Sunshine into the Lives of Others: The Inspiring Life Story of Beth L. Tielke

"Those who bring sunshine into the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves." – James Matthew Barrie

Beth Tielke’s Childhood Favorites

Here is the latest semi-monthly excerpt of the late Beth Tielke’s writings about her life, just one way for her memories to continue to live on. Previously we learned what a typical day looked like for Beth and her parents while she was growing up, and now we get a glimpse of her childhood favorites.

Summertime

Writing excerpt from 2002 found in A Journal of Faith and Love: Grandmother’s Memories to Her Grandchild:

CHILDHOOD FAVORITES

My favorite storybook: It was a book with a different story each day of the year.

Every January I would read each day & then later in the year I would forget.

My favorite poem: Over the River & through the wood to Grandmother[‘]s house we go – the horse knows the way to carry the sleigh thru the white and drifted snow –

or something like that. 🙂

My favorite doll or toy: A doll – it was a rubber doll with a bottle that really wet its pants – called [“]Betsy Wetsy”

[T]he doll in the case was my last doll, the clothes are some Grandma made – one year I’d get a doll [&] the next year doll clothes.

My favorite games:

Chinese Checkers

Pitch

Monopoly

Old Maid

Parch[eesi]

My favorite treat: An ice cream cone or fudge cycle when we went to town or pop corn when we listened to the Love Ranger on the radio.

Upcoming excerpts: “MY PETS” and “WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL”.

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Beth Tielke’s Typical Day Growing Up

Here is the latest semi-monthly excerpt of the late Beth Tielke’s writings about her life, just one way for her memories to continue to live on. Previously we learned about her childhood hometown and now we get a glimpse into a typical day for Beth and her parents while she was growing up.

A Typical Day Growing Up

A Typical Day Growing Up

Writing excerpt from 2002 found in A Journal of Faith and Love: Grandmother’s Memories to Her Grandchild:

A TYPICAL DAY GROWING UP

Where my father worked: Grandpa Sloan was a farmer. He also ground feed – and thrushed for other farmers. – When his back got too bad to pitch hay – they moved to town – He bought books & read how to be a carpenter :-), then he built houses.

What mother did during the day: Grandma got up [and] milked cows[,] worked with [G]randpa in the field – did house work & helped other people when they needed her.

The chores I had to do: I had to pick up corn cobs or wood which ever we had to last in the stove [the] next day for Grandma to cook on. Also, I rode my Shetland Pony after the cows – I pumped water to put in [the] reservoir or cook stove so we would have warm water to do dishes and wash our hands.

On summer days, I liked to: Watch the white fluffy clouds go by. Go to Keith & Larry’s and play in the creek or go to Kevin’s & have ice cubes and graham crackers [–] they cost to[o] much for us to buy.

On winter days, I enjoyed: Riding on a sled – laying on my back & making angels in the snow – playing “fox & goose” at school. Making snow men.

Upcoming excerpts: “CHILDHOOD FAVORITES” and “MY PETS”.

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About Beth Tielke’s First Hometown

Here is the semi-monthly excerpt of the late Beth Tielke’s writings about her life, just one way for her memories to continue to live on. Previously we learned about her childhood home and life and now we get a glimpse into Beth’s first hometown.

Main Street and Courthouse - Springview, NE

Main Street and Courthouse – Springview, Keyapaha Co., Nebraska

Image from Bad Men and Bad Towns – By Wayne C. Lee

Writing excerpt from 2002 found in A Journal of Faith and Love: Grandmother’s Memories to Her Grandchild:

MY HOMETOWN

The street I lived on: I lived in the country until after high school – in 1950 we moved to town.

Where I played with my friends: My best friends were Keith, Larry, Kevin & Roger – Our favorite place to play was in Uncle Frank’s creek. We wore cut off striped overalls – of course I had a shirt under mine & underpants. 🙂

My favorite store and why I loved to go there: We just had one store in Springview & it was a grocery plus everything else – I like it because it gave free tickets to the movies on Saturdays.

Where we worshiped: Great Grandma Sloan and a lady by the name of Jessie Hamilton started a Sunday School in our School House 1/2 [mile] north of where I lived[.] [I]t was fun – We sang songs[,] Great Grandma Sloan told us Bible Stories & we met our friends.

Upcoming excerpts: “A TYPICAL DAY GROWING UP ” and “CHILDHOOD FAVORITES” .

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About Beth Tielke’s Childhood Home

Here is the latest semi-monthly excerpt of the late Beth Tielke’s writings about her life, just one way for her memories to continue to live on. Previously we learned about her extended family members and now we get a glimpse into Beth’s childhood home and life.

A Sparrow's Nest - Sunshine into the Lives of Others

A Sparrow’s Nest

Writing excerpt from 2002 found in A Journal of Faith and Love: Grandmother’s Memories to Her Grandchild:

MY CHILDHOOD HOME

My earliest memory of home: We had only 3 chairs. Our main meals were fried potatoes & eggs – mac[]aroni with cream.

Bread with cream & sugar each were separate meals – No electricity or running water – going outside to the bathroom.

My childhood bedroom: It was upstairs – hot in summer & Grandma warmed big rock in the oven to put in my bed to make it warm in winter. In the summer sparrows came through the holes in the windows screens and I’d watch them nest, lay eggs and hatch. Also Millers were really bad – I had a personal lite to read by.

My favorite hiding place: I had a dog named Pal – We lived in a big cottonwood grove so each fall I’d hide in the leaves. He would come uncover me – One day going to school Grandpa let me sit on the tractor & drive [&] when we got almost to school Pal sat down watch the kids – I ran over him – I never had another dog I loved that much.

The yard I played in: We didn’t have yards. I played all over our farm.

Upcoming excerpts: “MY HOMETOWN” and “A TYPICAL DAY GROWING UP “.

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About Beth’s Extended Family in the Early Years

I’m continuing to post semi-monthly excerpts of the late Beth Tielke’s writings about her life as one way for her memories to continue to live on. Previously we learned about her mother and father and now we will learn about her other family members.

Sisters Alma (Carr) Sloan and Doris (Carr) Sloan

Sisters Alma (Carr) Sloan and Doris (Carr) Sloan

Writing excerpt from 2002 found in A Journal of Faith and Love: Grandmother’s Memories to Her Grandchild:

MY FAMILY

My brother’s and sister’s names: None. 🙂 [Cousins] Keith & Larry were like my brothers. Aunt Alma & Grandma were sisters. Uncle Frank & Grandpa were brothers. [Two sisters married two guys who were brothers.]

The things we used to do together: We played cowboys and [I]ndians on our stick horses. Made dams in their little creek. Picked sunflowers & played like they were chickens, took off the petals & pretended we canned them.

The things we do together now: We see each other about once a year & talk on the phone. Keith is “75” & Larry & I are “71”.

How often I see my family: Not very often.

I have seen God work in our family by: By keeping all of you healthy! Your kindness to each other and making us a close family.

Upcoming excerpts: “MY CHILDHOOD HOME” and “MY HOMETOWN“.

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About Beth Tielke’s Father

I’m continuing to post semi-monthly excerpts of the late Beth Tielke’s writings about her life as one way for her memories to continue to live on. Last time we learned about her mother and now we will learn about her father.

Daddy's Hands

In our “Spring” interview last fall, Beth remembered her father’s hands. She said he had big, rough hands and they were all cut and scratched from barbed wire since he didn’t have gloves to wear. She said she didn’t know if men didn’t use hand lotion in those times or if they just didn’t have the money to use it.

Writing excerpt from 2002 found in A Journal of Faith and Love: Grandmother’s Memories to Her Grandchild:

ABOUT MY FATHER

My father’s full name: Charles William Sloan

His birth date and place of birth: [February 17, 1901] McCook, Ne.

My father’s best story about growing up: Grandpa died when I was 25. I really don’t remember his stories much.

I know he only went to the 8th grade – imagine making your own living at 13 years of age.

One of my most precious memories of my father: Anything I wanted he would do for me – I remember him pulling the car up the hills back of the barn and onto the road so he could take me to town. (This was back of the big shed.)

Upcoming excerpts: “MY FAMILY” and “MY CHILDHOOD HOME“.

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About Beth Tielke’s Mother

In memory of Grandma Beth Tielke who passed away less than 3 months ago, I’m continuing to post semi-monthly excerpts of her writings about her life as one way for her memories to continue to live on. Last time we began with her birth and now we will learn about her mother.

Writing excerpt from 2002 found in A Journal of Faith and Love: Grandmother’s Memories to Her Grandchild:

ABOUT MY MOTHER

My mother’s full maiden name: Doris Wilhelmina Carr. Her brother called her “Will-hell-hooping-nina.” (She didn’t like that.)

Her birth date and place of birth: May 2, 1905 – Springview, Ne.

My mother’s best story about growing up: Grandma’s mother died when she was 4 years old – She had 2 older brothers & 3 older sisters – When she and Aunt Alma went to school Aunt Leslie didn’t have anything for their lunch, so they sat outside while the other kids ate.

One of my most precious memories of my mother: Grandma was a very giving and loving person. She was always doing things for me or giving me something.

When she was 79 years & 10 months old, she had a stroke & could not walk, talk, read or write.

When I would go see her in the winter she would take my hands put them next to her body & say Ooo – All she had to give was the warmth of her body – so she gave it to me.

Upcoming excerpts: “ABOUT MY FATHER” and “MY FAMILY“.

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Let’s Begin with Grandmother’s Memories to Her Grandchildren

In memory of Grandma Beth Tielke who passed away two months ago as of this week, I’m going to post semi-monthly excerpts of her writings about her life as one way for her memories to continue to live on. And so we begin with her birth…

Writing excerpt from 2002 found in A Journal of Faith and Love: Grandmother’s Memories to Her Grandchild:

MY BIRTH

My full maiden name: Beth Loraine Sloan

I was given this name because: Grandma Sloan had read the story of “Little Women” and liked the Beth in it.

My birth date and place of birth: February 10, 1931 – I was born in Ainsworth, Nebraska. Grandma Sloan’s cousin Dr. Wm Lear was the doctor.

What was happening in the world when I was born:

  1. There was a depression.
  2. No electricity
  3. No running water
  4. Grandma & Grandpa had an old car (somewhat like a convertible) […]. 🙂 If we went someplace in the winter – Grandpa had to drain the water out of the radiator so it wouldn’t freeze. […T]he top was only used in the winter to keep it nice longer. –

Upcoming excerpts: “ABOUT MY MOTHER” and “ABOUT MY FATHER“.

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{A Continual Ray of Sunshine}

As everyone now knows, it is with great sadness in my heart that I say that on May 28, 2015, the beloved Beth Tielke passed away after a brief battle with cancer. I loved my grandma beyond belief and definitely beyond words. That became increasingly apparent in these weeks after she passed away because I longed to be able to put into words to people how much she meant to me, and yet I felt like no one could truly know unless they shared our titanium bond. And while we had an incredible bond, let me also say that my grandma had a unique way of making anyone she was talking with feel like they were the most important person in the room, because to her, they were. Jokingly, she always told whichever child, grandchild or great-grandchild who was with her that they were her favorite. So if I have any family members reading this, I know you were truly her favorite. 😉

Grandma Beth and Me - A Titanium Bond

Grandma Beth and Me – A Titanium Bond

I wanted to write this because I wanted to express the feeling of deep sadness I have…but also something more intense. As hard as it is for me to fathom right now, I have a strong impression from conversations with my grandma over the past couple years that she wants me to be able to carry on without her and have the best life possible, free of sadness as much as possible. Just this past year at Christmas she said to me in her most cheerful disposition (all but clapping her hands together), “Oh, I could die happy now because I know that you have everything you need and you have [your husband] and [child]!” Our family was used to Grandma saying things like that or about her own mortality with light-heartedness over the years, and I guess in a way she may have been preparing us for the inevitable so that we could one day face the reality of the loss ourselves.

That being said, I’m not sure that you can ever be fully prepared for the feelings and emotions that come with loss or the loss itself. But I do feel comforted by some conversations I had with her in which she told me everything is/will be fine. My grandma also faced difficult losses during her lifetime and I remember some of my favorite road trips with her involved talking about the signs that she had seen that indicated to her that her mother was watching over her. On those drives, I always looked at the sky through the windshield–day or night–and tried to envision heaven and those I knew who were there.

Watching Over Me

Watching Over Me

Yes, I know my grandma is in heaven watching over me and all of my family. In her final days, I told her that [because of this life story project] rays of sunshine would always remind me of her. How grateful I am to experience the warmth of sunshine and see rays of hope in the sky during this difficult time because I feel like she is alongside me, assuring me that everything will be OK. She would tell me that I’m a strong person and that she’s so proud of the young lady I’ve become. She would say that she’s enjoyed watching my husband and I interact, that she can see our love, and that we have the most adorable little boy. I know that she wants to see us living happy lives and spreading good will as she did throughout her life…and that is something I can do for me and for her.

And these are things she would want for you as the reader [friend, family, acquaintance or other] to know too: a) you too can carry on and have the best life possible, free of sadness as much as possible; b) you too can face the reality of the loss; c) you too should take comfort in knowing that Beth said everything will be OK; and d) you too should know that she is so proud of you.

Holding Our Hand Every Step of the Way

Holding Our Hand Every Step of the Way

Within the past year, I had a vivid phone conversation with my grandma about how life may well be easier for the non-perfectionist. She did not consider herself a perfectionist and so she said she found it easier to be satisfied with the outcomes of her efforts. While she did not intend for these to be Words of Wisdom with Grandma Beth Tielke, I took them as such. So, as much as I’d like to write a lot on this subject [of grief and loss of my dear grandma] and write it perfectly, I’m going to allow myself to be content with writing fewer words that may not capture my every thought and feeling but hopefully capture the essence of my heart on the topic of grief and loss. As for more words about my dearest grandmother, I will continue to tell her story throughout my life and for now, that story will continue to be shared on this very blog here: sunshineintothelivesofothers.wordpress.com.

Psalm 94:19 says, “In the multitude of my anxieties within me, your comforts delight my soul” (NKJV).

Originally posted here on {My Life Space Moments} on 6.25.15.

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Words of Wisdom with Grandma Beth Tielke – 12.29.14

Since we live six hours apart, each time (over the past few years) that I am able to see Grandma for a weekend, I always ask if I can record “Words of Wisdom with Grandma Beth Tielke” and she always politely agrees. Thanks for being such a good sport, Grandma! These and all of your other pearls of wisdom will be cherished by your friends and family forever!

To Grandma’s dear friends and family:

If you have missed our recorded life story series, below are links to listen to or download the four chapters of Grandma’s life story for playback. You can even download the SoundCloud app on your phone and stream the recordings live to listen to in the car while commuting, and the Sunshine into the Lives of Others playlist will play them one after the other for you!

But that’s not all! Stay tuned for a special “heritage” recording.

As you peruse the Sunshine into the Lives of Others blog, please comment in the space below on your favorite takeaways from Beth Tielke or your favorite place to glean the nuggets–phone interview recordings, face-to-face interview videos, or Words of Wisdom with Grandma Beth Tielke. This will help me know what to zone in on for others to enjoy!

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Gather Golden Moments: Beth Tielke Shares Memories of her 60’s, 70’s and 80’s

This is the fourth in a series of life story interviews with Grandma Beth Tielke who always brings “sunshine into the lives of others”. In terms of this memoir-style blog’s theme, as Beth’s story unfolds in our interviews, I continue to build around the theme of the changing seasons.

Over the past few months, we have broken down Beth’s life into the four “seasons”: in the spring interview, we looked at the first 20 years. In the summer interview, she reminisced over experiences in her 20’s and 30’s, and in the autumn interview,  she examined ages 41-60. In this interview, we zone in on memories and life lessons from her 60’s, 70’s and 80’s.

Tying together the winter theme along with the golden years and the sentimental journey of the interviews, I opened with this quote by John Boswell:

“Winter: A lingering season is a time to gather golden moments, embark on a sentimental journey, and enjoy every idle hour.”

I was so excited to discuss this chapter of Grandma’s life with her (and now to share it with you), because–two days from her 84th birthday–this is the chapter in which Beth reflects on all of the decades of her life and provides us with even more messages of perseverance, hope and optimism!

Press play below to hear our sunshine Beth’s perspective on how to live a happy and successful life, the highest honor she ever received, the people she admires most and more! Aside from her favorite books and movies, you also get to hear such fun things as what she would do if she won $1 million tomorrow or if she could be granted three wishes!

For convenience, feel free to download it for future playback on your computer or download it on your mobile phone to listen to it on iTunes or another music player. 🙂 And don’t forget that you can share the track with anyone you think may value the messages!

I conclude with this inspirational poem called “Good Things Going Around”:

Good Things Going Around

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Crisp in the Fall: Beth Tielke Shares Memories of her 40’s and 50’s

This is the third in a series of life story interviews with Beth Tielke who always brings “sunshine into the lives of others”. In terms of this memoir-style blog’s theme, as Beth’s story unfolds in our interviews, I’ve labeled the third 20 years of her life as “Autumn.” In this conversation, we focus on the season of autumn–Beth’s memories of her 40’s and 50’s. I opened with this quote from F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby:

I selected that quote to open with because it seems as if during this period of Grandma Beth’s life—ages 41-60—that life, in a sense, did start all over again because she reinvented herself as a self-employed business woman, built a primary business that gave her the opportunity to employ family members, and got more and more exposure to chances to live out her passion of making a difference in other peoples’ lives!

I was so excited to discuss this chapter of Grandma’s life with her (and now to share it with you), because this is the chapter in which she made significant changes that positively impacted everyone around her!

Press play below to hear our sunshine Beth’s detailed account of the businesses she started and the knowledge she gleaned along the way, as well as the skills and abilities she thinks an entrepreneur must have in order to be successful!

For convenience, feel free to download it for future playback on your computer or download it on your mobile phone to listen to it on iTunes or another music player. 🙂

I leave you with this positive suggestion:

“Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine.”

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Be Someone’s Sunshine Today!

Be Someone's Sunshine Today

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It Gets Crisp in the Fall

F. Scott Fitzgerald once said, “Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.” I’m looking forward to the third interview with Grandma Beth Tielke–the “autumn” interview–in which we get to learn all about her self-taught business savvy! I thought that quote about fall was fitting because it seems as if during the “autumn” period of Grandma Beth’s life—ages 41-60—that life, in a sense, did start all over again because after decades of being a dairy farmer milking cows each day, she reinvented herself as a self-employed business woman, built a primary business that gave her the opportunity to employ family members and got more and more exposure with chances to live out her passion of making a difference in other peoples’ lives!

As most of this audience knows, the Tielke’s opened a deli which they parlayed into a sandwich business named “Tielke’s Sandwiches”. Some of the most popular sandwiches can be seen below. For more details on this and her other business ventures, you’ll just have to stay tuned for the next interview! 🙂

Tielke's Sandwiches Logo

Tielke’s Sandwiches Logo

Tielke's Sandwiches

Tielke’s Sandwiches

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Sweet Sounds of Summer: Beth Tielke Shares Memories of her 20’s and 30’s

This is the second in a series of life story interviews with Beth Tielke who always brings “sunshine into the lives of others”. In terms of this memoir-style blog’s theme, as Beth’s story unfolds in our interviews, I’ve labeled the second 20 years of her life as “Summer.” In this conversation, we focus on the season of summer–Beth’s memories of her 20’s and 30’s. I opened with this message:

“Life is a mixture of sunshine and rain, tear drops and laughter, pleasure and pain. Just remember, there was never a cloud that the sun couldn’t shine through.”

Press play below to hear our sunshine Beth’s fond memories of her husband and each of her seven children as they were growing up! For convenience, feel free to download it for future playback on your computer or download it on your phone to listen to it on your phone on iTunes or another music player. 🙂

I concluded the interview with this positive suggestion for the listening audience:

“Today, fill your cup of life with sunshine and laughter.”

One thing is for sure: this interview filled my cup with sunshine and laughter. I hope you enjoy hearing the stories as much as I did! Please feel free to leave your comments below or leave comments on the Sunshine into the Lives of Others: The Inspiring Life of Beth L Tielke Facebook page.

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The Warmth of Summer

Below you will see Beth’s wedding ring, a piece of antique China from her and her husband Bill’s apartment in Minneapolis after they were married, and a vintage tea set from her 20’s.

Beth's Wedding Ring IMG_9735 IMG_9734 IMG_9733

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The Beginning of Spring – Beth’s Earliest Memory and Memorabilia

Below are some of Beth’s first baby dresses, slips and baby shoes; each of these pieces of clothing were handmade by her mother, Doris Sloan.

IMG_9766Beth’s earliest memory is when she was very little–no more than two years old; she remembers wearing the slip shown above and how it felt scratchy under her arms.

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These are her first pair of baby shoes.Baby Beth's Little ShoesBeth's Baby Shoes

Beth’s mother also made the clothes for her dolls. When she was one year old, her parents gave her the baby doll (shown below) for Christmas. Then each year her mother would make another dress for her doll for a Christmas present. At a later date, I will post a video of Beth explaining the intricate details of the dresses and describing her beloved doll.

IMG_9730IMG_9728IMG_9725IMG_9724IMG_9755

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Spring Has Sprung! Or at Least the First Interview [For This Site] Has Bloomed!

Interview with Beth Tielke – “Spring”

In this conversation, we focus on the first twenty years of Beth’s life. In terms of this website’s theme, as we let Beth’s life story unfold in our interviews, I’m labeling the first 20 years as “Spring.”

I began with a quote I found by a person named Doug Larson:

“Spring is when you feel like whistling even with a shoe full of slush.”

Beth shared a fond childhood memory that quote stirred up for her and I shared that I liked that quote because it reminds me of her cheerful disposition whenever she sees that “life hands someone lemons”—she always sees a way to make lemonade. People also call this finding the silver lining. Press play below to find out how it is that she has a way of seeing the good—even in not-so-good situations!

I concluded the interview with a quote from Bern Williams:

“The day the Lord created hope was probably the same day he created spring.”

While I know Beth was born right before spring [and in fact, her birthday is the day before mine!], I think it’s also true that the day the Lord created hope was the same day he created her.

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Happy Veterans Day

We honor those who have served in the U.S. armed forces. Happy Veterans Day!

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