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!
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.
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!!!
Silence is golden.
Find time for quiet…
Oh, and Happy Birthday Daddy/Papa! We all love you and miss you!