Three Truths to Hold on to When Life Stinks

31 Jul

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

Reblogged July 31, 2021

July 30, 2021

“And you can now get mature manure,” the radio announcer said, “and you’ll have the greenest grass ever.”

Mature manure? Who ever heard of that? But as odd as its name, so was its effect.

It turns out that when you put this product on your grass, it protects it and produces a pretty nice-looking lawn.

Life can be stinky.

But don’t think for a minute that this kind of manure was limited to grass. That same material comes in by way of disappointment, sadness, self-pity, heartache, setbacks and even tragedy.

All are part of the manure of life. It stinks. It’s ugly. It’s unpleasant. And when spread over, the view isn’t pretty.

I know that first hand, trust me. When blindness set in when I was 31, my world stunk. And I sunk in the pit of smelly self-pity and discouragement. Hopelessness tried to cover me up.

Until one day, God poured grace, mercy and compassion upon my world. That’s when I knew that the mature manure of heartache produces a nice lawn of faith and strength.

Three Truths

Rather than sink in, I hung on to the rope that held three truths:

  1. In His ways, He will turn to me.
  2. In His timing, He will hear my cry.
  3. In His power, He will lift me up.

Instead of sorrow or grief, my soul sang: “I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth…” (Psalm 40:1-3).

Let’s Pray

Father, I do have the song of joy, the outlook of hope, and the eagerness to grow closer to you. In the lawn of life, I will not reject the pain or setbacks, but will know that you will use them to make my life better and richer. In Jesus’ name, amen.

  • What needs to be renewed in your life?
  • How often do you need to turn to God for help?
  • What do you need to stand on the solid rock of His Word?

Janet

___________________________________

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 shareFeel 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: http://bit.ly/1a8wGJR

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.

www.janetperezeckles.com

I Love to Travel Part 1

28 Jul

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

I guess I must have gotten my “Travel Genes” from my father as he was on the road a lot, for his work, when I was growing up.  Then as a teenager I worried my parents when I made several long trips on my motorcycle.  When I joined the U.S. Navy they took me all over the world, and by the time I got out, I was hooked on travel.  After my wife, DiVoran, and I were married, and I was going to college in California, it didn’t bother me a bit to travel across the “Great American Desert” to visit my parents living in Albuquerque, NM or to drive to northern California to visit DiVoran’s parents in Livermore, CA.

After I finished college we moved to Florida for my work on the Apollo Manned Space program.  Over the years I ended up working for several of the major aerospace companies and traveled quite a lot for those jobs.  I had been shuffled around various areas of the country during all that time and I was ready for a change.  I was working for Lockheed (LSOC), in Florida, when NASA decided to change their Space Shuttle processing contractor.  I was going to have to change who I was working for again, and that was the last straw for me.  I retired from the Manned Space program in 1996, after 35-years, as what I called myself, “An Aerospace Nomad.”   I was just 58 years-old when I retired, and  I felt like the “Aerospace Hassle” had made an old man of me before my time.  I was ready for a rest from the fast pace and constant pressure from the NASA schedulers.

Image: https://favpng.com/png_view/design-cartoon-computer-download-png/Wr40rMyb

I’m sure my first year of retirement was like a lot of men; wondering if I could adjust to all that time with nothing in particular to do.  I also wondered if I would be called back to the job like many men I knew had been.  If that happened, what would I do?  I would just have to wait and see how I felt about that, if and when I was called back.  As it turned out, I was able to adjust fairly well.  It took a while to take care of all the repairs around the house (Honey Do’s), but I managed.  A couple of years later I started volunteering, one morning a week, to help at the Car Care Ministry at our church.

Image: https://www.pinclipart.com/pindetail/iTmRm_clip-royalty-free-download-car-repair-shop-clipart/

A year or so after that, a friend talked me into volunteering, as a Tour Guide, at the Warbird Air Museum here in Titusville one morning a week (that wasn’t hard).  I am interested in all kinds of airplanes, and this allows me to keep up with the warbird community as well as the on-going evolution of the aviation industry.  I love the time and the comradery I get to spent with the friends, I have made over the years, at both of these weekly volunteer occasions.

Photo: Bill Lites

Then in 2012, in addition to the volunteer work, I took up a new hobby – Travel (one of my favorite things to do) and blog writing.  While browsing thru the gift shop at our Warbird Air Museum, one volunteer day, I happened upon a book titled “GUIDE TO OVER 900 AIRCRAFT MUSEUMS.”  This guide book covers museums in the U.S. and Canada.  I thought, “WOW!  This is just what I need to help me find aviation museums to visit.”  As you might have guessed, I have developed a love of going to museums.  All kinds of museums.  Airplane Museums, Auto Museum, Train Museums, Maritime Museums, or any other kinds of museums I happen to come across.

Photo: http://www.aircraftmuseums.com/28book/pasteditions.htm

Using that guide book, I have established a method for my travel plans.  I usually try to make one (two week) trip in the spring and one (two week) trip in the fall of each year.  My 2020 and 2021 trips have been interrupted by a hernia surgery and a shoulder replacement surgery and Covid-19.  I have had to postpone one of this year’s trips, because of Covid-19 travel restrictions, but I am determined to get at least one two-week trip in before the end of the year, in spite of the ridiculous, ongoing national phrase of….

—– To Be Continued—–

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 63 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

Letters from Mother 9

26 Jul

My Take

DiVoran Lites

August 1, 1983

Dear Ones,

Well now, I don’t know when I wrote to you last. It’s a cloudy day here after a weekend of hot sunny days. Waunita and I wear short pants and sleeveless shirts to try and stay cool. Description: Hiking, People, Sea, Relaxation, Women, Holiday, Walk

Photo credit Pixabay

We went to the beach on Saturday and Sunday. Sister Judy is here with us now. It has been a long time since she has seen our brother Smithy. He was almost grown-up when she was born. I prayed for a baby sister, and the Lord answered my prayer, but Smithy being a young man, didn’t seem to take much interest in her.

Photo credit Pixabay

The first day, we went down the trail through the trees and the ferns. The bank at the water’s edge had worn away some. As we came out to the water, we had to hold onto the smaller trees while we carefully made our way down what was left of the bank. 

Photo credit Pixabay

 We stopped at my rock, the black one about the size of a Volkswagen flattened out. It was looking smooth, warm, and clean, showing a purple-black color. We sat on it for a while. I caressed its smooth warmth.  We walked in the wet but more solid sand up to the battery at the park coming out just north of the pier. Along the way, we looked up from gathering white stones just in time to see an eagle glide by. He had a white head and tail. Shortly after that, we saw two blue herons flying over the water together. It reminded me of seeing them on the river at Mendocino.

Photo credit Pixabay
Photo credit Pixabay

The second day at the beach, we went down the same way and turned south toward East Beach. After a leisurely fifteen-minute walk, we came to a humungous old tree trunk with its roots lying on the sand. It was at least four feet around, and if you included the tree itself and the root system, you could see that it might fill a 10-foot square room. We wondered if it would be there for a while or if the tides would take it away.

Photo credit Pixabay

LDescription: Beach, Ocean, Driftwood, Sand, Nature, Paradise

As we turned back to the opening, we saw a young doe who had come out on the same trail. She froze into the background and stayed a long time as we continued to walk toward her. Then our dog Misty saw her, and she saw Misty about the same time, so she ran. I was puzzled about why she weaved so when running until I realized that she was up near the driftwood running on the soft, damp sand. Her tracks were quite deep. I hope she found her way back to the opening by supper time. The deer swim from one island to the next in search of food. The lettuce green seaweed is good for deer to snack on, but she would eventually need something other than the salty water of the straights to drink.

The park was almost full for the sunny weekend, and we enjoyed seeing children running around. They never seemed to walk. We watched an Asian group. They had a momma and poppa tent and a tent for 5 or 10 boys about nine years old. (It just looked like ten boys the way they ran around in circles.)

I went to church again yesterday. That young pastor is so happy he makes everyone else feel happy. 

I’m at Fort Flagler washing clothes. We had to shut the door to the laundromat. Even with my yellow sweater on, It’s cold. As we look out the big window, we can see that the water looks as gray as the sky moving softly. There are no ships or boats this morning. 

Photo credit Pixabay

Dad’s hand healed up fine. He’s getting ready to pull his crab traps.

Love,

Mother and Dad 

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.”

Lava

25 Jul

youtube.com/watch

SURPRISE!!

25 Jul

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

So tell me…are you a person who likes to be surprised?  Are you a person who likes to surprise someone else?

Well, I am both, to a degree.  For instance, I wrote about how our girls and I surprised Fred for his 80thbirthday (please see my post of March 3, 2019 – Another Surprise).  It was so much fun planning for that day – and it was a total surprise to him!.

As it happens, my 80th birthday was this past Monday.  We had gone to dinner with Bill and DiVoran a few weeks before (which we do about once each month), and DiVoran mentioned that she would like to invite Fred and me to dinner with her and some of her family at Dixie Crossroads in Titusville on Sunday, July 18th.  Since that is one of our very FAVORITE eateries in Titusville (love that Rock Shrimp!!), we agreed and put it on the calendar.  Unfortunately, Bill would be gone on one of his planned trips at that time.

So we eagerly awaited the day – and it finally arrived!  We walked into the restaurant a few minutes later than the appointed time, to find DiVoran and her two children with their spouses waiting for us!  We hadn’t seen those kids in more than a couple of years.  It was WONDERFUL to see them again!  I really looked forward to the food and the fellowship we would have with them.  Lots of catching-up to do.

We waited a few minutes while they prepared a large table for us, then they led us to the back room.  When we walked in, I saw OUR family sitting there!  Karen and her family, and Janet and her family!  SURPRISE!!  I was dumfounded!  How did they work all that out?  The girls told me that, in trying to coordinate things, as Fred was at the church counting money one Monday morning, he texted them to say it was a good time to call.  When he got on the phone with them, he told them that he “couldn’t get away from your mother!”  You see, because we are both “retired” we tend to always be together, so Fred had a hard time finding a time to “get away from” me and coordinate with them.  But they were finally able to set everything up, and the tables were turned, and I was the one being surprised!  

I can’t tell you how much love I felt in that room that evening.  The catching-up was great and we vowed not to let so much time get away from us.

So I’ve been on both ends of the surprise spectrum – I enjoyed so much surprising Fred, and I thoroughly enjoyed being surprised.

As it turned out, our girls had rented a vacation house where both of their families stayed.  And, as it also turned out, my very best friend in all this world (and her husband) were scheduled to arrive for a visit on Monday, my birthday (please see my post of April 6, 2014 – My Best Friend).  We all went to Outback on Monday evening for supper.  Our granddaughter, Katie, had to leave Tuesday morning, so we made the most of Monday with her.  Tuesday morning we all went to Disney Springs to walk around and just absorb some of Disney without actually going to a park.  I cooked my famous teriyaki steak with my fried rice and a salad for supper.  Sue had made a pound cake, so we had strawberry shortcake for dessert.  Then we just sat around the table and talked for a couple of hours.  Sue said it was one of the best times of her life! 

Our girls and their families left on Wednesday morning, so we had that day with Sue and Bud.  We took them to Mission BBQ for lunch, then Culver’s for supper after showing Bud the Shades of Green, where we stay for our anniversaries at Disney.  It was a great and relaxing day.

They left this morning following breakfast.  No tears, but gigantic hugs.  

One last tidbit – on my birthday, my brother Bill, called me from his trip (he was in Buffalo, NY) to sing “Happy Birthday” to me.  He’s a jewel!

God has been so gracious to me.  He has given me 80 years on this earth – and the promise of eternity in His presence.  He has given me the love of my life – Fred.  He has given me two adorable daughters, who married two wonderful men.  He has given me four precious grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

WOW!  What more can I ask for?  God is good, and I love Him!

And I LOVE surprises!!

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.

Beauty from Ashes. A Mountain Sunset

23 Jul

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

The smoke haze from the western wild fires created a stunning sunset here in our mountain town, nestled near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. A local weather watcher captured it on video and added music. If you have attempted to capture the beauty of a mountain sunset, you know it can be challenging.

In 2016 our region was struck with devastating wildfires. We are familiar with such trauma but find solace that out of tragedy beauty can yet be found.

Worth a Second Look

22 Jul

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

Have you taken pictures at a festival or of people then within a few days forgotten about them? Life happens. This happened to me with pictures from a local Spring festival in May. Traditionally the town holds an Airing of the Quilts festival Mother’s Day weekend. Due to Covid, the festival was moved to May and combined with a Spring festival. I was slightly disappointed with the number of quilts on display. I am not a quilter, but I have heard friends talking about it and my impression was that quilters enjoy gathering and comparing their projects. Covid restrictions would have put quashed that.

My favorite quilt was done in an old style, with a knotted thread either in each square or as in the one below, in the border. I don’t remember seeing this quilt at previous festivals.

I love this small mountain town. It was life affirming to see smiling faces, hear children laugh. The canine population of Franklin was was out in force, strolling Main street with their human family, patiently stopping to be admired.

There were several jewelry vendors and I chose two fun pairs of silver earrings, flip flops and sand dollars. I still have Florida sand in my shoes and my heart even as I adore the mountains.

Our daughter was visiting from Florida for a combination vacation & work. Unfortunately, the festival was a work day. A local bakery I had seen recommended on Facebook (And Facebook is always right<wink>) displayed a tempting array of treats but I resisted them. I did purchase for our daughter’s lunch, a chicken salad croissant. Who can resist a freshly made croissant?

Returning to our car which was parked in a church parking lot, I took this picture.

The trailer is part of the Baptist Disaster Relief program and with Spring storms and Hurricane season approaching it appeared to be ready to roll.

I spied another gem in my pictures. The back of our house butts up to a steep hill that required being weed whacked a couple of times a year. I snapped this picture of my husband taking a rest break. I was so proud of him for thinking to place the stool on the hill.

Shortly after I snapped this picture, he came inside and told me I needed to go and see a tree. Ok… He directed me to the hill at the side of our house where a small tree had fallen.

After his rest break, he lost his balance and began to slide down the hill, grabbing onto the tree. He said the tree slowly pulled over, supporting him as he slid. I am thankful for the tree! On a side note, during his childhood, my husband and brothers would climb to the top of a tree while the others chopped away at the base. They called it riding the tree down. Thankful this was a gentle ride.

One more picture. We enjoyed visiting with my husband’s cousin and wife last week. It was almost like a vacation for me. We enjoyed sharing our mountains with them and we dined out every day. No cooking. No dishes. We went on a back roads adventure to Whitewater Falls, the highest waterfall east of the Rocky Mountains.

I’m glad I looked back over my pictures, I believe I felt my muscles relax as I remembered. They were definitely worth a second look.

I'm a winner

After 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  

My 2021 goal is continue touse 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.

Our Trip to St. Kitts Part 2

21 Jul

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

On the next day of our trip to St. Kitts we took a long stroll along the beach, picked up a few shells, and did some exploring of some of the old ruins not too far from the hotel.  We learned that St. Kitts has the oldest written history of any island in the Caribbean, and that Sir Christopher Columbus was the first European to see the islands and the Island Caribs (natives) during his second voyage (1493) to this area.  He named St. Kitts San Jorge (Saint George) and Nevis San Martin (St. Martin) and claimed the islands for Spain (see Wikipedia for island name changes).  We stopped to take a picture beside a small submersible of some kind that was just sitting there on the beach.  There was no one around, to ask what it was used for and why it was just sitting there.  Later that day we visited the hotel’s garden area and ran into some of the other folks from our group and went to dinner with them.

Photo by DiVoran Lites

The next day we rented a car and took a drive around the island.  It only took us about two hours to do the whole island, and we were amazed at the difference between the resort area where we were staying, and the way the island people lived.  At the time, the majority of the island was devoted to the raising and processing of sugar cane.  There were cane fields everywhere we looked, and the method for harvesting all that sugar cane seemed very primitive.  

Photo by Bill Lites

The road was very narrow and cluttered with all manner of animals, children, and trash.  We saw open communal toilets alongside the road, and people carrying water jugs to collect (what we assumed was) drinking water running from a pipe that came out of the side of the hill, right there on the side of the road.

Photo by Bill Lites

Once we left town, we were not sure we had made the right choice to drive around the island by ourselves.  We didn’t have a map and were concerned about what we might run into if we got off the main road.  However, all the locals we encountered during our little trip were friendly and willing to help us whenever we took a wrong turn.  

Photo by DiVoran Lites

Back at the hotel we had a nap and then walked the hotel property, collecting a few more souvenirs, before heading back to the hotel for dinner.  I’m sure we did more relaxing and pleasurable things on that trip, but the details escape me now.  Overall, we enjoyed the restful atmosphere, and it was a memorable trip.  The flight back to Orlando was uneventful and after we got home and unpacking we were ready to head back to work on Monday. That trip to St. Kitts was one of the most enjoyable adventures we had experienced in some time, and it left us with some wonderful lifelong memories. 

Photo by DiVoran Lites

Epilog:  My creative artist wife, DiVoran, took many of the souvenirs we collected, during our trip to St. Kitts, and arranged them in a beautiful collage that hangs in our studio to continually remind us of our one and only ‘Caribbean Island Adventure’ all those many years ago.

Collage & paintings by DiVoran Lites

—–The End—–

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 63 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

Letters from Mother-8

19 Jul

Dora Bedell Bowers

My Take

DiVoran Lites

July 25, 1983 

Marrowstone Island, WA

Lowell’s birthday. He’s 64

I’m enjoying sitting indoors with the heat on and wearing sweaters. Things got a little hot the other day. Dad was welding out by Smithy’s trailer and his red polyester flannel shirttail caught fire. He put his hand down on the flame and the material stuck to his left hand and caused 3rd degree burns on his palm. It has healed quickly. He soaked it in ice water to stop the burning and applied aloe-vera plant and some aloe-vera salve. He has been welding since you were small-he says 47 years. No! No! It’s since Dave was born-he learned on the GI bill after the war. No that was flying it was before the war in Crowley, but not 47 years. How’s that for digressing? 

We walked Saturday and saw a small flock of woodpeckers in the woods where Amy lives. They were 10-12 inches long with a bright top knot the color of a red reflector in the light. I wish I had my bird book here. Then we saw a wild canary and it sang like a canary. We also saw a ferret or brown mink, and a doe with a fawn about three weeks old following her. 

Photo credit Pixabay
Photo credit by Pixabay

Mary Ann and Shirley sang ” Happiness” yesterday, then we all sang “Heaven Came Down” together. I loved it. The ladies’ group is such a sweet time for all of us on this small island. Fran told Ivan I had a good singing voice. (He’d never believe it, but that’s all right, he’s tone-deaf, anyway, so how would he know?)

Sister Judy may come August 5. Sister-in-law, Waunita has gone to Canby Oregon to see her grandsons play baseball. She’ll be back tomorrow. Brother Smithy is eating with us while she’s gone. Please send complete instructions for tortilla chicken soup.

 Much Love,

Mom and Dad. 

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.”

Random Memories of Germany-A Visit to Greece

18 Jul

SUNDAY MEMORIES

We so loved living in Germany – the housing, the stores, the antiquities, being close to so many other countries of Europe – the food…just about anything and everything we could think of….is a great memory for us.

One of those memories is the time we were able to visit Greece.  WOW!  What an experience that was!  I never, in any imagination, did I think I would ever be able to visit that beautiful country!

It was in March of 1969 that Fred and I made the trip.  We left two-year-old Karen with some good church friends, and we left for a two-week trip to Greece.  I guess the main place we wanted to visit was Athens, and we did just that.  I’m not too sure just how much wandering around the town on our own we did.

We did do some of that wandering, because we came upon the Panatheniac Stadium for the “new” Olympics (the first modern Olympic Games, 1896, the only stadium built completely out of marble), and the plaque with the Olympic symbols.

We found a Greek War Memorial.  According to Google Search and Alamy photos, it is: dh Old town South NICOSIA CYPRUS Eleftheria Freedom monument liberty Lefkosia Podocataro

We found the St. Luke’s Byzantine Monastery.

We found the ruins of the Temple of Jupiter.

We found Hadrian’s Arch – and here is a picture of the Acropolis through the arch.

I know we did ramble through a lot of the ruins and the acropolis in Athens.  I believe we stayed most of one entire day on the acropolis, just being amazed that we were standing on those wonderful ruins that had been in existence for thousands of years.  I remember Fred sitting on a broken pillar, and stating “I never thought I would get here!”  Here is a picture of me inside the Parthenon and other pictures.  

I was fascinated by the ruins of Dionysus Amphitheater along one side of the Acropolis.

And here’s a picture of Fred sitting on one of the priest’s seats in that amphitheater.  Those marble seats must have been really hard for long-term sitting through the Greek plays performed there!

For some reason, I was especially taken with the Erectheoin.  Something about all those Greek women carved into the pillars just fascinated me. 

There is a legend about the olive tree planted alongside the Erectheoin.  From Google search and Culture Trip:

Legend has it that when it came to determining which god would be the patron deity of Athens, both Athena and Poseidon responded as wanting the position. The contest took place in the Acropolis, where both gods were asked to present their gifts to the city. Poseidon went first and raised his trident, smashing it on a rock of the Acropolis, thus, producing salt water. Athena went second and offered an olive tree, a gift the citizens of Athens deemed useful and beautiful; therefore, she became the patron of the city, which was named after her.

Credit Google search and Erick Drost/Flickr

And here’s a picture of that olive tree in 1969 – with Judy in the red dress.

I think I enjoyed the countryside of Greece as much as anything.  With the olive trees and the landscape – the countryside reminded me a lot of New Mexico.  Thoughts of “home” came to mind seeing that.

We did made one side-trip up to Delphi.  It was a bus trip that allowed us to see a lot of the Greek countryside along the way.  I especially wanted to get to Delphi, as I had read in one of my favorite books, that there is a stadium at the top of the amphitheater.  So Fred and I began the climb from Apollo’s Temple, up to the top of the amphitheater.  

Apollo’s Temple and amphitheater from top of the amphitheater

When we stopped to catch our breath, we saw the bus tour group heading down from the Temple back to the bus.  So we made a hurried trip down – never quite reaching the very top to see the stadium.  Shucks! 

But we were able to walk along the Sacred Way, and saw one remnant of an Oracle.  It was still a wonderful trip, and we are so glad we were able to make it.

Along the Sacred Way
The Oracle-along the Sacred Way

NOTE:  All pictures were by Fred and Judy Wills, except the one noted.

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.

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