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.
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.
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!
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.
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…
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.
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.
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!!
Have a Wonderful Wednesday. See ya tomorrow. JanBeek
Not everyone who reads my blog has a blog of their own. Not everyone who writes a blog has anything published anywhere else.
Must you write a blog or have something published in order to consider yourself a writer?
Does writing in a journal qualify you to call yourself “Writer”?
When you create a grocery list or a list of your “To-Do’s” for today, you are writing. Does that make you a “Writer”?
Definition of Writer
a person engaged in writing books, articles, stories, etc., especially as an occupation or profession; an author or journalist.
a clerk, scribe, or the like.
a person who commits his or her thoughts, ideas, etc., to writing
(in a piece of writing) the author (used as a circumlocution for “I,” “me,” “my,” etc.): The writer wishes to state….
a person who writes or is able to write: a writer in script.
The Key to Being a Writer
The key to being a writer lies for me in the definitions number 3 and 5 above. It’s so obvious!
To be a writer, you must write! You must commit your thoughts and ideas to writing! Not just the ability to write (like writing your signature on a check or signing your name on a card), but the ability to put your thoughts and ideas down on paper or computer or someplace where others can read them.
Are you a writer who writes for others?
Play at Writing
Write like a child at play – words are the beads; string them together one bead at a time.
Writing should be fun! Cristian Mihai on The Art of Blogging says, “Just punch the damn keys.” In his post today, he reminds us also that we are never finished in our quest to be anything… writers, artists, body builders, you name it!
Cristian Mihai wrote in the blog I imbedded above (for your ease in going to read it in its entirety), “… we are all works of art. And we are never, ever, ever complete.”
He quoted 70 year-old Seneca who wrote,
“I am still learning…”
Cristian went on to remind us,
“One thing of extreme importance in life is never, ever to be complete.
To always strive for more.
To be able to reinvent yourself on a constant basis.”
He said, “We are not nouns, but verbs. Action is what defines us. And we can change what we do as we learn and develop new skills.”
I appreciate the ideas I glean on a daily basis from Cristian Mihai. He helps me put into action some of my better impulses, and to do it with the Spirit guiding me.
Let the Spirit Guide Your Writing
Let intentionality yield to spontaneity. Let the spirit guide you.
Spiritual direction is as important to the life of a writer as good editing is to the life of the mind. Both deliver us from the blindness of a solitary thinker.
Being a solitary writer squeezes our vision and makes us myopic. Being short-sighted cuts us off from the wonderful world of criticism. Your spirit can guide your creativity, but seeking one’s own center does not mean we should discount others’ opinions.
Writers Are Not Indifferent
In his book, Saints and Writers – On Doing One’s Work in Hiding, Belden C. Lane wrote the following about prolific writer, James Joyce:
“James Joyces’ wife, Nora, loved him for his ordinariness. She paid little attention to his writing. With critics, Joyce had to second-guess himself. With Nora, he never had to prove anything. It was worthless even to try. Loving indifference can prove a safe place – a hidden center – from which one’s creativity grows without being turned back onto itself.”
I am not indifferent to the responses of others to my writing. Unlike James Joyce, who evidently came across as “ordinary” to his wife, my husband treats me like I am anything but ordinary – a very special, talented writer whose ideas are worth reading. He reads each of my blogs before I post them. I am not indifferent to his editorial ideas, and I appreciate his input.
Let Your Creativity Grow
Just as Cristian Mihai reminded us in his blog today, never ever be complete! Never consider your skill set as mastered. Always keep learning and growing and seeking ways to improve.
You ARE a writer! You DO commit your thoughts and ideas to writing.
A few of your ideas expressed in the comments below will not be met with indifference by this writer. I LOVE hearing from you. You help me to keep growing!
God has blessed my life With a circle of true friends. Some are close enough to hug, Others are scattered to earth’s ends. . Regardless of their physical proximity, My true friends are always with me. When we reach out to each other, Their love stretches out to gift me. .
Some soul sisters I have known briefly,
Others are friends a decade or more,
And a few treasured true friends
I’ve known since I was young and poor.
Some are older, wise, and vibrant,
Some are family living far away,
Some are neighbors, always near and supportive,
Some are my buddies who join me in play.
Some are families who make life special –
Some are in-laws who keep in touch –
Some are couples who invite us over –
All are a part of me… and I love them so much!
Kuan Tao-Sheng as quoted in Theodor Reik’s book, Of Love and Lust:
“Take a lump of clay,
Wet it, pat it,
Make a statue of you
and a statue of me.
Then shatter them, clatter them,
Add some water,
And break them and mold them
Into a statue of you and me.
Then in mine, there are bits of you,
And in you there are bits of me.
Nothing shall ever keep us apart.”
God has blest my soul
With true friends who make me whole.
I carry bits of them where e’re I go.
They round me out so I can roll.
I roll with the punches life flings,
I weather the storms life brings;
I reach out to friends, and they to me.
So no matter the trouble, my heart sings.
Thank You, God, for life’s true friends.
Thank You for God’s Holy Spirit, too.
He is the friend who’s with me always.
I pray that He’s a True Friend to you.
God bless you, my dear blogging friend!
Thank you for being a friend who visits and comments.
Your participation in my blog means
the world to me!
And Happy 57th Anniversary (58 in February) to Bob & me – as we enjoy this 80th year of our lives – and celebrate our togetherness – and thank God for our health
How do couple stay together so long?
That’s a question Bill & Marge were asked at our granddaughter, Faith’s wedding when the 4 Beekman couples were the last ones left on the dance floor after the disk jockey (DJ) said, “All couples married less than 55 years sit down.”
Wow! Here we were… eight old farts still standing, still dancing, still together.
Marge Beekman’s answer was, “Never go to bed mad at each other.”
Bill Beekman was asked for his answer. He said, “I agree with Marge.“
The DJ said, “Did you see that? Did you hear that? He let her answer first and then he just agreed with her. There’s the secret to a long married life!”
Are There Other Secrets?
Well, if he had asked me, “How have you stayed together for 57 years?” I would have answered with not just one, but TEN ideas! (He would have had to cut me off!)
These ideas have worked for us in our long marriage – and have contributed to my ability to tell you, “We’re not just still together, but I love him more today than I did the day we married.”
What Are the Tips for Longevity in Relationships?
Pray together – make the Lord central in your relationship – ask Him to guide your days and help you with every decision. Listen for His Holy Spirit to speak to you and help you as you walk daily in His Will to the best of your abilities.
Give each other space – you are a couple, but you are also people with your own ideas, your own needs, and your own agendas. Allow each other the right to make individual decisions and keep your own identities bright and alive. We even have separate checking accounts. As long as the household needs are met, I don’t have to account to him for every penny of my retirement money that I spend… and likewise, his retirement play money is his to play with as he chooses. Give each other individual freedoms!!
Listen to one another – really hear! Care about what the other thinks and find out why he/she really believes that. Never stop learning from one another.
Go to church together – find a worship community and cultivate their friendships. We are Christians – and we want you to be able to see that in our love for one another and our love for YOU. “They will know we are Christians by our love ❤ ” is not just a song we love to sing, but a life we strive to live. Our Christian friends are our support system, our help in time of need, our prayer partners. There is no friend like the long-term friends you make under the cross of Jesus!
Play together – you may each have your own idea of what “fun” is (He fishes, I don’t. I love movies & popcorn, he doesn’t. He skis, I don’t. I go to Writer’s Group each Friday, he doesn’t. He loves yard work … or at least does it masterfully, I don’t. I love to volunteer at the Sr. Center, the Medical Center, help seniors in need, he doesn’t.) You get the idea. But we love to go riding on the Montana mountain trails with friends in our ATV – and we love entertaining friends in our home, hosting over-nighters for a week or a month or even a year in our home. We love going out to Dave’s Sushi or enjoying a BBQed dinner with fine wine at home. The idea is, find your areas of commonality and play happily together!
Treasure and Appreciate One Another – Bob’s nickname for me (he has many, but my favorite ) is “Precious.” I appreciate his expressions of love and affection and his readiness to show appreciation. He often comments on things like, “My, you look pretty today!” or “I like the way you added that spice to the ______ (fill in the blank) for dinner tonight.” In return I try not to take for granted his beautiful yard work or the delicious waffles he makes for breakfast or his warm and plentiful hugs. Thank you is such an important word in any relationship!
Love One Another – even when you don’t Like each other! None of us is perfect. We often do things to “piss each other off!” It could be something as simple as leaving the toilet seat up or not putting the lid back on the toothpaste. Or it could be a major thing like staying out late without saying you were going to do so – and not calling to say where you are. Showing LOVE for one another is treating your partner the way you want to be treated and expressing yourself clearly without anger (if possible) when your expectations are not met. Loving is compromising and not always expecting things to go your way. Love is forgiving and trying NOT to be the annoying one in the relationship!
Be Kind and Compassionate – Yes, we all make mistakes. We do stupid things. We say things we wish we could take back. When we are at our worst, that’s when we need kindness most. It’s when our partner is at his/her worst that we find it most difficult to be kind in return. But harshness begets hatred and ugliness begets violence. Our response is crucial. Of course, there are caustic relationships that are unhealthy and are not meant to be sustained. No one is called to be a doormat. My heart goes out to those who are in relationships with those who inflict mental or physical abuse. Especially when help is offered, but refused. Sometimes leaving is the most loving option. Kindness/Compassion is a two-way street!
Trust! – Without mutual trust, the relationship is doomed! My husband, Bob’s ski buddy is Nancy. She is a 50-something dynamo who is a ball of energy and fun. She’s a fantastic skier and loves to do those double diamond runs – just like Bob does. If I didn’t trust Bob, I could be jealous of the time they spend together on the slopes and I could conjure up all sorts of images of what I think might or might not be happening. But, Bob & I always have lived with mutual trust – and so instead of worrying, I treasure Nancy’s friendship, too. I love getting together whenever we can with her and her fun-loving husband, Dan. In fact, she’s the one I told you about a few days ago when I said I wanted to adopt a Daughter #4. You gotta trust – and in that confidence enjoy a multitude of friendships and a plethora of opportunities you might miss otherwise!
Respect! – It’s the bottom line. Without mutual respect, you may as well call it a day NOW. I have been around couples where one of them is so disrespectful to his/her partner that it smells up the room. The air is so caustic, you don’t want to be within ten miles of ’em. You want to shake ’em and wake ’em up to what they are doing to one another – or what one is doing to the other. But, rarely does intervention help. You sigh, shake your head, and vow not to ever do that to YOUR loved one. That’s a vow worth keeping if your relationship is worth having! ALWAYS show respect to your partner… and while you’re at it, respect yourself. God don’t make no junk … you’re a treasure!
This month’s copy of HealthMonitor Magazine had a special focus on Senior Health. In it, Diane Keaton shared some tips for aging gracefully. Make work play, the phrase she quoted from a former piano teacher, resonated with me. As I sit at the hospital reception desk, working my weekly volunteer shift, I realize, this is fun!
As I grow older, one of the benefits I am experiencing is that I get to choose how and when I “work.” It’s really all play, because it’s what I choose to do to use my time constructively. But, as I look back at my career in education, I remember feeling like each day in the classroom with my students also was play. I was doing what I loved! I think that’s one of the keys to living happy days, don’t you?
One of my colleagues, Jerry, seemed not only to always make each work day a play day, but his joy was infectious. I used to wonder if he got tired of laughing all the time, being the one that everyone looked to for funniness. Do you know people like that? Here in my place of retirement I have a friend whose laugh is infectious the way Jerry’s was. She finds joy in living – joy in places others might find a reason to grumble. Being around her makes life fun, makes work play. Do you have the privilege of knowing someone like that?
Diane Keaton cited in her list of tips for aging gracefully a new study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry. She shared that researchers “found that people who had a strong sense of purpose in life experienced a 30% slower rate of mental decline compared to those who had less purpose.” Work that is joyful, work that makes us smile, work that is meaningful often seems more like play than a job. It adds purpose to our lives – and at the same time it infects those around us with the joy we radiate. So, when I retired, I didn’t stop working. I just found a different kind of work. Volunteer activities that use my skills, provide encouragement to others, and share the joy of living constitute work that’s play. They help me age gracefully.
Go to HealthMonitor.com and see the entire article. Look at Diane’s other tips. I love the fact that she embraces aging with vim and vigor. She says, “I love life!” I do, too. What tips might you add to her suggestions?