Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘parents’

Problems Are Opportunities


We are in a bit of a mess right now
But we will as a world of people
Get through this problem of COVID-19
If we focus on the possibilities.

We have to see the problem, though.
We can’t ignore it and decide
This is just a bunch of media hype.
Opportunities for containing it are coming.

The people who are working on a cure
Have to view the problem clearly.
They won’t create a vaccine or treatment
If they are convinced it’s only a hoax.

This major, world-wide problem is
An opportunity for people to see
A new and better world where people
Come together to create positive change.

Factories shut down and air quality improves.
Tourists are convinced to stay home, and
The waters in the canals of Venice are
Beginning to exhibit less pollution.

Schools are closed and parents are at home,
Schooling their children the best they can,
And hopefully spending quality time together.
Shut off the TV; limit screen time; TALK!

This problem IS providing us with opportunities.
Which ones are you taking advantage of?
Which closet got cleaned? What book did you read?
What distant friend did you call to reconnect?

Problems provide possibilities for creativity.
Use yours to make this corner of your world
A little brighter for your family and neighbors.
Remain positive. Spread hope. God bless you!

See ya tomorrow.
Sleep tight!

Hugs, JanBeek

Memories of Childhood


I remember glimpses of my childhood – an Ozzie & Harriet family with Dad going off to work and Mom staying home…

I remember our small, sparkly white house on the end of Fig Lane in Newman, at the center of California’s hot San Joaquin Valley…

I remember sitting around the radio in the living room listening as a family to “The Cisco Kid” and “One Man’s Family” and “Inner Sanctum” …

Photo by Brett Sayles on Pexels.com

I remember Dad’s three-tiered tulip bed and the day I picked a bouquet of them and got into trouble…

I remember being scolded, and as I stood there with a fist-full of the precious blooms saying to Dad, “I no pick the flaws… maybe Sally pick the flaws!”

Photo by fotografierende on Pexels.com

I remember walking down Fig Lane with my sister, Sally, headed to P Street School wearing my Mary Jane’s…

I remember how proud I was of those new shoes…

I remember trips every September to San Francisco to get new school clothes: new shoes, a new dress, underwear, a sweater, a coat… the essentials…

I remember eating crab legs at Fisherman’s Wharf while I gazed at the boats coming in and going out of the harbor…

I remember my first plane trip, flying to Seattle to be with my mom’s family there when her mom died…

I remember Dewey Wright, my first true love, and the Valentine card he gave me in kindergarten, and how he chased me around the playground until I caught him …

I remember moving from that little white house at the end of Fig Lane to a house out in the country right next door to my Dad’s mom…

I remember the day my cousin, Billy, came to live with us – and how upset he was – and how upset I was when he tore our doll house apart and scattered our toys…

I remember dashing past a gobbling turkey who chased me to my grandma’s back door after school…

I remember my father’s tears when his mother died…

I remember moving out to that God-forsaken place twenty miles from nowhere to begin life anew, with Dad going into business with Uncle Igino and Uncle Melio …

I remember the smell of the Pacific Tallow Works that was about 150 yards from our house, and how impossible it was to close up the house tight enough …

I remember Tiofila and Engracia and Dalia, my sweet little Spanish-speaking playmates, whose mom made fantastic tortillas, and the day they were transported back to Mexico by some cruel authorities…

I remember crying for days when I heard Dalia had died on that trip back to Mexico …

I remember Manuel Ynzunza, his basketball skill, and our first kiss out behind the cafeteria … oh, the thrill of it…

I remember “Dimples,” my Cocker Spaniel who had four puppies – and the fascination of observing the births …

Photo by A.Revolution on Pexels.com

I remember riding a horse, unable to control it, and being pushed into a barbed wire fence, putting a gash in my right leg …

I remember how impossible it was for Mom to leave the office unattended to take me to the doctor (she was Dad’s secretary-bookkeeper), so she taped my gash closed and how it healed leaving a big scar …

I remember the day my Aunt Jean, Billy’s mom, came to take him back … how I was filled with mixed emotions, sorrow and relief …

I remember my mom’s older sister, Aunt Evelyn, coming from Washington to visit and bringing clothes my cousins had outgrown, and Mom spending nights altering them to fit Sally & me …

I remember walking at least a mile (seemed like five) to catch the school bus and riding for at least an hour (seemed like five) while we picked up other kids to go to Crows Landing Elementary School…

I remember Mrs Yetter, my third grade teacher, who was almost bald…

I remember my fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Ethel Horwedle, and how she wrote her cursive E, and how she let me sing to the tunes of the square dance records, and let me teach the class new square dance moves…

I remember Mrs. Marlow, the principal’s wife who was my 7th and 8th grade teacher… how she let me go during spelling class to help the kindergarten teacher (because, “You don’t need the spelling lesson,” she’d say after giving me a pre-test on which I always got 100%) …

I remember wearing an “I Like Ike” button and learning in 8th grade about each of his cabinet members as they were one-by-one appointed…

I remember Howard Thorkelson, our class genius, who got polio when we were in 8th grade and was gone a long time… returning in a neck and back brace for our graduation…

I remember learning to play the clarinet and doing so well that the band leader invited me to play with the high school band…

Sally & me with our clarinets

I remember being too small to fit into a high school band uniform, and having suspenders that pulled the pants up under my armpits…

I remember playing an accordion duet with Evelyn at our 8th grade graduation, but don’t remember Evelyn’s last name …

This was my first accordion. It’s over 100 years old!

I don’t remember a lot of things, but I remember feeling cared for, and feeling like I could become whatever I set my mind to, and not realizing we were poor…

We actually weren’t you know. We had each other. We had love. We had everything.

I remember…

Happiness Personified


What is “Happiness Personified?”

It is the joy of having breakfast
with your granddaughter and her family!
Look at these darling great-grandchildren:

Sienna is 5 months old and she in in 8-12 month sizes!!
Aren’t those the most kissable cheeks you’ve ever seen?

This is the happy big brother, my great-grandson, Xander.
His favorite trick today was pulling his sister’s socks off!

Drew & Hope

The busy parents, Drew & Hope,
have their hands full!
I was happy to be able to spend time with them.

Hope shared some of her photos from two days ago,
our Halloween here in the USA.
She dressed the kids up,
but the snow and lousy road conditions
kept them from Trick-or-Treating.
It’ll be something Xander
can look forward to next year.

Xander the pirate is at his Grandma Pam’s.
Don’t know which he liked best, Pirate or Frog costume…
Which one would you choose?
Sienna makes a cute little cuddly lamb, don’t you think?

I had fun
talking with Xander
about his little sister.

The Lakota School (St. Joseph’s) sent me small gloves –
just right for Xander – and a dream catcher with
Hope’s name on it. It made a perfect gift.
Couldn’t play “Patty Cake” with Xander while holding Sienna,
but he clapped anyway.

Yes, “Happiness Personified” is time with my Great-Grandkids.
We have a date to meet here again in a couple of weeks.
Good plan, don’t you agree?

Don’t grow too fast, little ones!

Here’s Sienna with me
last July at my 80th b’day party.

See ya later, my friends.
What’s your idea of “Happiness Personified?”

Mom Was an Okie


Let me take a break this Mother’s Day weekend from my A-Z series and talk instead about moms. Okay?

How would you describe your mom?

My mom was an Okie.

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Hmmm… How dare I?!

How dare I use such a derogatory term! “Okie” was a term used by those who thought they were better than those Dust Bowl transplants who moved to the west coast from Oklahoma to find a way to make a living when years of drought forced them from their homes there.

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck is a classic book that told the story of Tom Joad, the father of a migrant family. Tom left the Oklahoma dust bowl for promised land in California, only to face new and daunting challenges. It was made into an award-winning movie starring Henry Fonda.

Wrong Assumption

My father’s sisters erroneously decided Mom was a west-coast migrant from Oklahoma. Unlike those Dust Bowl transplants from Oklahoma, my mother, Elizabeth Totten, had ancestors who migrated in the late 1800s from Ireland and Scotland to Iowa and then to the state of Washington at the turn of the century. Mom’s family owned a farm in Fall City, Washington. Her dad died when she was in her early teens. My grandmother guided her six children to work hard to keep the farm operating without my grandpa to lead the way.

After Elizabeth graduated from high school in 1933, she worked in Fall City at a creamery to help the family survive and retain the farm. She moved to California after she met my dad, Sal DeAngeles, a handsome, suave, dark-haired young man, 4 years her senior.

Early Days in Mom’ & Dad’s Marriage

Elizabeth and Sal eloped to Reno, NV in 1937 and kept their marriage a secret for awhile. They were aware that his family might have trouble accepting her.

Many times Mom told me the story of how Dad’s Italian sisters (he had 5 of ’em) were resentful of her intrusion. She said they called her an Okie. (To her face? I hope not!) She was not Italian. And worse yet, she was not Catholic! And to add insult to injury, Dad’s mother (my Grandma DeAngeles) loved Mom as if she were one of her own daughters. There may have been some jealousy at work there.

Mom thought Dad’s sisters had a friend, a local Italian, Catholic girl picked out for their brother. Mom said she believed they were shocked and rather put-off by his decision to marry this outsider.

Whether her perception of their non-acceptance was true or not, it colored our family’s relationship with my dear aunts forever! It may have been one of the reasons I recall our family going on Sunday afternoons to visit Dad’s sisters at their homes, but rarely inviting them to come to ours. What a shame!

Who was Mom – – – really?

Elizabeth (later nick-named Betty) was the fourth in a family of five children born to Laura & Ralph Valentine (RV) Totten. She was a slightly built, blond, blue-eyed girl with three older sisters, one brother, and a younger sister. She adored her father, whose untimely death (he fell off a barn roof and died of a brain injury), left her devastated.

She was a good student, particularly talented as an “elocutionist” (public speaker), and would have loved to attend college. Financially it just was not an option. She was good at math as well, and eventually became Dad’s secretary/treasurer in his business. In her retirement years, she kept herself busy playing Bridge and participating in the women’s organizations of Eastern Star and Rebekahs.

What do I Remember Fondly About My Mom?

Mom always told me I could do and be whomever I decided I wanted to be. She believed in me. She gave me confidence, and encouraged all my various endeavors. She made sure I got accordion lessons when I showed an interest in that instrument. She helped me get a clarinet when I wanted to join the elementary school band, and she drove me to weekly accordion and clarinet lessons fifty miles away.

Mom helped me develop my writing skills and encouraged my ventures into art and school leadership. She convinced Dad that I should be able to go to college – and made sure they managed to finance my college expenses so that I could concentrate on my studies. “Your school work is your job,” she explained when I was contemplating a job to help with college costs. Unlike most college students today, I graduated with a BA of education in four years – and was debt free. What a gift!

Mirror Images

Mom’s spit-fire personality sometimes caused us to be at odds with one another. I see her in me now and blame her for all the parts of my personality that annoy me. I look in the mirror and see her arms hanging from my shoulders (when did that happen?). I see her impatience in me when I am being less than kind. I look up and shake my finger at her when i am too outspoken.

Thank You, Mom

But at the same time, I thank my mom for all the ways she helped me become the  “Child of God” I am today. She made sure my sister, Sally, and I got to church each Sunday. She was 100% honest and she taught Sally and me to be morally responsible, dependable, hard-working young ladies. I am grateful to my mom for her role modeling, her work ethic, and her unconditional love.

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Family is So Precious!

The picture below is 53 years old!! That’s me on the left, pregnant with our first child. My husband, Bob, is standing next to me. Next is my sister, Sally, with her husband, Dave, holding their eldest daughter, Denise (both of whom are now deceased). I thank God every day for life – and for the life of my children – and count my blessings that they are alive and healthy, productive adults today. I never take that for granted.

My mom and dad (Sal & Betty) are in the foreground. The best gift they gave to me was their love for one another – and their love for our family.

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Happy Mother’s Day
to all those wonderful moms out there
who have impacted their children
in such important ways –
and continue to do so everyday…
some up close and personal,
and others as they lean over the
Heavenly railings and watch over us from above.
***

What do you remember most about your Mom?
And what do you want to thank her for?

 

Are You Baptized?


Baptism in Christ
A choice you can always make
It’s never too late

loleta & cake

Are you baptized? Or did you miss that ceremony as a child?

If it was like my baptism, you were an infant and don’t remember it. Does that make a “dedication” by your parents rather than a baptism for you into the family of God? Does it make a difference?

If you went through confirmation classes as a pre-teen and received your Holy Baptism at 12 or 13, you remember the occasion. But, was your confession of faith then done with the same understanding you would have if you confessed your faith and were baptized today?

My friend, Loleta, has always been a loving person. She has identified herself as a Christian for many years. But, she did not recall ever being baptized. She knows it was unlikely her parents had her “sprinkled” as an infant. So, in her enlightened “senior years,” God put it upon her heart to be baptized.

When my husband and I learned of her decision, we were thrilled. We asked her if we could attend the baptism ceremony.

“Why?” she asked. “Why would you want to travel so far to be here when I am baptized? Isn’t it just a private thing between God and me?”

“Because we love you!” we told her. “It is your PUBLIC acknowledgement of your faith. We are thrilled that you have decided to do this – and we want to be there to support you.”

We were not alone in our presence. Loleta had people from three states come to witness her baptism… and then we all celebrated together at a rental house in a lovely spot in southern California where we are sharing the time for awhile. The Holy Spirit is alive and well in this place!

Here are a few of the celebrants.

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Do you remember your baptism?
Mine was a sprinkling as an infant.
I wonder if I would have the courage
to be “dunked” if the Holy Spirit nudged me
to do so today.

How about you?

Family


Family Haiku

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Family’s Blood and Love

Sent to us from God above

We are so grateful

What’s Your Image of Afghanistan?


Last night Bob & I attended a documentary at the Emerson Theater in Bozeman, MT. The topic: “Angels Are Made of Light.”

What is your perception of the people of Afghanistan?

police army commando special task force

Photo by Somchai Kongkamsri on Pexels.com

Before the documentary, our response to that question was, “War-torn, depressed, aggressive, beaten-down, varied, down-trodden and fearful.”

 

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After seeing the documentary, our response is, “Resourceful, hopeful in the midst of what might look hopeless, tenacious, clean, basically healthy looking, and respectful of their elders.”

The newspaper review that prompted us to attend was glowing. We met Jason, the reviewer last night. Sorry I didn’t catch his last name. The newspaper page we have doesn’t list it. I’ll edit this and include it when I find out, because I will quote him:

“It is not a complete and objective telling of the country’s history, but rather a series of powerful semblances from those who lived through it. The imagery is vivid, and the contrast between the historic images of the city (Kabul), in times of greater prosperity, and those of the present day are stark reminders of how much the country has changed.”

Jason’s review hooked us in when he wrote, “The cinematography is simply exceptional. Langley is a true craftsman, and he works brilliantly with natural light.”

We were intrigued by the opportunity to  “linger up close with the film’s subjects for long moments… ”  The concentration of subjects was on the school children – – – especially a group of Afghani boys of about 10 -14 years of age. We wanted to “feel their breathing, see them thinking, working, watching the world go by.” And we did!

grayscale photo of group of children

“Over the course of the film,” Jason, the reviewer promised we would “accompany the students through lessons in history, poetry, social studies, and math.” And we did!

He wrote, “In the end, the film itself is a lesson in humanity, found right there, on the streets, in broad daylight.” And it was!

The documentary promised to “narrow the gap in our minds between us and them.” And it did!

It was indeed eye-opening.

We all are God’s children. Let’s do whatever we can to:

JUST LOVE ONE ANOTHER!

It begins with trying to understand one another. Set aside those prior perceptions, and get the real picture! I’m grateful for “Angels Are Made of Light” and the Bozeman Doc Series for bringing documentaries such as this one to our community.

man carrying toddler

Photo by Sandy Negative on Pexels.com

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