

Come and take a ride with us… way up to the snow area where snow drifts caused us to have to turn around and head back down. We’ll start up there and head down

Below that snowy area, there is a gorgeous lookout where we can view the valley below. I took a few photos from that lookout to share with you.

Looking east to the Madison Valley and the Madison Range.
See our Boston, TazE, by the road there?
Looking west from the Lookout
The fields were covered with beautiful little flowers.
On our way up to tha lookout, we stopped at Sureshot Lake.
TazE appreciated the break after the bumpy ride down.
You can see the lake below to the right of the window.

We saw twice as many campers in the camping areas this trip compared to any other year, and we’ve been traveling this route for nearly ten years. During this COVID-19 pandemic, word has gotten out. Montana is a great Big Sky place… with lots of fresh air, space, and unbelievable beauty.

And this “crowd” of campers is nothing compared to what you’d experience in California or Florida or other vacation destinations!

Time to head toward home…. there’s our Madison Valley down there.
These are called “Jack Fences.” They don’t have to be buried, so they survive the snow and freezing temperatures longer than posts that need to be pounded in.
Tucked back into these mountains are some really beautiful horse farms.
TazE knows when we get close to home. She gets up and goes on high alert!
We’re happy you joined us for our Father’s Day adventure.
Back to the pickup near this lily pond in McAllister.
Time to put “Lucille” on the trailer and go home for a barbecue.

Here’s lookin’ at you!
Happy Father’s Day, my friends.

Til next time – Happy Trails to You!
See ya tomorrow.
Love, JanBeek

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

Be at Peace


Seek the stillness
Seek the tranquility
See the peace within
The calm in you and me

Photo by Lisa Glines

Imagine a peaceful lake
Breathe contentment into your life
Relax and be a gentle presence
Turn away all stress and strife

Pintail Ridge, Ennis, Montana
(Video from the end of our driveway)

Philippians 4:6

“Do not be anxious about anything,
but in all situations,
by prayer and petition,
with thanksgiving,
present your requests to God.”

Photo by Nick Kwan on Pexels.com

Do not let the wind
Disturb your tranquility
The wind moves the clouds

The clouds paint pictures
The clouds bring much needed rain
Wind whips them away

Let the wind help you
Blow away any distress
And just be at peace

Smile, my friends!

I gotcha covered in prayer.
Have a peace-filled weekend.

Bob & I are headed out
in the boat
to float the Madison River.

Taken on my TOPS walk


I’ll take photos this afternoon and post ’em here.
See ya later.

Thanks for stopping by.
Hugs,
JanBeek

Wordless June Sunsets


Photo by Quang Nguyen Vinh on Pexels.com
Photo by Sebastian Voortman on Pexels.com

Good night!
See ya tomorrow….
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

Is Fearlessness Foolishness?


I have heard (and often repeated) the phrase, “Fear is the opposite of Faith.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Fear or Faith?

Are wearing a mask, washing your hands often/thoroughly, and practicing social distancing acts of fear?

Is opening your home or your church, your store or your restaurant with no extra precautions due to COVID-19 an act of faith?

Is being too cautious an act of fear? (What does “too cautious” look like?)

Photo by Julia Kuzenkov on Pexels.com

Was shutting down our church at the height of the virus pandemic being too cautious? Was it contradictory to our faith?

To Open or Not to Open

Many questions of fear or faith were posed during our sermon today by Rev. Steve Hundley. I’ve listed ten of them below. We met as a congregation in the church building for the first time in twelve weeks. We’ve been ZOOM meeting since this pandemic was announced in the USA in mid-March.

Madison Valley Presbyterian Church

To keep people safe, every other row of pews was ribboned off and people sat at least six feet apart in the pews.

Fran McNeill, our music director

During the hymns, Fran played a verse on the piano while the congregation either listened, read the words silently in the hymnals, or hummed along. For now, no singing out loud. That was hard for those of us who love to sing.
But the emissions from singing travel farther than those of just talking … some even further than coughing or sneezing. So, we were cautious.

Jo & Jim Forsberg

Jim Forsberg provided special music during the service. Playing his guitar and singing… one of the numbers he sang was an old time favorite, “Jesus Loves the Little Children.” The lyrics go on to say, “all the children of the world… red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight; Jesus loves the little children of the world.” So pertinent in light today’s issues of racial inequality.

In the photo above, Jim and his wife, Jo, are chatting with Fran about the music – and I am sure commenting on how good it is to see one another again.

Megan & Murray

Mask or Not?

This mom had her hands full with this adorable, very active little guy. Murray keeps us all smiling with his exuberant energy. I love seeing the little ones in our worship service. Pastor Steve quoted a doctor at our Madison Valley Medical Center who said masks on children can be more bothersome and dangerous than no mask at all because children have a tendency to touch their face more when wearing one.

Here is Murray’s dad and little sister:

Seeing Nellie and Nick with us brightened my day.

Questions to Ponder

Rev. Steve Hundley posed some very thought-provoking questions in his sermon today. He didn’t really give us answers… just left the questions for us to ponder:

  1. Is God angry with us?
  2. Is God larger than this dreaded virus? (He said the affirmative of that was a quote from a pastor who opened his church early on in the pandemic … and later died of the virus)
  3. Was shutting down the church for 12 weeks contradictory to our faith? (Some of our members were not happy about the closure)
  4. Why have we allowed partisanship, economics, and race to divide us?
  5. In spite of their devout faith, why has the Navajo nation been hit so hard by this pandemic? (Their deaths per capita are higher than any state in the union.)
  6. Is the unity of the church under attack in our polarized world?
  7. Can we be angry without sin?
  8. Can we set aside our political stances as conservatives or progressives and just unite to strengthen the body of the church?
  9. Is it possible for us to focus on what brings us together rather than what separates us?
  10. When someone leaves the church saying they won’t return because “Nobody cares about me,” and I tell them, “Yes, they do,” and they respond with “OK, name ONE!” Can I name YOU? (This question brought tears to my eyes… I know people who have left, and I wanted to stand up and shout, “I care! Name me!!”)
George Kate, and Ross visiting after church
Kathy, Miriam, Dick, and Mike

Fellowship in the foyer after church found people reconnecting, but remaining cautious. Are we maintaining our distance?

It may be easier for us in Montana to try and stay six feet apart, but you will notice in the pictures that even here, we don’t always adhere to that social distancing. It’s difficult! It’s neither foolishness nor fearlessness, it’s just hard!

How are you doing with this business of staying apart? What did you do this Sunday? Did your church meet physically again? If not, how did you worship our God today? Did you approach Him with your most difficult questions?

I hope you are healthy, happy, and safe.
I’ve gotcha in prayer, my friend.
See ya tomorrow.
Love, JanBeek

Image

Birthday in Big Sky


Travel with me from Ennis, Montana to Big Sky and back. Let’s celebrate my great-granddaughter’s first birthday!

It was a beautiful blue-sky, puffy cloud day. We left in plenty of time to get to the party by 1:00 PM. But, 23 miles out of Ennis, we ran out of gas!

Big Sky - way home.jpg

The nearest gas station was 23 miles back where we came from!

But luckily, we had friends who lived just three miles from where we were, and my cell phone was still in a working range. So I called Nancy and she sent Marty with 1/2 gallon of gas. It was enough to get us back to Ennis. He followed us to make sure we’d make it. Oh my, what good friends!!

Hope w Sienna @ 1st b'day.jpg

There’s the birthday girl, my great-granddaughter, Sienna, with our granddaughter, Hope. We were supposed to be there at 2: ┬áIt was almost 4: by the time we arrived, but no one had eaten all the cupcakes yet!

 

Sienna's cupcakes.JPG

Sienna was too busy eating Cheeto puffs!

Sienna w 2 Cheetos.JPG

Sienna - big smile.jpg

The party was in this gorgeous setting right on the Gallatin River.

Pam's southern river view.JPG

Pam's Galltin River view.JPG

Pam's neighbor - horse.JPG

We had BBQed hamburgers before heading back home. We went the “other way,” through Four Corners rather than through Gallatin Gateway to avoid the road construction that delayed our arrival at the party.

The ride home was along the Gallatin River and through the Canyon that separates Madison and Gallatin Counties. Beautiful scenery!

red rock hillside.jpg

 

rocky mtn with scallops.jpg

Gallatin rocky mountains1.JPG

Gallatin River & pool.jpg

The sky clouded even more as we returned home to Ennis, but the rain held off. It was a beautiful day – and a treat to celebrate Sienna’s #1 birthday with her.

cloudy sky - home from Sienna's 1st.JPG

Do you have grandchildren or great-grandchildren?
Do you get to celebrate their birthdays with them?

Thanks for joining me.
See ya tomorrow.
Have a Happy Saturday night.
Hugs, JanBeek

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