Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘Montana’

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

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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:  It 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

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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

Walk the Talk


My 2020 resolution is to “Walk the Talk.” It is a daily commitment. What was your 2020 resolution?

Try to “Walk the Talk.”
Try to live your commitments.
Express them daily.

Today I walked with my TOPS friends. Here are two of them with me: Cherrie & Jeannie. We walked in our Lion’s Club Park. Did a lot of talking as we walked. Tried to solve all the world’s problems!

Valais, Switzerland

No, this isn’t my walking path… it’s my daughter, DeAna’s, in Sierre, Switzerland. She walks this trail up into the Alps – often joined by one or two of her three sons. Yesterday she sent this photo. Our grandson, Chris, was her walking partner.

DeAna “walked the talk” with Chrissy as they navigated the trail on the terraced mountainsides and enjoyed the outdoor time together.

Here is DeAna, our daughter, with her new haircut.
No, she’s not in Paris. That’s just her “photo op!”

.

And before that haircut:

She says she’d like to be on a tropical island!
I’d say being in Switzerland is not a bad option!

Today De’s walk was with Christine, a friend who was one of their waitresses for almost 20 years in the restaurant they once owned on main street in Sierre.

Christine – on the balcony overlooking the Swiss valley

Half way up the Alps from their city is a beautiful little place called Vissoie, De and Andre’ have purchased a new restaurant… new to them, but with a long history in this Alpine village.

It has that typical Swiss chalet appearance with a hotel attached above and on the right. They take possession in October, I think.

Isn’t this an inviting spot? As they plan for this new venture, they get to “Walk the Talk” of trust. Trust that this pandemic world will not always keep people sequestered and afraid to go out and dine together. Trust that the people of Vissoie and the surrounding communities will accept them and frequent their dining hall. Trust that visitors will stay in their hotel.

My prayers are with them, of course, as I encourage them in this exciting new time on their lives.

Lion’s Club Park, Ennis, Montana

As my lady friends and I walked the trail in our beautiful park, we talked about family, commitments, future events, the racial injustice that is sparking protests all over the USA, and the COVID-19 situation that is far from over.

My goal is encouragement and positivity. I share my faith here on WordPress, and I share the Source of my Joy with my walking friends.

Photo by Andre Furtado on Pexels.com

Follow the sunshine
Follow the Almighty Son
Joy’s in commitment

Walk the Talk!
And be grateful for where you are!!


See ya tomorrow.
Have a Blessed Wednesday.

Love,
JanBeek

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Will You Be My Neighbor?


Two For Sale signs went up in our “hood” this week.

That Mercer sign is for a 7 acre parcel right next door to us.
We could be next-door neighbors!

The ERA sign is at the end of the cul-de-sac – just a stone’s throw away – down where you see the telephone poles in the first photo.

Mercer sign w our house

See, there’s our house up there –  just beyond the sign. Aren’t you looking for wide open spaces and Big Sky, fresh air and a friendly, cheerful, inclusive neighborhood? Here we are!! You can build your dream house right here.

Hocking House - blue sky

This beautiful home with the best neighbors imaginable, Rex and Penny, could be your neighbors … besides us, the Beekmans with the robin babies in our back yard. Hey, look closely! That one on the right has her eyes open!

2 baby robins

This nest is on this porch where I am sitting right now with my laptop, Rita and Robbie are coming and going, feeding their babies, paying no attention to me! I love it!!

The nest is in the shadow just left of the small bedroom window. My chair is in the sun with my tabletop in the shade. I have a bird’s eye view of the robin activity.

3 joggers - cartoon

This morning was a beautiful, sunny. warm, still day – perfect for a walk in Lion’s Club Park by the Madison River that is less than 5 minutes from us. I met a couple of TOPS friends and we walked around by the river, the baseball field, the playground…

Madison thru weeds

From this view of the river, there is a bench, a painted sculpted fish, and a gorgeous view of the Madison Range across the valley.

Come go for a walk with me. There are benches along the way, picnic tables, barbecue pits, a baseball field and a playground. Young children usually flock here. But, I was early. They started to arrive as I was leaving.

On the way to the post office after my walk, I passed another For Sale sign. Our friend, Niel, died recently after a long battle with cancer. His cozy little house in town is for sale. Maybe you’d prefer this. You’d be on a smaller lot in a more modest neighborhood downtown. Look at this lovely place. Interested? Call the ERA number on the sign at the top of this post.

Niel Kent house

Your neighbors across the street have this lovely tree – and these beautiful opium poppies. What a great little town our Ennis, Montana is!!

Driving home from there, I took the golf course route. Here’s the scene just a mile from our home:

They keep it well maintained and lots of our neighbors love getting out on the course on a day like today.

Peaceful, beautiful, clean, clear, friendly …
 … what more could you ask?

Oh, I forgot to add there’s a darling little lake at Lion’s Club Park where the kids can fish and keep the trout they catch. The Madison River has a “catch and release” policy to preserve the natives. And there’s an old tractor at the park where the kids can climb and pretend FARMER. We have a lot of cattle and wheat farming in our Madison Valley.

But it’s best known for the Madison River and the fly fishing.

fish on Madison - painting

Will you come and be my neighbor?
Caroline & Chuck are building right down the hill from us.
They’d be great neighbors for ya, too!!

CBD92DE9-1A2D-407B-9293-6BD4FCA70A8B
Have a Wonderful Wednesday.
See ya tomorrow.
JanBeek

Free to Do, Free to Bee…


Thank you, Guideposts, for your inspirational daily messages. On this Memorial Day that is so different from those past, I am grateful for the men and women who sacrificed for our freedom.

Free to Live and Build

I am grateful for the freedom to live in this beautiful place in Montana where the robins sing, build their nests, lay their eggs, and feed their babies right outside my dining room window! I’m free to just bee… free to do nothing but sit and watch today… if that’s my choice!

I see that wall to the north of my dining room table. The window there leads to our bedroom.
I watched Rita and Robbie, the robin duo, build the nest and lay the eggs. Fifteen days later, they hatched!
Now Rita Robin brings worms to the babies.
They are hungry little robins, begging for more.
Rita Robin leaves… and Robbie Robin comes to feed them next! Robins mate for life. It is such fun to watch them take turns caring for the nest. Rarely is it left uncovered like this these days.

Free to Bee… Free to Recover…

I found this beautiful, stunned bird sitting on the front porch this morning. Is it a wren? It’s really tiny. Even when TazE (our Boston Terrier) went out to sniff at it, it didn’t move. It was free to just bee… bee still for a while. A half hour later, it was recovered – and thankfully flew away. Free to recover. Free to fly.


Free to Marvel

As I sit here and watch the robins take turns in the nest, I am eternally grateful to those service men and women who gave their lives that I might enjoy the peace I have today. Peace to sit here and marvel at nature. Free to enjoy the peace, and to FaceTime with my daughters across the continent and across the Atlantic.

De & Laina

Peace to watch Bob head off with a neighbor to fish the Madison today.

I hope he is free to catch a big one, like my friend Susan Phillips did this week… and then free to catch and release so someone else can be free to have the thrill of catching this beauty! Our Madison River has a “Catch & Release” policy because the trout all are natives… no “planting” allowed. It’s a world-class fly-fishing mecca!!

The pristine Madison River in Madison County, Montana

What are you free to do today?
Tell me about it.
And what are you most grateful for?

Bee grateful
You are free…
Free to
Bee silly…
Free to just Bee!

See ya tomorrow.
Have a Meaningful, Peaceful Monday.

Walking & Talking


Shirley, Cherrie & Jeannie

Walking and talking

Are two wonderful pastimes

Love the connections

Montana skies

Whether clouds or clear

Getting out is good for you

Exercise today!

I’m in close quarters!

When in close quarters

Don’t forget to wear a mask

Stay safe and healthy!

See ya later!

Find Contentment


Paul Holdorf – Singing Sky Photography

Contentment

Paul Holdorf posted the following beautiful, eloquent essay on FaceBook today to accompany his wonderful photograph above. Do yourself a favor and take time to live in the scene with Paul and me for awhile. I am still there… in the arms of love and contentment.

No further comment from JanBeek necessary. Just savor Paul Holdorf’s creativity. ❤

“I can’t help but wonder what life was like for the occupants of this home. One might at first say that life sure is easier now, but is it? To be sure, it was a hard life, but it must be so rewarding to directly benefit from hard work. Very few things had to be purchased. Most things were made from whatever was available. A hard days work did not have to be converted to cash in order to benefit the family. The same soil that had to be scrubbed out from under fingernails, when properly tilled and watered, grew food for the table. It also grew food for the livestock that in turn also provided sustenance for the inhabitants of this home. As I stood there, I could hear the life that once resided here. A chair scraped on the rough wood floor as Dad got up to go make sure all was well outside before darkness settled in. The children helped clear chipped and faded dishes from the table as Mom brought in a pale of water to rinse things off. There was enough light left for several hours of exploration, so soon the distance sounds of laughter blended in with the clanking of dishes and the splash of dirty dishwater being thrown out the open door. Next to the door, in the corner of the room, stood an old broom, patiently waiting to remove the gravelly evidence of an evening well played. Later, after the children were all played out and tucked into a crowded bed, a silhouette could be seen in the warm light of the setting sun. Out in the yard, next to the swing hanging from a tree, a tired but fulfilled couple sat on an old log bench with their arms around each other. She leaned her head on his strong shoulder, and he thankfully leaned his head over hers. They watched the golden light dip behind the distant mountains and spread a blanket of oranges and reds over the high mountain valley much like the bedspread that would soon bring warmth and comfort to this couple. They work hard, they sleep when the sun sleeps and rise with it in the morning but it is a good life. Nothing is wasted, and everything is wisely used. I walk away from my daydream as they drift off to sleep. Stars begin to twinkle and an owl calls from its roost out in the forest. Rest and rejuvenation fill weary bodies with readiness for the next day, when they’ll do it all over again with joy and contentment in lives well lived.”

Kayak & Prayers


From her kayak view

My friend took pictures and prayed

I received with joy

My sky’s not the same

But her faith and mine are one

Love across the miles

I send her angel’s

Kisses across many miles

She returns my smiles

Thank you, Lisa
Yay for haircuts
And sunshiny days!

Clouds are rolling in

And the rain is coming soon

Another great day!

See ya tomorrow

A Tribute to Ken Hall


This morning I received this wonderful photo of a very talented and compassionate man, Ken Hall. It was attached to a beautiful tribute
written by his wife, Penny. You just need to read it! Click the link below.

https://www.pennyhall.life/ken/

Above our bed, Bob & I have a photograph taken by Ken. It captures a gorgeous sunrise above our Madison Range. On a good day, we can see that sunrise out our bedroom window. But, on cloudy days when the sun is hidden, thanks to Ken’s creative lens, we still have our sunrise.

As Penny mentions in her tribute, one of Ken’s talents was music. He played the Indian flute magnificently. I think he may have had a heavy dose of Native American in him. Here is the video Ken produced shortly before his untimely, unexpected death. I hope it will open for you.

I leave you with the peace
that only God can give.
May you live in such a way
that a tribute to you
is this heart-warming
after your unexpected, untimely death

(hopefully that’s after you’ve lived a healthy 100 years).

See ya later.
God bless you.
Bee well!!

Launching Lucille


Lucille is our ATV. We named our “all-terrain vehicle” after the popular 1950’s to ’70’s comedian, Lucille Ball, because she has a red head and she’s a “ball!” Look carefully at that photo and you can see Bob, TazE (our Boston Terrier), and me… ready to have a Montana springtime ball!

There I am!!

Just as a ship is launched to the sea,
Bob & I launched Lucille on the mountains today.
It’s not her maiden voyage; she’s a veteran for sure.
But it was her first 2020 opportunity to play.

On our way to North Meadowcreek
in the Tobacco Root Mountains

We went with two other couples;
It’s a good thing we had them along
Because when Bob got stuck in the snow,
Rex was prepared for what went wrong

He had a long rope, and equipment galore-
So he pulled old Lucille out in a flash.
Us gals kept our 6 feet distance and watched.
We didn’t want to intrude or do something brash.

This video shows the end of the trial…
CG pulled the rope by hand at the end,
But Rex used it connected to his ATV
To pull Lucille out – way beyond the bend!

Penny & Rex Hocking

We went to the very top of the mountain
Where the sky was unbelievably blue –
And there we had lunch – a spectacular view –
Wish we could share this four-wheeling ride with you!

Caroline & CG Feldman
Bob and TazE

That snow-covered peak is gorgeous Mt. Baldy.
From here, it’s a much different sight
Than the way it looks from our house
Where it seems rounded and shines ever bright.

Looking east toward the Madison Range
Headed back down the mountain
Beautiful ranch tucked into the hillside
I love seeing the cattle in the field
Newborn lambs with freshly shorn ewes

The weather could not have been
More perfect for this ATV outing.
Life in the Montana mountains is grand!
Keeps me from sitting home – pouting!

TazE hangs out the side, enjoying the views
Back in McAllister
Lucille rides the trailer home
TazE loves taking rides on Lucille,
but now she’s ready to head home now!
Home again…
See Mt. Baldy out there?
I told you it looks rounded from our home.
Strange, huh?

I’m so glad you came to JanBeek today
To join our 2020 launch of Lucille.
Now it’s time to get in the kitchen;
Bob needs a hearty dinner meal.

Photo by Valeria Boltneva on Pexels.com

Bee well!
Bee safe!!
See ya tomorrow.

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