Melody’s Adventures, Cave Diving

31 Mar

A Time to Live

Melody Hendrix

Fresh water cave diving

Diving fresh water is completely different than salt water. Lakes are not very exciting since there aren’t the colorful fish and plants like the sea. So I decided to try cave diving. 

The Florida Aquifer  has a massive underground system of limestone that looks like a honey comb. Many lakes, sinks and springs are formed when the surface of the land dissolves and falls into the aquifer below. This allows the diver to enter the system.

 The temperature of the aquifer is a constant 72 degrees. The water is so clear, it looks like air. When you adjust your weights, so you don’t sink or float, you can fly like a bird in the air. It is the most wonderful feeling. 

As soon as I dip below the water, I immediately feel as though I am in a giant aquarium. As I enter the cavern , I can look out and see the sun glistening in rays that move with the motion of the water. The only sound you hear are your bubbles and breathing. It is so peaceful and relaxing. 

One day, there were three of us swimming down a long cave tunnel beyond the cavern. We had our safety line with us that would lead us out when we returned. We noticed an unusual formation off the main tunnel, and swam over to it When we got inside and looked around, someone got too close to the bottom and kicked up the silt with their fin. Silt is a layer similar to dust. When it is disturbed, will fill the area and block out your vision.

 We could see the white silt starting to roll upwards and fill the area. It only took seconds to create a white out where we couldn’t see our hands in front of our face. Not only were we blinded, we didn’t know if we were upside down or not because we were weightless.

 So we held our life saving  line and I headed out first. I slide the line through my hands following its direction when I hit a wall of rock. I couldn’t understand why I couldn’t go any farther. Panic set in. I couldn’t communicate with anyone because I couldn’t see them. Finally after taking a few breaths, my hand followed the line under the rock. It had slipped under it. I was able to go around and get my wits together. I could only hope everyone else would be able to follow the line and not panic.

 I finally swam out of the silt and waited for my dive buddies to emerge. Everyone was shook up, but safe. That was the last time I explored a cave.

MelodyWelcome! I’m so glad you stopped in to visit. I am retired and enjoying life. My hobbies are my 5 grandchildren, son and daughter, and my loving husband. I am a photographer and extreme nature lover. I love spending time in my garden or in the wilderness connected to God my Creator.
What a beautiful world we live in. We all have that in common. Natural beauty is everywhere, but sometimes we are not connected until we see a picture, taken just right, that makes it really come into focus and be admired. My passion is to make a connection between the lens and your soul. Photography is my passion.
My photography passion began when my Father handed me his old Ricohflex box camera when I was 12.  It was love at first sight. I still have it. My hand was never empty of a camera since.
I am a native Floridian. I am so lucky to call it home. I was born in Orlando BF (before Disney). My family moved to the Winter Park area when I was very young. Central Florida was so simple and quaint at that time. I wandered the streets barefoot with my friends, never worrying that something bad could ever happen. My Mom used to pick the sand-spurs out of my feet. I still go barefoot. It grounds me to earth and connects me to nature.
I have extensively explored Florida and its diverse beauty. So much to see and so little time. I would love for you to join me in my travels through the images I have taken. I wish you could hear the sounds, smell the fragrance and feel the breath of it. But for now we must be content with exploring with our eyes and only imagine the rest.
Thank you for your interest.

Look at the Birds

30 Mar

My Take

DiVoran Lites

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.”

We Must Have Humor

29 Mar

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

Here in the U.S we seem to be virus weary. In various online church services today we were reminded to call those we know who are alone. Certainly good and loving advice. But my mind screamed what about those of us who have been inside with the same people for two weeks? We need fresh voices!

Facebook is filling up with humorous stories and videos. I particularly liked this one about homeschooling. The little guy on the harmonica is adorable.

There is a popular saying:

Live, Love, Laugh

Need a Good Belly Laugh?

29 Mar

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

Something happened to me years ago that I remember – and it usually produces a good belly laugh to anyone to whom I tell it.  It wasn’t funny – at least to me – at the time, but that’s the way of things, isn’t it?

Okay, here goes:  We were living in San Antonio, Texas at the time.

Our girls were quite young.  Fred had gone somewhere (I don’t remember where) and had taken our only car with him.

As it happened, I was having…..well.….how do I put this delicately?  Ummm intestinal issues?  Rather severe, as a matter of fact.  Nothing I did seemed to help.  I called the hospital, Wilford Hall, on Lackland AFB, and explained my situation. They assured me that, if I could get there soon, they would take me right in and fix me up.

The original Wilford Hall

Next question – who can I get to come stay with the girls?  And I needed a car to get me to the hospital.  So I called a good friend who lived near, Sonja, and asked if she would come stay with the girls, and could I borrow her car?  She was agreeable to both.

So we made the tradeoff, and off I went to Wilford Hall.  As promised, they took me right in, and gave me some medicine that fixed me up, indeed.  I waited a bit to make sure I was okay, then went out to Sonja’s car to go home.

I opened the driver’s door, and took my first look in her car.  And what to my surprise did I see?  THE BACK SEAT WAS MISSING!!

WHAT??? (mouth hanging wide open at this point)

THE BACK SEAT WAS MISSING??!!

Who in the world would STEAL the back seat out of a car?

So I ran back inside the hospital and called Sonja at my house (remember – waaayyy before cell phones at that time!).  When I breathlessly explained the situation, Sonja began to laugh and laugh and laugh.  When she could finally catch her breath, she said, “Judy, come on home.  We’re having the back seat re-upholstered!”

Well, it’s funny now, but I felt like a first-class-idiot!  She assured me that I wasn’t, and thanked me for the best laugh she’d had in a long time!  I’m sure her husband did, as well, when she told him!

And I hope you did, too.  It’s so much fun to look back on those times of our life and see them fondly.

Judy 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 as well as a great-grandson. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

Can Anything Good Come From Coronavirus?

28 Mar

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

Kirk Cameron is doing a daily Facebook FaithStrong Prayer time. In last evening’s post he read a story titled

A Conversation Between An Individual And God: Can Anything Good Come From The Coronavirus (Author unknown)

I am not having much luck with sharing videos this week, but I do hope this one plays. I found a PDF of the piece, but hesitate to use it as I don’t know the copyright details.

In the midst of bad news and fear, I am thankful for the positive and encouraging words being shared online.

It is Well

27 Mar

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

My plans for today have been delayed so I am going through the items I saved on Facebook. I confess I am the worst at watching videos. I think because I can read faster than the video plays. But…When I listened to this video it brought me to tears. It is a song I have loved since childhood.

31 of Nashville’s Studio Singers using their cell phones during Nashville’s Safer at Home order to record and lift their collective voices to share a message of hope and encouragement during these challenging days. It is well. 

Hmmm…. the embed flashes when I insert the You Tube link. Trying the site where I first saw it

If you viewed it tell me what you think. I loved that most of the musicians were in their stay home clothes and many didn’t even have on make up!

Pity

27 Mar

My Take

DiVoran Lites

Reblogged From Rebekah Lyn Books

 

Promise Poster Pity #7

 

 

Daily Life During Covid-19 Part 4 My Amazing Egg Experience

26 Mar

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

It’s been over a week since I’ve found eggs in the grocery store. We use a lot of eggs in a week between breakfasts, baking and making ice cream. (Keto of course.)

This morning my husband and I went to Aldi, thinking maybe we had been shopping too late in the day. The store wasn’t crowded but there was not a single egg to be found.

From Aldi we went to Target, then Publix. Still no eggs. Did the hens get the virus? Or are they hoarding?

Mentally I began strategizing how to convince my husband that life would go on without a breakfast of eggs and bacon. I threw out a couple of ideas, but he wasn’t receptive, well except when I mentioned pizza for breakfast. I sent up a prayer that God would send us eggs.

On the way back home, My husband asked if I wanted to check the Dollar General, but I was feeling discouraged and wanted to go home. Just before we turned off the main highway I felt compelled to stop at Save A Lot, a small grocery store.

As I approached the egg section, it appeared bare. I went and stood in front of it, just empty boxes where the eggs should be. Then I looked down at an empty box on the right side of the cooler. In the very back, almost unseen lay two cartons of eggs. I pulled them out sure that they were the cracked rejects but willing to buy them anyway. They all looked fine!

As I thanked God for the eggs a woman, older than me, stood in front of the eggs running her eyes over the empty boxes. She was taller than me and able to see into the top box. Her fingers scrabbled to draw forward a lone carton. As she looked them over, she seemed hesitant. I told her that if they were cracked, I would give her one of my dozen. She brought hers over to me and opened it. They were brown eggs and she wasn’t sure they would be good. I was happy to assure her they were. I decided to tell her about my prayer for eggs. She didn’t smile, but she hesitantly said she had prayed for eggs as well! I love how God cares about the little things in our lives. 

Being home all the time is making me a bit crazy. 

When my husband suggested a drive to his favorite tool store (yes, they are considered essential but libraries aren’t) I said YES! I plan to put together a picnic lunch complete with sanitizer spray to eat at a waterside park. Hopefully one will be open. If not, we will picnic in the car!

UPDATE:

No outing today, husband not feeling his best. I decided to use 11 eggs to make Mango ice cream and pumpkin bread. I think ice cream for breakfast sounds better than pizza! Popping the pumpkin bread in to oven. Shhhhh… I haven’t told family that I put two teaspoons of rum flavoring instead of vanilla in the bread. I wonder if they will notice.

Here is a photo of my husband and daughter keeping busy. Daughter is working on edits for her new novel.

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.

My 2019 goal is to use my love of photographs and words to be an encourager on social media. You can visit Real Life Books and Media You Tube Channel if you would like to view some of the mini-videos I have created for our church, Gateway Community in Titusville, Fl.

Melody's Adventures

24 Mar

Salt Water Scuba

A Time to Live

Melody Hendrix

I have always been an adventurer, even as a child. I had so many questions, Oh how I would have loved the Internet then to ask a million questions.

Whenever I am by a body of water, I am always intrigued by so many questions. What lives in it? What is under the surface? What is in the depths? What treasures live there?

The element of water has always intrigued me. I am mesmerized by it’s reflections, movements, sparkle, the feel of it on your skin, the pleasure of weightlessness and the quenching of my thirst. It is the most important life force on this planet.

When I was in my thirties I decided to take scuba diving lessons. Since I live in Florida, it is a must for exploring our diverse water systems. The classes were hard and it was a rugged adventure going for all my diving certifications. It took bravery, strength and will. It wasn’t easy, but the drive of wanting to explore the earth took over and gave me the necessary skills. Scuba diving is like exploring another planet. It is not for everyone, but I would like to share my experience and awe with you. 

There are two kinds of diving. Fresh water and salt water. After the basic dive certification, I was ready for a salty reef dive. The main mode of transportation to get to a reef is on a dive boat. It is a fast and enjoyable ride out to the reef. However, I must take motion sickness med’s beforehand. I have a sensitive stomach and I end up feeding the fish my breakfast when the boat stops if I don’t put on a Dramamine patch.  Not fun. Once at our destination, when the captain says ready to dive, we sit on the edge of the boat and fall backwards into the clear, blue green water. As soon as the bubbles move out of the way, we turn tail and head to the bottom. As soon as I look down, I am in awe when I get my first look at the most incredible world below. A salt water reef is a magical place of colors, shapes, textures, movement, sizes and it’s all alive. Your eyes can’t take in all that is there. There is not only beautiful fish, but amazing corals, crustaceans and mystery creatures. It is another living blessing from God.

Sometimes you will even see things that make you stop breathing. Scary things that are part of this life, their life. Barracuda with their big teeth, big eyes and daunting behavior of staring and following you. I remember one scare in particular when I was snorkeling in the sunshine and swam through the shadow casts by a bridge. My eyes couldn’t adjust for the light right away, but when It did, I was face to face with a barracuda looking right at me. Fortunately I didn’t have anything shiny on,  which they are attracted to. They are just curious. It was a great experience. 

Next week we go fresh water diving!

MelodyWelcome! I’m so glad you stopped in to visit. I am retired and enjoying life. My hobbies are my 5 grandchildren, son and daughter, and my loving husband. I am a photographer and extreme nature lover. I love spending time in my garden or in the wilderness connected to God my Creator.
What a beautiful world we live in. We all have that in common. Natural beauty is everywhere, but sometimes we are not connected until we see a picture, taken just right, that makes it really come into focus and be admired. My passion is to make a connection between the lens and your soul. Photography is my passion.
My photography passion began when my Father handed me his old Ricohflex box camera when I was 12.  It was love at first sight. I still have it. My hand was never empty of a camera since.
I am a native Floridian. I am so lucky to call it home. I was born in Orlando BF (before Disney). My family moved to the Winter Park area when I was very young. Central Florida was so simple and quaint at that time. I wandered the streets barefoot with my friends, never worrying that something bad could ever happen. My Mom used to pick the sand-spurs out of my feet. I still go barefoot. It grounds me to earth and connects me to nature.
I have extensively explored Florida and its diverse beauty. So much to see and so little time. I would love for you to join me in my travels through the images I have taken. I wish you could hear the sounds, smell the fragrance and feel the breath of it. But for now we must be content with exploring with our eyes and only imagine the rest.
Thank you for your interest.

Daily Life During Covid-19 Part 3

23 Mar

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

It occurred to me today, that I appear to have a need to write about our daily experiences during this virus. Which is odd since coming up with one blog a week is a challenge.

The whole Coronavirus experience seems surreal. How could daily life change drastically in such a short amount of time? Of course this happened when we made the decision to not stuff the refrigerator freezer full to the point I had no idea what was in it.

Image by Peggy und Marco Lachmann-Anke from Pixabay

On Saturday I placed an online order with Sam’s Club, a warehouse store. I couldn’t choose a pick up day or time, but was assigned Monday from 9am to 10 am. I had the best experience!

The main item in my order was gloves. I have been hand sanitizing like crazy and am over it. When I presented at the pick up station, the worker informed me they were out of the gloves. I was bummed but reminded myself to be nice and not rant. I thanked her for my order and began making my way toward the pharmacy hoping to score some hand sanitizer. I hadn’t gone far when the worker tracked me down and handed me a package of gloves! She had a big smile and told me she found some gloves!

Photo credit Mountain Side Medical

I made a quick sweep through the store looking for things I was running low on. They had toilet paper! I was thankful we didn’t need any but I wanted to tell the world they had it. In the meat section I was able to get a package of chicken breasts. It should give us two or three meals.

In the afternoon we had to drive to Melbourne for my husband to have a medical test. On the way home, would you believe he asked me to go back into Sam’s, risking my life, to get him some eye drops? I grabbed a sanitizer cloth on the way in and used it at the checkout for punching in my card code. It was encouraging to see cashier type people wiping down the terminals after each use.

Thank you, God for people who are working to keep food on the shelves. I pray health and blessings over them.

I am excited to see all of the sharing of information on Social media. With schools being closed universities, NASA and Disney are providing free educational opportunities and I am certain many others are as well. Museums and zoos are providing virtual tours and even the film industry is providing paid streaming options. For the younger ones, groups are offering downloadable coloring pages. Even in this scary time, I see so much good around me.

And how cool is it that distilleries are switching from alcohol production to hand sanitizer? At first I heard of one or two small ones and then Anheuser- Busch volunteered to switch from beer to sanitizer as well. I knew they switched during natural disasters to provide water, but this is way cool.

All over the country businesses and manufacturing are volunteering to switch over from their normal products to make whatever is needed, ventilator parts, respirator masks etc. The outpouring of “we can do this” is heartwarming. I even saw a Facebook post for people who use the Cricut machine to make face masks!

https://jennifermaker.com/face-mask-patterns-cricut/?fbclid=IwAR0JGK4i4NSOb-vsnu_ZYy3cHd97hFIgMaYzgpzs08_8lx5ucAmPWOIhYGc

It brings to mind WWII stories of women rolling bandages for the war effort.

Getting back to hand sanitizer, we don’t have a lot, one of the reasons for getting the gloves. Yesterday I placed an online order with Publix Supermarkets as they listed it on their online store. I didn’t want to pay $7.99 for delivery but it would be worth it, if we could set the sanitizer. An hour before delivery today, I received a text that the store didn’t have it. I was bummed. I wanted to cancel the rest of the order but felt that would be penalizing the InstaCart shopper.

This was my first experience with delivery. I have learned online ordering for pickup, doesn’t guarantee I will get my items. I was kind of shocked by that. The same goes with delivery, I guess. I imagine if one doesn’t order something in short supply, a suitable item would have been substituted.

We don’t have an Ikea near our home in the mountains so when we are in Florida, I like to shop there. I am a confessed Snapware addict and Ikea has some nice ones for very reasonable pricing. I really like the ones that are glass bottoms with the snap tops. I had planned to purchase more of them while in Florida. Ikea, like most stores except groceries is closed but open to pick up. In an effort to keep the economy healthy, I did my part and ordered. Our daughter works near Ikea and agreed to pick them up. She said they had an efficient system to maintain social distancing. Cars were instructed to pull into every other loading bay then an Ikea person brought the order to the car.

I think I now have enough food and supplies for two weeks. I’m still searching for hand sanitizer so if anyone locates some, let me know!

Until next time,

Onisha

PS… I am praying that the drug combination trial being started in New York will be effective and we will see the end of this pandemic.

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