Tin Cup

3 Dec

A Few Thoughts

Patricia Franklin


Tin Cup is a very special place.  It is a unique, old fashioned little mining town in Gunnison County, Colorado.  I’m not sure if anyone lives there year round, but the old homes and cabins are all occupied in the summer.

I love their cemetery most of all.  A little creek runs through it and you have to cross over some little hills and a little bridge and follow a little path to reach the different parts of the cemetery.

One hill is Jewish, one Protestant, one Catholic, and then the last one is Boot Hill the final resting place of criminals and nondenominationals. The unique graves and tombstones are fabulous.  Famous people, infamous persons and paupers are all buried there.  One man’s grave had a stump at the head of it with an old tin cup sitting on top.  I’ve seen the cup every time I’ve visited the cemetery. I’m sure almost everyone who passes by has picked it up and set it back down again.

In the cemetery, up a long hill, we saw a single gravestone inside a rail fence, so we walked up the hill to look at it. The name on it was Kate Fisher. Later we heard her story. She had been the only black person in town, she had fed and sheltered the community in her rooming house, but the cemetery was segregated, so she had to be buried alone. She was well-loved and revered, so I like to think her grave was above the others because she was so special to the miners.

The old jailhouse is still there. Someone bought it and made it into a home.  The bars are still on the windows of the tiny cabin.  We took a picture of it when we were there, but that has been at least a couple of years ago.  I don’t know where the picture would be.

There is a legend about how Tin Cup was named:  A man dipped a tin cup in the stream and discovered gold-dust and sand at the bottom of the cup.   I bet you could find something at the library or on the internet.  There is a beautiful lily pond on the other side of the town, just a little way from the main (dirt) road.  You have to know where it is to find it, as you can’t see it from the road.  I love this place.

Please see pictures at http://www.ghosttowns.com/states/co/Tin Cup.html










The Simple Truth, Peanuts-Style

2 Dec

From the Heart

Louise Gibson

The author of this is Jeanne Rogors.  I want to share her message.


“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you

and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.”

(Mathew 5:11)


For years, major television networks have featured a Charlie Brown Christmas as one of their prime time specials during the days prior to Christmas.  Audiences of all ages have viewed the 1965 classic movie.

The famous cartoon provides clean entertainment as the beloved Peanuts characters explore life’s challenges.  Each scene is honest and humorous and Charlie Brown’s dog, Snoopy, always steals the show. It is also a favorite because the movie features the true meaning of Christmas.

Throughout the plot of the movie, Charlie Brown experiences frustration and disappointment, and eventually despairs with all the commercialization of Christmas. Guided by the five-cent, psychiatric advice of Lucy, he accepts the role of director for the annual Christmas Pageant.

As usual, he gets no respect for his leadership effort.  He voices his frustration with familiar Peanuts remarks, “Good grief!” and  “Oh rats!”

Just as he is about to give up on understanding Christmas, Charlie Brown’s friend, Linus. offers him hope.

“I’ll tell you what Christmas is all about”, Linus says.  The scene changes as Linus walks into the center-stage spotlight.  The true meaning of Christmas unfolds as the voice of a pre-school child narrates the story of Jesus’ birth.


“And there were shepherds gathered in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.  An angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.  But the angel said to them, “Fear not, I bring you good news of great joy for all the people of the earth. For today, in the city of David, a Savior has been born for you.  He is Christ the Lord.”( Luke 2;8-10)

Charlie Brown gets it.  Something happens inside his heart.  A change in attitude and behavior moves through the entire cast of characters, and their disagreeable mood transforms into celebrative joy.

In typical Peanuts style, Charlie Shultz gave a truthful solution to a dilemma that has intensified over the forty years since the movie’s creation- the secularization of Christmas. We are grateful to this  talented cartoonist who spoke a timeless, spiritual message through the lives of animated children.

This Christmas when so many messages of truth are silenced, perhaps the message of hope, told in a classic cartoon, will be heard.  May we once again experience the profound and simple meaning of Christmas; that a Savior was born “for all the people of the earth.”





I Like Black Friday Sales Events

1 Dec

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

It seems to have become cool to bash people who participate in Black Friday shopping, Well, I am not ashamed to admit that I enjoy Black Friday shopping. The critics bemoan the greed and commercialism, while feeling superior that they don’t partake of such activities. My answer is good for you! Last I checked there was no law requiring one to participate and I respect your choice. Now, how about serving up a helping of respect for people like me, who do enjoy it?

Black Friday shopping began for me, as a way to get a lower price on items I wanted for my children’s Christmas. We didn’t have a lot of fluff in our budget and I found that by being a savvy shopper, knowing the regular price of the items on my list, I could save some dollars.

As the years and our finances evolved, I no longer shopped the sales every year. Plus the internet made it easier to find deals.  I began going to the sales again about five years ago after we purchased a home in a small town in North Carolina. Wal-Mart was offering a 32 inch televisions for ninety nine-dollars and we needed one for our new home. Our son was looking for a television too. The four of us, my son, daughter in law and daughter decided to give the sale a try. My husband, having been traumatized by a Kmart  sale in years past, volunteered to stay home with the grandchildren. It turned out to be a fun and memorable experience. The store was well staffed with friendly associates and an orderly system was in place for distributing the items. It was a very different experience from what you see on the television and created a happy memory. Since then, my daughter and I have ventured to the department store sales in Florida and overall they have had pleasant experiences.

This year, we were in North Carolina for Thanksgiving. We decided to go to the Thursday evening sales. It was interesting talking to the  folks who were working. When asked if they had been able to celebrate with their families, all  of them said yes and no one I spoke with was upset about working.

As i mentioned before, our home is in a small town, so it was an easy drive to shop in the four main stores. In the first store, while looking over a display of laser Christmas lights, we encountered another mother-daughter team looking at them too and we discussed the merits of the laser. Throughout the rest of the evening, we ran into this team in every store. By the end of the evening, I wanted to invite them to go with us for hot chocolate…but I didn’t. I watch too many crime shows.  : )

Ten years ago, we were on a cruise ship over Thanksgiving and the cruise line decided to offer Black Friday shopping.  A group of tables were arranged in a square outside the shopping area and merchandise  rested under paper covers until the official start. Once those covers came off, people went crazy. Those standing next to the tables began scooping up piles of shirts and other articles, without even looking at them. When their arms were full, they moved  next to a wall and began sorting the items. I was horrified that people could act in such a way. I don’t know why some people go crazy at these sales. Maybe, for them, it is greed.

I have friends who can’t imagine living in a small town, but I wouldn’t trade the lifestyle for any big town I know. I guess I am a Green Acres kind of woman…without the farm and chores!

God Has Been Watching Over Me~Part 4

30 Nov

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites


It was about this time in my life that I decided I needed a car to keep me warm in the winter, so I bought a very used 1940 Chevy Coupe. The plan was to restore the car as a “Street Rod” that would catch the attention of the “chicks” at the local A&W Root Beer Stand (teen hang-out) in the Nob Hill area of the Northeast Heights, on Central Avenue (US-66) there in Albuquerque.





The first thing I needed to do was to rebuild the engine. Of course, that took a lot longer than I had planned. While I was doing that, in my spare time, my trusty 1955 Harley Davidson Sportster was my main mode of transportation.




I had met DiVoran in, of all places, a Basic Typing Class during our senior year of high school (as I mentioned earlier my interest in school was waning by then). You might ask, “What motorcycle “Jock” would take a typing class?” And, I would tell you, “The kind that was just looking for an easy senior year last-choice course that didn’t require homework.” That was me. As it happened, DiVoran used the same typewriter I did in the next class.




As a quick prelude to this next incident, I would like to explain that, over the decades, when the wind blew from the west toward Albuquerque, some of the desert sand the wind kicked up ended up forming a “V” shaped sand dune at the edge of the Rio Grande River. This “V” shaped dune was approximately ¼ mile long and extended from the edge of the river up a 30+ degree incline to the top of the mesa. When the river was low (which was most of the time) there would be a small area, along the river, of hard dirt where the water had washed away the sand. One of the motorcycle sports, some of my school friends indulged in, was what we called “Pulling the River Bottom.”   This involved riding our motorcycles from the mesa down to the bottom of that “V” shaped sand dune to the edge of the river. Then we would get up as much speed as we could, on that small area of hard dirt, and try to get back up to the mesa. It was always a challenge, and I had participated in this thrilling ride many times.




One night I took DiVoran to the River Bottom to show off my riding skills and have some romantic time in the moonlight.* Since I didn’t have a buddy seat, I sat on the gas tank and she sat on the seat with her arms around me (Now wasn’t that cozy?) and her feet resting on the foot pegs. I told her, “Hold on to me tight and try to use your knees as shock absorbers.” With the engine at full throttle, we hit 2nd gear, and the acceleration was trying to pull both of us off the motorcycle. It was all I could do to hold onto the handlebars. We hit a couple of small bumps as we started up the incline and her feet came off the foot pegs. When we hit the next bump, the seat spring sent her flying. The first thing I noticed was her arms coming unwrapped from around my waist… then I caught a glimpse of her out of the corner of my eye going over the side and she was gone! I slammed on the brakes, stopping the motorcycle, killed the engine and ran back down the incline as fast as I could looking for her.





As I approached her, I noticed she wasn’t moving and I panicked. “Oh God, I hope she isn’t dead”.   When I fell down on my knees beside her, I could hear her moaning and she was moving some. “Thank goodness!” I asked her if she was OK? (which of course she wasn’t) and she said, “I think so.” She had landed on her backside and it knocked the wind out of her. It took a few minutes for her to recover before we could walk up to the top of the mesa. Boy, was God ever watching over DiVoran and me that night!


—–To Be Continued—–



God’s Shining Light

29 Nov

A Time to Live

Melody Hendrix

The greatest challenge in life is discovering who you are….
The second greatest is being happy with what you find…..
Let your light shine so brightly that others can see their way out of the dark.
Katrina Mayer
Speak to your children as if they are the wisest, kindest, most beautiful and magical humans on earth, for what they believe is what they will become.   Brooke Hampton



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.

31 Days of God’s Comfort~Day 2

28 Nov



31 Days of God’s Comfort

Day Two,



DiVoran Lites

Jeremiah 29:10-12



Because you are mine,

My plans for you are real, constant, and good.

You are my design.

My designs are built to last.

You need never tell me what to do or how to do it.

I am the One who knows what to do.

You will not need to “help” Me.

I am the Helper.

All you need to do is ask Me how to pray.

Ask Me what you need to plan for.

Listen and intuit my answers.


I show you how to live the life I have planned for you,

As you travel along the trails I have cleared ahead of you.

Watch, as wonderful, unexpected things begin to happen.


Treasures From Germany~Part 5

27 Nov


Judy Wills



In previous postings, I mentioned that one of our very favorite cities in Germany to visit was Rothenburg. It is a walled city, that has existed by name since 1170 A.D. While we didn’t know all the Nazi history of Rothenburg, we still loved the city. Here is an excerpt from Wikipedia:

In March 1945 in World War II, German soldiers were stationed in Rothenburg to defend it. On March 31, bombs were dropped over Rothenburg by 16 planes, killing 37 people and destroying 306 houses, six public buildings, nine watchtowers, and over 2,000 feet (610 m) of the wall. The U.S. Assistant Secretary of War John J. McCloy knew about the historic importance and beauty of Rothenburg, so he ordered US Army General Jacob L. Devers not to use artillery in taking Rothenburg. Battalion commander Frank Burke (Medal of Honor) ordered six soldiers of the 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Division to march into Rothenburg on a three-hour mission and negotiate the surrender of the town….When stopped by a German soldier, Private Lichey, who spoke fluent German and served as the group’s translator, held up a white flag and explained, “We are representatives of our division commander. We bring you his offer to spare the city of Rothenburg from shelling and bombing if you agree not to defend it. We have been given three hours to get this message to you. If we haven’t returned to our lines by 1800 hours, the town will be bombed and shelled to the ground.” The local military commander Major Thömmes gave up the town, ignoring the order of Hitler for all towns to fight to the end and thereby saving it from total destruction by artillery. American troops of the 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Division occupied the town on April 17, 1945, and in November 1948, McCloy was named Honorable Protectorate of Rothenburg. After the war, the residents of the city quickly repaired the bombing damage. Donations for the rebuilding were received from all over the world. The rebuilt walls feature commemorative bricks with donor names. Traffic-reducing measures were put in place in a significant portion of Rothenburg to increase safety and accommodate tourism.

Since our days in Wiesbaden (1967-1970), we had visited Rothenburg, and collected etchings that we liked, and had them framed. Here are some of them.







Here are some recent pictures of Rothenburg that we enjoy:


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

So, Why Should I Be Thankful?

25 Nov

From the Heart

Louise Gibson




A thankful heart causes us to look upward.
It causes us to look around,
and causes us to look within
where the peace of God is found.


The number one secret to happiness
is a grateful heart.
Beginning our day with a prayer of gratitude
brings tranquility from the start.


Fear is the father of failure-
a negative emotion, to be sure.
Replace it with a positive thought-
Failure you will no longer endure.



“When we choose not to focus on what is missing
from our lives, but are grateful for the abundance
that is present, we experience heaven on earth.”

Author unknown,
but is wise advice






My Thanksgiving Letter

24 Nov

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

 I am writing this as a letter because, I think of our readers as friends. You come and let us share our lives with you and share yours in return. That is what friends do. I am beyond thankful for the friends who faithfully blog here each week, DiVoran, Bill, Louise, Judy, Melody and Janet. They inspire me with their commitment and wisdom. I love you guys!

Dear friends,

It is funny how circumstances change our thankful list. Usually on Thanksgiving our  list is for family, health ,friends, and of course, our Savior.  This year, we woke up to wet grass and the wonderful rain is at the top of our list.

Our beautiful North Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee mountains that are part of the forest service lands, have been viciously attacked by arsonist and thousands of acres  are affected.  I pray it was enough to give our firefighters and those from across the country who came to help, a rest this Thanksgiving day.

This morning, I pulled out old favorites as well as new cookbooks to get our meal started. One of my “must have” books is an old one from Ebenezer United Methodist Church in Raleigh, NC. It has been a part of our Thanksgiving meal for years. They have put out newer ones, but I love the old version. This year, I have added a new favorite, Janet’s Appalachian Cookbooks. Rebekah mixed up the School House Rolls recipe and I can’t wait to sink my teeth in their yeasty goodness. Of course, I had to go to the internet to find a recipe so we have a beautiful blending of old with new. Our turkey is in the roaster and the oven is almost ready for the side dishes. It has been a joy working side by side in the kitchen with my daughter. We each have our quirks when it comes to cooking and how we do things, but we can laugh about them and it adds to the fun.

I won’t pretend that my heart does not have a tender spot, missing the large family meals with my parents, brothers and their families. We don’t have any children’s voices laughing and arguing or the camaraderie of a bunch of women in the kitchen. I miss it but I am so blessed to have had that time. I hope wherever you gathered today, that you treasured the moments and you loved richly.

Talk to you later, the oven is ready!




UPDATE: One of our favorite places in Macon county is Wayah Bald, with it’s rustic fire tower and breathtaking views. It is also a favorite rest stop for hikers on the   Appalachian Trail. I read on Facebook tonight that one of the forest fires burned the tower. I can’t conceive of the anger a heart must hold to destroy so much beauty. I fear the damage to the stone structure might be too damaged to repair. I am thankful for the memories we made there and hopeful it will be restored.

God Has Been Watching Over Me~Part 3

23 Nov

From the Heart

Bill Lites


Sometime during my last year in high school, my friend Leon invited me and two other guys to make a weekend trip to El Paso, Texas to visit another of his friends and check out Juarez, Mexico just across the border. Leon had a job, so we left late Friday after he got off work (poor planning on our part). We were having a great time on the road south until it got dark, and we discovered it had rained heavily somewhere north of our route and now we had to cross a water-filled arroyo.




It didn’t look too deep and didn’t seem to be running too fast (bad assumption anytime, but especially at night). As you have probably guessed, we got about halfway across that arroyo, but Leon didn’t keep the engine revving and the water went up the tailpipe and stalled the engine. Of course, the water was deeper than it had looked. There we were, stalled, with water piling up to the bottom of the window on my side of the car, and water starting to leak into the car. Leon was trying to start the car but it wouldn’t re-start. Then this guy tried coming across the arroyo from the other direction. Just as he got to us, the water his car was pushing moved Leon’s car sideways just enough for him to side-swipe Leon’s car as he passed (not bad with the water cushion between the cars). The guy kept on going in order to keep from getting stalled like we were.




Then a semi-truck started across from the other side toward us. His truck was high enough and heavy enough to get through, but his huge bumper was pushing a wall of water in front of him. That wave of water rolled right over Leon’s car as the truck passed us. If we hadn’t had the windows rolled up, the water would have filled the car. All this time Leon was trying to re-start the engine. He finally got it started (a real miracle) and I hollered at him to keep it in first gear until we were clear of the water. We made it! (I think God must have His hands full when it comes to teenagers). We had fun in El Paso and in Juarez and by the time we headed back to Albuquerque there was no water to be seen anywhere for that 265 mile stretch of New Mexico desert.




The summer after I graduated from high school, I was ready to go out and meet the world head-on and make my fortune in life. I had heard from friends that the pay was really good for “Roughnecks” at the oil fields in northern New Mexico (Can you just imagine a smooth faced 18-year old skinny kid, 120 lbs. soaking wet, trying to keep up with experienced workers on a job like this.




After much begging, pleading and promising to be careful, I somehow I talked my parents into letting me go try my luck at that kind of work there for the summer.   I packed a suitcase full of clothes, strapped it to my trusty Harley Davidson and headed for Farmington, New Mexico, some 185 miles north of Albuquerque on US-580.* One day during my adventure there in Farmington (You’ll have to read the blog for the gory details of that summer adventure) I was riding down the road and came to a curve that wasn’t really sharp enough to slow down for, so I just leaned into the curve like any other. What I didn’t see was the light film of sand right across the middle of my lane.   Halfway through the turn, the rear wheel lost traction and I went down. My Harley and I went sliding down the road for several yards, and across the double line into the oncoming lane.   This was another case of no cars anywhere on the road at the time of the incident. Thank you Lord!

*See Bill’s blog “On My Own”- 8/15/2012.


—–To Be Continued—–


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