Who washed the pot?

28 May

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

I'm a winner

Wednesday I read a blog I follow, Life in Portsong by Mark Myers. He wrote about his military life and drinking coffee from a metal cup. He hated the taste! His story opened a flood of memories.

I come from a long line of coffee drinkers. I had coffee with my breakfast as a child, of course it had a lot of milk in it. stove top coffee potMy parents made the coffee on top of the stove in an aluminum percolator. The rich aroma of coffee gently bubbling is one of those things you don’t forget.

As my aunts and uncles retired, they would come down to visit my parents in Florida during the winter. I treasure the evenings we all sat around the kitchen table sipping coffee, telling jokes and laughing at stories from their growing up days. They loved to laugh. One thing that could pause the fun was a bad cup of coffee. All it took was one sip and someone would say, “who washed the coffee pot?” You see, as Mark mentions in his blog, coffee in a metal container tastes better if you don’t wash it after every use. I believe it is called “seasoning”. You might think it would make the coffee bitter, but it never did. It gave it a deeper flavor.

It seems I like my friends to be seasoned too.  Because they carry the residue of their life experience and walk with Christ, they are rich with knowledge, love and compassion. There isn’t anything more pleasant that spending with seasoned friends and family.

How about you? Did you grow up being told to not wash the coffee pot with soap?

The Space Race Begins~Part 1

27 May

A Slice of Life
Bill Lites

Bill Red Spot Plane

I have always been interested in aviation. I grew up during the WWII years, when aviation technology was on the increase. I’m sure my parents bought me toys that were popular with other kids during those years. Thus, as can be seen in the photos below, those toys may have had a lot to do with how I perceived aviation.

Along with that, you might remember the blog I wrote about my “Parachute Man,” who got lost on the front bumper of a car when I was about 5 years old. That incident and my recent meeting with a real WWII paratrooper (Bob Bearden) at an airshow in Texas, remind me of how aviation has been an important thread running through my entire life’s experiences.


And then came the “Big Event”, when I was 6 years old, and took my first ride in a real airplane. That life changing event took place in 1945, when I flew with my family in an American Airlines DC-3 from Dallas, TX to our new home in Albuquerque, NM. That one airplane ride hooked me on airplanes from then on! I remember reading about other people who credit their first airplane ride as the catalyst for their aviation career. I can truly say, that was true for me too.


During my grade school years, I started building small wooden model airplanes that I hung from my bedroom ceiling or placed on stands to sit on my desk. My parents bought me an electric train set one Christmas, but the interest in model trains didn’t last long and I was soon back to building model airplanes.


Next came flying rubber band models made of balsa wood sticks and tissue paper. Not being satisfied with the limitations of the rubber band models, by the time I got to high school, I had started building and U-Controlled flying models airplanes. That hobby shared much of my time with auto engine mechanics.


By the time I finished my tour of duty with the U.S. Navy, my love of “Everything Aviation” had pretty much helped me decide to become an aircraft mechanic. However, unbeknownst to me, my involvement in the “Space Race” actually would start in 1958, when I enrolled in my first Mechanical Engineering class at Northrop Institute of Technology (NIT), in Inglewood, CA. I had intended to attend NIT to take their Aircraft & Engine (A&E) course to become a certified aircraft mechanic, but the registrar had other ideas.


He talked me into taking their Aircraft Maintenance Engineering course which would give me a Mechanical Engineering degree and an A&E license, and of course, more money for the college. But, before I finished all my courses at NIT, the direction of my life’s career changed, and I would kind of segue away fromthe A&E mechanic job. Now my plan was to be a “Liaison Engineer” in one of the many aviation companies, there in the Los Angeles area, where I would coordinate engineering drawings with the manufacturing department for incorporation into the finished product.


However, the A&E Schooling did help me get a part-time job at the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in 1960 servicing aircraft for local commuter airlines. I loved that job. Some of the activities I performed for these airlines consisted of adding fuel and oil to airplanes for turn-a-round flights, as well as towing planes to the overnight parking areas when needed. What a thrill that was, as it required communicating with the airport’s control tower on the airplane’s radio.


—–To Be Continued—–

The Bank Robbery~Part 4

26 May

Guest Post

Norma Rowe

Norma head shot

We came out of the bank in two or three groups and were taken, in unmarked police cars, to Parker Center, the LAPD main office in downtown L.A. I couldn’t believe what I saw when we came out of the bank, traffic had been detoured and there were policemen and FBI agents all over the street, and on the rooftops. The market across the street had been evacuated and of course, news people were everywhere. As soon as we got to Parker Center, they let use the phone to call our families.

Thank God, my parents didn’t find out until it was over – a friend of my mother’s came to our home and said, “I wanted to come and keep you company in such a moment as this.” That’s how they found out about the robbery. My Dad rushed down to the bank but when he got there it was over, though still crowded and he wasn’t allowed to get close to the bank. Fortunately, a bank customer who knew my father told him, “Norma is all right, they were all taken downtown.” At least they didn’t have to go through the ordeal of knowing I was in danger.

We all had to give statements but mine was the longest because I had been the most involved. I was taken to a small room where two detectives recorded everything I said. One of them took me back to the bank after we finished. At that time, the bank was full of FBI agents, Loss & Investigations Department personnel, and top bank management. I talked to some of the people I knew for a few minutes. They were lightening things up kidding me because a puppy had somehow got inside the bank and left a deposit under my desk. One of the bank officers I knew well said “I knew you had to be scared….but, were you ‘that scared?’ (Referring to the “deposit” under my desk.)

I put my things away, got my purse, and left the bank. As soon as I walked out, a news reporter and his cameraman wanted to ask me questions, but we had been told not to give out statements. The bank gave us the next day off from work. As a “consolation prize,” a good customer and friend of our manager who had just bought a houseboat treated us all, as well as our spouses or boyfriends, to a day-trip to Catalina Island. We all laughed afterwards saying, “Haven’t we suffered enough already?” The trip was meant for good but the ocean was so rough that most everybody, including me, got seasick. We enjoyed the day on Catalina Island, though.

Days later, it was determined by an autopsy that the perpetrator had shot him and that he was on drugs at the time of the robbery.

Although so many years have gone by I still remember every single detail, especially how God strengthened and shielded me and was true to His promise that “nothing was going to happen to me. Praise His Holy Name!

Painting Flowers

25 May

My Take

DiVoran Lites

Author, Poet and Artist

 Paint comes in wondrous hues, Reds,

Minute Mediations~6

24 May


Judy Wills




…..What’s your first thought when you hear/see that word? Power: electrical?

What about the power of a word? A judge can, with one word, sentence a prisoner to life in prison or the death penalty. That same judge can also, with one word, set a prisoner free.


What about the power of God? I wrote about my feelings on God’s power in an Easter blog last year: God’s power is so tremendously great that He actually raised Jesus from death back into life! Amazing!! It’s so easy to just say…He arose. But just think of it – He actually rose FROM THE DEAD BACK TO LIFE! That never happened to anyone else, that didn’t physically die again.

I sometimes have a really hard time wrapping my mind around that thought. Raising someone from death to life. I know that many people have been declared clinically “dead” and through CPR or some other method, have been brought “back to life” again. But not after they had been dead for three days, as Christ was! WOW!


God’s power is unlimited. Have you ever had your electricity go off? Have you ever heard of airplanes crashing because of loss of power? God’s power just doesn’t have that kind of limitation. Well ….because He’s GOD!

My brother, Bill, wrote about the Israelites in Biblical times, who didn’t understand God’s complete power. Here’s what Bill wrote:


Praise the Lord indeed! God is truly on OUR side. And as Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do ALL things, through Christ, who keeps pouring POWER into me!”


Three reasons to believe in miracles. | Janet Perez Eckles

23 May

Three reasons to believe in miracles. | Janet Perez Eckles.

In Good Hands

22 May

From the Heart

Louise Gibson

Louise Gibson

The phrase, “In Good Hands”
is meant to mean “competency, safety, or care”.
Since the 1300s, seven centuries later,
we hear the words everywhere.

Even in a popular song,
“He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands”,
and in an insurance company’s slogan,
“With “us” You’re in good hands”.

As good as the hands of highly skilled people are,
can they compare with the hands of God
in terms of comfort, skill, or safety?
(God doesn’t have hands, of course,
but “the hand of God” is mentioned
fifteen times in scripture, usually
as a reference to His power and authority.)

Isn’t that what we hope for
when we are in a difficult circumstance?
Don’t we want someone with power and authority
to step in and meet our need?

That is likely what Peter had in mind
when he wrote that “we should cast all our cares
upon God since God cares for us. (1 Peter 5:7).

I am going to put my hand in the hand
of the Man who stilled the waters,
and I’m going to look to Him who calmed the sea.
I’m going to trust the One who took my sins upon Himself
And laid down His life for you and me.

Lost and Found

20 May

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Bill Small Red Plane

This morning I was getting ready for a busy day making a list of things to do. I was heading to Merritt Island for my monthly Chiropractor appointment and had several things to do along the way. DiVoran wanted me to pick up some special cat treats at the animal pharmacy that the Vet had recommended. Then there was a small paper bag of empty supplement bottles she wanted me to drop off at another doctor’s office, and the Chiropractor appointment at 9:30. After my chiropractor appointment, I was going to stop at Penney’s to by some new undies for myself. All of this needed to take place before I made my way to Viera to meet my daughter Charlene for lunch at 12:00.

I have my daily prescription pills and vitamin supplements divided up into three groups. I take one group at each meal so they are not overwhelming all at once. When I go out for a meal I place that group’s pills in a small plastic bag that I can slip into my pocket, so I’ll have them to take after that meal. I also had a map I had marked up showing the route I planned to take on my next trip to show to my daughter at lunch.


 With all that done, I started taking things out to the car in preparation for my short little trip of the day. I got everything stowed in the car, but was missing the small bag of pills. I must have left them on the dining room table when I put them in the bag. But, they weren’t there. So, I started in the bedroom, and looked in every room in the house. They were nowhere to be found. I went to the car and looked through everything I was taking for the day. Not there either. I searched my pockets again. Nothing. Any of this sound familiar?

Well, about that time DiVoran came in and asked me what was wrong? I told her, and she casually said, “Have you asked your Friend where they are?” Duh. Why does it seem that this is the last thing I do, instead of the first thing? So, a little sheepishly, I thanked the Lord that I had misplaced the bag of pills, ask Him to forgive me for not putting Him first, and ask Him to please show me where I had left it.

I had been standing looking out of my bedroom window as I prayed. I turned around and walked across the room to my dresser. I opened the drawer where I keep the small empty plastic pill bags, and there was the bag with my lunch pills lying on top. What in the world would have prompted me to put that bag of pills back in the drawer? I just couldn’t figure out why I would have done that. Then it came to me. “I need to trust the Lord in all things, not just the big things, but the little things too.” I know He cares for us, and is always there to hear when we call out to Him to help us, but I tend to forget about that and try to do things myself. It’s not that I don’t trust Him. I guess it’s just that sometimes it’s such a small thing, and I’m sure I can handle it, that I don’t even think to ask Him first for the help I need.

But, each time something like this happens, it brings me a little closer to remembering to go to the Lord first, instead of muddling around in frustration on my own.


I Thessalonians 5:16-18(NIV)

The Bank Robbery~Part 3

19 May

Guest Blogger

Norma Garcia Rowe

Norma head shot


Suddenly the sounds of gunfire stopped, and the phone started ringing. Outside, a police officer spoke through a bullhorn, “In the bank, in the bank, answer the phone.” Next, we began to hear sounds of things breaking. We couldn’t tell exactly what it was because we were in the vault, but we thought maybe the gunman was trying to get at us. Those moments of wondering what he would do next were very frightening. Certainly, if he got to us he would be in the mood to start shooting hostages!

Later, we found out that the LAPD SWAT- team was creating a diversion by breaking two of the bank windows in the back while an officer crawled, inside a bomb shield, through the front door. The ordeal took about two hours. Finally, the SWAT team got inside the bank and realizing the hostages were shut-up in the vault and being concerned that the gunman or an accomplice might be in there with us, the officer in charge commanded, in a very loud (and frightening) voice, “I want all of you to come out one-by-one and close the door behind you.”

The girl who had been throwing up was so scared that the O. O. asked if he could come out with her. The officer in charge said, “No, Negative!” By then my legs were working again, so when my turn came I stepped out the door and, boy, what I saw scared me more than what I had gone through before. It was a bunch of heavily armed SWAT-team men some down on one knee with the rest standing behind them. All of them were aiming at ME! It was like being in front of a firing squad.


Such a frightening moment needs a little humor


As we came out, our manager, who had been called from his meeting, identified us through a window. When we had all emerged, he hugged me and said, “I knew you were strong enough to handle this.” I was the only one of the girls that wasn’t crying.

They rounded us up in the back of the bank and the officer in charge said, “We are going to send you out now, but you will have to walk past a dead body.” They didn’t know who it was, but we did. I told a SWAT- team member close to me that the bank robber was not in the vault.


Serendipities, Synchronicities, and Miracles

18 May

My Take

DiVoran LItes

Author, Poet and ArtistSerendipity means an unexpectedly happy experience, and to me synchronicity means a happy coincidence. My own definition of miracle contains both, but I always attribute a large or a small miracle to a loving Heavenly Father.

Last Thursday evening, I went to a local elementary school to see my young friend, Janicia, dance in a playlet about bullying. As I walked into the rapidly filling cafeteria, I searched every row of tables for Janicia’s family and for my art friend, Lanie Tan and her daughter Misa. I looked at every face, but saw no one I knew.

I found a seat down front with enough room for me and one or two others. As I started to sit down, I looked out the big window and there was Lanie looking in, waving, and throwing kisses. I pointed to the empty seat and she nodded with enthusiasm. Almost immediately, she was there beside me. I didn’t know where the other family was going to sit, but I relaxed humming, “God will find a way, when there seems to be no way.”

Misa was somewhere else in the building with friends and Lanie and I had a good chat. Lanie was wearing a mask because she had a cold and didn’t want to spread germs. We got into our talk and then she had to leave because a coughing fit came on.

In a couple of minutes, Janicia’s mother came in carrying their eight-months-old baby, Dee-Dee, and a big diaper bag. She plopped the baby on my lap and there she sat perfectly satisfied, looking around with big brown eyes, good as gold.

On stage, Janicia wore a t-shirt that said, “Girl Power.” The play was about bullying. The man who arranged it does that at schools to increase awareness.

After the performance, the children had hot-dogs and we waited for the drawing for a new computer. By this time, Janicia, her mom, her dad, and her four-year-old brother, Bobby had gathered. Lanie, and Misa, plus Misa’s three friends and the elderly gentleman who is guardian to one of them sat facing each other. We managed to include everyone in a pleasant conversation.

Suddenly, it was time for the drawing. Misa sat next to me with her tickets and I asked if she was going to win something. She nodded yes. I happened to be looking at the ticket closest to me and saw that Misa’s first number matched the called one, then the second, the third, the fourth — all matched.

Lanie told Misa that if they won the computer they would give it away. The reader read the last number, it matched, too. “I won!” Misa said. Her mother shook her head not believing it. I nodded mine, yes.

All evening God was casting serendipities, synchronicities, and miracles around like falling stars. The lady who won the computer on the second go-around indicated that she really needed it. People who knew each other got together, others, once strangers happened to gather and feel at home with each other. It was like a party.

Sometimes, I can hardly wait to see what God will do next. I do know that he loves to do jobs and activities with us and He enjoys seeing His children enjoying each other’s company, the biggest miracle of all.

I John 4:7-8



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