Don’t Let the Running Back Carry the Ball

18 Sep

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

I'm a winner

 

On my best day, I am not a morning person. I joke that if I was supposed to be up and active early, then why do most malls open at 10 am? This morning, in the drifting time between awake and dozing, (hoping my husband was up and getting the coffee made) I realized the awful feeling of not wanting to get up and face another day was creeping back into my soul. It seems the wonderful vacation with friends last week had been a respite but not a fix. I began to silently pray for friends on my prayer list as they came to mind, and then flowed into examining why I was feeling despair.

I remembered the resentment that had flared in my heart the previous day of issues I believed I had long since forgiven, and though my husband and I laughed about my outburst, still my words were Running backhurtful. Waking from another short dozing session, my mind painted pictures of the consequences of words. One scene was pretty and my hurtful words were flowing up to God leaving my heart joyful. In the other scene Satan was like an NFL running back, ready to receive those words, tuck them firmly under his arm and run for the touchdown, wrecking havoc along the way. Not a pretty scene at all but it did prepare my heart for the morning devotional I read from “Jesus Calling”.

 

Seek to please Me above all else. Let that goal be your focal point as you go through this day. Such a mind-set will protect you from scattering your energy to the winds. The free will I bestowed on you comes with awesome responsibility. Each day presents you with choice after choice. Many of these decisions you ignore and thus make by default. Without a focal point to guide you, you can easily lose your way. That’s why it is so important to stay in communication with Me, living in thankful awareness of My Presence. From Jesus Calling by Sarah Young

 

I am choosing joy, now I am off to bake a glazed pumpkin pound cake!

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Halloween Hat

17 Sep

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Bill Lites

 

I don’t remember just what year it was, but late one October when our kids were young, and we were in our early camping years, we decided to try camping in the Ft. Lauderdale area of Southeast Florida. We found a beautiful State Park situated on the Atlantic Ocean and set up our small pop-up camper with a view of swaying palm trees and the ocean.

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We played in the warm Gulf Stream water and walked the beach enjoying the beautiful, warm Florida weather. We had noticed, as we drove to the campground that there were coconut palms and coconuts everywhere. In fact, people put the coconuts out on the street for the trash men, just like we do with oranges and grapefruit here at home. We just wondered around the area picking up coconuts, opening them to drink the milk and eating the pure white meat. What a great time we had doing that. Later, as we wondered the campground, we came across this guy weaving hats out of strips of palm fronds. He had several different hat styles on display and asked me what style hat I would like to have. After I selected a style, he measured my head size (no laughing), and we watched him strip the green fronds and weave the hat before our very eyes.

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He told us that when we got home to put the hat in the freezer overnight and it would turn the hat a beautiful dark mahogany color. Well, we did that, and it did change color just as he had said it would. As it turned out, we were camping there for the Halloween celebrations, and would you believe it, we had to deal with trick-or-treaters coming around to the campsites for handouts. Bah-Hum-Bug! Later that evening we had front row seats on the beach for the Ft. Lauderdale Halloween fireworks display. What a treat that was.

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In 1967, when Titusville celebrated their 100th anniversary, the city fathers decided that as part of the city’s celebration there would be a requirement that all the men should grow a beard and wear period costumes when walking around town. All the women were required to wear period clothes and go without makeup. If a person was caught out of costume by any of the city “Enforcers” they could be fined.   I never did know anyone who was caught and fined, so I never did learn what kind of fines could or would have been imposed. Off course, most of the men didn’t mind letting their facial hair grow (there were some really unusual designs) but it was a different story for the women. Those heavy dresses they had to wear were bad enough, but they really didn’t like walking around town for everyone to see what they really looked like without their makeup on.

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As the years went by, when I worked around the house or went for a walk in the woods, my favorite hat for the occasion was what I came to call my “Halloween Hat.” I continued to wear my palm-frond hat on all our camping trips around the many Florida springs over the years, because it was waterproof and kept the sun out of my eyes and the rain off my head. As a matter of fact, I still have that hat all these many years later. How’s that for durable?

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—–The End—–

Thoughts of an Alcoholic

16 Sep

Old Things R New:

This really touched my heart.

Originally posted on Drinking for a Lifetime:

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I feel alone, but I’m not. 

Nobody can imagine what is really going on in my mind.

I feel alone, but I’m not. 

I’m not happy, but I still smile.

They are relying on my smile.

I feel alone, but I’m not. 

They say when I smile, it makes them smile.

That doesn’t change what I feel inside.

Sometimes I feel there is some joy or happiness left inside.

It keeps me from falling apart. 

Sometimes I do want to fall apart.

Maybe they would see what I am really going through.

I feel alone but I’m not.

 

They count on me for so much.

Be strong and always be with a smile.

They rely on it to make them happy.

 They think I’m strong, but I’m really weak.

They find strength through me.

I can’t let them down.

I keep my tears to…

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I Never Met a Pizza I Didn’t Like

15 Sep

My Take

DiVoran Lites

 

Author, Poet and ArtistTo celebrate our 57th wedding anniversary, Bill and I went out for pizza. Mama Rosa’s, where we had planned go, was closed for vacation so we schlepped on down to Kelsey’s in Port St. John. We had already celebrated twice, having normally scheduled meals with family members and calling them celebrations, but this was the real thing on the real day.

Bill took me for my first pizza when I was eighteen years old. The restaurant was on Central Blvd in Albuquerque. It was also where he took me for my first lobster. Then when he decided to ask for my hand in marriage he took me there again. I liked lobster fine, and I liked the T-bone steaks at a small diner where they only cost $2.00 a plate, but the love of pizza stayed with me for the rest of my life (so far.)

We did get married and our first month in California where Bill was going to school, we spent every penny we had with barely enough to pay the rent. We didn’t even have money for food. I think we spent it on movies or something equally frivolous. Anyhow, Bill’s friend drove out from New Mexico to visit and our mothers sent care packages. They knew we’d developed a passion for pizza so between them they sent five boxes of Appian Way pizza mix and a pizza pan to bake them on. We got by.

Later when I had a job with Magic Mirror Beauty Salons and Bill worked part time cleaning airplanes our favorite pizza palace was Sir pizza. I’d stop there after a hard Saturday on my feet, get a pizza with everything (except anchovies and green peppers), stop at Thrifty Mart for a bottle of Thunderbird, and we’d spend our Saturday evening watching our tiny black and white T. V. and munching away at our pizza. We loved the cowboy shows such as, “Rawhide,” and “Wagon Train,” and it was a lovely thing to look forward as we went to work Saturday morning. “See ya later, alligator, after while, crocodile.”

We started out eating a whole small pizza between us, but now all we can manage is half, which is great because that means we can stick it in the oven for fifteen minutes the next day and enjoy it all over again.

Listen, the reason we both look kind of funny in this picture is that I asked a man who was in front of us in the paying line to take the picture and he wasn’t sure what he was doing and he took one and it didn’t flash and Bill said take another one and we were both wondering whether he was going to be able to manage it or not. You can see we weren’t overly anxious, but then again who had time to smile with all that going on. We really did enjoy ourselves and are planning many more pizza times to come. We’ll try Mama Rosa’s again on my seventy-sixth birthday which is coming up soon. Y’all come. (You see we live in the South now, so I’ve taken on Southern talk.)

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Transition to Maine~Part 6

14 Sep

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

JUDY

 

 Our youngest daughter, Janet, was born in Maine – our little Maineiac.

 

It was early morning, and we had arranged for Karen to stay with a neighbor several doors down. After Fred took her there, he called the base hospital to see if he should go to work or come stay through the labor and delivery with me. (The hospital in Germany, where Karen was born, was very progressive for that time – they allowed the husbands in the delivery room. We had anticipated cajoling the delivery doctor at Loring into letting Fred be in the delivery room with Janet’s delivery, since he had already participated in one, and not passed out!) The answer he received really shocked him – Sir, your baby is already delivered! But they didn’t tell him whether it was a boy or girl – they left it up to me. But neither they nor he told me that, until after he had been there about 30 minutes. He looked at me and asked – so what do we have? So I got to inform him he had another daughter, Janet Lynn.

While Janet and I were still in the hospital (remember – back in those days the average stay for a new baby and mother was three-to-four days!), Fred came to visit every day.

The day after Janet was born, he came to visit, plopped down in the chair, grinned at me and said, “You didn’t really want to spend another winter here, did you?” I nearly jumped out of the bed as I exclaimed….”YOU GOT ORDERS?” Since neither of us had been terribly thrilled being in northern Maine, Fred had been inquiring about being reassigned. The answer he usually received was, “Sir, you have three more years here before we’ll even consider transferring you.” But, apparently the AF needed instructors for their officer’s school in San Antonio, Texas more than they needed meteorologists at Loring AFB, and he had been given his walking orders. We were beyond excited!

Months later, as we were getting ready to depart for warmer climes, I attended an Officers Wives Club luncheon, where the Base Commander’s wife was issuing goodbyes to those leaving. It was amusing to hear her say, “….is heading to….AFB, south from here. And …..is heading to AFB,…. south from here. Well! I just realized that ANYwhere is south from here!”

Our church had a picnic in August before we left. It was great fun, and a great way to say goodbye to those we had come to love in Christ. There was the usual picnic stuff going on – softball, hot dogs, horseshoes, etc.

 

And there was this really…REALLY…tall slide that Karen absolutely LOVED going down. My heart was in my throat every time she climbed up and slid down, but she had a blast!

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And so, we left northern Maine and Loring AFB in late August, heading south. We were wearing sweaters at the time, as it was getting cold already. We arrived in Pennsylvania, to spend some time with Fred’s parents, and were back to wearing shorts. What a difference!

 

And so ends our Transition to Maine. Thank goodness it was only 13 months long!

 

 

Three simple steps to finding happiness.

13 Sep

Old Things R New:

Have you ever wished you could be upgraded to first class? Janet shares her experience.

Originally posted on Janet Perez Eckles & Friends:

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With permission: Wiki Commons

I thought I had it. I thought I figured out how to find true happiness. Until the day when my world turned dark. Blindness set in at age 31 and happiness was lost.

Lost back in my days as a sighted person. Now, only gloom awaited me.

But how wrong I was. The journey from devastation to deep joy wasn’t easy nor fast but doable.

And a reminder of that transition, that profound transformation was stirred during my recent trip to Mexico.

The airport escort guided me as we entered the airplane. And the flight attendant handed immigration forms to passengers. “One per family please.”

I sat by the window and after all initial announcements ended I pressed the light to call for assistance.

“Could you please help me fill this out?” I asked the flight attendant who came to the seat.

“Sure. Come with me.”

I gathered…

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Smile!

12 Sep

From My Heart

Louise Gibson

author of Window Wonders

 

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Do yourself a favor-

Smiling is good for you,

It slows down your heart  beat and reduces stress-

and lowers your blood pressure, too.

 

A smile is infectious.

It will always remove a frown.

Facial muscles will be raised up-

It’s the best face lift in town..

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A smile can delight your heart-

and is great at lighting a soul..

Lift someone’s spirit today-

make smiling a top priority goal.

 

I put my theory to “the test”

The woman in the mirror was frowning at me-

I gave her the brightest smile I could muster-

and she smiled right back at me.

 

Numbers 6:25

“The Lord make His face to shine upon you,

and be gracious to you.”

 

Your smile could be a message of cheer from God

to a needy soul.

The Whisperers

10 Sep

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Bill Lites

 

Since I was raised mostly in larger cities, I didn’t get close to many horses. Then along came Robert Redford who made “The Horse Whisperer” a common household name for those people who have a special talent with horses. Well, I want you to know that there are people in this world who have special talents in many other areas too. As it happens, I actually know an “Auto Whisperer.”   This man has been associated with automobiles and engines for over seventy years, and all he has to do is listen to an engine run for a few minutes, and he can usually diagnose any problem the owner is complaining about. In some cases he will inform people of problems they didn’t even know they had with their car, saving them expensive repair bills down the road. What is amazing about this “Auto Whisperer” is that he loves nothing better than working on a sick car, and giving it back to its owner purring like a kitten. I have never known a mechanic who has the talent and ability to diagnose and repair an 1automobile (no matter what year, make or model) than my friend Ray does. The rest of this story (as Paul Harvey would say) is that because this man loves his fellow-man with God’s love, and wants to help people with their car problems, he and his wife Alice have been operating a community Car Care ministry every Saturday (weather permitting) at a local Methodist Church for over 11 years now. Their aid and assistance to others is so well known that the city of Titusville has awarded them several honors for their ongoing humanitarian and civic contributions.

 

You might say, will that’s great if you have a sick car, my car runs fine, but I have medical problems, and I am having a hard time getting any help that I can depend on. And, you wouldn’t be in that boat alone! But then I would have to tell you that I actually know a “People Whisperer” too. This doctor friend of mine is the most amazing diagnostician! He has the ability to analyze medical symptoms and diagnose problems with the human body from the top of a person’s head to the soles of his feet that in many cases have stumped the medical profession. This man is dedicated to helping his fellow-man in every way he can, and also volunteers his time to help people live a better and more comfortable life. To me, this is another case of a person committed to seeking the wisdom of God for his life and listening to the advice and direction He gives them in overflowing measure.

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I’m not saying you will run into different kinds of “Whisperers” out there on the next street corner, but they are out there, and it’s a real joy to come in contact with one of these special people no matter what their calling is. Have you ever considered that you might just be one of God’s special people, and that your wisdom and abilities could touch the lives of others in their time of need? Think about giving Him a call and see what He has to say about you and your gifting and how you can share it with others. Who knows, it just might be fun, and you might be a “Whisperer” and not even know it.

 

James 1:5 (NIV)

Gunnison Adventure ~Part 3

9 Sep

A Few Things

Patricia Franklin

The most memorable Gunnison trip we took was one into the high mountains via Steers Gulch Road. My husband rode horseback up here as a child with his Uncle on a fishing trip. He had not been up here since, and neither of the guys knew the road or the way there and down the other side into Antelope. The road was not well traveled, but they figured it would get better as we drove up on this round trip down memory lane. We drove for two hours uphill and were still climbing. We had forest service maps with us, but these maps did not show the roads that these guys travel, so we were not too sure where we were going to end up. Finally we came to a deep valley with an old road leading down to a cabin, which my husband remembered as “April’s Cabin.” So we knew we were on the right track, even though there were old logging roads or hunting roads leading off in other directions.

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As we drove on up, we saw field after field of flowers and more varieties of mountain flowers than I have ever seen, and we had to get out many times and get close up pictures along the way. Several were very rare and only bloom for a short time when conditions are perfect. We ran across many we did not recognize.

After enduring this rough “road” for many miles, we finally came to the top of the mountain and were able to look over into the next range of mountains, the Baldy Mountain Range, which is visible on the horizon from Gunnison.

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This is where my husband and his uncle rode horseback down the side of the mountain to Beaver Creek, where they caught a “pillow case” full of trout to take home. Of course, that is not legal any more, but I don’t know of anyone who would make this trip just to fish anyway. This was a beautiful area with a big old stump at the top of the meadow with Columbines growing all around it. This made a wonderful picture, with the Baldies in the background.

 

We then started down the other side of the mountain and headed for home. It was not supposed to rain that day, but the clouds were building up and we did not want to get caught up there in a rain storm. We had a couple of choices of roads to take, and we figured out later we took the road that was not a road, and I’m sure had not been traveled or maintained forever. We ended up going down over huge rocks and just hanging on till we got to the bottom of a ravine. At the last bump going down, our brand new off-road tires got scrunched by the rocks and we blew a tire — 20 miles out in the wilderness on a non-used road, and no cell phone service. So the guys got out to change the tire, and of course it started to rain. 20 miles out in this country could have been 100 because of the rough up and down terrain, the rocks, gullies and then clay-like mud and swampy areas. Well, they got the tire changed and we started up the hill on the other side of the ravine, not knowing for sure where we were going or if we would end up at a dead end. The guys kept saying the road should get better, as they were sure this was the Antelope Road, but in fact, it got worse and we were bumping over rocks, then sliding down the clay-like muddy road that just kept going up and down, through the trees and gullies. It was a very long, tedious ride for many miles, as everyone got quiet, the road got worse and rain kept coming down.

Finally, we topped a hill and they saw the city of Gunnison in a valley many miles away. The “road” we were on looked like it would continue on, so in spite of the conditions, we were relieved, even though we knew if we slid off or lost another tire, we would be walking this road for many hours in the dark, without proper clothing or lighting. We finally came to civilization again as we spotted a ranch house about 1/2 mile away. After that, we felt like we could breathe again, and finally came upon a main road that took us home.

You would think that someone of our age and experience would know getter than to get into a situation like that, but after all, we were just out for a “little Sunday drive.” That was our big adventure for this year. I would not do it again, but we did get some beautiful pictures and saw flowers that we will never see again. And I got closer to the Lord as I did a lot of praying

The original family homestead with new construction.

The original family homestead with new construction.

 

Slide show of the flowers we saw.

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Transition to Maine~Part 5

8 Sep

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

JUDY

 

Winter humidity in Maine is so dry/non-existent, that we had to have a humidifier running inside the house all winter.  Otherwise, the furniture would come apart, and the glue in the picture frames would dry up and the frames would fall apart.  We purchased a new one when we arrived, and sold it when we left.

It was so cold and dry during the winter, that I wrote to family and friends that “when you go outside, and the moisture in your nose freezes, you KNOW it’s cold!”

Fred was able to get off time at Christmas, so we drove to King of Prussia, Pennsylvania to spend it with his parents.

 

 

 

It was a long drive, but it was nice to get back to “civilization.”  While it was still cold in PA, it was almost a relief to have “normal” cold rather than the bitter cold of Maine.

We held a going-away party at our house for the departing Commander of the Weather Detachment.  Most of the unit attended, including spouses.  While in Germany we had some reel-to-reel tapes of instrumental music made, and since they were long-playing, we just let them play during the party.  The Commander got up and gave his goodbye speech.  There was a pause – in the music as well as in his speech.  When he started up again, he started with “I just want to thank you all….”  At the same instant, the music began again, and it happened to be Bob Hope’s theme song Thanks for the Memories.  I couldn’t have timed it better if I had planned it!  One of the other officers there was also a musician, and we looked at each other and grinned – we both caught the significance of it.

After the departure of the Commander, Fred became the unit Commander, serving in that capacity for the remainder of our time there.

Our little church was without a pastor when we arrived.  Several of the men in the church would take turns preaching – including Fred.  There was a small choir.  In spite of it all, the spirit of the congregation was good, and we had a good fellowship, and were able to worship our Lord and Savior.  While we were there, the church called a pastor.  Turns out, his wife was a Maine native, and they were eager to return to the state.  God used him greatly in that place – and he stayed as pastor for 20 years, until his retirement.  We have since learned that the government has closed Loring AFB, and that impacted the church as well.  We knew they had been reaching out to the local communities, in hopes of having a lasting congregation if….when….the base closed.  We don’t know, currently, how it is faring.

~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~

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