I Love to Travel Part 1

12 Aug

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 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, or to drive to northern California to visit DiVoran’s parents in Livermore.

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 my jobs.  I retired from the Manned Space program in 1996, after 35-years, as what I called myself, “An Aerospace Nomad.”  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 was just 58 years-old when I retired.  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 of the NASA schedulers.

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 were.  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, 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.

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.

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 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.

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.  Note: My 2020 trips have been interrupted by shoulder replacement surgery and Covis-19.  I have had to postpone this summer’s trip twice (from July to September) because of travel restrictions, but I am determined to get at least one two-week trip in before the end of the year.

—– 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.

Bill

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

Doing What Comes Naturally

10 Aug

My Take

DiVoran Lites

The Sangre de Cristos 

From the time they were six years old, my parents, Ivan and Dora Bowers were friends. Both of them attended the only schools in town. Both became nature lovers throughout their childhood.

Dora grew up on the outskirts of Canon City (Canyon City) Colorado on an apple farm with a meadow, a vegetable garden, a few milk cows, and of course, apples. They churned butter and made cabbage slaw, which was the pro-biotic of the era. Dora remembered walking out to the pasture twice a day to herd in their three cows and milk them. She had a mother, a father, a brother, and the sister that she had begged God for when she was eleven years old. During the Great Depression, her family took in their extended family whenever they were out of work.

Pixabay

When they were in high school, Ivan worked at the auto garage next door to his Mother and Dad’s Beauty Shop and learned welding and car repair. He fished and hunted with his dad and younger brother. Fishing became for him a lifelong passion, and after he retired, he bought a shrimp boat in Northern California and caught shrimp to take to market. 

When Ivan got back from being in the infantry in WW 2, he and Dora bought Min’s Café in Westcliffe, Colorado. It took about ten minutes to get out of town, walking in any direction. Old silver mines on the prairie appealed to my brother and his friends, but since we were forbidden to enter them, he didn’t let me tag along. We rode our horses up into the mountains as a game guide. We also rode them on the prairie, but we were forbidden to gallop because there were too many prairie dog holes where the horses could break their legs. At night we lay in our beds listening to the coyotes’ howls.  When Dora and Ivan bought the old train depot and renovated it, they found many rabbit families under the boardwalk. Rabbits were a curse in those days because they were overabundant and ate every kind of vegetation in sight, so the rabbits had to go. 

Mountain Stream

Mother loved wildflowers, and whenever we went into the mountains while Dad and my brother fished, she and I walked around the meadows looking for them. We were thrilled when small animals such as rabbits, Pica, and Whistle Pigs came into sight. We were not thrilled when our dog Brownie got porcupine quills in his nose from sticking it where it didn’t belong. Dad had to remove them with pliers when we got home. And any little animals running around in the rocks, such as the Pica and Marmoset (Whistle Pig), thrilled us. My great grandmother and grandmother taught  Dora the names of wildflowers and herbs, and also how to use home-remedies. I’ve enjoyed checking some out and learning new ones. When we drove up to Hermit Lake, Dad taught us how to fish, and Mother taught us the names of wildflowers. I especially recall the name, fringed gentian

I recall one trip in which we were sitting down to a supper of rainbow trout and hand-picked dandelion greens when light snowflakes began to fall. We grabbed our food and hurried to the four-person tent and finished supper in the light of the lantern.  After we ate, we wiggled into our sleeping bags in our clothes and went fast asleep. We were afraid of nothing. Who would be frightened in such a beautiful place with parents who loved us and would protect us with their lives? And oh, yes, Dad being a mountain kind of man and former infantry sharpshooter went nowhere without a gun. He also taught us to shoot, but although my brother followed up with that, I never did. In the morning, I took the bar of soap and went down to the fast-flowing creek. Wouldn’t you know it, the soap slipped out of my hands and went bobbing down the creek. Who knows where it ended up? Mother’s nature training came in handy then. She taught us how to use sand to wash our hands and the metal pots and pans we cooked with. 

I didn’t care to fish, even though the browns and rainbow trout Dad caught were delicious the way he cooked them. I was intro reading and always had a book with me, so in the morning, I left the pole dad baited for me, hanging over the bank and into the water. I probably took a little snooze along with the reading. Anyhow when I went back to the bank, I was excited because a keeper fish hung from my line.  Later on, I found out Dad had put it on there to surprise me and probably to encourage me to like fishing more. 

When dad got his Piper Cub, he named it Dinty Moore. We flew over the 14,000-foot mountains to see our grandparents in Canon City, and I remember making noises like an airplane to amuse myself. Ivan asked Dora to ask me to stop because he couldn’t hear the state of the engine over the wind in the wings and my humming. I quit immediately.

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- Our Favorite Castles

9 Aug

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

LINDERHOF

1968 – on our trip to Bavaria

We visited quite a few castles while in Germany – and some in other countries.  But I think our favorites were the ones built by Ludwig II – named “Mad King Ludwig” by many.  Mad he may have been, but boy did he know how to build castles!

While Linderhof may have been the smallest of the castles he built, it seemed to me to be the most ornate, and actually somewhat gaudy to me.  Mind you, it is really gorgeous, and has many, many precious things in it, but the word opulent comes to mind when I think of it.

Credit Google Search – an example of gold used

However, we thoroughly enjoyed touring it, and were grateful for the opportunities we had to visit it.  We always made sure to take visitors to see it with us.

Of course, we found the gold statue in the middle of the pool to be fascinating.  She sits demurely most of the time, but when it is time for the fountain to geyser, she is in the middle of the geyser.  

1968 – on our trip to Bavaria

And there is a most interesting thing about that geyser – it is completely natural!  There is nothing mechanical or technical about it.  You see, the castle itself sits at the bottom of a hill, with a cascade carved in the hill behind it, that the water flows over.  The water goes down the cascade, under the castle itself, and gravity pressure makes the geyser shoot up at least 80 feet in the air.  It is amazing!  Ludwig placed his bedroom at that point in the castle to get the cool breeze coming down the hill and with the water to cool his room.  Smart man, hmm?

1968 – the cascade is behind the castle

1982 – the Cascade behind the castle

There is a LOT of gold overlay within the castle.  He also had a lot of Meissen porcelain in various arrangements.  Apparently Meissen porcelain was his favorite.  It is quite ornate and beautiful.

1982 – Meissen porcelain chandelier

Ludwig had a fascination with swans and peacocks.  He had a Moorish Kiosk built on Linderhof grounds that had three peacocks surrounding a divan within.  This kiosk was originally designed for the World Exhibition in Paris in 1876.

Credit Google Search and Wikipedia

We also found fascinating that in the dining room, the table disappears into the floor, going to the kitchen below where it was loaded with food and sent back to the dining room. The advantage of this technology was that the King did not have to see his servants.

Credit Google Search – The dining room

The Kings bed chamber was quite something to see – there is a giant sized bed for a large-than-life King.  Ludwig liked ornate drapes in his bedroom.

Credit Google Search – the King’s bedroom

Ludwig and composer Richard Wagner were friends, and Ludwig built a grotto (a cave) for the performance of Wagner’s “Der Ring des Nibelungen.”  It’s sometimes call “The Blue Grotto” or “Neptune’s Grotto.”

Credit Google Search and Augsburger Allegemeine

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

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.

Five ways to break through any crisis

8 Aug

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Pere Eckles

Reblogged August 8, 2020

August 7, 2020

“I’m so sick of this,” a friend said behind her mask, “can’t wait for this to be over.”

We can all relate, can’t we?

And to add to the frustration, many say this will get worse before it gets better. That’s not the news we want. Then again, there’s so much we don’t want, expect or deserve.

Though we may not deserve it, those under the heavy pressure of stress are divided in two groups.

Two Groups

The first group spends way too much time taking in the news. And ever so subtly, they’ve become addicted to social media. As a result, they invite fear, worry and anxiety to bed with them.

The second group lives in triumph. No matter how heavy gloom becomes, they know how to break it away.

This concrete driveway with shattered pieces is not the result of a jack hammer at work. What caused this broken cement are roots. That’s right, those of a large tree close to the driveway.

And when our own emotional cement weighs heavy upon us, the way to break through is by the force of God’s Word. His Word that has become deeply rooted in our hearts.

The stronger the root, the more power it has. And when crisis strikes, His Word, deeply planted in our heart breaks through any stronghold.

  1. Troubles increase, making us vulnerable, unprotected and when nothing seems constant or trustworthy, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1-3)
  2. When we’re attacked by disturbing news day by day, “The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run into it and are safe.” (Proverbs 18:10)
  3. Should nightfall catch us in tears, God whispers: “Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” (Nehemiah 8:10)
  4. We may feel broken and worn out, “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” (2 Corinthians 4:7-9)
  5. We have a promise that overcomes our problems, “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So, we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (2 Corinthians 5:16)

No matter what we see painted as despair. No matter what we hear about dark prognosis. No matter how many masks we need to go through, all is temporary.

That’s because the unseen is what sustains us–God’s grace that holds us up. His love that sets us free. His hand that brings down walls. And when fear digs in deep, He echoes: My Word is your power and my joy is your strength.

Let’s Pray

Father, I confess the heaviness is often too much to carry, too difficult to bear. Yet I know Your strength is enough and the Word rooted in my heart breaks through the cement of doubt. In Jesus name.

What is weighing heavy on you these days?

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.

This uplifting message comes to you from JC Empowerment Ministries. JC Empowerment is dedicated to bringing the light of God’s Word into dark places. The ministry survives only through donations from readers like you. Please consider partnering with us through your tax-deductible support. CLICK HERE to learn more.

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

Life During Covid 19 Part 19

7 Aug

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

After last weeks adventure in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, this week was taken up with routine chores and doctor visits.(ugh) The highlight was a short visit with friends in Anderson, SC.

The mornings on the porch continue to be a delight, especially when a cool breeze adds a hint of chill to the air. So different from a Florida August morning. Tomorrow a friend from Florida will be arriving and I look forward to sharing my porch time with her.

Life during Covid here in the North Carolina mountains is easier on my nerves, than when we were in Florida. We are close enough to Georgia to do the majority of our shopping there and for the most part, the state is open. Fortunately, north east Georgia is a good distance from hot spots like Atlanta. It’s nice to see people going on with their lives.

Bummer, I seem to have misplaced my more comfortable mask. (I hate them) I hope I didn’t drop it somewhere and become one of those people I complain about who throw their mask on the ground.

I made a discovery, quite by accident, this week that I am tickled with. I read on my iPad using the Kindle app. Out of curiosity I highlighted a passage and tapped the share option. To my delight, the app created a graphic of the passage complete with sourcing information.

This is one I “clipped” from a book by my former pastor, Peter Lord in Titusville, Fl

I think this is going to be an outstanding tool for sharing on social media. For my author friends, you can choose a favorite passage from one of your works and instantly create a sharable graphic.

By the way, Peter’s book, Hearing God: An Easy -to-Follow, Step-by-Step Guide for Two-Way Communication with God is available on Amazon. I recommend it.

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.

Our Chicken Little Experience

5 Aug

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

It was sometime around 2008 and our son, Billy, and his family lived on 5-acres in rural Orange City, where they had started keeping chickens for the eggs.  Every once in a while they would get overstocked with eggs, and we would be the lucky recipients.    Billy had gone to great lengths to protect his chickens with a nesting shelter and a chicken coop, but over the years his flock had been diminished by foxes and the occasional bobcat.

At the time of this story he only had two of the Road Island Red chickens left.  They wanted to go on vacation, but he was afraid that if he let the chickens run free, a fox was sure to get them.  So he asked DiVoran and me if we would keep them for the 2-weeks they would be gone.  He assured us that they were well-mannered and would be no trouble.  We said, “Sure” since our backyard was fenced and backed onto a wildlife area (no neighbors to bother).  Billy brought over a nice “portable” coop for the chickens to sleep in, and we set it up over papers, with food and water on our screened back porch. Every morning we would let them out into our backyard, with food and water, and they pretty much took care of themselves.  They did a dandy job of free “Pest Control” in our back-yard.  We were glad for that, but I’m not sure how happy the birds were about it.

Now this is the amazing part of the story.  Every evening around dusk, the two chickens would let us know it was time for them to go to bed.  They would jump up on our kitchen window sill and peck on the window.  I kid you not!  Just so you would believe me when I told you this story, I took this picture of them on our kitchen window sill looking in.

DiVoran and I took turns going out and picking them up off the window sill, and carrying them in and putting them in their coop.  They didn’t seem to mind being picked up or handled.  They didn’t try to struggle or fly away.  They would just let us pick them up and carry them to their coop.  We would give them more food and water, and place a blanket over the coop.  They were quiet and happy all night. 

We enjoyed watching them scratch around the yard as if it was a new area to investigate every day.  We also had a good time each day looking for the day’s cache of eggs.  It was like a daily Easter Egg Hunt.  It was quite a challenge since they never seemed to lay them in the same place two days in a row.  It was a fun short-term experience, but DiVoran and I both agree we wouldn’t want to do it as a living or even as a hobby.

—-The End—–

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.

 

Bill

 

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

Yellow-Eyed Cat

3 Aug

My Take

DiVoran Lites

Scribe DiVoran 

Hello, my friends. 

You’ll recall that I am strictly an inside cat. That is because I am a terrific and skillful hunter, and my parents are afraid that I would catch all the birds, squirrels, and rabbits in the back yard and beyond. But one of the things in my DNA is to hunt, so I have to find ways to cope. 

The other reason I’m not allowed outside is that somebody experimented to see whether indoor cats or outdoor cats live longer. Most of the indoor cats lived longer than the outside ones, so I’m not unhappy about that rule. 

We have a garage studio with gaps under the door. Small bugs come in, and I catch them. I can sit for hours in front of a place where I have once caught something. My family approves of my keeping the house clear of such creatures. A couple of days ago, I was trying to get to something I knew was under a throw rug. Mama distracted me and lifted the rug for a second.  Then she knew what was under there, but I didn’t. Mama picked me up, and though I struggled to get back to the rug, I ended up on the screened porch.

Later, I heard her telling Papa that what she’d seen was a black snake the size of a short shoelace with a red ring around its neck. Mama picked him up with her grabber and set him down outside. When she looked later, the baby snake was gone.” Hopefully,” she said, “it wiggled away on its own.” She looked it up on that big machine where she sits and stares at so much of the time, but I can’t remember what the name was. If I keep a close watch on that rug and ruffle it up a lot, I might get to find another one. 

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 German-Pianos and Such

2 Aug

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

I believe I’ve mentioned in previous musings, that I had piano training from the day I started first grade until I graduated from high school.  Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean I was a prodigy.  I believe God gave me a talent for music – and the piano in particular – but I was not given the “gift” of music.  I can play, but I always must have a piece of music in front of me – I am unable to play “by ear” as so many can and do.  I am grateful for what I have, and rejoice with those who have the gift of music, and I enjoy their talents.

But that’s not what this post is about.  There has almost always been a piano in my life.  I grew up with a piano in my house.  I remember always having an old upright piano at home.

1950 – Judy at the old upright piano

Then in 1952, when I was just 11 years old, my parents purchased a new piano.  That’s the one I still have.

1952 – the new piano

1952 – Judy at the new piano

When I went away for college, there wasn’t one.  And when Fred and I married, there was no room in our little apartment for a piano, even if we could have afforded to buy one.

But following the death of my father, my mother re-married after some years, and they moved into an apartment, with no room for the piano.  So I inherited that piano – and it still sits in my living room now.  But it wasn’t until the early 1970’s that I acquired it.

2020 – at home in Orlando, Florida

When Fred and I went to Germany (Wiesbaden) in 1967, we joined a small English-speaking church there.  Soon I was asked to be the church pianist.  And so, after we moved from the economy housing to government quarters, we rented a piano from a company in town.  We were amazed to find that those who brought the piano up three flights of stairs….were two older gentlemen!  They had some sort of straps around their backs, and the end of the straps – in front of them – had a large “hook” at the bottom that fitted under each end of the piano.  We couldn’t believe our eyes when those two men – one on each end of the piano – bent, then lifted – and the piano came up!  They carried that piano those three flights of stairs like it was a walk in the park!!  And two years later, when we left Wiesbaden, they carried it down those same three flights of stairs, like they were carrying something as light as a feather!  No grunts or groans from them!  Amazing!

Ten years later, when we moved to Heidelberg, Germany,

it was during a time when the government was allowing more than 2,000 pounds of household goods to be shipped, so we, essentially, brought our entire household with us.  Well, most of it, anyway.  We knew there would be washers and driers available to us, so we left ours in storage.  However, my piano came with us!  I honestly don’t remember the trip up – once again it was three flights of stairs.

Christmas 1982 – Karen in front of the piano in our quarters

But the trip down, three years later, was something else.  No strong older gentlemen this time, but it took five hefty men with many straps around and under the piano to get it down the stairs.  If you will look at the picture below, you will see large windows at each landing.

Well, on the way down, a couple of the men simply just gave up their jobs and let the piano go to the other three.  It happened on the stairway, not the landing, and I had visions of my piano flying down the rest of the stairs and straight out that landing window – and onto the sidewalk below – smashing into a million pieces! Fortunately, the other three men were strong enough to hold the piano in place until the other two could gather their strength again, and carry the thing the rest of the way down.  Whew!

And one last tidbit about that piano.  It was made by Everett, and instead of a wooden pegboard, it had a metal pegboard.  That made the instrument VERY heavy!  As it was being off-loaded at our new house in Virginia – again with FIVE men carrying it – they

got if off the truck and had to stop and catch their breath!  Then they got it to the bottom of the stairs going into our house.  Again they had to stop.  One of the gentlemen asked: “who plays this thing?”  I replied that both my girls and I did.  He then said, “that’s a good thing, because if this was just a piece of furniture, we would leave it right here!”  Fortunately, they didn’t, and it made it into our living room.

1992 – Seaford, Virginia – Judy and Mom in front of the piano

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

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.

Life During Covid-19 Part 18

30 Jul

He leads me beside still waters.

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

We finally made it to our home in Western North Carolina last Wednesday. It was a struggle to escape the clutch of doctors who feel entitled to dictate our life with endless rechecks.

The struggle is totally worth it. Saturday morning I settled into my comfy teak lounger on my porch, contentment oozing from my soul. I wrote this:

I declared today a day of reading and refreshment.  74 degrees on the porch. Birds chirping and cheeping and a good romance, mystery book by Colleen Coble on my tablet.  Mike tinkering in the garage. Thunder sounding beyond the mountains, possibly heralding an afternoon shower. A gentle breeze creates joyful melodies on the wind chimes Mike made.

After two days of unpacking and restocking the kitchen, we decided a day trip was in order. I packed a light picnic lunch of meat and cheese and we headed for the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. With all the Covid closures, I wasn’t sure if the visitor center (restrooms) would be open and that can be a problem. I was relieved to see the car park was a hive of activity.

The park was busy but not at the usual summer level and we took advantage of empty parking spots to stop and enjoy old favorites. When our children were young they enjoyed playing in this stream. One day an “older”(like maybe she was 40) woman was walking across some rocks and she fell into the water. The stream and bridge has evermore been named, Woman Falling In Water.

US Highway 441, a winding, two land road runs through the park without a lot of opportunities to pass. We were driving behind an SUV that was struggling to pull a sizable RV trailer. Their speed varied from 25-35 miles per hour. The RV had a Florida license plate and we were reminded of our first time hauling our pop-up camper along the same road. Young and inexperienced at mountain driving, I’m sure we crept along too. As we patiently followed the RV up the mountain, we reminisced and laughed at our youthful confidence.

If we followed US 441 all the way through the park, we would have ended up in Gatlinburg, Tennessee but we had decided to only go as far as Newfound Gap.

North Carolina is a mandatory mask state, Tennessee is not. This park straddles the state lines and the restrooms are on the Tennessee side! Mast freedom! I wore a mask anyway. It’s nice to have the choice.

Our family made many memories here. Lingering snow thrilled our Florida hearts and frost laden trees, a winter wonderland left us awe struck. It’s a place where children could run off some energy, exploring the woods behind a monument or as the Appalachian Trail runs through there, you might encounter a Through Hiker.

The elevation of 5,040 feet offers an ever changing vista of the the surrounding mountains.

The National park has a webcam here and I treat myself to a visit as part of my morning quiet time. It snaps a photo every 15 minutes. I thought it would be fun to be “captured” in a photo, an “I was there” kind of moment. I told my daughter in Florida of our plan and she monitored the webcam. I was thrilled when she texted the picture to me. Silly, yes but fun.

We are in the far right circle

We decided to take the short drive to Clingman’s Dome.

At 6,643 feet, Clingmans Dome is the highest point in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It is the highest point in Tennessee, and the third highest mountain east of the Mississippi.

We were surprised at the amount of cars trying to get into the parking lot and decided to not take up a parking space as we could come back anytime. Families were everywhere, even picnicking in their parking space. I am thinking that caused the slow down, but I am also happy to see families enjoying being together in nature.

My husband suggested I hop out of the car to get some pictures while he drove the circle of the parking area. Clouds were moving in so not much of a view, but it was only 69 degrees. Lovely.

By now, we were hungry! We headed back down the mountain to a large picnic area. Normally in the summer this popular picnic area is crowded but this was not the case. I speculated that the crowd at Clingman’s Dome, may have been first time visitors, not familiar with all the park had to offer. We finished our lunch just as a light rain began.

Several years ago, the Great Smoky Mountain National Park began to reintroduce Elk to the park and they can often be seen in late afternoon near the visitor center. This day they were out early, maybe because of the rain and many were next to the road. We pulled over to snap some pictures.

We made it back home around 3:30 pm. In time for my husband to get in a nap. Covid is taking a sub conscience toll on us. We aren’t afraid but we are weary, especially me. Nature soothes me and brings to mind Psalm 23:2-3

He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name.

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.

God is Good

29 Jul

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

The other day I was working on a blog for the website we support (www.oldthingsrnew.com).  I had some relaxing instrumental guitar music, from YouTube, playing softly in the background.  As I was typing along, suddenly the music went off.  I didn’t pay any attention to it at the time, as there are sometimes small breaks between songs.  But then when my attention was drawn away from my blog by the silence, I clicked on the music icon to get it started again, but nothing happened.  Then a message appeared in the middle of the screen that said i had no internet connection.  Well shucks!  There went my music.  That happens now and then when AT&T is doing something that interrupts the internet signal.  So I just went on with my blog work and forgot about it for a while.

After a while, I remembered a phone call I needed to make and got up to make the call.  But no!  There was no dial tone.  I walked over and turned on the TV.  Yep, no signal there either.  Well, this had lasted a while, so I guessed AT&T was taking longer than usual today.  I would give them a couple of hours before I called in a trouble report.  I hated the thought of having to go thru the hassle of talking to their computerized answer machine that thought it was smarter than I was, and wouldn’t let me talk to a real person.  I went back to my blog and forgot about the loss of my music for another hour or so.  The next thing I knew it was time for lunch, and then a quick power nap.  After my nap DiVoran said we needed to run to the store for something important (I can’t remember what it was).  So we got ready, got in the car, and headed to the store.  As we headed down our street, we passed an AT&T service truck parked a few houses down the block.  I stopped and backed up to ask the technician if he knew what AT&T might be doing to the internet and how long it would take.

I quickly told him my internet interruption story and asked him what he thought might be going on.  He asked me where our house was, and I indicated that it was, just down the block.  He said he had just finished an installation at the house next to ours, and he would come take a look at our situation.  We were thrilled that he was going to take the time to check out the problem, and didn’t just tell us to call in a trouble report.  I showed him the power-pole that we shared with our neighbor.  He said “Yep, that is the house I just finished working on.  He went up the power-pole and inspected the work he had done there.  When he knocked on the door, he asked me to try the internet music.  It worked.  Then I checked the TV and the phone, and they all were working perfectly.  

Then he told me that he had found the problem at one of the power-pole connections.  He was very happy to have found the problem before we had called in a trouble report, as I’m sure it would have been discovered that it was his mistake, and there might have been repercussions for him.  I was thankful that I had not had to go thru the nightmare of having to wait (sometimes days) for a technician to have time to come (from where ever they come) to fix the problem.

Now my question for you is, who had that AT&T service truck in that location at that particular time?  I don’t believe in coincidences.  I believe my loving God had that truck in that very location, at that very time, so that He could help the AT&T technician avoid any repercussions, and He could make us happy at the same time.  Now if that isn’t a case of God being good to His children, I don’t know what is.  Thank you Lord.

—–The End—–

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.

Bill

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

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