Small Isn’t All Bad – Less Is More

I love books. I love reading. I have actually read all night long when I was reading a novel I just

couldn’t put down! This shows a portion of my collection of books. I have favorite authors, of course. Grissom, Blackstock, Rivers, Williamson, just to name a few! Glen Williamson was my dad! I have all his books!

I’ve now reached the age I didn’t really think would ever arrive! Old Age! I need to downsize! Oh no, does that mean, get rid of my precious books?

I’ve done it! I’ve downsized my books! I’ve given many away! Some to family, some to friends here,  some to friends in far away places!

There is an organization that takes Christian books and makes them available to missionary workers and families. Christian Resources International is where boxes and boxes and boxes of my books, for all ages, went! It wasn’t so hard to give them away when I knew they were going to people who would read them and love them and be helped by some of them and who couldn’t, otherwise, get them! And they’ll be going all over the world!

I no longer have my book shelves in my reading room. I no longer have my reading room! We’ve moved the shelves upstairs to the loft. So here is my reading corner!

I even had room for some antique games and toys from Jerry’s childhood days. A Roy Rogers coloring book! Monopoly, a jar of Marbles, Dominos, Tinker Toys, and a game of Conflict. The beautiful doll was a gift from my daughter, Pam, years ago, but not an antique yet! The parasols are from Taiwan.

New Library

So the downsizing has begun! My books, for the most part, are alphabetized by the author.

Book case 1 These are  some antique books I can’t part with. Some are: Dick and Jane readers, I started out learning to read, in Des Moines, Iowa. Jerry and Alice readers, Friendly Village and If I Were Going, I had in Covington, Oklahoma.

Jerry made this bookcase when he was in high school in the early 50’s! On top of the bookcase is the Singer sewing machine my mother received as a gift when she was a teenager. She made all my clothes and my sisters on this machine! A darning bulb is beside the sewing machine. Mother taught me to darn socks with it! Today, of course, we throw  holey socks away and buy new!

Having grandchildren, I have to save some of my kid books. I gave a lot of them away but I kept some favorites. Most of them were my own kids books when they were young.

The Bremen-town Musicians I have read to all of my grandchildren. They got to hold the statue of the Rooster, Cat, Dog, and Donkey while I read the book to them. They loved it and begged to have me read to them over and over!

So, the next stage of downsizing needs to begin. Oh dear…


The Death of a Friend

I lost my very good friend, of fifty years, to cancer, last week. Dean Beguhl Way back when I was in high school and jr. college, 1955-1958, Dean Beguhl and I were very good friends. He wasn’t my boyfriend, but he was my very good friend. Dean 1956  He was a year ahead of me in school. Dean was from Idaho and I was from Iowa. He was a wonderful singer! The best, my favorite! anita 1957 We lost track of each other after leaving Wessington Springs Jr. College in South Dakota. He went to New York, I came to Michigan. But our friendship remained even though we lost track of each other. In 2000 I saw a post on Facebook about a man splitting logs. It was on a mutual friend’s page. It said the man was Dean Beguhl! So I wrote a comment: “What is my favorite singer doing, splitting logs?” Then Dean and I became friends on Facebook. He explained to me that when he and Norma retired they moved to Michigan, bought five acres of woods and built a log home. They lived by their daughter and family. I wrote back immediately: When Jerry and I retired, we bought five acres of woods and built a log home! We live near our son and family! That was the beginning of our renewed friendship. We invited them to come for a visit…they came! This picture of Dean and Norma is in front of our spiral staircase!


Norma & Dean Beguhl

It was the first time for Norma to meet us and the first time for Jerry to meet both of them and for them to meet him. Dean and I picked up our friendship from about 50 years ago! We had a great time!


Norma & Dean at the Midland Tridge!


Two sets of grandparents!

One day he mentioned a wood carving class he’d sure love to attend but just couldn’t pay for the class and also for a motel for a week. I asked where it was and he replied at the Midland County Fairgrounds! I immediately told him it was only about four miles from our house! He was welcome to stay in our guest room! So he came. It was a very good week for him! He was a very talented wood-carver! We have several of his masterpieces in our curio cabinet.

Dean Beguhl at work

Dean Beguhl at work

When Dean was staying that week with us, he and I renewed our own friendship from 50 years ago! We had great visits. One night we stayed up just talking, in the sunroom, way past 1:00 AM. Jerry had gone to bed early so we just reminisced, looked at old pictures, we discussed our happy marriages and our children, and our relationship with God through Christ. I’ll never forget that night.


Dean is eating a piece of my blueberry pie.

We were invited to visit them in their home and had an enjoyable time with them. Our log homes are different in style but both are unique and we all loved both of them!  Their logs were from British Colombia, Canada. Ours were from the upper peninsula of Michigan.


Archer’s log home.

Beguhl's log home

Beguhl’s log home

They came back to visit us one more time. We had another very good visit and time together.


Jerry, Norma, & Dean.

Norma was beginning to have some serious problems. She was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. In between cancer treatments, they began fulfilling some of her bucket list. A concert by a favorite singer, tandem skydiving! Norma Skydiving  Dean Skydiving  What an exciting adventure for both of them.

About six months ago, Dean revealed to us that he also had pancreatic cancer. While Norma has outlived all the predictions, Dean’s life ended May 24, 2015. It’s so sad to think about. But at the same time I’m so thankful for the past couple of years when we renewed our friendship from so many years ago! We’ll meet again someday when it’s my time to go, there’s no doubt about it! But I truly thank God for giving us this time of renewing our friendship.