Memoir of Dora Bedell Bowers 1935

25 Mar

My Take

DiVoran Lites



Dora Bedell Bowers, my mother.



1935, San Diego, California

My brother Don, a career Navy man invited me to come to California when I graduated from High School in Canon City, Colorado. I graduated at eighteen, but I needed money for the trip. I went from one end of town to the other asking for work in every business. Sometimes people were rude and wouldn’t talk much except to say, “Why would we hire you when the fathers of families are out of work?”

I finally reached the Hotel Canon and they needed a chamber maid. That was lowly work, not suited to a pure, young thing, but I took it. I’m sure my father was embarrassed, but I made a dollar a day. Some days another maid and I would clean twenty-one rooms. I got a dime tip once.

When I had saved $30.00, I bought a ticket to San Diego which cost about $20.00. I was on my way. It was good to go to my brother, Don. We had always cared a great deal for one another.

Rose, Don’s wife, was O. K. too, but not what I was used to. She was slightly built, about my height and she had dark hair, but she shaved her eyebrows off and lined them in every day when she put on her make-up. It always took her three hours to iron an outfit to go anyplace. She was a late nighter and a late sleeper in the morning.

I took a job at Kresses, (a dime store). I was supposed to be at work at eleven am, but the best I could ever do was to be one minute late on the time clock because of the bus schedule.

Well, Don took me for a one hour tour of a submarine. He told me so much about it that I could assimilate no more. He warned me before we went that I was not to wear high heels because the sailors would think I was a chippie.

I needed a church, not only to worship in, but to give Don and Rose some privacy. I went to the Christian Science Church just blocks away. My Baptist background kept me from praying to their beloved Mary Baker Eddie-(equivalent to Brigham Young for the Mormons.)

I can’t recall how I happened to go see Aimee Semple McPherson, but I remember being there in the third balcony with 6,000 people. That was a lot of people all in one place for a small town girl like me.

As we looked down we could see a huge chess board that took up most of the vast stage. On the right was the devil. He was red with a forked tail and horns. On the left was an angel or maybe it was God. They played out their game of wits arguing for the souls of men. Aimee was a young, blonde directing the play. The people loved it. I found out later that she had become a nationally famous evangelist.

I dated an ordinary, safe, dull guy that Don approved of. We went to movies and sometime for a wicked, “Singapore Sling.” Another sailor I went with was a bit harder to handle.

Once I left a dance with my date just for a few minutes. We went to check the mail, but when we returned Don was in a panic. It’s pretty hard riding herd on a young lady surrounded by sailors. Rose had a very wild party once when Don was out to sea and I sneaked off to bed to keep from being compromised.

It rained a lot in San Diego that year. I didn’t like rain much, so after five months of it, I decided to go home. I bought beautiful gifts for the family. For Dad I bought a comb and brush, and for Mother a silver sailing ship on a mirror. I don’t remember what I bought for my older brother, Smithy, or for my little sister, Judy.



Author, Poet and Artist

DiVoran has been writing for most of her life. Her first attempt at a story was when she was seven years old and her mother got a new typewriter. DiVoran got to use it and when her dad saw her writing he asked what she was writing about. DiVoran answered that she was writing the story of her life. Her dad’s only comment was, “Well, it’s going to be a very short story.” After most of a lifetime of writing and helping other writers, DiVoran finally launched her own dream which was to write a novel of her own. She now has her Florida Springs trilogy and her novel, a Christian Western Romance, Go West available on Amazon. When speaking about her road to publication, she gives thanks to the Lord for all the people who helped her grow and learn.  She says, “I could never have done it by myself, but when I got going everything fell beautifully into place, and I was glad I had started on my dream.”


24 Mar


Judy Wills


 I really enjoy those serendipity moments in my life.  As I’ve stated before – I think they are God’s way of giving me a moment of joy from a simple thing.

For instance, one of my favorite things to do when we go to a Disney park, is to notice the things people are wearing.


Credit Disney World website


Some of the things they wear are completely indescribable…like wearing fur-lined knee-length boots to the park during the height of summer.

Credit Google Search and Ariat website


Or even wearing high-heeled shoes to the park –

Credit Google Search and BCB Generation


and having to walk those miles throughout the day through the park.  My feet just hurt looking at them!!

Our Karen and her daughter once started counting the little girls in “Elsa” costumes – following the release of the Frozen movie.  I believe the count was upward toward 100!

But at least that’s understandable, since it was a Disney movie!

Credit Google Search and Disney Store


Since one of our sons-in–law is from Columbus, Ohio, he is a HUGE Ohio State University football fan.  I mean H-U-G-E!!  Consequently, whenever I see someone wearing a shirt that has the Ohio State logo on it, I enjoy walking up to them and loudly saying “GO BUCKS” to them.

Credit Google Search and Ohio State University website


Ohio State’s mascot is a “buckeye.”  Wikipedia states:


The Ohio buckeye is the state tree of Ohio, and its name is an original term of endearment for the pioneers on the Ohio frontier…Capt. Daniel Davis of the Ohio Company of Associates, under Gen. Rufus Putnam, traversed the wilderness in the spring of 1788, and began the settlement of Ohio. Davis was said to be the second man ashore at Point Harmar, on April 7, 1788. He declared later that he cut the first tree felled by a settler west of the Ohio River, a “buckeye” tree. Additionally, Colonel Ebenezer Sproat, another founder of that same pioneer city of Marietta, had a tall and commanding presence; he greatly impressed the local Indians, who in admiration dubbed him “Hetuck”, meaning eye of the buck deer, or Big Buckeye.

 Subsequently, “buckeye” came to be used as the nickname and colloquial name for people from the state of Ohio and The Ohio State University’s sports teams. Ohio State adopted “Buckeyes” officially as its nickname in 1950, and it came to be applied to any student or graduate of the university.


Recently, while on facebook, an ad popped up for a t-shirt.  When I saw it, I knew I had to have one, so I ordered it, and enjoy wearing it.  Here is a picture of it.


Fred and I went to EPCOT last week, and I wore that shirt with my shorts.  While we were walking around, I heard someone say, “NEW MEXICO!”  I stopped in my tracks and faced this young couple.  I stated that yes, I am a New Mexico girl, and grew up in Albuquerque.  The young man stated that he was from Artesia, and his wife was from Hobbs.  I know both of those cities well.  They had just moved to Jacksonville, Florida.  We chatted for a few minutes, and then went on our respective ways.  They were just amazed to find someone from New Mexico in Florida.  I agreed with them.

I just LOVE this stuff!



JUDYJudy 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.
She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.


Life won’t work unless you take this step.

23 Mar

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles



Reblogged March 23, 2019


“C’mon, girlfriend, we’re going to the mall.”

“Whoo hoo!” I hung up the phone with a huge smile. Any chance to hit stores and come home with bargains stirred girlish excitement. Since I lost my eyesight, these trips gave me a chance to get out, catch up, laugh and come home with crazy stories.

Anticipating a great time, my friend took me by the arm and we strolled through crowded store aisles headed to the petite department.

“I see a perfect outfit for you,” she said, “and I think it’s on sale!” Our steps quickened.

It doesn’t fit.

Once in the dressing room, she handed me the fitted top. “The colors are perfect. They’ll look great on you.”

I slipped my arms through. “Hmm… a little tight.” I tried to poke my head through, but got stuck midway. “I think I need a bigger size,” I muttered.

“No way. It’s your size,” she said. She tugged first one side then the other.

The top wouldn’t budge, on or off. My arms pressed against my ears, and my words of panic muffled by the blouse that smashed my face.

“No pain,” she said as she yanked with all her might, “no gain.”

My head poked through, jack-in-the-box style and while catching my breath, I stared in space. My arms limp to the sides, and my mind imagining this garment never to come off again.

Moments later, my friend gasped as she ran her fingers to the side. “Oh, I can’t believe it…”


“It has a zipper.”

A zipper? She’s got to be kidding.

“Sorry. I just didn’t see it.”

Another crazy story.

But this one mirrored a difficult dilemma in my own life. I battled, trying to decide whether I fit into the world’s pattern or fit into the mold tailored by God. Initially, thinking it’d be a perfect match, I carefully chose goals, dreams, and expectations in line with the world’s standards. But when adversity swept through, the struggle began. I tugged, yanked, and pulled on various styles to find a way out of difficult situations. I became worn out by trying to make my own solutions fit my problems.

I even battled with the correct order of priorities. In my role as a wife, mom, friend, or church member, I desired to please everyone. Often anxiety visited reminding me of my inability to please even myself.

But did I change? No. I stubbornly continued to use my values, beliefs, and choices to overcome and find satisfaction.

Out of solutions.

But when the effects of losing my sight crushed my world, it became real, painfully real that my own ways to solve my problems were not sufficient. My solutions were not a match for a tragedy of this magnitude. Nothing I tried brought comfort, reassurance, encouragement, or hope.

And empty of hope, I began shopping for a dose of comfort—through fortune tellers, psychics, New Age healers, etc. They successfully increased my frustration and decreased the balance of my checking account.

My whole life was off balance. And when almost ready to tumble in defeat, I found the zipper – the opening. It was the entrance designed in my heart for Jesus to come in.

Let Jesus come in.

When He did, He provided freedom from the world’s deceptions. Once I received Him into my life, I made Him my Lord, my God, my all. His faithfulness, compassion, and guidance offered a perfect garment for my soul. The price tag read, “Free.”

This incredible gift, complete with the jewels of His trustworthy promises adorn my renewed life.

A new beginning, leaving behind unnecessary struggles when facing difficulties. A newfound reassurance knowing He created me and thus knows what will fit my soul. He knows the size of my needs, the color of my pain, the fabric of my fears, and the fashion of my insecurities.

Christ knows yours, too. Trusting in the pattern He custom-designed for you, surrender happens. Fear, anxiety, and doubt no longer fit a new life in Christ.

All becomes new. Redirection begins. No more desperation to be free from setbacks big or small. Christ is the one who gives eyes to see a new world—one of renewed hope, confidence, and peace.

And it’s that profound peace that filters through when God turns blindness or any other setback, to joy. And with a new outlook, we can hold on to his healing Word as it dances in our soul, “I will rejoice greatly in the Lord, my soul will exult in my God; for He has clothed me with garments of salvation, He has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland.” (Isaiah 61:10 NIV)

Let’s Pray

Father, thank you for guiding my desire to unzip my heart and invite You in. Thank You for covering my life with the perfect attire of joy. In Jesus’ name, amen.

God has the perfect garment for your soul. Will you try it on?



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 share: Feel 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:

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.

Dirty Kale

21 Mar

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis


Breaking news yesterday!  Kale the fabulous super food has been added to a list of shame. Yes, the dirty dozen list of foods with pesticides.

According to a New York Post story,

“It’s kale’s time to move away from the spotlight,” says Food Network host Skyler Bouchard. She says that “anyone who’s into food could tell you that it’s already been on the way down” since its heyday when the green received a shout out on Beyoncé’s sweatshirt in her 2014 music video for “7/11.”

Do people really choose which foods to eat based on a celebrity sweatshirt? I can see being influenced if the sweatshirt sported a picture of  a luscious donut, but for me–never kale!



Our minds are shockingly easy to program. We see or hear something often enough and without realizing, we gravitate toward it. Just this week I found myself being subliminally programmed by my husband. He enjoys painting ocean (sea) scapes and has been working on perfecting his wave spray. Instructional You Tube videos have been white noise in the house for several days and I have viewed several versions of the painting he is working on. I tell him it looks great and he paints over it. Go figure!  Anyway, back on point, on Monday I chose verses from Philippians 2 for the Facebook post I create for our church. After I posted it,  I realized why I chose that particular photo.


I am hoping the husband doesn’t figure out how easily I can be programmed!

Back to the kale. A big shout out to whomever developed the eat more kale marketing plan. it was brilliant. I wonder if the same person is running the  current eat more cauliflower campaign or more likely, they are lolling on a sunny beach somewhere, drinking adult beverages and laughing.







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.

2018 Florida Road Trip Part 12

20 Mar

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites


Day 12 Tuesday 10/30/2018


My plan this morning was to drive to outlying areas around St. Augustine to visit several additional points of interest.  As I was driving back into town, I passed a sign on a store-front, that advertised “Big Bill’s Die Cast” and I just had to stop to see what it was all about.  This is an amazing store!  This guy, Bill, really does have a die cast model of just about everything that has ever been made.  Cars, Trucks, Airplanes, Motorcycles, Boats, Tanks, and you name it, Bill has the item in several sizes.  His moto is, “If I don’t have it, they don’t make it”and I believe him.



After that interesting stop, I headed across the “Bridge of Lions” and Matanzas Bay onto Anastasia Island to visit the St. Augustine Lighthouse Museum.  Some historical records tell us that this area has been the location of a coastal warning light (watch towers) as early as 1565.  The current lighthouse was built in 1871 to replace the original 1824 lighthouse (the first official lighthouse in Florida built by the new, territorial, American Government) that collapsed in 1880, as a result of erosion and a changing coastline.



Now it was south on SR-A1A just a few miles to visit the Fort Matanzas National Monument (fort) located on the eastern side of the Matanzas Inlet.  This small fort was built by the Spanish in 1742 to guard the southern mouth of the Matanzas River, which opens up the southern access to St. Augustine. The fort itself is only accessible by ferry across the river from the Park Service Visitor Center.



This fort was built and manned by the Spanish to protect the rear entrance to the city of St. Augustine from attack.  The only way to get to the remains of this small fort is by a short ferry-boat ride.  I asked the Ranger how long it would take, from the time one left the landing, until the ferry-boat brought them back.  He said the ferry made the trip once each hour.  From the pictures I saw of this small fort, I didn’t want to take that much time to see it today.  Maybe another time.



South on A1A another few miles, and across the Matanzas Inlet, I checked out the Dolphin Adventure at Marineland.  This attraction was first opened by a group of dedicated sea mammal enthusiasts headed up by W. Douglas Burden and Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney as the Marine Studios.  This original facility was situated on a 125 acre plot located between the Atlantic Ocean and the Intercostal Waterway (Matanzas River).  As the world’s first Oceanarium, the Marine Studios was designed to rescue, study, and film the underwater life and habits of sea creatures.

On my way south on A1A to visit Marineland, I had noticed several large homes, perched on stilts, located right on the beach.  Now as I headed back north towards St. Augustine, I stopped on the side of the road to get a closer look and take a photo or two.  It looked like the houses were located along the beach road known as Old A1A.  I had no idea people were allowed to build that close to the ocean.  I doubt they would have too many visitors during hurricane season, but of course, they would have an excellent view of any 20 or 30-foot tidal surge or tsunami coming in at them from the ocean.





I had to do a little back-tracking on A1A to get to SR-312, where I turned west to avoid having to go through down town St. Augustine again.  Then I turned north on N. Holmes Blvd. until I came across 4 Mile Road, and north again to where I turned west on SR-16.  All of this (with Greta’s help) got me to the St. Augustine Aquarium. This turned out to be a very interesting family-participation type  attraction, feathering all kinds of salt water  creatures including sharks and rays.  I was there long enough to witness the afternoon shark feeding, but wasn’t interested in the snorkeling or the zip line ride.


So, before heading back to the motel for the night, I started looking for a place to eat supper. And wouldn’t you know it, there was a Cracker Barrel Restaurant just down the road.  I stopped in for a delicious Meat Loaf dinner with garlic mash potatoes and green beans, and one of their fresh baked biscuits with butter and honey for desert.


—–To Be Continued—–



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.




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



Joy With No Expectations

19 Mar

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis






On the Road Again

18 Mar

My Take

DiVoran Lites



DiVoran’s Vintage Photos


David and DiVoran

After we left Lovelock, we went back to Canon City for a few years until Ivan got the gas plant properly staffed. Jobs were scarce, but he applied for one at the tomato factory in Crowley, Colorado and got it. We drove to Crowley, where Dad was to repair and keep the machinery running. By this time I was five years old and my brother David was two and a half.

The house we lived in was called a shotgun house. It had four rooms. The name came from the idea that a person with a shotgun could shoot a bullet into the opened front end and it would come straight out the back end. Each room was twelve feet square with high ceilings for the sake of ventilation, and we had windows that opened and closed all the way down the sides of the house.

Mother was still cooking on a coal stove, but in Crowley,she had a job cooking a hearty noon meal for the factory workers – mostly men. Now that I know the dimensions of the house, I’m not sure where she actually put them all. Perhaps someone came with a farm truck to pick up the food and take it back to the factory, maybe it was Ivan. Maybe he paused for a good-bye kiss from the lips of his beloved wife as he went out the door.



When she wasn’t cooking, cleaning or hanging out clothes to dry, Dora liked to gather her gang and walk over a narrow berm to the factory. Her little group consisted of David, who got a piggy-back ride, little daughter who walked behind her on the high berm, the dog, the Nanny goat, and after her, Billy, her kid. The rooster, Chanticleer brought up the rear. Along the way,Mother watched in surprise as Billy Goat click-clacked across window panes covering the young plants without breaking a single pane.

When I was a baby I fainted and she took me to the doctor. The Doctor said I wasn’t getting enough nourishment from breast feedings o Mother put me on goat’s milk. In Crowley even when I was five she gave me a dented tin-cup full of warm milk and sat me on the wooden step out front. Later when I met a milkshake it reminded me of the goat’s milk. I still like it better than cow’s milk and I believe it is better for me too. I’m fascinated with the fact that it is naturally homogenized.

Each day of the season, Mother gave me a salt shaker and a red tomato right off the vine. The juice ran down my chin as I thoroughly enjoyed the salted tomato of the day. I’ve never tasted one as good since. After I finished she washed my face and put me in clean pajamas.



Every year, Dora made new pajamas for both children on the Singer electric sewing machine she inherited from her grandmother. Later, I made clothing for my children on it. It’s there in my living now and I never knew before how heavy it is to lift out of itscradle.

Mother was a great storyteller and once she had us cleaned up and in our new jammies she sat on the bed and told us made-up stories until we went to sleep. I’m so grateful that she was a story-teller and that she kept a record of her life on scraps of paper which I inherited from her.

I went to kindergarten at Crowley School. There, for the first time, I met a girl with skin darker than mine. She may have been Native American or Mexican, and she might be considered my first best friend, yet she never came to my house and I never went to hers.

Our sojourn in Crowley ended during World War II when Ivan was called up and assigned to the infantry. In his letters home, he tells about his rise to sharp-shooter and how happy that made him. I guess he got lots more practice in the Battle of the Bulge.

Our last supper in the shotgun house was chicken and noodles. That was usually my favorite supper, but when I found out we were eating Chanticleer the rooster, I gave up on chicken for a longtime. I don’t know what happened to the dog and the goats, but Daddy probably had to sell them or give them away. Grandmother’s apartment house and corner lot had room for family, but not for the family’s menagerie.


Author, Poet and Artist

DiVoran has been writing for most of her life. Her first attempt at a story was when she was seven years old and her mother got a new typewriter. DiVoran got to use it and when her dad saw her writing he asked what she was writing about. DiVoran answered that she was writing the story of her life. Her dad’s only comment was, “Well, it’s going to be a very short story.” After most of a lifetime of writing and helping other writers, DiVoran finally launched her own dream which was to write a novel of her own. She now has her Florida Springs trilogy and her novel, a Christian Western Romance, Go West available on Amazon. When speaking about her road to publication, she gives thanks to the Lord for all the people who helped her grow and learn.  She says, “I could never have done it by myself, but when I got going everything fell beautifully into place, and I was glad I had started on my dream.”


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