Voting Migration

29 Oct

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

United States election day is November 3rd. We are registered to vote in Florida but since we are often still enjoying the mountains of North Carolina in November, we frequently vote by absentee ballot.

Voting absentee has worked well for us. The hardest part is folding the return envelope correctly. There is even a procedure using a QR code on the envelope to track the process of our vote. We received our absentee ballot at our home in North Carolina, but decided we wouldn’t be using it. We wanted to vote in person.

Tuesday we loaded our car and began a leisurely two day drive back to Florida. We travel back roads to avoid interstates until we cross into Florida, We were thankful the traffic was light on the back roads and even on the interstate in Jacksonville, Florida which can be a nightmare.

Photo by Alexander Cruzado Abanto on Pexels.com

To our surprise, the further south we drove, the heavier the traffic was heading north. I knew that large numbers of people from the north who owned winter homes in Florida had fled the cities to ride out the virus there. Were they migrating north to vote as we were heading south? A severe auto accident south of Jacksonville halted the north bound traffic for miles. A static snapshot of the traffic.

I was curious about the large number of semi-trucks heading north. Were they empty and returning home to resupply? Or were they trucking supplies north? One thing that surprised me while we were in North Carolina was the amount of empty store shelves. When we left Florida in late July, the stores were almost back to pre-covid levels except for paper goods.

My husband and I prefer to vote on election day during Presidential elections. We enjoy the camaraderie of voting with our neighbors.

Image by John Mounsey from Pixabay

This year due to my husband’s health issues we plan to vote early. If the line is too long, we can try another day or vote on election day if necessary.

I wonder if I can talk my husband into lunch while we are out to vote?

UPDATE: We voted. The line didn’t stretch outside so we didn’t mind the 40 minute wait. I used some of the time praying for those voting and some checking out the masks. There seemed to be a lot of couples voting and the non couples seemed to be pretty evenly split between men and women. The most popular mask was the surgical style. Of the cloth masks, black seemed to be the favored color. No idea why. My husband chooses black masks, maybe I should ask him.

I was sad to note there was very little conversation going on among people in line.

It seems masks have replaced camaraderie.

I did see an old friend volunteering in the office. I waved and she looked puzzled so I whipped my mask down and gave her a big grin.

My husband requires a walker to get around but we haven’t been given a parking placard for handicap spaces so we had to park across the street and maneuver up the stairs.

I am sorry to report that I didn’t get lunch out after voting. It was 89 degrees outside and after the cool Fall temperatures in the mountains, 89 degrees zapped any idea of leaving the air conditioned car except to dash into the air conditioned house.

Have you voted? What was your experience like?

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  where we frequently host the best in up and coming authors.

My 2020 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.

Mount Rushmore Road Trip Part 2

28 Oct

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Day 2 Thursday 

9/10/2020

I started today’s activities by visiting the “Cars Remember When” restoration center located in Littleton, CO.  The center consists of a relatively small working shop with lots of active restoration projects in progress.  There is a display room where some 30+ beautifully restored cars are rotated.   There were Mini cars, Muscle cars, Sport cars, and family cars.  I especially enjoyed seeing a beautiful 1955 Buick Roadmaster hardtop just like the one our family had when I was a teenager (except ours was red & white).

Just up the street a short way I visited the Littleton Museum.  This 40-acre museum site consists of artifacts and memorabilia representing local farm life from the 1860s to the 19890s.  There is also a living farm with a 1880s cabin, farm implements, and farm animals including cattle, sheep, pigs, and turkeys.   Museum staff, dressed in period costumes, are available to help guests re-live mid-1800s farm life in Littleton and the South Platte Valley of Colorado.

Next I visited the Vehicle Vault Auto Gallery located in Parker, CO.  This unique building houses a museum that displays some 40+ beautifully restored rare and exotic automobiles from all over the world.  New finds are continually being restored and the inventory is rotated periodically to give guests a fresh view of the history of the auto industry.  The building is also available and used for special events and conferences.

On my way to visit the Mining Museum I stopped in Monument, CO to check-out the Greater European Missions (GEM) facility.  I have relatives that work for GEM as missionary training counselors and wanted to see where the facility was located.  My nephew, Brian, and his wife Karen are based in the Chicago area, but travel to Monument periodically during the year for training sessions.  They were not there today, but were scheduled to arrive there later in the week and we had made plans to get together for dinner then.

A few miles south on I-25 I visited the Western Museum of Mining & Industry located in Colorado Springs, CO.  This museum displays antique drilling and mining equipment, such as pneumatic machines, and steam engines used for mining gold and silver in central Colorado in the mid-1800s.  The museum also has a recreation of an old miners assay office inside, with examples of a stamp mill and steam shovel outside.

The USAF Academy was just a few miles on south on I-25 and I was looking forward to visiting the famous Academy grounds and their aviation museum.  However, when I got to the gate, the guard told me the museum (located on the base) was closed to the public until after the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions were lifted.  What a Bumber!  So, I headed south on I-25 a few miles to visit the Rocky Mountain Motorcycle Museum located just east of the interstate.  This museum has a great collection of vintage motorcycles of all types, and I enjoyed the thrill of revisiting my teenage motorcycle past.

Now I took a couple of back-roads over to visit the Garden of the Gods Park located on US-24.  This is an amazing place!  It is said that the mysterious red rock formations were formed as a result of a geological upheaval that took place along a natural fault line millions of years ago.  The resulting rock formations had many different shapes; some toppled, there were some that got overturned, while some were pushed upright and others were pushed around and ended up slanted.  

While I was in the area I drove on over to check out the Miramont Castle Museum located in Manitou Springs, CO.    The 14,000 sq. ft. Victorian-era castle that houses the museum was built in 1895 as the private home for the French-born Catholic priest Father Jean Baptist Francolon.  Around that same time the Sisters of Mercy were allowed to use a part of the castle, for the private Montcalm Sanitarium that they operated, with the blessing of Father Francolon.  Museum visitors can tour some 42 of the castle’s lavishly furnished rooms when the museum is open.

On the way to the motel, in Colorado Springs, I picked up a three-piece chicken dinner from KFC and enjoyed a delicious meal with the Colonel in my motel room.  Then I recorded the day’s activities and finally put my tired and aching body to bed for the night.

—–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

Prayer for Help

26 Oct

My Take

DiVoran Lites

Photo credit Pixabay

Dear God,

When we open our hearts 

And ask Jesus to come into our lives

He helps with every need

Every Day, every hour.

All we need to do is to ask.

John 14:13-14

And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. 

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- Cable Cars

25 Oct

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

Recently, Fred and I visited Disney Hollywood Studios (we like to just call it the “Studios”).  While Disney is open a bit now, there are still a lot of shows and rides that aren’t open.  Therefore, we don’t spend a lot of time at the Studios.

Credit Google Search and Walt Disney World Resort

However, there is a new “mode of transportation” at the Studios, that goes from there to EPCOT, with stops at some of the resorts along the way.  They fashion it a “gondola-lift” type of transportation, and call it the Disney Skyliner.  We rode it for the first time – and thoroughly enjoyed the ride!

Many years ago, some were asking why the Monorail only ran from The Magic Kingdom to EPCOT – why not to the other Disney parks.  The answer seemed to be that the cost was just too prohibitive.  

Be that as it may, after riding in the Skyliner, we were curious about the cost – whether it was that much less than the Monorail would have been.  That really isn’t too much of our concern – except as how it affects the price of our Annual Pass!  But as Fred says, the cable car only requires a “cable” to run the gondola along, where the Monorail requires an entire track!  So perhaps the Skyliner is, indeed, much less expensive.

All that to say that Fred and I began reminiscing about cable car transportation we have experienced in our lifetime.

The first that we remembered was when we were stationed in Wiesbaden, West Germany (1967-1970).  We were “vacationing” in Garmisch, in Bavaria, and decided to take the cable car up the Zugspitze. 

The Zugspitze – Credit Google Search and en.wikipedia.org

That mountain is the highest one in Germany.  It was a fun ride in that cable car – but the funniest thing was that we saw quite a few young people with their skies in tow – and the skiers were wearing shorts and t-shirts!  Granted it was the middle of summer, but come-on – this was nearly 10,000′ above sea level!  And it’s COLD at that altitude!!  We were highly amused!

This symbol is at the highest point on the mountain

We then remembered the time we rode the Tram from the foothills of Albuquerque up to the top of Sandia Crest (altitude 10,679′ above sea level).  The Tramway had not been built until after Fred and I married and moved away from Albuquerque (1961).  

We remember riding cable cars in Lucerne, Switzerland up the mountainside to Mount Pilatus.

Mount Pilatus, taken from Lucerne

On top of Mt. Pilatus, looking down at the cable car

Fred remembers that in 1948 when he was sent to a four-week summer camp in Switzerland, and that on one of their outings they rode in a cable (car).  Instead of an actual car, there were long poles attached to the cable.  About 10 feet below the cable, was a bicycle-type handle-bar, and just below the handle-bar was a bicycle-type seat.  During the snow season, skiers would ride, sitting on the bicycle seat with the skies dangling below in the open air.  During the ski season, there would be at least 10-12 feet of snow below the seats, making it a ski lift.  In June there was no snow, so all of us campers road with our feet dangling.  At times we were at least 40 feet above the ground above most of the trees.   Quite an thrilling experience, especially with no seat belts.

Fred – 1948

~~~~~~~~~~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.

I Am So Over Polls-Are You?

23 Oct

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

In years past, I enjoyed answering telephone polling questions. I felt I was being given an opportunity to have a voice.

Pixabay geralt / 22248 images

I have been on the “outs” with political polls since 1992. That is the year I realized polls were being used to shape elections. That those running for office adjusted their campaign talking points based on what was polling well, not what they planned to do once elected. And we wonder why the people we send to Washington don’t deliver what they promised.

21st Century polls evolved further into not simply asking questions but shaping a narrative. Adjust the question/answer formula and one can manipulate the outcome. I am not fond of manipulation, are you?

2020 elections have added a new component to polls….fear. In this digital age of data mining, one’s answers and even their phone numbers can be sold. With the media fanning fears of Civil War, this is troubling.

Have you received a polling phone call or text this year? I always feel bad for the person placing the call. Must be a tough job.

Pixabay

Recently I was contacted once by text and once by phone. The text asked my choice for President. I responded undecided. On the phone call I gave approval to both candidates and declared myself undecided. I kind of like giving the undecided answer. I mentally picture someone analyzing the stats, frantically wondering how to convert the undecided votes.

Pixabay

I mentioned earlier that I don’t like to be manipulated, but I do get a kick out of trying to manipulate the manipulators.

I love this picture!

Image by Stefan Keller from Pixabay

PS Thank you for not posting any candidate or party specific comments.

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 2020 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.

Mount Rushmore Road Trip Part 1

21 Oct

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Day 1 Wednesday

9/09/2020

I packed a wool vest and a lined jacket and headed for the Orlando airport.  The Southwest flight to Denver was uneventful as it was cloud cover the whole way.  But the passengers were rewarded with fresh mini-pretzels, small cinnamon cookies and ice-cold water.  It was 39 degrees in Denver when I arrived with snow on the surrounding mountains.  I was witness to an unusual sight after picking up my rental car.  As I headed for the Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum I noticed that all the houses in the sub-divisions were covered with snow, but there was no snow on the driveways or on the streets.  I guess the sun baked road surfaces had melted the snow as soon as it hit the pavement.  

The Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum is located within the former Lowry AFB, and displays some 40+ beautifully restored aircraft and lots of aviation related memorabilia.  I am always glad to see the history of aviation restored and displayed in this manner.  I believe it helps to preserve the evolvelution of aviation in our country for future generations

Next I headed a few miles west to visit the Denver Firefighters Museum.  The Volunteer Hook & Ladder Company No. 1 was formed in 1866 and was the first in the Colorado Territory.  This museum is located in the former Fire Station No. 1 built in 1909.  The four-gallery museum displays over 30,000 artifacts and memorabilia.  Beautifully restored displays include fire fighting apparatus such as early 1800s hand-pulled & pumped fire fighting equipment as well as modern day fire engines and trucks, covering the history of Denver firefighters dating from mid-1800s.

Now I drove another few more miles to visit the Forney Museum of Transportation located in historic downtown Denver.  Established by J. D. Forney in 1964 with a single 1921 Kissel Tourister the museum has expanded, over the years, to cover the history of transportation.  This museum’s collection is absolutely amazing.  It consists of over 600 artifacts which include all types of transportation devices such as bicycles, buggies, wagons, motorcycles, firetrucks, automobiles, steam engines and the Fornair airplane.  

After experiencing that amazing collection, I found the Molly Brown House Museum located in downtown Denver.  The museum was closed, but Wikipedia informs me that the house that now houses the museum was built in 1887 for Isaac and Mary Large.  It was sold to James and Margaret Brown in 1894.  In 1902 it was used by the Governer of Colorado  while the Governer’’s mansion was being remodeled.  Margaret became known as The Unsinkable Molly Brown after surviving the sinking of the RMS Titanic in 1912.  The house was purchased in 1970 by Historic Denver, Inc and restored to its original Queen Ann style architecture and opened as a museum.  I took a photo and moved on to the visit the Cussler Museum.

The Cussler Museum is located in Arvada, CO and displays some 100+ beautifully restored classic cars collected by the novelest Clive Cussler.  I had the opportunity to talk to the Curator of the museum, and he told me that the Denver collection was only part of the  Cussler collection, as there are more cars in a museum in Arizona near the Cussler home.  I was thrilled to get a chance to see a few of the classic cars mentioned in the Clive Cussler novels I have read over the years.

As I made my way toward the motel, I stopped at a local Walmart for a styrofoam cooler, water,  and morning breakfast supplies.   I also picked up a couple of pre-packaged “Heat & Serve” dinner meals to enjoy in my motel room.  I was tired and hungry from the day’s activities, so I just crashed in the room and recorded the day’s activities.  Then I watched some TV while I enjoyed a good hot ready-made meal.

—–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

19 Oct

My Take

DiVoran Lites

Romans 8:26

Holy Spirit Prayer

Scribe-DiVoran

Painting by DiVoran Lites

My Dearly Beloved,

Holy Spirit knows the way.

He will teach us how to pray.

Praying in us every day.

Prayers forever, here to stay. 

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-The Windows

18 Oct

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

While we were in Heidelberg (1980-1983), the military decided that the windows in all U.S. government housing apartments needed to be replaced with newer, better ones.

1980 – our apartment building.  Ours is the top left, on the end.

Now, that usually isn’t a big deal, and the new ones were a great improvement over the old ones.  And those buildings (with kitchen/bathroom fixtures) were built in the 1940’s, so an upgrade should have been welcomed.

The windows in the housing in Patrick Henry Village (PHV) were a pop-out/pop-in situation.  The buildings in PHV were built much later than the ones we lived in – in Mark Twain Village (MTV).  So PHV windows were done first, then they turned to us.

Unfortunately, the window spaces built in those MTV buildings were not any kind of “standard” sizes.  The frames were just not the same size as the windows they wanted to replace.  Therefore, they had to remove all the windows in our buildings and drill out the window spaces in order for the new windows to fit!!

That might not have been much of a problem, except they wanted to do all that drilling work while we were still living in the space!!  Here are a couple of pictures of what we had to do – everything had to be moved away from the windows and stacked against the walls.  So we covered everything with sheets and plastic sheeting, to keep the dust off the furniture.  And that included every window in the apartment!

The alcove in the living room

Window at the end of the building-during the renovation.

Here are pictures of the windows in Karen’s room – one at the end of the building, and one on the side.

Here is a picture of Janet’s room – and you can see that there was a large double window there! 

Here is a picture of Janet’s room – and you can see that there was a large double window there! 

That was also the same as the windows in our master bedroom. (Sorry, no picture there)

There was one window in the bathroom,

and another triple in the kitchen. 

There were three or four windows in each of the alcoves in the living room and dining room, and another large set at the end of the building.

The window at the end of the building, before the renovation.

So that’s a lot of windows.  It took them two weeks to drill out the window space and replace the old windows with the new ones.  We lived in a hotel during that entire time.  There was just no way we could live – in October! – in that apartment with no windows.

And then, when they were done, we found that the window replacements were taller than the original ones – and, therefore, all the window “treatment” that we had, was MUCH shorter than it had been before!  Not too happy about that.  But I didn’t want to purchase anything else for the window treatments, as we would be leaving Germany in June of the next year – just eight months later.  So we just “made do” with what we had.

Yeah, it was an inconvenience, but life is like that.  It was still an experience, and one we won’t forget any time soon! 

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.

Mount Rushmore Road Trip Prolog

14 Oct

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Prolog:

As you might have guessed from the title, the main reason for this road trip was to visit the Mount Rushmore Memorial which I had never visited.  During my North Country Road Trip in 2017 I visited various northern museums from Fargo, ND west to Missoula, MT (mostly along the I-94 corridor).  Then after heading south I visited many museums from Idaho Falls, ID to Omaha, NE (mostly along the I-80 corridor).  That was a great trip, but I completely missed a lot of the major points of interest in the middle of South Dakota.  A lot of those points of interest, for me, were located around the Rapid City, SD area, which included Mount Rushmore and much of the Great Plains history in and around the Black Hills National Forest.  That left a big hole in my knowledge of the central South Dakota area, and I wanted to rectify that situation.   For these road trips I try to see as much of our beautiful country as I can while visiting museums of all types along the way, but I can’t see it all in one trip.  So as a result, I plan my trips for a maximum of 14 to 16 days duration.

My wife, DiVoran, has a grade school friend in Pueblo, CO that she keeps in touch with, and she also has cousins in Canon City, CO near where she grew up.  So for this trip, I made plans to start by flying into Denver, CO.  This would put me in the relatively close proximity for a visit with friends and relatives.  Southwest Airlines cooperated with that plan by having roundtrip non-stop flights from Orlando to Denver and return (free) with my Rewards Points.  DiVoran says, “I love it when Bill travels. It is not my passion and I couldn’t withstand the pace of visiting multiple museums in a day and all that daily driving for two weeks. The thing I like best is that Bill sees to it that everything in the house and with my car is in topnotch condition before he departs.  It’s kind of like a deal between us.  I enjoy just drifting along in my everyday routine.  He calls every evening from his motel and we catch up on our days activities and before I know it, he’s home again.“

As I planned this trip, I had been keeping a close eye on the weather.  I was concerned that the temperatures in the higher elevations and northern states would be getting cold anytime now.  Once a route had been established and reservations had been confirmed, I was pretty much committed to the plan.  However, as the day for my trip drew closer, I became a little apprehensive about what the weather was going to be like.  The southwest part of the country had been dealing with record high temperatures, but now there was a freak cold front heading southeast out of Canada.  Then I got the bad news.  The weather in Denver was forecast for 90 degrees on Monday and 35 degrees (with snow) on Tuesday.  And here I was flying into Denver on Wednesday.  How was this Floridian going to handle the cold weather?

—–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

Hush and Listen

12 Oct

My Take

DiVoran Lites

Picture from Amazon Books

A teacher once told her class that research shows women need to speak 30,000 words a day. Some of us may do that and way over and some of us may not speak a word all day long. Sometimes in my life I have been more contemplative than talkative, but now I’m older and probably talk too much.  Of course, with our Covid quarantine many of us talk less because of the isolation, though we can always get on the phone or write if we need company.  

Lately, I’ve been paying attention to the idea of listening more than talking. And the idea has given me room for thought and improvement in my prayer life. 

I’ve been reading a National Bestselling Non-Fiction book called Merle’s Door, Lessons from a Freethinking Dog by Ted Kerasote. The dog Merle shows high intelligence and discernment. He is also well and reasonably trained by Ted, the master he adores, and boy can that dog communicate. 

The author learns how the dog is affected by everything around him. Merle uses his tail, eyes, ears, and nose to communicate with his human buddy. Here’s something Ted wrote in the first few pages:

 “His deep brown eyes looked at me with luminous appreciation and said, ‘You need a dog, and I’m it.’

Unsettled by his uncanny read of me—I had been looking for a dog for over a year—I gave him a cordial pat and replied, “Good dog.”

His tail beat steadily, and he didn’t move, his eyes still saying, “You need a dog.” 

Ted Kerasote is an A1 listener. 

Well, come on, I’m ready for my treats.

Thea, my Tuxedo cat, and I have many ways of communication. She likes the sound of my voice and the way my breath smells. Usually, she leads the conversations by tone of meow and tells me what she needs. She has a questioning voice, an emergency voice and a happy voice. She also purrs, to show how happy she is.  She strokes my sandals with her cheeks leaving pheromones that broadcast that I am hers.

Lately, I’ve been slowing down my pell-mell personality, and it’s delightful to see, hear, and acknowledge things I would usually have over-looked because of my impatience.   

Now I will use that realization to train myself to listen more. One person I must hear from is our Heavenly Father-Jesus Christ-Holy Spirit. For most of the years that I have been a Christian, which is for most of my life, I have not listened to him as well as I might have.  I read the Bible and accepted its precepts. I made notes of what other people said I should do and say. I searched my soul and engaged in long sessions of worry/praying to untangle my troubles. 

One day I asked our preacher’s sweet wife a question. I’ll always recall how she pointed up with her index finger then arched it down toward her heart. She said, “Ask God and wait to get His answer. He may speak in a still small voice, or illuminate a scripture, or speak through another person or event.  

 It took many more years for me to even begin to understand her simple explanation. I always thought I should fend for myself in the worry business.  

One year we had family problems and day after day and night after night I thought about them and tried to solve them. Then one day I read Isaiah 55:8. “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. 

The light went on. If I wanted God’s point of view I would have to stop thinking about any problem and wait for His answer. It didn’t matter if the problem was large or small. It didn’t matter if the wait was long or short.  He illuminated this scripture: “And if anyone longs to be wise, ask God for wisdom and he will give it! He won’t see your lack of wisdom as an opportunity to scold you over your failures, but he will overwhelm your failures with his generous grace.” James 1:5.”

Believe me, It works, and it makes life more peaceful, and productive. 

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.”

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