Where Antelope Roam

Christmas Memories
December 17, 2016, 9:04 am
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It’s almost Christmas… indeed the season is upon us as I was reminded the other day when I went to the “big” city for an office event and also tried to do some Christmas shopping… wow!  Can’t say I miss the big city at this time of year when I’m by myself..I have to admit, I’m not a lover of shopping… shocking, I know… being female and all but I’ve really never been a shopper..After the year, I’ve had, the memories surrounding Christmas are rather precious.

My Christmas memories center around family…. not shopping.. though one shopping event with my SIL did end up with my introduction to Chik-fil-a’s peppermint shake for which I will be eternally grateful… LOVE peppermint shakes!  Another shopping trip/work event turned out to be a great trip as well.   I shop better when I’m accompanied by an adult… Lol

So, yesterday, I waxed nostalgic in thinking back to Christmases when both my parents were alive and I … well, let’s just say, I was a lot younger…

I grew up in Michigan where the snow falls downward.  Now, if you’re scratching your head and wondering “doesn’t ALL snow fall downward”… then I know you’ve never lived on the plains.  On the plains, snow often falls sideways because when snow falls here, we usually get 4 inches of wind for every inch of snow we receive, particularly if you don’t live in town.

When I was much younger,  say… 4 or 5, mom and dad had some connection with the youth group at church.   I don’t recall if they had the youth group or they just invited them out to the farm for a tobogganing party.    The farm had some awesome hills for tobogganing.  If you’ve never tobogganed, you’ve missed so much!    An interesting word toboggan… I’ll have to look up it’s origin but a toboggan is a long sled with no runners upon which several people… 5-6 get on and fly down hills.   It was great fun!   Though I wasn’t a member of the youth group apparently I was cut enough for them to include me in their rides… :).   I remember there was home made hot chocolate with marshmallows afterward.   Ahhh.

The farm was also where my dad’s parents lived (it was grandpa’s dairy farm).   One Christmas, I remember going to grandpa and grandma’s for Christmas and as a gift I received a little “makeup” kit.   It had fake lipstick and rouge in it.   Totally awesome and totally fun playing makeup!

After we had grown older and had moved into town, Christmas Day often meant going into the next town where my mother’s sister lived.   Christmas Dinner would be served up and we’d feast.   Her house was big enough to accommodate all of us.   One room was where those who wanted to either watch the Christmas Day parade and/or football games gathered.  One room was just for those who wanted to hang out and talk (cell phones were not invented yet… so people actually talked with those in the room with them.. lol) and, of course, there was the kitchen…where usually the older related females hung out talking… about what?  I have no clue.

Christmas Eve was always fun because my room was directly over where the Christmas tree was and on Christmas Eve, the lights on the tree stayed lit.   My room was also the only room upstairs that had a “hole” in it.   It was actually where the heat was allowed to rise before there was a furnace put it.  It was through this hole, my siblings and I could barely see the tree and what Christmas presents “Santa” might have brought us.

“Santa’s” room was also, just off the room where the tree was, so when we kids would hear rustling down below, we knew Santa was busy and we’d try to catch a glimpse of what might be there.

Then as we started growing up and families started enlarging through marriage and grandkids, we started doing Christmas primarily at mom and dad’s.


One year when I and my LB were young adults and still single, we were at mom and dad’s for Christmas and as it would have it, snow was falling on Christmas Eve… LB ever the lover of snow, (though now lives in Florida.. what???) suggested we take a walk in the snow down the streets of our sleepy little town.  So we did.  It was awesome.  The snow was falling so beautifully shown in street lights as we walked and talked.  I can’t remember the conversation we had but we just enjoyed being with each other while walking in the snow.

Mom loved Home Interior decorations and always had candle sconces on the walls and candles on the tables… well, apparently LB inherited the love for light.  One year, I remember we turned all the electric lights out except for those on the tree, and lit all of mom’s candles and just sat and watched them and talked a little.  It was an almost holy time.

Then, of course, Christmas Dinner became the focal point as we grew older.   Mom was a great cook and went all out at Christmas time.   Baking for Christmas usually started a week or so beforehand.  There were usually several different kinds of pies.   Pumpkin, pecan, mincemeat (I’ve never been able to acquire a taste for that..), chocolate pie (as grandkids started appearing).   Cherry Delight, homemade Almond joys,fudge and of course, the prerequisite Grandma Beemer’s Molasses cookies.

The latter were required when the games began!  (The reindeer weren’t the only ones who played games!)    The cookies helped us to think when we would play games like Boggle, Trivial Pursuit, Pictionary, Skipbo and Uno.

Ahhh!  The memories!  The older I get the more precious they become.  I always wanted a large family of my own because though there were the typical squabbles, we always made our own fun.   Alas, that was not to be but God knows best.

As you celebrate Christmas this year, may the Lord be a large part of it and if you have family to celebrate with, make memories…. lots of them…

Until Next time, love God, love others and  Merry Christmas… make memories to last a life time!


Music and Mom
February 16, 2016, 7:56 am
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If you’ve read my previous posts, you know I was introduced (at least my earliest memory of it) to music through laying on the floor at the farmhouse with mom and dad and listening to Swan Lake and Scheherazade being played on the record player.   (that was way before cassette tapes, 8 tracks, CDs, MP3 Players.

Then about the time I was ready for kindergarten (and ready to ride the bus 😦 ), my parents decided to move into town.    So, we did.   It was a two story Victorian style house.   To my mom it was a beautiful home with lots of potential.   Anyway, about the same time, the little church we went to, was asked to no longer meet in the little schoolhouse we’d been previously meeting in.

Long story short, until we could get land and build a church house to meet in, the church met in our home in town.   We were pretty centrally located and we had a large living room.  It was perhaps then that we acquired a piano.   Mom loved to play the piano and she wanted to teach her children to play.

Almost as important to her as the study of the Word of God, music ranked right up there.  Now Mom had more success in teaching some of us than others.   At some point, she began teaching piano to many of our school friends and, as I’ve recently learned, half of my cousins who lived around town!

Eventually, when we did get into the small church building, Mom became the church organist and one of us kids whom she valiantly tried to teach piano, became the church pianist.   As one of us would leave home, the next child would take their place.

When it became my turn, I was awful and pretty intimidated by having to play the piano in front of people!   Mom taught us if we didn’t make faces when we made mistakes (which I did often) no one would ever notice that we made the mistake… well, long story short I tried it and by guppy it worked!   Thus, I learned to gain confidence in playing the piano.

It became somewhat of a passion.   Now, I would never be a concert pianist, though I have siblings who might have been had they chosen that path.   However, I liked to play the piano at night.   Mom would go to bed and sleep on her good ear (she was deaf in one).   Dad would sit and watch the late news and after he was done, he’d sit and listen as I played the piano.

Much to my mom’s chagrin, most of my piano playing was done by ear.   Reading music was laborious to me.   I never could quite get syncopation and different rhythm music.    However, if I could play by ear, I felt it was just me and the Lord and I could play whatever He put in my heart to play.

Well, needless to say, I owe my love of music to mom.

A couple of weeks ago, all six of her children were privileged to spend what would be mom’s last birthday on this earth with her.

When a couple of us went in to greet her the last morning of our stay, we asked how she was.   She stated she was fine but the neighbors were upset.    When we asked her why, she stated because of all those people standing around singing.    “What people?” we asked.    She said “all those white robed people”.    “Mom, what are they singing?”   Her reply, “Holy, holy, holy…. or something like that!”   We all left in awe that God had drawn back the curtain for Mom to see what awaited her.

Now, we believe Mom was seeing the choirs of heaven before the Throne of God and just a week and a day later, Mom joined that choir loving that God loves music!

Until next time, love God, love others and don’t miss an opportunity to tell them you love them…. you never know when you’ll get another chance this side of eternity!

Mom in the summer
February 12, 2016, 11:29 am
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Okay… so as a kid we’d all  probably agree that summer was our most favorite time of year.  It may have something to do with not having to be in school all day.

There were all kinds of things we’d do in the summer.    When it got warm enough… which was usually mid-June, we’d get to go to Dudek Park!   Man, that was great!   Dudek Park was the local swimming hole.   No swimming pools for us.   The Kalamazoo River ran through Dudek Park and as things would have it, it widened and deepened, making it ideal for swimming.   Not only that but there was an area that shallowed out so moms could take their little kids there.   Ahhh… summer.. if we were lucky, mom would get us pop and sandwich meat with some chips for lunch!

Another highlight for me, at least, was Vacation Bible School.   You see mom was the director of VBS at our little church.    Mom using her creativity, could make those Bible stories come alive.   So alive, in fact, that the day she told the story of Adam and Eve, she got a call from a concerned parent because their child had come home saying, Mrs. Beemer had been behind the piano, naked!   Hahaha…. Now mom never disrobed for that story but her ability to make it come alive even for the youngest of children was unparalleled in my experience.

Today, I know that those were not just stories to be told to children but sometimes as youngsters, it was hard for us to grasp the deeper teaching in them.   Yet the way my mom told those stories laid an important foundation for many of us who were there during Bible School.

Teaching her children about God and how He interacts with His children and why was important to mom.    It is something we never forgot and to this day we have all tried to pass on her legacy in that way — some with greater success than others nonetheless, we’ve tried.   Thanks, mom.

Until next time, love God, love others and don’t neglect to teach your children — it’s important.











Fools rush in where Angels fear to Tread
January 20, 2016, 9:59 am
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This is a another saying I learned from my mom.    The older I get the more I hear my mother’s words come out of my mouth.   Weird, huh?   Lol.

I’m in the process of studying out what God says about angels.  This saying came to mind particularly in reading what He says about Michael, the archangel, when he contended with the devil for the body of Moses.   Michael is a smart angel. He never tries to usurp God’s authority… he knows what his position is in regard to God and others of God’s creation.

This saying though not actually found in Scripture, it’s principle is.   Smart angels never try to take credit for what God does through them or to try to do something they weren’t told to do.   Neither should we as humans.  When mom would say this to us, she was telling us we were treading on thin ice and we’d better watch our step.

Now mom adhered to the Biblical admonition found in Deuteronomy 6 for parents to teach their children about God and and what following Him entailed.   In Deuteronomy 6, God tells parents to teach their children when they’re sitting down, when they’re standing up. when they’re walking… pretty much every chance they got.

Another saying mom used to say to us kids that IS found in Scripture was… “Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”    This is one of the things mom would say to us when as kids we felt something wasn’t fair or we felt she needed to know something we were sure she didn’t know.   We would approach mom and say,  “Moommmm… so and so or such and such is/isn’t … whatever.”   Mom would often be heard to reply, “Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”

I have to be honest and tell you as a kid it never seemed a satisfactory answer to me.   Really?    Sufficient unto the day?   Really?   I wanted immediate satisfaction!

Since becoming an adult I have found in my study that this saying was first voiced by Jesus Himself.    It was part of  what we call the “Sermon on the Mount”.    Jesus was teaching His disciples, His followers.   He was teaching them that God would supply all their needs.   (Interestingly enough, He doesn’t promise to supply all our wants. )

When Jesus gets down to the end of Matthew Chapter 6, He’s only about halfway through the sermon.   However, He’s teaching His listeners that whatever we need, God’s got us covered.    In this chapter, He was telling us we’re not to worry about even the big stuff… like food, clothing, something to satisfy our physical thirst or even sufficient money to pay the bills.    If we rely on Him, if we put Him first,  He’s got us covered.    This is not a carte blanche for us to just sit on our fannies and say, “Okay, God you promised to supply all my needs… I’ll wait for it.”… Hmmm… though we’re not to worry about our needs, big or small.   We can know that God may use us to supply them while being obedient to Him.

That’s what my mom was trying to teach us as kids.   When we’d come crying… Mooommmmm!   She was saying to us.. “Don’t worry about it.  I’ve got this covered.   This is not your responsibility to worry about. ”  Our responsibility as kids was to obey mom and dad.   Their responsibility was to take care of our needs.

As an adult sometimes I find myself wanting to run to God and cry,  “God… Father… so and so isn’t … or such and such doesn’t…  ” and He says to me, “Daughter, don’t worry about that/them.  I’ve got it covered.   You worry about what I’ve told you to do and it will be just fine.”  If we are truly children of God it’s not our responsibility to worry/stress about things.   Our responsibility is to obey Him and believe “sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof”.

Until next time, love God, love others and remember  He’s got it covered.

January 16, 2015, 11:04 am
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The other day I was putting walnuts in something I was making… (the other day you understand has been at least 10 days ago since hubby and I are doing the 10 day green smoothie cleanse).   As I was putting the walnuts in whatever I was making, my mind drifted back to my childhood.

In those days, we went to a small church in our town and on the corner of that lot was a black walnut tree.   Every year the walnuts would fall from the tree and no other members were interested in them, so my dad would pick up whatever he could and bring them home.

If you know anything about walnuts, they have an outside shell (not the hard one we crack) that has to die off or be removed before the inside hard shell is revealed.   My dad, being the patient man he was, would allow them to dry out and take those outside husks off the walnuts and then would take the ones in hard shells down to our basement.

Now the basement was my dad’s “man cave” before man caves became popular.    It was where he’d retreat when he needed to be alone (after all he did have 6 children!)and it was the only place he ever smoked his pipe or cigar.   When the weather got to where he couldn’t really do much outside, he’d sit down there, smoke his pipe, crack walnuts and fill jars of them for my mom for when she baked.

Walnuts went in Grandma’s Molasses Cookies around  Thanksgiving/ Christmas when mom would bake them.  They also go in Mom’s Oatmeal Cookies.

My dad was a quiet man for the most part and a patient man.   There was something else we discovered when my sister cleaned out his man cave… much of what was down there were papers, certificates and letters showing the achievements of his children.   He kept our school pictures and any other pictures we sent to him after we’d grown up and moved away.   He was inordinately proud of his kids.   He was never a verbally expressive man but in his keeping of those things proving his kids achievement, he said it all…

I’m so grateful for the time I had to grow up in his family.   It was not all fun and games; we learned to discipline ourselves through his discipline of us; we learned to work; we learned to love and we did learn to play at times.

I’m missing my dad today.

Until next time, love God, love others and remember what those close to you mean to you.

My Personal Trainer…
May 7, 2009, 11:36 am
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came over the other day.   He was here for two whole days and when he’s here I really get a workout.

My personal trainer

My personal trainer

This is where he sat while I pruned the Russian Olive trees.  Well, actually, he didn’t just sit there… he did other things..like..

Is there something in there?

Is there something in there?

He investigated the pallets that surround our young trees.  The pallets keep the deer from destroying them before they even have a chance to grow.

Looking for trouble

Looking for trouble

Doest this thing work?

Doest this thing work?

Being a boy, and loving to be outdoors on the ranch always gives him opportunity to go looking for trouble…

Yep.. still looking

Yep.. still looking

I did convince him that rocks and a plastic planter were perfectly acceptable toys… at least for a while…

Rocks and a pot - great toys!

Rocks and a pot - great toys!

 All in all a great day was had by one and all… and I’m still recuping… godisgood

Okay, so…
February 19, 2009, 2:53 pm
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I did tell you it’s been a busy week… Well, db and family did arrive and we had a great time… here are some pics.

DB and me... do we look alike?

DB and me... do we look alike?


DD and DN.. aren't they cute?

DD and DN.. aren't they cute?

DN is a year younger than DD and about one-half to one inch taller than DD.   Btw… family members tell me that’s what I looked like at that age… Sorry Hay… now you know what you have to look forward to.. cid_2138628e-3c49-435c-bcf9-d56fb04c5843

Youngest DN with ags

Youngest DN with ags

Our AGS came to stay with us while my db family was here as well.  That was cool.  Cause he had lots and lots of attention.  For instance… db played the Tigger game with him…

Playing the Tigger game

Playing the Tigger game

AGS was having a ball… In fact, my db may have regretted getting him started because he just kept coming back for more. 

Playing in the snow

Playing in the snow

The kids got their wish to see enough snow to play in… and Odie… well, he was loving it as well.

Alas, all good things must come to an end but at least they got to visit…

So, until next time… stay warm, love God, love others and pursue those relationship!