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Granddaughter, Hope, and our great-grandson, Xander. Precious!
One New Tooth
Shining bright and clean
One Pug Nose
Smelling life, so keen
One Smiley Mouth
Returning lots of glee
Two Sparkly Eyes
Looking back at me
Two Pink Cheeks
Ready to be kissed
Two Darling Ears
No sounds are missed
Two Strong Shoulders
Holding tall the head
Two Flexible Elbows
Bending to be fed
Two Chubby Hands
Reaching for the moon
Ten Active Fingers
Holding bottle or spoon
One Husky Body
Smelling clean and sweet
Two Wiggly Hips
Ready to dance in the street
Two Sturdy Legs
Ready to go walking
Two Bony Knees
Bending, but not balking
Two Balanced Feet
Holding up this chunk
Ten Monstrous Toes
Like mommy’s – who’d a thunk?
One Grand Future
Impacting Mother Earth
One Perfect Great-Grandson
A million dollars worth
Thank You, Hope and Drew
Thank You for this boy
Thank You, God
He brings us so much joy!
Jan Beekman (GG)
March 7, 2018
OUT OF ORDER
I look at those little feet
So shaped like my granddaughter’s
And I know this little child
Is hers – and ours – not some other family’s.
His lips are just like his mother’s –
And his nose and eyes are from his father.
He’s a precious child of God.
Why did I worry about his arrival?
Well, he came out of order!
In my day, first the couple married.
Then they lived together, and
Then they started their family.
Today the order seems to have changed.
First – live together, and then
Confirm your love with a child, and then
You might get married – but not necessarily.
The order of things as taught by grandparents
and confirmed by parents in most cases
Is not the order of things in today’s world.
Things are out of order!
However, this great-grandma is happy to be
GG to this precious child – so dear.
He didn’t choose his parents’ order of things.
All he needs to know is love.
Unconditional love and support are yours.
You are a precious, gift from God.
Xander Leland Cantwell –
Welcome to this world.
Your order is perfect-
Not out of order at all.
How could I have questioned God’s timing?
It’s always perfect!
– praising the enhanced Beekman/Cantwell Family
I am excited to be taking an eight week writers’ workshop. It started last week with five of us ladies signed up to work with an amazing young woman named Allyson Adams. My friend, Lexi Sundell and I are trading off the driving responsibility. It’s about fifteen miles up the hill to Virginia City from where we live here in Ennis, Montana. A lovely drive, usually, but it snowed big time last week when it was Lexi’s turn to drive. I lucked out and had a gorgeous spring day yesterday when it was my turn to drive. Sharing the driving has the added bonus of quality one-on-one sharing with a fellow writer as we traverse the mountain and exchange ideas on what we’ve been writing or what we just learned and intend to do with it. Lexi is writing her memoirs. I am writing a book to honor my seven grandchildren (and ultimately their parents, too, I hope) and to share the wisdom my grandchildren are helping me gain on this amazing path called LIFE. Our goal is to start and finish this project in the eight-weeks of the workshop. Ambitious? Maybe. Lexi had a head start. She began her memoirs some time ago. My book is evolving as the class progresses.
The working title of my book is “Lessons My Grandchildren Are Teaching Me.” It started out in the past tense… Lessons I Have Learned… and has changed to the present as it dawned on me that the learning is an on-going, life-long process. The grandchildren, who all are now between the ages of 20 and 24, live in California and Switzerland, except for one. One is right here in Ennis. She moved here a year ago, coming to live with Grammy and Grampy for a much needed “fresh start.” Her name is Hope, and she has been the initial inspiration for this book project that is now consuming me. She also is one of the reasons that I stopped blogging about a year ago. Life got in the way! Something had to give as we focused our energies on being sorta parents again at the ripe, rich age of mid-seventies! So, I set aside WordPress and dug into helping a grandchild grow from 21 going on 12 to a bonafide young adult, capable of wise decision making, independent living, and being the responsible citizen she is becoming. We all are a work in progress. I am no exception!
It’s been a challenging year. Sharing the love of family, the joy of giving, the recognition and development of our spiritual gifts, and the confidence to grow from our mistakes and go on to make new ones and learn from them, too, has been an amazing experience. Our Hope has evolved from a beat down, introverted, jobless and homeless child to a confident, outgoing, employed and independent young woman. Her 22nd birthday is Mother’s Day. We’re going to celebrate with her and we’re here to continue the love and support and watch as she continues to make great strides. Hers will be the last chapter in my book. Hope for Hope! Stay tuned!
(Here is Hope – in yellow – at about age 17 – with her siblings – before she decided she was tired of family rules and decided to go it on her own. Two years later, she was ready for her “Fresh Start.” And the story continues… My book is about these four PLUS my three grandsons who live in Switzerland. I’ll tell you more about my project in my next entry. Thanks for visiting.)
Lord, thank You for the morning –
For the quiet of the night –
For the stillness of the dawning –
For the promise of the light.
Thank You for the candles
Which flicker in the room,
Twinkling in the starlight,
Their gentle light reminds me
There’s strength contained in fire;
So manage and and maintain it.
Unchecked, its results are dire.
Like candle flames, my life is
A flicker on the earth.
I thank You for my parents
Who loved and gave me birth.
Work in and through me, Jesus;
Let Your Light shine intense.
With God all things are possible.
His outreach is immense.
I pray for all my children –
And each grandchild as well.
I thank You for their presence.
Give them peace and patience – Make it swell!
Thank You for the promise
Of each new, unlived day.
Help me make the most of it
By walking in Your Way.
In Christ’s Name I pray,
Got a nasty worry?
Throw it away.
Got somethin’ troublin’ you?
Throw it away!
Throw it in God’s direction;
He’ll take your cares away
To Never Never Land.
Just leave them there today.
Don’t take the worries back.
Don’t let your troubles getcha.
Give all your cares to God.
He cares for you – I’ll betcha!
I worried about Hope –
My granddaughter who went away.
I hadn’t heard in over a month.
God heard; Hope texted the next day.
I worried about Mike –
My grandson needed a job.
I asked the Lord to help him.
He was chosen from out of a mob!
I heard my sis was sick;
She was taken to the E.R.
I asked God to heal her –
His mercies are never far.
Just take your cares and worries
And throw them out in prayer.
Then try not to dig ’em out again.
Leave ’em with God. Trust them there!
The best part of being in Switzerland is the Family Time. Yes, it’s a wonderful place to “have to visit!” We have gone every other year since 1991 when our daughter, DeAna, and her Swiss-born husband, Andre’, moved back to his hometown of Sierre. They were pregnant at the time with our first grandchild. Of course, we had to go as soon as Mikey emerged! You will find a picture of Mike with his girlfriend, Sophie, in Part One of Our Trip to Switzerland. Mike and his girlfriend, Sophie, are so suited for one another! Keep him in prayer, though, he applied for an apprenticeship that he did not get. So now, his future employment is in limbo. Pray the perfect job opportunity emerges for our #1 Grandson.
Going back to 1993, two years after Mike’s birth, pregnant with our second grandchild, De prepared for a little girl. I traveled alone to be there to spend a week with “Melanie,” taking a suitcase full of pink things with me. Humph! “She” didn’t come as planned! Finally, the day before I was scheduled to leave to return to California, the doctors went in and pulled out by Caesarian section, a squalling, red-faced boy. Nicolas Marin Solioz was a screamer! Oh my, what a set of lungs! In the nineteen years since then, he hasn’t stopped making noise! Some of it is in the form of music on his steel guitar. Oh, yes, he’s a musician, an entertainer, a clown, a brilliant life of the party! Of the three, he looks the most like De & me. He has drive, determination, and charisma coming out of every pour!
Here is Nick with his girlfriend, Sandrine (Sorry about catching you with your eyes partly closed, Sandrine… you are a beautiful, bright, and thoughtful young lady with a bright future. Good luck as you pursue a career in the medical field!).
But, wait! Did I say three? Yes, two years later, determined to have that little girl we anticipated, Bob and I traveled back to Switzerland in time to greet Solioz child number three: Christian Robert (middle name after his Grampy Beekman). No, not a “Melanie” or “Janet,” but we would not trade this sweet, compassionate, thoughtful young man for a gillion bucks! No way!!
There’s he is, his 17-year-old face smiling on the left with his brothers,
having “the plate of the day” at their parents’ restaurant,
Le Rothorn, in Sierre- the Swiss state of Valais.
Chrissy sometimes has a break mid-day and comes home to eat his main meal of the day in the restaurant. He works at the Nursing Home about a half a mile from their apartment, which is above the restaurant on the main street of Sierre. At 16, disgusted with school, he quit the misery (for him) of public school and went to live for about seven weeks with a family in Germany so he could learn a little more conversational German. In their French part of Switzerland, so close to the German-Swiss section, it is imperative that people are at least bilingual. Most know at least two languages, French and German, and the younger generation almost all know English as well. Being a trilingual male interested in a job in the service profession, it didn’t take Chris long to land an apprenticeship at the local nursing home. The transition from being a sixteen year-old, care-free youth to becoming a vocational nurse has not been an easy one. But, with the help of observant supervisors and compassionate colleagues, Chris is succeeding. He works three days a week and attends relevant classes two days a week. His goal is to become a head nurse someday like his Auntie Marge in Fresno, CA. Isn’t it wonderful that Switzerland has the kind of apprenticeship programs that give young high school “drop-outs” viable alternatives? The United States could learn from the Swiss mentality!
Stay tuned for Part Four – “Extended Family and Friends” in Switzerland