In my journal yesterday, I created a six stanza Haiku. It’s where I’m comin’ from on this day when I delivered Bob (my sweet husband of 58 years) into the hands of a surgeon. It’s a relatively straight-forward procedure… an angiogram to determine any heart issues that were not detected with the x-rays and EKGs. Bob is in good hands… and I am here in the hotel room relaxing:
What is Heaven like? I can only imagine. I see glimpses here.
The help of a friend The love of dear family Colors of sunrise
The pureness of snow Unconditional pet love Hidden surprises
Yesterday I missed writing for the first time in about 400 days. Did you miss me?
WordPress said I was only on my 20th consecutive day – or something like that – but actually what happened was I started the post on one day, finished it the next day and when I posted, they chose the day I started the post rather than the posted date. That caused me to miss a day. Have you ever had that happen to you?
I learned to check the post date in the future and don’t assume it will be exactly when you click on the “Publish” button.
Who cares how many consecutive days you’ve posted? I used to really care a lot. Now I have decided, “So I miss a day… big deal! Ya gotta live your life and eliminate the stress of unreal expectations!”
BUT, you know, I always have something to say! That’s not the issue. The issue is: some days other things besides writing occupy my time.
Two days ago we had the privilege of meeting for the first time IN PERSON a gal who has been my FaceBook friend for at least a decade. She and her husband were on a road trip from Ohio to California. They wanted to visit Yellowstone. It’s only an hour from us. I invited them to come stay a few days with us. They DID!! So, I was much too busy with Margo and Ron to stop and write on my blog. You understand?
It was fun to get acquainted with this gal who was my FB friend waaay back when we were both hooked on Farmville. Did you ever do that?
Now, we have graduated to helping one another in a different way. We reconnected when I reposted a comment by my friend, Father Keith, who is as concerned as I am about what’s happening with the US Postal Service. I opened Pandora’s Box – and the conversation turned caustic. Margo (who is a retired postal service worker and has a son and many friends who work for the USPS) weighed in on the conversation. God bless her!
It was wonderful to make a personal acquaintance with an on-line friend. I hope some day some of you who are my WordPress friends will come to Montana and let me meet YOU face-to-fce, too!!
What else occupied my time this past few days?
Our weather here in south-western Montana is sooooo unpredictable! On Saturday we had temperatures in the high 90’s – and then Sunday it was lovely in the 80’s. That night, Margo and Ron arrived… and the next day we had rain, sleet, hail, and snow! Welcome to Montana! Let’s go for a walk in the rain!!
They say if you don’t like the weather in Montana, wait five minutes! It changes so radically so fast that it is always a topic of conversation.
See ya tomorrow… maybe. What is keeping you occupied these days? Love ya, JanBeek
Chase unhappiness – Just pursue awfulizing – Make matters worse!
Psychiatrist, Albert Ellis, coined the phrase “awfulizing” and wrote that it is “engaging in the pursuit of unhappiness.” Is that what our nation is doing in this Coronavirus pandemic?
Dr. Ellis says, “… when we look at circumstances and are overwhelmed by them, we become part of a society that has an abundance of illogical ideas and philosophies that lead to self-defeating patterns or neurosis.”
Flood the toilet paper aisles with frenzied shoppers filling their carts and fighting over the last roll!
A couple days ago, my doorbell rang. When I went to the door, I found my neighbor standing there with a broad, silly grin, holding a long stick on which he had strung four rolls of toilet paper! Some friends come to the door of 70-80 year olds in their “hoods” with food or flowers or a book to read while we’re sequestered. This neighbor shared his most precious commodity: toilet paper! Who woulda thunk it??
Shop on-line and fill your garage with cases of hand-sanitizer bottles!!
How many hands did that shopper expect to cleanse? S’pose he intended to freely share them? Nope, he was hoarding with the intent of selling them at some exorbitant price in the future – gouging people!
Flock to places like Shedhorn Sports here in Ennis, Montana, and purchase every last gun and all the ammunition you can carry!
Sure enough, these behaviors will solve this awful COVID-19 problem!
James R. Hine, in his essay, The Situation is Hopeless but not Serious , wrote the following:
“The decisions we make are rarely perfect. But if we make a decision based on our best judgment and with God’s help, we should let it stand.”
He was reminding us that we cannot go back and change the past. We can’t undo the mistakes that got us into this mess that sounds hopeless. But, we can look forward, learn from the past, and move into the future with greater wisdom, with love, and with a hope that keeps our spirits up.
In that same essay, Hine wrote,
“I will never preach like Peter nor pray like Paul, but I can minister in my own way and be acceptable to God in that role. You and I are not perfect, but we are unique.”
Here I am with my accordion a few Christmases ago… Unique, indeed!! And so is Andrew with his trombone!
In your own unique way, avoid “AWFULIZING” and move forward in hope. This is serious, but it’s not hopeless!
James R. Hine, The Situation is Hopeless, but Not Serious
Let me leave you with another quote from Hine: “Through that which is deemed hopeless – the present – there arises a freshhope, a new vision, and a world of creative possibilities. It is in the dead of night. Sodom and Gomorrah, the evil city, is burning behind us. In that burning are all the tragedies of yesterday – the pretensions, the stupidities, the ambiguities, and the moral breakdowns. We have learned hard lessons, but we will not look back. Putting our hands in the hand of God, we will move toward the hills and the dawning of a new day.”
God bless you, my friends. Tell me what you are doing this day to “move forward toward the hills”?
Another friend, Penny Hall, said in a podcast yesterday, “Embrace the good with the bad, and know there is always more good than bad in this world.” Amen, Penny!
Spread positivity, my friends. See ya tomorrow. JanBeek
Today is my mom’s birthday. She’d be 104 today. I woke early and was greeted by this gorgeous sunrise peeking over the beautiful Madison Range.
As I zoomed in on it, it became more vibrant.
Orange was my mom’s favorite color. Good morning, Mom! I see you smiling down from heaven. I remember your best days, and set aside the years when Alzheimer’s robbed you of the sparkle, the tenacity, and the wisdom that marked your best days.
Always involved in activities, Mom loved the Rebekahs (female branch of the Odd Fellows), and her bridge club, which weekly met in our living room. Even into her 80’s she loved her 20-Ands Club. She represented a lot of “Ands.” She was an impeccable dresser, beautifully groomed. Managed always to stay fit. She was probably the person who invented the “Selfie”!!
I wrote this poem on December 18, 2004 with Mom in mind. I used phrases she spoke in her last weeks on earth. She was big on giving orders – right up to her last days – even telling God when to take her “home.” She died the day after I composed this, on December 19th.
Before I Die
Before I leave this earth I have a few requests Listen up, my dears, Tomorrow there’ll be tests.
Take my diamond necklace And convert it into cash. Use it for my funeral, Then live life within the dash.
It’s too late for me, friends, To change the things I’ve done; But you have time to listen And teach others of God’s Son.
“The Dash” is all the years Between birth and when you die. Those in-between years Are where your stories lie.
Take my gold and silver, Go out and help the poor. Make amends for all the years I lived from store to store.
Take my many angels, Give them to folks who are Ill, hurting, or lonely. Tell them about the star:
The star of Bethlehem that Was where the angels went To see the newborn baby – Our Lord from Heaven sent.
Take my many clothes and find Folks who are in need. Take the food that I have stashed. Go to the hungry. Feed!
Take my shoes and slippers. Take them all and give Them to the cold and homeless. Help them to warmer live.
Take my chairs and tables, The lamps and bedding, too. Give them to a Home or Mission. They’ll help out quite a few.
Then look around your house, friends. And see the excess treasure. Take it to the needy. You’ll be blessed beyond all measure.
Live your life within the dash In loving generosity. Before you leave this earth, Reach out in pure humility.
Take your gold and silver. Go out and help the poor. God will bless you richly, and You will never want for more.
And we did give most of her angels away – my friend/former student, Lorei, hung them with a note on the doorknobs of the other residents at her care facility where mom lived. Mom had dozens of angels in her collection! And, we gave her clothes and other “stuff” to the people and places that could use them.
However, I have a few of her angels in my “Sanctuary” upstairs. My maiden name is “DeAngeles” (translates to “of angels” – in Italian). Mom lives in me… and today I celebrate her sunrise, her best qualities, and the gifts she instilled in me: self-confidence, unconditional love, tenacity, and a love of poetry.
Happy Birthday, Mom! I am “Living in the Dash” just as you taught me.