Eighty…

It’s past time for me to write about turning eighty years!

My birthday was on Halloween Day. IMG_2420                    But I feel I must get my feelings out in writing. This was a difficult birthday!

Yes, I turned eighty! I don’t feel eighty! Some folks have a hard time turning 30, 40, 50… I had no problem with those years. But 80…! I remember when my mother turned eighty!

Friends tell me I don’t look eighty! But maybe they’re just being nice! I don’t feel eighty… Hmmmm! What does eighty feel like? I don’t know…I’ve never been eighty before! IMG_2375 I’m holding a month old Husky puppy! This is the latest picture of me and was taken on my eightieth birthday. No, the puppy was not a birthday present or any kind of present! He/she is not mine! Although I would love to keep  him/her! My niece invited me to visit and hold the new puppies!

I do get tired and worn out easily. My hair is almost all white, there’s still some gray in the back. My hair is thinning!!! Help! Jerry and I don’t drive at night any more. I’m buying frozen dinners for us to eat several nights of the week!

Our children…are pictured at the top of this page! We have five and none of them live near us. Only one lives in Michigan! The others live in Illinois; Sask., Canada; New Mexico; and Georgia! But they are taking charge!!! Pam moved us down from our big, beautiful bedroom upstairs to a bedroom downstairs! Tim drove us to South Carolina to a grandson’s wedding. Ted, Christy, and Rob are all in agreement that we shouldn’t drive outside of our town!!!  We’re all in contact often. What?! Is this eighty?

I actually had three celebrations for my 80th birthday! First one, planned by one daughter and two daughters-in-law, was in South Carolina the day before my grandson’s wedding! IMG_2016 (1)    The second was our small group, we are members of, when they surprised me! IMG_3455                                             The third was dinner at Lucky’s Steak House with Jerry! It was my first time to go there! Both of our steaks were cooked to perfection! He gave me a beautiful Nativity set to go with my collection. IMG_2360 (1) So you can see I had a good  birthday. So I should be happy…!!!

But eighty? I’m not ready to be old!

One day a realization came to me. I have loved ones who have already died: parents, sister, some close relatives, some close friends. Favorite Bible characters: Joseph, Daniel, David, Mary, Luke, Timothy, John, and many others! I’ve always looked far ahead knowing that someday I’ll join them. Well, someday is getting closer! I won’t have quite so long a wait! That’s a good thing! Something to look forward to!!!

I do have longevity in my genes: Dad – 96, Mother – 99, Aunt Bessie – 102, Great-uncle Will – 101, and maybe some others I’m not aware of. I guess I’ll just live one day at a time and one year at a time. When my time comes I’m ready. I’ve asked Jesus for forgiveness and to live in my heart, so I know where I’m going when my time comes. I’ve been born again! I hope when your time comes that you’ll join me!

“What a day that will be…when my Jesus I shall see! When I look upon His face, the One who saved me by His grace…”

 

My Friend Barb

I’m thinking about some of my memories with Barb!  Hockaday_Barbara_20151108   I’ve known her since the year before I married Jerry. That would be 1958!

Barb and Dick attended our wedding in Winona Lake, Indiana. In fact, they were among the ‘friends’ who stole my suitcase and tied all my clothes in knots before returning it to our car so Jerry and I could leave on our honeymoon! Dad and me wedding  This picture is proof Barb was at my wedding! No, she’s not in the picture! This is my dad walking me down the aisle, and Barb’s husband, Dick, is in the picture! He’s the man closest to my dad! Barb is next to Dick, and can’t be seen! But she was there!

Dick and Jerry were both in the National Guard and had to go to National Guard Camp every summer. Barb invited me to stay with her since we’d both be alone.

Well, Barb and HoneyBee were alone! HoneyBee was her big, loveable, mixed Boxer dog! She was securely tied in the back yard. Our first night alone, after we were asleep, HoneyBee woke us up with her barking! She didn’t stop! She barked and barked. Barb and I laid in bed trying to convince each other not to worry. It was probably just an animal, maybe a raccoon. But, the longer she barked and the longer we talked, the more worried we became! What if some man heard that two young brides were sleeping in this house, with no husbands…! What if HoneyBee was trying to warn us? What if the man was trying to break in!? Oh, what should we do? We couldn’t just stay there! But how could we get to the car without him grabbing us? Then one of us, I’m not sure which one, got an idea… Let’s call Jim. Jim was our brother-in-law and lived less than two miles away.

(Let me explain the relationship here. Jim was Jerry’s brother. Marion, Jim’s wife, was Dick’s sister. So Jim was the brother-in-law of both Barb and me, but yet, Barb and I weren’t related.)

Then Barb and I had another problem! How could we look up Jim’s phone number without turning the light on? We didn’t want the ‘man’ to know we were up! We called information, in the dark, and asked for Jim’s number, which we wrote down in the dark. Then we dialed, in the dark, and waited and waited, for Jim to wake up and answer the phone. He finally did and I explained to him what our problem was and how scared we were. His reply? “So?” I swallowed hard and asked if he would come and get us and let us sleep at his house! There was a pause…and then he said, “Okay.”

The next night we decided to keep HoneyBee in the house. Ohhhh, every now and then, all night long, I had to push HoneyBee away and wipe her slobbers off my face!

The third night we kept HoneyBee in the house again, but we closed the bedroom door. In the morning, we were hurrying around, getting ready for the day. Barb had to go to work. I just needed to be dropped off at my house. But Barb couldn’t find her keys! We both searched all over the house. No keys. Did HoneyBee hide them? We searched some more. No keys. Finally, Barb said maybe she left them in her car and went out to look. No keys. She searched the ground, in case she had dropped them. No keys. She came back to the house, grabbed the doorknob… Her KEYS! In the lock were her keys on the outside!!! They were just waiting for some man to come in, in the night!

For a weekend, Barb and I drove up to Grayling, Michigan to the National Guard Camp, to be with our husbands for a couple of days. We rented a cottage on a lake to share and had a great time. We watched them march in a parade and go through ceremonial maneuvers.

The next year, when the guys went to National Guard Camp, Barb stayed with me in our new house. I had my new baby, Pamela Gail! Barb loved her! We rented a cottage on a lake again for a weekend and Jerry and Dick joined us again. But this time, I had all kinds of baby paraphernalia!

Years went by, we continued our friendship. We had more babies, five total. Barb and Dick were blessed with two babies, Terri and Brent.

As the years passed, with the business of life, I lost contact with Barb. I’m glad I have these fun memories of her.  Now she’s gone. Today I attended her memorial service. I know she had a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, so someday I’ll see her again.

I’m Ready, Are You?

Another funeral today… the sister of my very close friend. I barely knew the person who died so suddenly, but yet I considered her a friend. We saw each other mainly at family functions: weddings, anniversaries, and funerals. Today was her funeral, her death was so unexpected. She was 78 years old, about a year and a half older than I am.

So another funeral today. There have been so many…! Lorraine, Joan, Lynne, Dean, Norma, Oates, Twila, Jim, another Jim, Jack, Bob, Margaret, Carolee, David, Evelyn, and there are more. These are just the names that came to my mind just now as I’m writing.

These are also close to my age! I didn’t name the folks who’ve died in their old age, upper 80’s and 90’s! Yes, I’m in my middle seventies. But, I don’t feel old! I know I must look old! I get offers of help at the supermarket! When I was in Haiti in June of this year, the wonderful Haitian folks wouldn’t allow me to do anything! They would hold up their hands and say, “Oh, no, Grandma. No, no!” They would then do the task I was needing to do! I do admit to having aches and pains that are new to me, but I’m not ready to die!

Well, physically, I’m not ready to die. Spiritually, I am ready to die! I’m forgiven, I’m born again, I’m living in praise of my personal Saviour! What a wonderful place to be! When my day comes for me to breathe my last breath, I don’t want anyone to wonder if I’m  ready! New haircut  Praise God, I’m ready! Are you?

There They Go…

The day I didn’t want to come is here. Rob, Jessica, Elmise, and Armon are on their way south to live. Haleigh is staying with us for a couple of weeks and then she’ll also be gone. They have lived next door to us for eighteen years! But life goes on… So while I’m sad, I’m also excited for them. What does life have in store for them?

We had our last breakfast together. Bacon, pancakes, orange juice.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Last breakfast.

They loaded up the truck Friday and Saturday. Loading the truck

Today, early this morning, they drove off. Elmise in the car with Jessica.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Rob is securing the motorcycle.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

There go Jessica and Elmise, Jessica driving.

Armon, in the truck with Rob.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Armon and Rob

Good-bye…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

They’re off…

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!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Norma & Dean at the Midland Tridge!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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.

My Dad…Part V

“Someday, when the kids are grown, I’m going to take you around the world!” This statement, I remember hearing Dad say to Mother, back in the middle 40’s, finally came true! Scan_Pic0107  This picture was taken in about 1945. I’m the young girl between Dad and Mother. Richard and Lorraine are standing, Billy is on Mother’s lap.

Their first trip, in 1961, was an exciting six-week trip to Europe. Dad was Scottish-Irish; Mother was full-blooded Norwegian, so of course they went to Ireland and Norway.   They kissed the Blarney Stone in Ireland! In Norway, they visited relatives who still lived on the farm that had been in the family for centuries! They also went to The Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, and France.

Coming back home to America they traveled by ship! It was a great ending of a great experience for both of them. Dad was invited to preach on Sunday! It was an unexpected thrill for him.

The next few years had many changes for Dad and Mother. They moved to Colorado where Dad was Conference Superintendent of the Colorado Conference of the Free Methodist Church. They lived in Canyon City and Denver. He wrote several books during that time.

Then they moved to a lovely retreat home on Horn Mountain! He became editor of the magazine: Sermon Builder, a widely used magazine for pastors and church leaders. At the same time, he wrote many articles, stories, and several books. Frank and Hazel, The Adamson’s of Kibogora in 1972 published by Light and Life Press; Repair My House in 1973 published by Creation House;  Geneva and On The Brink by Geneva Sayre with Glen Williamson) in 1974 published by Light and Life Press; Born For Such A Day, The Amazing Story of Western Evangelical Seminary in 1974 published by Le Sabre Press; The Doctor and Geraldine in 1975 published by Church Extension Service, Inc.; Gonzalo of Mexican Missions in 1976 and Brother Kawabe in 1977 published by Light and Life Press.

They traveled to Assisi, Italy where they researched for the book, Repair My House, a biographical novel of Saint Francis of Assisi. Repair my house was a command God had given to Francis concerning the Church. Dad and Mother stayed in a guesthouse run by four Franciscan Sisters of the Atonement. The nuns it interesting that an evangelical minister was writing a book about a Catholic saint and gave valuable assistance to the production of the book.

Other countries they went to for the purpose of researching for books were Japan and Taiwan. “Brother Kawabe”, “Geneva”, and “On The Brink,”

On the way to Japan, they had a layover in Hawaii. They took in a luau and went to see Pearl Harbor. Then on to Japan where they were entertained by Dr. Lavern and Lois Snider. It was a dream come true! They met and ate with new Japanese friends, visited several Free Methodist Churches, and attended a Japanese wedding! Dad was able to do a lot of research on his book, assisted by Dr. Snider.

Taipei, Taiwan was next on the itinerary. They were met by James Taylor, Jr. Then they flew on to Kaohsiung where they were met by Carolyn Winslow and Dorothy Raber. They visited Free Methodist Churches and met wonderful pastors and lay people. One day they visited a heathen temple which made their hearts ache for people who haven’t heard of Jesus. Harry and Ruth Winslow took them to a wedding in Mutan, a mountain village! At a conference meeting of pastors and missionaries, Dad was the speaker, with the conference superintendent as his interpreter.

They took a train back up north to Taipei. It was an excellent way to see rural Taiwan. Rice, sugarcane, pineapples, oranges, bananas, soybeans, cabbage, watermelons, papaya, and persimmons were in abundance. James, Jr. and Leone Taylor and Wilma Kasten met them at the train station. They all enjoyed a delicious Chinese dinner and a good visit. Wilma was their hostess that evening and the next day, before their plane took them to Hong Kong.

John and Ruby Schlosser met them in Hong Kong and showed them all around the large city, explaining cultural ways and the church, as they went.

What a fruitful trip this had been for Dad and Mother. Not only did they meet with missionary friends, they made new friends, explored new cultures, and accomplished lots of research for the books Dad was writing.

FullSizeRender (93)

To be continued…

 

 

 

 

Lorraine Roseann and Me

Lorraine and I were sisters. We played together all the time as children. 2414_1029994670148_9430_n  This picture of Richard, Lorraine and me, was taken in 1942. Grandma Aanas came to stay with us because Mother was deathly ill with our baby brother, Billy. Neither were expected to live. Billy was born three months premature and weighed 2lbs 9oz. . Grandma dressed us up, curled our hair, took us on a city bus to a photo shop and had our picture taken for our mother! I was three years old, I’m in the middle. Richard was seven. Lorraine was five.

Lorraine and I loved our dolls and played with them every day. We also played School, Lorraine was always the teacher. We played Jacks, Jump Rope, Mother-May-I, Paper Dolls, and more.  kids 1947  Richard, Anita, Billy, Lorraine. 1947.

Then Lorraine turned teenager! I was still a child. I couldn’t understand why she didn’t want to play with me anymore! She began to hang out with new friends! In her sophomore year of high school, she went away to school. Richard went to the same school in South Dakota. Our life at home was never the same.

Lorraine and I were in each other’s weddings,Lorraine 010 but we lived so far apart, South Dakota and Michigan, so we seldom saw each other. In this picture, left to right: Bill and Richard, ushers; Christine, flower girl; Lorraine, matron of honor; me, bride; Jerry, groom; Mother and Dad. Then we both became so busy with babies and raising our families, we didn’t take the time to write letters. I’m ashamed and so sorry that we drifted so far apart.

Lorraine and her family moved to Germany for nine months in the late sixties. On their way and on their way back they came to our house and stayed about a week each time. Lorraine and I became close during those visits. I even confided in her at her prompting. She sensed something was bothering me.

In our retirement, we finally came close once again. Lorraine, on the left. 334297_10150350549117528_639567527_8289434_855443489_oWith the change in phone systems, it became easy to call and chat for long conversations. We called often. We called late at night. We talked long…hours. We reminisced. We discussed God, church, family, death, ourselves, brothers, parents, children, grandchildren, news, weather, etc. We did not discuss politics!

Lorraine & Dog

We often laughed at the longevity in our genes. Aunt Bessie lived to be 102 years, Great Uncle Will lived to be 101 years, Mother lived to be 99 years and five months and Dad lived four days shy of 96 years! We both wanted to live long lives, but we didn’t want to be a burden to our children.

September 4, 2012 my phone rang late, I answered thinking of another good chat with Lorraine. Instead, it was my brother, Richard! He simply told me Lorraine had died. We didn’t talk long. I was in shock. He gave me a few details. She hadn’t answered her phone so Christine went to check on her. Christine’s mother, my sister, had died! I was in shock.

Lorraine was 76 years and seven months old. How could this be? What happened to our longevity? Oh, I miss her so much!

I’m now 76 years and five months old. Whoa…

Every morning I thank God for another day!