The Little Girl Down the Street

20 Aug

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites



When I was 5 or 6 years old my girlfriend from down the street and I enjoyed playing together most of the time. One of our favorite past times was making mud pies and eating them. I know, that sounds yucky now, but as I remember, that Texas mud was delicious. And I read, not too long ago, that the dirt kids eat somehow helps build their immune system to fight off unwanted diseases later in life.



Well anyway one day, as I remember it, Patsy and I got in an argument over which mud pies belonged to who, and when Patsy couldn’t get her way, she grabbed my arm and bit me. I was shocked, and ran home crying. When I told my grandmother what had happened, she looked me in the eye and said, “The next time Patsy bites you, you just bite her back”. I told her I would do that, but I wasn’t so sure that was going to work, as Patsy could get really mad, and I could end up with many more and much na stier bites.



Patsy was the only other kid my age in the neighborhood, and we were still friends, so I soon forgot all about the incident. The next time we had an argument about something (I can’t remember about what), Patsy got really mad, and it ended up with her biting me. She was surprised when I didn’t turn and run home crying. But, she was even more surprised when I grabbed her arm and bit her back. Now she was the one running home crying. I was kinda proud of myself for not being a wimp, and went home to tell my grandmother of my victory.


Well, the celebration didn’t last long, because Patsy’s mother soon came storming down to our house wanting to know what kind of a “Little Brat” my mother and grandmother were raising anyway. Didn’t they know that boys biting little girls was “Barbaric” and not at all nice. After my grandmother related the whole story to Patsy’s mother, she just couldn’t believe “Her Little Princess” could have done such a thing. When she asked Patsy if the story was true, Patsy admitted it was, and her mother was shocked. After that, she calmed down and was actually embarrassed about the whole matter.



I’m sure a lot of talk went on between the adults, once the whole story was out in the open, but by then Patsy and I were ready to be friends again, and we were sent outside to play. After that incident, Patsy and I must have had other arguments, but to my knowledge, none of them ended in us biting each other. It’s amazing for me to think back to that incident and realize how easy it is for a child to become a bully, when not confronted about their actions. Moreover, just how quickly a young bully can be diverted from continuing that bullying into adulthood, when they receive a dose of what they have been handing out to others.


—–The End—–

The Gunnison Adventures~Part 1

19 Aug

A Few Thoughts

Patricia Franklin

We will try to fill you in on our latest adventures in gorgeous Gunnison. While everyone here was baking in the July heat, we were relaxing in the nice cool mountains in the glorious Gunnison Country… truly God’s country… and half-way to heaven. We spent about half the time in town and the rest driving all over the mountains.

The flowers were gorgeous this year because of the moisture and we were there at just the right time. A couple of outings were particularly fun and beautiful.  We had a day trip to Powderhorn, Lake City and up Slumgullion Pass — half-way to Creede. We stopped and took a picture of the beautiful waterfall that you would never know is there unless you knew about it. Although they finally did post a sign pointing to it. The land looks flat, but about 1/4 mile off the main road a creek runs through the mountain meadow, widens out a little and then drops off 100 feet or more into a ravine cut into the flat land.. a beautiful hidden waterfall.


We then went back to the old mining town of Lake City with its wooden sidewalks, dirt streets and old buildings. It is not real touristy there, just a small old-fashioned community surrounded by mountains. We had lunch there and some ice cream at the ice cream parlor, then took an old side road back to Gunnison. The guys thought they remembered how to get there, but after coming to a dead-end and trying a couple of roads, we finally found the back way home. Luckily we missed the downpours that were just ahead of us or behind us in that area. We have had many violent thunderstorms with flash floods, hail and tornado-like winds this summer.

Several miles out in the high country we discovered a huge summer sheep camp in a large mountain meadow. There must have been 1000 sheep, a shepherd with his camper and four dogs tending the sheep. We did not stop to talk to him but regretted it later, as just about 1 – 2 miles from the camp, before we got to it, a mountain lion streaked across the road and was headed in that direction. We were sorry we had not warned the shepherd. Anyway, we made it back


Head Up and Locked

18 Aug

Author, Poet and ArtistBill is an airplane buff. We have a standard joke when someone isn’t paying attention. “He’s got his head up and locked,” we say. The saying is taken from faulty landings where the retractable tires don’t come down to support the plane when it lands. It’s a malfunction that can, and usually does, cause a disaster.

This morning, friends from our church needed a ride to the doctor. The pastor usually hauls people around, but he had conflicting appointments. He would have asked Bill to take them, but Bill was out of town, so he asked me. He wanted to give me directions to their home on Pine St., but we had taken them home once and I knew where it was. Besides, years ago, I drove to Pine frequently because a woman in my Sunday School class lived there. But as I drove without coming to Pine, I realized something was wrong.

My friends were going to a drop-in clinic and didn’t have an actual appointment, so I didn’t panic. I decided to call the friend who used to live on Pine. She said I had to take a street with another name in order to get to Pine. I don’t know what else she might have been going to say, though, because I cut her off, saying, “Oh yes, I have a perfect picture of it in my mind, thanks, goodbye.” So I went back up the road looking for the street she mentioned. I saw the street I remembered, but the name was different. I turned anyway and then turned again. Nope it wasn’t Pine. I knew though that I was within inches. I asked a workman that looked sort of like my grandson, and he was kind enough to look it up on his GPS. He showed me that I had turned one block too soon.

Finally, we made it to the doctor. And what did I learn from the experience? I learned that I have a bad habit of knowing I know things when I don’t know at all. I’m praying that Jesus the Christ, Jesus the Way, the TRUTH and the Life, will wipe out all the thoughts that I think are right and show me His way. One of my most fervent prayers is that He will continue to remind me that in order to know I must not assume that I know, I must ask. I think today will be a great reminder and although I’m not proud of myself, I thank Him for it.

keep asking

Transition to Maine~Part 2

17 Aug


Judy Wills


Finally assigned quarters on the base (Loring AFB), we began the process of arranging our lives to this new place. We lived in a two-story row house (18 “houses” or apartments, within each row – directly across from another set of row houses), and ours had been added on – giving us a half-bath and a laundry room downstairs, right off the kitchen. We considered ourselves fortunate for that addition – the houses on either side of us did not have the add-on, and the only bathroom was upstairs.

The base housing was not in very good repair – especially on the outside, and was scheduled for refurbishment the summer we arrived. Here are some before and after pictures.



The military had contracted with a Canadian company to do the work. Nothing wrong with that – except they were on Atlantic time, and arrived about 6:00 a.m. local time. We kept hearing stories about people asleep in their upstairs apartment, awakened to find Canadian faces looking in their windows!   We made sure we had the windows covered.

Of course, just covering the windows didn’t help with the sound. They were removing the old siding in preparation for new siding. It looked really nice when they were done, but BOY! was it loud in the mean time!

Since we had only been able to ship 2,000 pounds to Germany, we had left a lot of our household goods at my mother’s house in New Mexico. Now was the time to collect everything that was ours, and start using it all. So we had to find a place for all the china, crystal and sterling we had been given as wedding presents. The apartment was partially furnished, so we only had to purchase a minimum of furniture. We were furnished a dining room table and chairs, sideboard and two beds. Fred built a “hutch” for the sideboard, and we stored the crystal there.

We purchased a sofa (110″ long) in electric blue, with a matching high-back swivel rocker. We also purchased a 12′ X 15′ rug to go in the living room. It was such fun arranging all that stuff.


Fred’s parents and an aunt and uncle arrived the middle of October, hoping to see all the gorgeous fall colors – but they were about a month too late. Fall hits in early September in northern Maine. But we had a nice visit with them, anyway, taking them to our favorite restaurant in Canada, York’s. York’s had a set menu – only five items. But they had corn fritters the size of a baseball, served with real maple syrup – as many as you wanted to eat. You could have one serving of any of the five entrees, and if you were still hungry, you could have a half-order of anything except the steak. I really learned to love lobster there! And what was neat was that they split the lobster in half, and all you had to do was pick out the meat! No cracking there! Unfortunately, they closed down mid-October and didn’t open again until Mother’s Day. The roads were just too impassable, so they had no customers.



~~~~~~~~~~To be continued~~~~~~~~~~~

Filled with Fear or Firm in Faith?

16 Aug

Old Things R New:

I am so sorry to be late posting Janet’s blog today. This is a wonderful testimony.

Originally posted on Janet Perez Eckles & Friends:

Picture1Some of you asked, “How did you get out of Bolivia without the proper documents?”

Good question. In my last post, I related how my birth certificate and my passport had two different names. The birthdate was the same. But my original name was Janneth Corina Perez Arenas. And my passport read, “Janet Eckles.” Bolivia’s laws now require a mandatory ID for those born in Bolivia.

To obtain said ID, I had to change my birth certificate. And while in Bolivia, this was a cumbersome legal process, one for which I had no time or money to spend.

So I did what a good-sensed, logical, faith-filled chica would do—nothing, but pray. I prayed for the person at the immigration counter who would be reviewing my documents. And thus, would make the call to let me out of the country, or pay for a visa, or keep me there.

I resisted the temptation…

View original 488 more words

You Are the Answer to Someone’s Prayer

15 Aug

From My Heart

Louise Gibson

author of Window Wonders



Someone prayed for a miracle-

Maybe that miracle is YOU.

A task, difficult for one-

Is so much easier with two!


Open the door of your heart-

Don’t you hear the cry?

“Will someone please help me?

I have no other measure to try.”


Reach out with compassion-

One day that plea may be yours.

God has created us in His own image.

We are the blessed who endures.


Some people can be difficult to love,

and so we don’t even try to care.

But God says, “Love them as I have loved you.

You’ll bring me glory as My love you share.”


“For we are His workmanship. created in

Christ Jesus for good works,

which God has prepared beforehand

that we should walk in them.”

Ephesians 2:10


A Bean Canning Fiasco

14 Aug

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

I'm a winner

This week started well. I was busy with #MondayBlogs (if you are on Twitter check this out on Monday) and Mike went out to pick the green beans on our extremely tall green bean bushes, more like trees. As an aside, we learned from this and will NOT use ten foot poles again. Monday Blogs tend to make me anxious, so many blogs and tweets, so little time, so I took a break and helped Mike string and snap our unexpectedly large picking. We had a grand time sitting on the back porch, rocking, snapping and talking. By the time we finished I decided it was too late to can them and popped them into the refrigerator to work on the next morning.

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Tuesday morning, I cleaned my kitchen making sure I had plenty of room to wash the beans and then began the canning process. I was expecting around eight pints but by the end of nine pints I had a lot of beans left. No worries. I decided to  start the others in the pressure canner then jar up the rest in quarts. I had five quarts!

I can outside using a Coleman stove and my husband set it all up for me. In my haste, I neglected to look at the pressure gauge. It was new last year so I assumed it was fine. We waited for the canner to vent, put the jiggler on and sat down to wait for it to work it’s magic.  I was dreaming of bragging about my beautiful green beans.  All was good until my husband said, why is the pressure gauge on fifteen? I, of course, suggested he had the flame turned up too high. After much “fiddling” we decided the pressure gauge was bad.

I was distraught? No, frustrated is a better word. I called the Macon County Agricultural Extension Office for advice. ( Surely there is an acronym for that?) and was told that Debbie the canning girl was not in, call tomorrow. Tomorrow? I had two canners of beans NOW. In the end, I cooled the pints(and myself) and put them in the refrigerator. I  froze the quarts. (That is a long  tale too traumatic to speak of at this time)

I am happy to say, that Wednesday, my husband was able to tinker with the gauge and zero it out and the MCAEC ^^^^ confirmed it was now accurate. I didn’t trust it though, so I pulled out one of my mother’s old canners with a weighted jiggler and finally canned the beans. The next time we pick, I think we may just eat them all week and share with whomever will take them!

9 pints

I totally forgot to tell you about Gus. We call him the best porch dog ever. He belongs to the neighbors but comes to visit while they work. He was with us the whole time, faithfully offering his head for a pat and ears to scratch.

photo 2

My Western Trip Part~15

13 Aug

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites


 Heading back west from Meteor Crater, I passed signs for roads leading to some of the most unique sounding towns, such as Two Guns and Twin Arrows. Then a little ways farther down the road, I passed a man carrying a cross with wheels on the long end. What a sight that was. It reminded me of Arthur Blessitt, who carried a cross from the west coast to the east coast of the U.S. back in the late 1960s. When I got to Williams, AZ I took another little side trip, north on S.R. 64 to Valle, AZ to visit the Planes of Fame Air Museum. This museum has a couple of the planes that are special to me, one being General Douglas MacArthur’s Lockheed C-121A Constellation (N422NA) that he named “Bataan.” The other is a Pacific Air Lines Martin 4-0-4 (N636X) that I worked on at the Los Angeles International Airport in 1958-1960s while I was attending Northrop University.


Next door to the POF Air Museum is the Grand Canyon Valle Airport, which has a very nice collection of vintage aircraft and vehicles. Their movie and airline famous1929 5-AT-C Ford Tri-motor (N414H) is painted in the colors of Scenic Airways (predecessor to Grand Canyon Airlines), and among its many other awards, won the National Aviation Heritage Invitational (NAHI) Howard Hughes Trophy at the 2012 Reno Air Races.



Then I headed west on I-40 again, this time toward Las Vegas, my beginning and ending destination for this trip. I passed thru Ash Fork and Seligman before stopping at the Airport in Kingman, AZ to visit the Kingman Army Airfield Museum. But again, they were closed that day, so I continued on into Kingman to visit the Powerhouse Route 66 Museum and the Kingman Railroad Museum.



Since time was beginning to get a little tight, I didn’t spend a lot of time in those two museums, but got back on the road for Las Vegas. I made it into town in time to visit the National Atomic Testing Museum, which documents the history of U.S. nuclear testing at the Nevada Test Site (NTS), which was originally called The Nevada Proving Grounds. The NTS is located in the desert only 65 miles north of Las Vegas, and has been the location for 928 nuclear tests of all types and sizes, since the first detonation on January 27, 1951. This includes above-ground, underground and atmospheric tests.


I began the next morning by turning in the rental car (3356 miles), and then it was stand in line for baggage check-in, Security checks, and wait for my Southwest flight back to the “Green” of Orlando, FL and home. We had made arrangements for my sister Judy and her husband Fred to meet DiVoran and me at Sonny’s BBQ for dinner upon my arrival, so we had a great dinner of Baby Back Ribs, with all the trimmings. Then it was onto S.R. 528 and east to Titusville for a good night’s sleep in my own bed. Boy did that feel good! I really enjoyed this trip, and am looking forward to the next one, but DiVoran says I will need to cut back a little on that one. I hope you have enjoyed reading about “My Western Trip” as much as I have enjoyed writing about it.




—–The End—–


The Book Barn of Beulah Colorado

12 Aug

Sometimes a letter or email turns into a great blog. Today’s post is one of those.-Onisha


Loved this letter from my friend, Patricia Franklin, who lives in Colorado. I thought you’d like it too, so we got permission to share. It’s a book lover’s joy-DiVoran
Hi DiVoran,
Just had to tell you about our  Sunday afternoon drive today.  We drove up to the little  mountain town of Beulah in the foothills of the Wet Mountains. It has one main street that is about two blocks long with a coffee shop and a general store. We went into the general store and went to the lower level which is a little antique store. We wandered beulah General Storethrough there looking at all the things I remember as a child, and also hoping to find a couple of items to replace some that we broke, but still were using up until that time. Ha!  Not finding anything, we had a nice conversation with the owner.
We were also looking for an old book for a friend of ours.  She did not have it, but told us to go to the Book Barn, which was just this side of the Coffee Shop. She said “People leave their used books there and the proceeds go to the school… hard backs 50 cents and paperbacks are 25 cents. You just put the money in the knothole.”  I was intrigued by that comment and we drove on up the street to the Coffee Shop .
There were a couple old gents sitting out front of the Coffee Shop.  We stopped and asked them where the Book Barn was.  One of them said, “It is right behind you.”  I looked at a little old shed behind me by the side of the road and said “Is that it?”  He said, “That’s it.”  … and something to the effect of “You might not both fit in there at the same time.”  We backed our car up and parked right beside the colorful little shed that had the door wide open.  We both got out of the car and walked into the 6′ x 8′ shed. No one was in attendance. All sides were lined with bookshelves to the ceiling, which were filled with books of all kinds… not in any particular order, with boxes of books on the floor.  Being the book lover that I am, we both looked through the books, having  to squeeze past each other in the aisle.  We did not find the book we were looking for.  I saw some great books, but I have so many right now, that I did not get any, although I wanted to just to put the money in the old knothole by the side of the door.  I immediately thought of you and said to myself “DiVoran would love this little Book Barn.”  So I had to tell you about it as soon as I got home.
Need to get dinner on!
   Love, P
The book they were looking for was Colorado Wildflowers, Volumn 2, The Mountain flowers by Guennel. It is on the Internet, but it’s beyond the price the friend can pay. If you have a copy you don’t want or need let us know and we’ll see that they get it.

One Person Poetry Fair

11 Aug

My Take

DiVoran Lites

Author, Poet and ArtistI have been enjoying my IPod for a lot of different things. I especially like to listen to poetry and I’ve bought some from Audible. I am, however, greedy for more so I kept searching in my bumbling way for more poems to listen to. I especially wanted the more up-to-date poets, but not what they call the modern ones because as you know, the modern ones, such as T. S. Eliot, even though I like him too, are really not very up-to-date.

I’ve known about the Poetry Foundation, and when I entered audible poetry in the Google search bar they came up. I looked the website over, but still didn’t see how to get spoken poems onto my IPod, so I contacted them by email. A nice man wrote back and suggested I get their podcasts on ITunes. I finally managed to figure out how to do that and now I’ve got a bunch! I subscribed to all the Poetry Foundation podcasts free and downloaded the archives of those podcasts as well. I put them on playlists, and today I started listening to poetry to my heart’s desire. I have seven plus hours worth, many in the poet’s own voices, and more to come. I’ve struck gold!

Listening to a wonderful poem gives you a similar feeling similar to listening to a transcendent piece of music. Poems give insights and epiphanies, two of my favorite brain candies. Even though it was a hot day and I had a mile to go, I listened on my walk and was exhilarated with what I heard. The one that sticks with me most from today is: “Monet Refuses the Operation,” by Lisel Mueller. I may have liked that one best because I like to paint too.

Anyhow, now I’ve got poems, and I’ll be receiving more as the podcasts come out. I’ve got discussions of poems, I’m sure to learn something from them. What else can I say, I’m rejoicing, thanking God and all those who make it possible and in general just very happy and satisfied with the first day of my one person poetry fair.


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