School Days Again-One

22 Oct

My Take

DiVoran Lites



Photo by Renan Kamikoga on Unsplash


I’ve been a bit low, lately. I need to find a way to be useful and I want to enjoy it. I’ve been praying for the Lord to show me what to do with myself. I’ve tried a few things, but for various reasons, they don’t feel quite right.

I toyed with the idea of working at a school again. Although I never finished college, I’ve been a teacher most of my life. When I was twelve our sixteen-year-old Sunday School teacher got polio and had to quit teaching. Because no one else could do it, I was asked to take over the class of four children in my own age range. One was my brother, two were the children that lived in the other side of the duplex we lived in and the fourth was the younger sister of our sixteen year old teacher. The former teacher was at a school reunion not many years ago and I was glad to see she had survived her disease. As for me, I’ve been teaching in schools and Sunday Schools ever since. I do love the concept of being sin-free because my Savior died for me and I like to study and share about Him too.

Here in Florida when our grandchildren were growing up I was their art teacher during home-school days. They spent one weekend a month at our house and we had wonderful times together. When I started teaching a mixed class of beautiful black children with a few white ones to enjoy too, the teen-aged grandchildren (by that time) helped their granddad and I with the class when they came to stay. That particular class lasted for ten years with essentially the same children. When the church closed down I was out of a job. Our grandchildren are grown now and on their own, and I’ve missed being around young children.

Before I taught my last Sunday School class I worked one morning a week listening to one child at a time work on their reading. They were of all ages. I’ve loved finding ways to help them recall what they were learning. The rehab reading teacher who was in my “young married” Sunday School class took me to an awards program after I’d been helping for two years. It turned out that I was one of the people they called to the stage when they gave out awards.



I’d only been doing what came naturally so I was astounded. My daughter suggested I wear it when I went to the school to apply as a volunteer this time. I didn’t know if I’d have the nerve to do that, but the fact of having is was deeply comforting. It was an atta girl, and a you can do it all in one. I’d just have to figure out what the next step was.



Author, Poet and Artist

DiVoran has been writing for most of her life. Her first attempt at a story was when she was seven years old and her mother got a new typewriter. DiVoran got to use it and when her dad saw her writing he asked what she was writing about. DiVoran answered that she was writing the story of her life. Her dad’s only comment was, “Well, it’s going to be a very short story.” After most of a lifetime of writing and helping other writers, DiVoran finally launched her own dream which was to write a novel of her own. She now has her Florida Springs trilogy and her novel, a Christian Western Romance, Go West available on Amazon. When speaking about her road to publication, she gives thanks to the Lord for all the people who helped her grow and learn.  She says, “I could never have done it by myself, but when I got going everything fell beautifully into place, and I was glad I had started on my dream.”


Fred Remembers-Part 9

21 Oct


Judy Wills


 In late 1949, my Dad was given the opportunity to switch over to the Air Force from the Army.  It wasn’t a requirement, but he said, “Well, wherever you want me , I’ll go.”  So they cut orders to transfer him over to the Air Force.

Charles (Dad) wrote: 

During1949 the Adjutant General of the Army put out a request to all Army chaplains holding Regular Commissions to indicate whether or not they would accept transfer to the new Chaplain Service of the Air Force.  I had tried for seven years to get into military aviation so I replied that I had been happy in the Army but would accept such a transfer.  Shortly before we left Trieste I received notice that I was one of 186 chaplains to form the cadre of the Air Force……When we reached Fort Hamilton in New York, I processed through the Air Force personnel section and began a new kind of military service.

 We began our Air Force career.

So, when it was time for the three-year tour to be up, we left Italy, but this time, on a ship (the Elden H. Johnson) – down through the Adriatic, up through the Strait of Messina, across the northern Mediterranean, out through the Strait of Gibraltar.


Credit Google search and ibiblio



I was on the deck of the ship as we were approaching Gibraltar.


Credit Google Search and Financial Times

I could see Europe on the right side, and Africa on the left.  I remember between Gibraltar and the Azores, we went through the tail end of a hurricane.  Our little ship was only about 12,000 tons, so it was a small ship. It was pitching, I think they said, at least 30 degrees – so the decks were “awash.”  When the ship pitched forward, the screws were out of the water, and the entire ship shook like it was going to come apart.  Most of us stayed in our staterooms most of the time. I never got seasick because I didn’t eat much, but a lot of people did.

We ended up docking in New York after a 12-day trip.  As we entered New York harbor, we could see the Statue of Liberty, and Staten Island. 


Credit Google Search and National Park Service

We went to visit Dad’s family – at least his Mom, in Ocean View, New Jersey.  I remember that, sometime while he was there, Dad went to Millville, which is not too far away, and he came back with a demonstrator 1949 Oldsmobile Rocket 88. One of the distinctive things about it was, that for some reason, since it had been a demonstrator, it did not have wheel skirts for the back wheels.  Other than that, it was a good car, and I think it was his first ever V-8.


The Wills Family, Biloxi, MS

We ended up driving it down to Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Mississippi.  After staying a few days in the Palm Hotel, which was right on the beach in Biloxi, we were eventually put up in an old, left-over, World War II barracks on the base. It was a fairly uncomfortable place, because there was no air conditioning.  There was one big fan at end of the building, which drew some air through it – moving through it, but it wasn’t too good.  Fortunately, it was just a few months until they put us in some new housing which had been built.  That was much nicer.


Fred – 1949-1950 school picture – – Howard Elementary School, Biloxi, MS


Dad’s Kodak Retina camera was stolen while we were in the Palm Hotel in Biloxi.


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





JUDYJudy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years
Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing.
Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.
After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.
She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins.
She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

Finding God’s direction for my life

20 Oct

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles


Finding God’s direction for my life.



Reblogged October 20, 2018

After I delivered a message on courage to few hundred women, I stood on stage, wireless mic in hand and with a smile of delight I answered questions from the audience. Here’s one of them.

What is the most daring thing you did after you lost your sight?

Hmmm…should I or shouldn’t I tell them? Why not? Here it goes:

A few years ago, I was in California attending a writers’ conference. A friend jokingly asked, “Do you want to drive?”

I stopped, looked in her direction and with a deviant look I answered, “Yes”.

“Are you sure?” she asked?

“No, the question is, are YOU sure you want me to drive your car?”

“Why not.”

She placed the car keys in my hand. I felt my way around to the driver’s side, ran my fingers till I found the handle and opened the door. I settled in the driver’s seat. “Okay, here we go.” I fumbled a bit to find the ignition, then inserted the key and started the engine.

Once she guided me to the right gear, she gave firm, clear instructions.

Not having any sight at all for over 25 years, driving a car again had been but a dream for me. My heart was beating a bit fast with excitement.

“Keep it straight now, a little to the left, now to the right just a bit, not much.”

I followed each instruction. “Give it a little gas,” she said. I did. We were on a hill. What fun!

You’ve got to trust Someone (God)

I know what you’re thinking, a bit crazy! I agree. But now years later, I can tell you the reason I was able to drive her car. It was because she was with me. I trusted in her ability to give me instructions and direction to tell me what to do, where to turn and when to slow down.

Life is the same. While on the road of life, we’re often blind to what will be around the corner, what will pop up unexpectedly, and where the ditches of heartache are.

But we reach our destination safely only when we realize our blindness and recognize God’s vision for our future. That vision is stated in the Bible. Then, following the GPS of Scripture, we have the confidence to move forward, knowing God is by our side, calling out each instruction.

That’s because “All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16)

Like my friend, God is patient as He instructs, corrects and tells us to wait, slow down or stop.

Whether we’re about to enter into a new relationship, a new job, a new chapter or entering an unfamiliar stage of life, God’s speaking gently and clearly.

He never leaves us on our own to blindly drive through life, He said, “’Never will I leave you…, never will I forsake you.’ So, we say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid’” (Hebrews 13:5-6).

Let’s Pray

Father, so often I’ve driven the vehicle of my own life, encountering cliffs of adversity, potholes of setbacks and disappointments that took me on unwanted detours. But now, listening to the instructions in your Word, the road is secure and the ride is smooth. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Have you considered Gods instructions that are found in the Bible before you make a decision? Before you head in a new direction?

Hey friends, I’d love your comments, be sure to share them with me.

And if you need a daily guide to head in the right direction with courage and faith, check out my book, Contagious Courage: Your 30-day guide to overcoming Stress and Anxiety. Just use the link to get your copy.



Did you know I wrote a book filled with words of encouragement, uplifting thoughts and illustrations of real-life triumph to empower you? Its title, Trials of Today, Treasures for Tomorrow: Overcoming Adversities in Life. You can get it HERE.

CLICK HERE for a one-minute inspirational video.

Looking for a speaker for your upcoming event? A great speaker makes the difference between a so-so event and one that shines with impact. I invite you to view one of my two-minute videos HERE.

Please share: Feel free to share Janet’s posts with your friends.




Janet Eckles Perez

Some say she should be the last person to be dancing. Her life is summarized in this 3-minute video:

Janet Perez Eckles’ story of triumph is marked by her work as an international speaker, #1 best-selling author, radio host, personal success coach and master interpreter. Although blind since 31, her passion is to help you see the best of life.

Today I Choose “I Get To”

19 Oct

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis


A friend posted on Facebook yesterday, her choice to focus on the positives in her life. One example being, her husband did not receive a full pay check for the week. She chose to be thankful for having a pay check.  This morning I read this in Jesus Always by Sarah Young,

“Make the effort to replace your “I have to” mentality with an “I get to” approach. 



Anyone want to join me in falling

Edisto Get Away Part 1

18 Oct

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis


October 4th, my husband and I began a shortish road trip. I had made the decision to leave my laptop at home and it was odd, but refreshing to not travel with my computer. My fellow bloggers had submitted their post in advance so the only posts missing were mine! I was ok with that.

Our first stop was outside Raleigh, NC to visit with family. Most of the extended family had chosen the same week to vacation so, I missed seeing a lot of them, but enjoyed the ones there. We had plenty of good old southern food to eat. I am pretty certain that eastern North Carolina has the best cooks in the country.



Our next stop was Edisto Island, South Carolina. I know technically it is an island but I’ve seen  longer bridges on the St. John’s River in Florida.



The wooded drive along back roads to Edisto was pleasant and I enjoyed catching glimpses of unique stained glass windows in even the smallest of churches. I could imagine horse-drawn wagons hauling their crops along a rutted road.

Our plan was to meet our friend Pam and daughter, Rebekah at the resort. They drove up from Florida. Our timing was perfect and they Pam was already in the check in process when we arrived. We were relieved to discover that our home away from home for the next three days had a working elevator. We were on the third floor and not looking forward to hauling our “stuff” up the stairs. I say stuff because we can’t see, to travel with just luggage. There’s a snack bag, bags to hold things I forgot to put in the luggage… you get the idea.

Restaurant choices on the island are limited and we were tired so we opted for rotisserie chicken from the deli and salad. Easy clean up meal then coffee and conversation on the porch until bedtime.

The next morning after a quick breakfast we headed to our first place on our to do list, Wadmalaw Island and the Charleston Tea Plantation. It wasn’t far tp Wadmalaw Island, as the crow flies, but since we couldn’t fly over the marshes, it took a little over an hour. From their website:


This is the home of Charleston Tea Plantation teas – nine very special flavors of tea, including our original American Classic Tea.  This is the only brand of tea in the world that is made exclusively with 100% tea grown in America.  The Plantation sits right off Maybank Highway. Driving down Maybank is like taking a step back in time. Wadmalaw has not and cannot be commercially developed, therefore much of the land remains untouched.



On the porch of the gift shop Waddy the Frog sits with his cup of tea, available for any single ladies who haven’t met their quota of kissing frogs before they find a prince.



We purchased tickets for a trolley tour of the plantation and it was informative and fun with a guide who knew his history and how to add humor to his spiel.  The tea plants looked like ordinary shrubs and I would never have identified them as tea plants if I saw  them in a garden. The leaves are not harvested by hand as this is a small operation and would require many hands to pick it. Instead, they have a specially built harvester that is set to pick a defined depth.  They kind of look like someone used a gas hedge trimmer on them.


The most surprising fact I learned is that the whole process, once the leaves arrive at the processing center, is automated. The production staff has only 4 members. The gift shop has more staff!

After the tour, we shopped in the gift shop and took pictures. I loved the large oak tree by the entrance. It reminded me of Orlando, Florida in the 60’s before Disney World.


The weather was threatening rain but we decided to continue to historic Charleston. Hurricane Michael was stirring up the weather and we were not sure the next day would bring good weather. I will write about that next time. Meanwhile, here is a picture that we found interesting. This homeowner isn’t taking any chances on the surrounding marshes flooding.




I'm a winnerAfter my retirement, I decided to re-learn the canning and preserving skills I learned from my mother but hadn’t practiced for twenty years. I titled the blog Old Things R New to chronicle my experience.  Since then I have been blessed to have six other bloggers join me, DiVoran Lites, Bill Lites,  Judy Wills, Louise Gibson, Janet Perez Eckles and Melody Hendrix

In addition to blogging, I work as the publicist/marketer/ amateur editor and general  “mom Friday” for my author daughter, Rebekah Lyn. I also manage her website, Rebekah Lyn Books  where we frequently host the best in up and coming authors.

Memory Lane Road Trip Part 16

17 Oct

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites


Day 16 – Wednesday 5/2/2018 


Because of my word dyslexia, I don’t really like to read, so to satisfy my literary needs, I listen to audio books on CDs in my car.  One of my favorite authors is James Lee Burke, many of whose books are read by Will Patton.  One of Burke’s series revolves around a detective, Dave Robicheaux, whose duties take place in and around the south Louisiana town of New Iberia, and Will Patton makes Burke’s characters come alive for me.  Since my route today was taking me south, on U.S.- 90 from Lafayette, my first stop was in New Iberia, to visit the Bayou Teche Museum.  Who knows, I might even meet James Lee Burke, somewhere on Main Street, on my way to the museum.



This is a small museum that displays memorabilia and artifacts related to the people, history, culture, and industry of New Iberia and the surrounding area.  In addition to being the hometown for Burke’s detective, Dave Robicheaux, (who I didn’t see at the museum or in town) it was at one time the hometown of Blue Dog artist George Rodrigues.



I continued southeast on U.S.- 90 to visit the Wedell-Williams Aviation Museum located in Patterson, LA.  This is a good-sized museum filled with artifacts and memorabilia related to the Golden Age of Aviation.  The museum also has nine beautifully restored Golden Age Racer airplanes that flew in air races all over the country during the 1920s and 1930s.  I have read about these very airplanes for years, but it’s something else to see them in person, and so well taken care of.  The Wedell-Williams Air Service was formed in 1928, and became Louisiana’s first commercial airline, providing passenger and mail service between New Orleans and Houston.



The museum building actually is home to two museums, the Wedell-Williams Aviation Museum and the Cypress Sawmill Museum.  I had no idea that Jimmie Wedell’s partner, Harry P. Williams was associated with the Cypress lumber business.  As it turns out Harry P. Williams was the son of Frank B. Williams, who is credited with starting the Cypress Milling Industry in Louisiana, and was also known as “The King of the Cypress Industry.”  This museum displays memorabilia, artifacts, and machinery related to the harvesting and milling of Cypress lumber in south Louisiana dating from the late 1800s.  I was amazed at the size of some of the Cypress logs (cross section) and the machinery needed to handle those huge logs.



Heading east a few miles on U.S.- 90 I visited the International Petroleum Museum located in Morgan City, LA.  This museum consists of a full-sized ocean oil drilling rig and barge, on which is displayed the associated equipment to support ocean oil drilling operations. If you have ever seen photos of an ocean oil drilling rig, then you can understand why I didn’t want to climb up to the base of the rig.  I’m sure my bad knees wouldn’t have survived the climb to where the museum’s artifacts and memorabilia are located.  The photo below will just have to suffice.

Continuing east on U.S.- 90 I visited the Regional Military Museum located in Houma, LA.  I was surprised to find a museum of this size out in the middle of what I call bayou country.  This is a fairly large museum that displays artifacts and memorabilia from all branches of the U.S. military services.  They have one tank, one howitzer, one helicopter, one air force airplane, one navy airplane, two jeeps, a motorcycle with sidecar, and a cruise missile. It didn’t take me long to go thru this museum.

During my 2016 Midwest America trip, a couple of museums, not far from New Orleans, had been closed and I thought I would try them again today.  So I headed northeast on U.S.- 90 until I picked up I-310/I-10 around New Orleans, and headed east to visit the Busted Wrench Garage Museum located in Gulfport, MS. I was looking forward to getting some photos of the 50+ restored automobiles of all makes and models.  As luck would have it, the museum had closed to the public sometime in February of this year.  Phooey!




And to top it off, the Model Railroad Depot Museum located in Bay St. Louis, MS was closed when I got there.  Not to be deterred I stopped, on the way back to New Orleans, at the Slidell Municipal Airport to see if anyone was sky diving on this beautiful afternoon. The answer was NO.  They are only open on the weekends.  The Skydive Nawlins hanger was closed, but I got a big kick out of their sign on the door that read, “SKYDIVENAWLINS.COM,”



So I gave up for today and asked Greta to take me to my motel for tonight.  After I got checked in, I asked the desk clerk about a good place to eat and he said he liked Don Jose’s Mexican Grill not too far down the road. I had Don Jose’s Chili Relleno filled with shrimp and cheese.  It was delicious and was a new taste treat for me.  As usual, there was nothing worth watching on TV, so it was early to bed for me again tonight.




—–To Be Continued—–





Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 61 years in Titusville, Florida. He was born and raised in the Southwest, did a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy, attended Northrop University in Southern California and ended up working on America’s Manned Space Program for 35 years. He currently is retired and spends most of his time building and flying R/C model airplanes, traveling, writing blogs about his travels for Word Press and supporting his wife’s hobbies with framing, editing and marketing.  He also volunteers with a local church Car Care Ministry and as a tour guide at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum there in Titusville.  Bill has two wonderful children, two outstanding grandchildren, and a loving sister and her husband, all of whom also live in Central Florida, so he and DiVoran are rewarded by having family close to spend lots of quality time with.




One of Bill’s favorite Scriptures is:  John 10:10

Take Time to Abide

16 Oct

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis


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