Quiet Spaces Quiet the Mind

Today would be my father, Don Balzer, Sr.’s 87th birthday. We lost him to a valiant struggle against cancer almost 24 years ago. I want to honor him on this day with remembering his love of quiet.

Perhaps he needed quiet because he lived in a home filled with six kids that constantly included friends hanging out. Perhaps he needed quiet because he spent his days working diligently to create and build what became a very successful business, Balzer and Associates that upon retiring from, he sold to my brothers and brother-in-law who then carried the torch to building an even more successful company.

Regardless of his reasons, my Dad loved quiet time. And, his quiet time was always spent in the same place- the living room where his favorite chair sat. He read almost nightly in this chair. For years he sat late into the evening with a good book, legs crossed and a lit pipe in his hand. I can still see him there puffing away, the smoke and aroma filling the air.

Today, his chair he read in sits in my niece, Marli’s home she has with her husband, Wally. (More on that in a later post.) They are expecting their first child in August and I hope this chair becomes “the reading chair” to share with their special child in the years to come. Passing on a space for quiet to another generation! It just doesn’t get any better than this!

My quiet time growing up was spent reading as well. I especially loved Saturday mornings. I was an early bird (still am) and I loved nothing more than to wake up, raid the crystal candy dish in the living room of peanut M&M’s, grab a cold glass of milk and then, get back in bed, snuggle under the covers and read. (More on the candy dish later, too.) All the while, my sister, Mary Ann never stirred. I loved these times, as they were the quiet moments for me while the rest of the Balzer family slept.

Later as a mother of three kids, I was often alone with them a lot. I needed to find ways for quiet- not just for me but for my kids- Benjamin, Sammi and Jimmy, too. So, I had what I called enforced “quiet time” each day- particularly in the summer and even sometimes in the car after a long stimulating day. These times could be spent in each person’s room reading, drawing, napping or just daydreaming. In other words, they were allowed to find their own use of quiet time. I needed it. And, intuitively I knew they needed it, too. For example, I do not think my son, Benjamin would have used his imagination so fully with his imaginary friend, “My Friend Monkey” when he was little had he not been given opportunities for silence. Or my son, Jimmy (yep, my baby) might never have learned the real joy of quiet had I not given him opportunities almost daily while living in Columbia, SC to visit neighborhood ponds and sit quietly and fish while his big brother and sister were in school. Jimmy has made fishing part of his career and has become an expert fly fisherman. A man living his passion! A man loving the peace and quiet of nature!

Jimmy fly fishing

Jimmy Aliff. Photo credit: Tom Turletes

You see, quiet spaces quiet the mind. Everything slows down-immediately.

Quiet time is a treasure. It is a gift. It is something we all deserve and quite frankly, need.

Ben and Cameron by the pond

Ben and Cameron by the pond. Photo credit: Kathleen Aliff

My quiet space by the garden

My quiet space by the garden. Photo credit: David Solganik

Do you observe quiet time? Have you created specific spaces in your home for quiet time? Feel free to share with other readers’ tips, ideas and solutions to gaining more quiet spaces and quiet times in the home. And, l hope you will stay tuned for Part II of this post that talks about the benefits of meditation, what I call, “The Ultimate Form of Quiet”.

I leave you with some treasured photographs of quiet time and quiet spaces. I hope you enjoy!!!

One thought…
Silence is golden.

Find time for quiet…

Oh, and Happy Birthday Daddy/Papa! We all love you and miss you!

Donald Balzer, Sr.

Donald J. Balzer, Sr. July, 1924- October, 1987 Photo credit: Bee Buergler

This entry was posted in Architecture, Décor, Healthy Living, Inspiration, Interior Design, Nature and tagged , , , by Jamie Balzer. Bookmark the permalink.
Jamie Balzer

About Jamie Balzer

Jamie has worked in the field of interior decorating for over 10 years and has owned B&A Interiors, LLC for almost as long. Partnered with her daughter, Sammi Blake, Jamie has been honored to work in homes and businesses across the country. Knowledge and experience is but part of what she has to offer. As a young girl, Jamie intuitively understood that the placement of things, the color of things, and the arrangement of things evoke certain feelings. Working together with this knowledge, experience and intuition Jamie has answered the call to her life’s purpose- teaching the spiritual truth of what she believes- “Everything begins in the home”. As a branch of B&A Interiors, LLC, Living In Perfect Harmony emerged to teach her philosophy. Jamie believes, “if you live peacefully and beautifully at home, you are well, your family is well and that helps to make the world a better place”. Jamie's most passionate role is as a mother and grandmother. Jamie currently lives and works in the Chicago area but also continues her business in Charlotte, NC as both a decorator and a homespace coach. She is certified in Reiki Therapy which she believes broadens her success as a homespace coach. Jamie is available for private consultations, lectures and seminars.

10 thoughts on “Quiet Spaces Quiet the Mind

  1. To this day I still have a need for quiet time. Thanks for teaching me something I never knew you taught me!

    • Hopefully I taught you many things you don’t remember but, live day to day. And, I know you treasure your quiet time- especially in nature!

  2. Good morning: I too am an early riser and love my chair in the corner by the window where I can indulge in the morning paper, my cup of coffe and the first rays of the sun (when it shines). Here in Oregon it doesn’t always. My little boys are all grown now – but when they were little it was a quiet group story time. (one of life’s treasurers). Miss my Dad – they were both handsome guys. blessings. Joy Stark

    • If you ask me, the best time of the day is in the early morning. Total peace- and all seems right in the world. I, too love my coffee but I still need that piece of chocolate (or two). Some things never change! I spoke with someone today that read this post and decided to give her little girl some “quiet time” to play in her room alone. It was wonderful to hear her tell me how nice it was for her little girl AND herself. And, my son (Ben that I talk about in the post) and I talked last night about how much he loves his quiet time. He needs it! We all do! Thanks for your comments, especially about your Dad. A wonderful Dad makes all the difference. Mine taught me so much!

  3. Another wonderful article enjoyed!
    How sweet to honor Daddy’s birthday and tie in one of his favorite activities – quiet time, quiet reading – to your theme. I especially enjoy Sunday quiet time reading the Sunday paper. It is nice that we have several quiet spots on land and water to relax and ponder life.
    Thank you, Bee

    • Thank you so much Bee. Yes, you do have many quiet spaces in both your “land home” and your “water home”. I especially love your “water home” as it not only allows for quiet time but, it gives you access to such beauty of nature. I hope you get to enjoy much sailing this summer and fall!

  4. Love the post. We always know where daddy was in the evenings, unless it was summer and he was by the pool enjoying the sound of the water with a cold drink. Isn’t funny that everyone (family & friends) knew it was his chair and out of respect nobody sat in it. Nice way to member daddy on his birthday. I know he is proud of your new blog. Thanks, MA : ))))

    • Yes, it is true we all respected this chair as Daddy’s. It was comforting growing up to always know where we could find him. He was one wonderful man!

  5. My husband and I are blessed to have a home away from the noises of everyday life. We have many areas to choose to be quiet in. I am happy to say that we get an A in “hanging out”. We are always amazed at how many people do not choose to “just sit and enjoy their space by doing nothing but sitting.”
    Again, we are fortunate, but for those who are not able to or who choose to live in a variety of environments, you can still create your moments and choose to be quiet wherever you are. You can create your quiet, whatever that means to you. For some it is putting on earphones, for others taking the earphones out!
    Turning off the TV or radio and cleaning your house with complete silence. Driving your car in complete silence or listening to an inspirational radio program that you do not otherwise take the time to hear because there is other noise going on in your head. A silent prayer of affirmation for the sign God just sent across your path.
    Think about what quiet means to you and pay attention. You will begin to see it everywhere.
    My dad is great at sitting in his quiet. I am looking forward to sitting along side him in a few weeks. A true Minnesotan. There will not many words spoken but I will be there sharing in his quiet contentment.
    Thanks Jamie.

    • How ironic (or maybe not) that I thought of you this morning and here you are commenting on this post. You are so right- on everything you said. I have found that the quieter I become, the more I hear! I also have found that “noise” gets to me after awhile and I know this is because I have become blessed in understanding how silence truly is golden. Thank you Lori for your thoughts. And, by the way tell your husband I just spent the weekend at Smith Mt. Lake. Talk about heaven…

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