Transplants

21 Sep

My Take

DiVoran Lites

Pixabay

In 1965, when Bill got a job at the Kennedy Space Center, we moved with our two children 2,564.5 miles from the Los Angeles area to Titusville, Florida. Fortunately, our few possessions went in a moving van paid for by Bill’s company. 

Florida was to become a whole new adventure for all of us. One of our first experiences occurred when we had not yet reached our destination. 

Most of the journey from Orlando to Titusville was on an uneven asphalt road through a Tarzan-like jungle.  What we didn’t know was that we’d soon be passing over a cement bridge that covered the expansive St John’s River marsh. Lightning crackled, and thunder shook our world.Our car’s headlights were the only bits of light in sight. We hadn’t seen where the bridge began, and once we were on it, we couldn’t see where it ended. To increase the sense of dread, frogs began to pop up all around our now creeping vehicle. We knew we were squashing them under our tires, but there was nothing we could do. Fortunately, the children didn’t wake up until the next morning at the motel. Bill reported to work at the space center the next day, and the children and I went out to explore.

Pixabay

Three weeks later, we found a fine new house and moved into it. Once again, we were inundated with frogs. This time they splacked themselves on our glass patio doors and got busy gorging on the moths and mosquitos that were attracted to the light inside the house. We had begun to look up things and talk to neighbors about the wild-life and found that these were Green Tree Frogs. We could see that they had gold stripes running along their sides. I fancied that it was real gold because God likes to make our world as beautiful and authentic as possible. 

The frogs didn’t bother us. We got used to their sounds. After a rain, we could hear them out in the woods singing. They had sopranos, tenors, and bass singers. It started like a concert and ended like one, too. 

One evening we had folks over for supper, and the gentleman of the pair wanted to go out the patio doors into the back yard to look around. We let him out, but when he returned and tried to slide the door open again, a good-sized frog plopped down onto his head. I imagine the frog was as startled as the man. But I was embarrassed! Anyway, he brushed the frog off, and it all became a funny memory. 

For a while, people who move to Florida are called transplants. People who have homes here and homes in other states get the name of snow-birds because they come here to stay warm.  If they enjoy Florida, they make friends with the “Crackers,” that are already hereReal crackers, though, are families who have have been here for at least five generations or longer. I love my native friends and feel many bonds with them after all these years. Thank you, Lord, for transplanting us.

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

20 Sep

HERRENCHIEMSEE – PART 3

1969 – our trip to Bavaria – Herrenchiemsee Palace

The Great Hall of Mirrors

THE GREAT HALL OF MIRRORS was always a place of great beauty to us.  While it was definitely designed after the Versailles Hall of Mirrors, it was “newer” than Versailles, of course, and so felt different to us. 

1969 – our trip to Bavaria.  Fred’s mother is on the left in the green hat,

looking at the ceiling

“For the Hall of Mirrors of Herrenchiemsee, the King demanded a true-to-scale copy [of Versailles], which was planned and built in 1879-1881.  It had a length of 98 meters and is longer than the Versailles model….the frame decoration, which in Versailles is only painted, is carried out here in gilded stucco ornaments…the pictures occasionally are extended three-dimensionally in stucco.”

The Hall of War

In THE HALL OF WAR, “the walls are covered with multicolored marble stucco.  Above the mantelpiece, an oval bas-relief in stucco: ‘Louis XIV on horseback’.”

The Bedchamber

THE BEDCHAMBER, I am assuming, was not the State Bedchamber, but the bedroom for the king in his apartment in the palace.  Please notice the blue glass globe in front of the bed – it was used as night illumination for the king.  I guess he needed a night light, just as our children do in this day and age.  Please notice the wood-inlay floors.  Wow!

~~~~~~~~~~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.

A Love Story

18 Sep

A Time to Live

Melody Hendrix

Hello. I want to share with you something that has overwhelmed my heart all my life. It is about my love and connection to the natural world. 

As young as I can remember, I’ve been drawn to explore the woods. To me, it was like a treasure hunt. That mystery of life fascinated me, and I was full of wonder. 

I am a native Floridian. Most of my growing up was in the city of Orlando. It quickly grew into a full-blown major city. I didn’t have access to explore nature easily, so as time passed, I would have to go farther and farther to be in real nature. As soon as I was mobile, I would travel to Titusville and go fishing or go to the beach. I longed to live there.

And though I thought my dream life was unreachable, eighteen years ago, I got my wish. Not only did I get to live where there is an endless exploration in woods and water, but I also met the man of my dreams. 

I admit, we met on Match.com, Internet dating. On the second date, I fell so hard when he took me kayaking, caught a fish, and sweetly asked if he could kiss me.

His way of romancing was driving me around the dike roads at the Merrit Island Wildlife Refuge and showing me his secret places. We would look for wildlife, and I, being an avid, passionate photographer, would get fantastic shots out the window of the van. I can’t describe the overwhelming joy of life I was having, and I am still blessed with great riches.

The video lets you experience Titusville and MINWR a little, enjoy its beauty and see some wildlife. I thank God for bringing me closer to Him through His gifts of nature. I feel His gospel in His creations. I pray for protection for all of us in these challenging days. 

Melody

MelodyWelcome! I’m so glad you stopped in to visit. I am retired and enjoying life. My hobbies are my 5 grandchildren, son and daughter, and my loving husband. I am a photographer and extreme nature lover. I love spending time in my garden or in the wilderness connected to God my Creator.
What a beautiful world we live in. We all have that in common. Natural beauty is everywhere, but sometimes we are not connected until we see a picture, taken just right, that makes it really come into focus and be admired. My passion is to make a connection between the lens and your soul. Photography is my passion.
My photography passion began when my Father handed me his old Ricohflex box camera when I was 12.  It was love at first sight. I still have it. My hand was never empty of a camera since.
I am a native Floridian. I am so lucky to call it home. I was born in Orlando BF (before Disney). My family moved to the Winter Park area when I was very young. Central Florida was so simple and quaint at that time. I wandered the streets barefoot with my friends, never worrying that something bad could ever happen. My Mom used to pick the sand-spurs out of my feet. I still go barefoot. It grounds me to earth and connects me to nature.
I have extensively explored Florida and its diverse beauty. So much to see and so little time. I would love for you to join me in my travels through the images I have taken. I wish you could hear the sounds, smell the fragrance and feel the breath of it. But for now we must be content with exploring with our eyes and only imagine the rest.
Thank you for your interest.

Life During Covid 19-Part 22

17 Sep

Road Trip West Day 3

On the Porch

Onishe Ellis

Wow, I haven’t blogged since September 3rd. Our life has been a roller coaster. I will try to pick up where I left off with our 5 week road trip halting on day 1.

My husband spent the night in the hospital with the plan to have kidney stents placed the following day. This was a temporary fix until we could return home. Hospital visiting hours did not begin until 1 pm so I would be staying in the hotel until visiting hours unless my husband’s surgery was scheduled for the morning. After breakfast in my room and my usual two cups of coffee (with heavy cream-yum)  I spent the morning canceling 5 weeks of lodging reservations. The ones I could do from the hotel chain app were simple but others such as VRBO (Vacation Rentals by Owner), State parks and campgrounds I had to do individually. We are so blessed that we will be receiving refunds, even some that are outside of the refund period.

I found it hard to concentrate as I made lists of things that needed to be accomplished which included finding a kidney specialist in our home area and getting a referral. I packed a lunch to take to the hospital then forgot to put it in the cooler.

The surgery was not scheduled until 2 pm and I spent most of the afternoon at the hospital. During his surgery, I was given the option to wait in his room or the surgical waiting room.  Hands down, I chose his room No mask required and I could eat the lunch I had packed.

There was a possibility of my husband being discharged after the surgery, but the doctor opted and we agreed, he should stay overnight to make sure his kidney function levels were returning to normal. I made the trip back to our hotel without any wrong turns and felt a bit more confident driving the truck.

The hotel offered free cookies (Individually wrapped) and popcorn each night between 6-8pm. My husband was disappointed I didn’t snag one for him the previous day. We have been living sugar free for two years and he was using his I’m sick card to indulge in treats. I grabbed one for him I must confess that I had a square of our emergency dark chocolate last night after getting him into the hospital. 

A side note about our stay in the hotel.

Before going to the hospital, we chose not to have housekeeping enter our room due to Covid concerns and communicating with the housekeeping staff has been interesting. Yesterday’s housekeeper spoke only Spanish and my bits and pieces of college Spanish haven’t been used in a long time. After several attempts to say the correct words, the housekeeper spread her arms wide over her cart and indicated I take what we needed. She would point to make suggestions. For anyone who has ever been tempted to sneak something from a housekeeping cart, this was like a candy store offering its treats for free.

Just like the infomercials on the television, “but wait, there is more” hoping fulling posting next week. As I mentioned in the beginning of this post, our life has been a roller coaster of late. Thankfully, I know God is not surprised by our circumstances and he has made wonderful provisions for us.

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 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.

How I Met the Love of My Life Part 4

16 Sep

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

A month or so later, when my mother’s friends were on vacation, they stopped in Albuquerque to visit my mother.  DiVoran was introduced to them, and at some point during their visit, they invited her to accompany them back to their home in La Mesa.  Divoran was thrilled at the chance for a free trip to San Diego (even if it was in their noisy VW bus), for a short visit to see me.

Her mother and dad agreed to let her go, and said they would pay for her return train ticket.  She would be staying with mother’s friends there in La Mesa, so she wouldn’t have to worry about her room and board. The last thing her mother had said to her before she left was, “DiVoran, please don’t do anything foolish while you are out there.”   Dream on Dora!  We had been so glad to be together again, that we didn’t even want to think about being separated again.

Because La Mesa was a short drive from the Naval Base, I could see DiVoran any time I could get leave from the ship.  The days passed, and we had a wonderful time running all over the San Diego area, visiting things like the Embarcadero, where we went on board the historic Star of India sailing ship, Balboa Park, and the famous San Diego Zoo.  We went to the movies, drove across the Coronado Bay Bridge to check out the resort city of Coronado’s car show, and wondered thru the historic downtown San Diego Gaslamp Quarter. 

Toward the end of her stay, DiVoran started talking to me about getting married. I found out later (many years later) that on the trip from Albuquerque, my mother’s friend, Joan, had asked her when we were going to get married.  Joan was excited about the possibility of helping with a wedding, and DiVoran got caught up in the idea.  They talked about it during the entire trip.  DiVoran and I had been so close and such good friends, before, and the six-month separation had been very hard for both of us.  So, it wasn’t surprising that with only a little encouragement from Joan, we decided to “tie the knot” right then and there.  That would give us at least four months of “Marital Bliss” before the USS Hector sailed for Japan.  

Joan went to work making all the wedding arrangements with the pastor of her church, while DiVoran and I got our blood tests and marriage license.  We called our mothers to give them the “Good News.”  When DiVoran told her mother we were getting married, she moaned, “Oh!  DiVoran!  What about your college classes?”  And DiVoran said, “Don’t worry mother, everything is going to be alright.  Both mothers knew marriage was in our plans, just not this soon, and so far away.  Both of our fathers were away from home, on business trips, and could not make it to the wedding.  Both of our mothers pulled themselves together and came to California.  One of Joan’s friends (who just happened to be the same size as DiVoran) let her wear her wedding dress for the occasion, and my mother had brought my black suit from Albuquerque.   Everyone worked together really hard, and we were married on Friday September 6, 1957 in the small local La Mesa Community Church.  We had found a small furnished one-room efficiency apartment (that we could afford) in the North Park area, overlooking a portion of Balboa Park, and that was where we spent our wonderful Labor Day weekend “Honeymoon.”

—–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

Juveniles

14 Sep

My Take

DiVoran Lites

We live on the brink of a wildlife refuge and have for 54 years. After we were here for a while, we knew we wanted to use our back yard and an attached half-acre for a bird sanctuary. 

We did some reading about it, and the most important thing to remember was not to use a poisonous weed killer in the yard. The popular brand does have some elements of poison in it even though their label says otherwise. We had more to learn, such as keeping the birdbath water fresh and putting out enough food for the small birds. The larger ones must shift for themselves. We see to it that there is plenty of seed in the hanging feeders, and God has provided plenty of hiding and nesting places. 

DiVoran, Our Porch

We love to watch wildlife from the porch or the dining room window. 

A few days ago, a noisy blue jay landed in a tree and gave me a talking-to. His bright, sharp voice pierced the air.  After a few seconds of speaking harshly to me, he swooped onto the bird feeder. His head ducked three times. That meant he got three tiny millet seeds. He flapped up to a high limb and pecked at the seeds to get the hulls off. 

The exact thing happened the next morning, and I wondered what I had done to offend him.  His white feathers looked whiter than older birds,’ and his neck was smaller than an adult bird. I concluded that he had come in the big batch of various baby birds that hatched last spring and was now beginning to sow his oats as teenagers sometimes do.  

Photo by DiVoran

Photo by DiVoran

  I had another glimpse of the beautiful bird early this morning. I think of it as a scrappy male, but maybe it is an insistent female. Either way, it and a squirrel had a confrontation over who would use the bath first. It was like a dance. When the squirrel headed for the bath for a drink of water, the Blue Jay flew a few feet away and landed on the fence. The squirrel raced back to its tree and sped up and down the trunk, and the juvenile came back and finally enjoyed his bath. 

Florida Squirrel Pixabay

We are so grateful to live close to wildlife. When we watch from the porch, small new actions thrill us. Our cat, Thea, is on the job for hours every day. She’s there to protect us from lizards, frogs, squirrels, birds, and our black racer, Blacky, who gets the most prolonged stares and the most cat-chatter. She does her job well.   

Today rain came down in bucketsful accompanied by thunder and lightning. We’ve had a lot of rain this year, blessedly no hurricanes yet. The juvenile Jay Bird came back in the storm for something more to eat. He screeched in his usually brazen way and flew from limb to limb.  He came back to the branch and issued a soft sound I’d never heard from a jay before. It sounded like three scared calls (for mommy.) I no longer think of him as reckless. Maybe he wants attention like anyone else. May he have a long and happy life and come back often.      

           

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

13 Sep

Herrenchiemsee-Part 2

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

I mentioned earlier that Herrenchiemsee was “unfinished” at Ludwig’s death.  But the brochure states: “It would be wrong to call Herrenchiemsee Palace ‘unfinished’ in the usual sense of the word; even in the construction schedule of 1878, no other rooms are planned for the interior than those which we see complete today.  For conjuring up the spirit of absolute monarchy, the central rooms of Versailles are indeed sufficient.”

Herrenchiemsee was built in the grand style of Versailles, with many of the rooms built similarly to Versailles.  However, during the French Revolution, many of the artifacts, furniture and furnishings of Versailles were lost or destroyed.  Therefore, when Ludwig began building Herrenchiemsee, he had no “Versailles” models to work from.  Therefore, much of the furnishings in Herrenchiemsee are original designs.  And while they were original creations, they were often corrected and amended by the king in his own handwriting.

The State Staircase

THE STATE STAIRCASE was modeled on the Versailles Ambassadors’ Staircase.  Multicolored marble and stucco marble-clad walls follows exactly the Versailles model, shown in existing plans and engravings.

The First Antechamber

In THE FIRST ANTECHAMBER, the inlaid paintings show scenes from court life and the military campaigns of Louis XIV of France.  

The Second Antechamber

In THE SECOND ANTECHAMBER (so-called “bull’s eye hall”) are paintings of Louis XIV, as well as, in the center of the hall, a bronze equestrian statuette of Louis XIV.

The State Bedchamber

THE STATE BEDCHAMBER was never used by Ludwig, but represents a highlight of majestic appointments, and was the first room completed in the palace, and turned over to the King on September 18, 1881.  “In the ceiling fresco Phoebus Apollo has the facial features of Louis XIV.”

The Council Chamber

THE COUNCIL CHAMBER has a portrait of Louis XIV and four painting above the door, showing diplomatic successes of the Sun King.  Lots of gold overlay in this room.

~~~~~~~~~~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.

What not to do as we face tomorrow.

12 Sep

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

Rebl/ogged September 12, 2020

September 11, 2020

Some years back, I eased into the large chair at the ophthalmologist’s office, my face pressed on the chin rest.

“Look straight ahead,” he said. “Can you see the light?”

“Hmmm…not really,” I answered.

He sighed. “After removing the cataracts, I was really hoping to recover at least some of your sight.”

“It’s okay. I’m not worried about it.” I gave him a genuine smile. “I have so many things to do and accomplish. God has His perfect timing. In the meantime, I cannot worry about what my eyes see or don’t see.”

He squeezed my hand. “I wish all my patients had your disposition. You sure have a contagious happiness within you.”

Happiness? Not sure if I agree. Superficial happiness is the last thing I seek. I learned that being “happy” came and went along with events and circumstances. And at one time, I had chased it, big time. Then, when I lost my sight, I groped for happiness but it had vanished in the darkness of my world.

It all changed.

All changed when Christ opened the eyes of my heart and freedom ushered in through the darkness. Joy visited my heart for the first time. That’s because there’s incredible comfort in knowing we don’t have to trust in what can change, hold on to what can end, lean on what might crumble, or count on what can vanish.

Recently, we experienced all the above as our world changed. So, what do we do? We hold on to what we can trust. We believe what we know is true. And, with Godly wisdom we avoid these three traps:

Avoid these Traps

Trap No. 1: We stop listening to the world, it’s messages and predictions. We stop looking to understand why and how. We refrain from searching answers and seeking solutions to the parade of problems. Instead, we look for God’s priority when He says, “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added onto you” (Matthew 6:33). The “things” we look for, He will bring. The explanations we expect, He will provide. And the promise for tomorrow, will prevail.

Trap No. 2: Long for what we had before. Yearn to go back to the “normal” of yesterday. And give in to the loneliness of our misfortune. Instead, trust in He who says, “Those who know your name will trust in you. For you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you” (Psalm 9:10). He promised He will never abandon us. That’s an invitation to seek Him in our tough days, to look for Him in our lonely moments. And call upon Him in our restless nights.

Trap No. 3: In Psalm 1:1, God warns us about this trap when He says blessed is he who does not look for advice and direction from the world. He does not welcome the company of those who sin and sin some more. And he who does not join the foolish mockers with their ranting and blaming (paraphrased).

Instead, “… his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law, he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers” (Psalm 1:2-3).

We had no choice when the world changed. But we have the choice to obey God when He directs us to what lasts, remains steady and trustworthy.

That’s why rather than dive into the news, we delight in His Word. Think about it day and night. Then we see the freshness of each day with renewed hope. We will produce what is needed in its perfect time. We don’t wither under the daily pressure or stress. And we embrace His promise that we will triumph, we will win and will prosper in all we do.

Let’s Pray

Lord, When I ponder about tomorrow, I’m tempted to slip into the traps the world sets for me. But only Your Word lifts me up, sets me free and reminds me I have nothing to fear. In Jesus name I thank you.

What traps do you need to avoid as you face each tomorrow?

Janet

______________________________________

Did you know I wrote a book filled with words of encouragement, uplifting thoughts and illustrations of real-life triumph to empower you? Its title, Trials of Today, Treasures for Tomorrow: Overcoming Adversities in Life. You can get it HERE.

CLICK HERE for a one-minute inspirational video.

Looking for a speaker for your upcoming event? A great speaker makes the difference between a so-so event and one that shines with impact. I invite you to view one of my two-minute videos HERE.

Please shareFeel free to share Janet’s posts with your friends.

Janet Eckles Perez

Some say she should be the last person to be dancing. Her life is summarized in this 3-minute video: http://bit.ly/1a8wGJR

Janet Perez Eckles’ story of triumph is marked by her work as an international speaker, #1 best-selling author, radio host, personal success coach and master interpreter. Although blind since 31, her passion is to help you see the best of life.

www.janetperezeckles.com

How I Met the Love of My Life Part 3

9 Sep

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

My friend, Bud, and I had joined the U.S. Navy Reserves in the middle of our senior year (big mistake).  We did this to impress the girls (before I met DiVoran) when we wore our uniforms around town, on Friday nights, after our reserve meetings.  But after graduation, I realized what a foolish thing I had done, and I wanted to get my “active duty” over with so I could go to college.  Some of you may remember that back in those days, when you signed on the dotted line to serve in the military, there was no getting out of your commitment.  You were in for the length of your service time, and that was all there was to it.  I had asked DiVoran to marry me, gave her a diamond engagement ring, and asked her to wait for me until I got back from my active duty.  She wanted to get married right then.  After talking it over, I finally agreed to us getting married as soon as we could, and she agreed to wait for a while.  We also promised to write each other every day I was away, and we did.  

After boot camp I shipped out on the USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) for a Med Cruise.  That was a wonderful experience for this 18-year old swabby.  I got to visit most of the countries that ring the Mediterranean.  When the ship’s tour of duty was over, we were relieved, on station, by our sister carrier the USS Franklin D. Roosevelt (CVA-42).   The voyage our ship made across the north Atlantic, returning to the United States, was one of the roughest I was ever on during my time in the Navy.  We ran into one of those historical nor’easter storms, that sailors have talked about for centuries, and believe me it was brutal.  We docked at Norfolk, VA to off-load the air group, non-essential personnel and equipment.  

The ship was scheduled for a major two-year overhaul which would include the addition of a canted flight deck.  There were no dry-docks available on the east coast, so the ship made the trip around South America (the ship was too wide to go thru the Panama Canal).  We visited cities on the east coast of Brazil, made our way round Cape Horn and stopped at Valparaiso on the west coast of Chili. We also stopped at Panama City, on the west coast of Panama, and finally at San Francisco, CA as we made our way north to Bremerton, WA.

I was able to watch the “Yard Birds” work on the ship for a month while I waited for my transfer orders.  That was an amazing experience and I learned a lot about the ship I had never knewn.  I finally received my orders transferring me to the USS Hector (AR-7) in San Diego, CA.  The Hector was going to be tied up to Pier 1, at the San Diego Naval Base for about six months.  It was during this time that I was able to attend a Diesel Engine Mechanic School and obtain my rating as an Engineman.  My mother had good friends living in La Mesa (not far from the Naval Base), and they invited me to their home for dinner several times.

—–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

Book Worm

7 Sep

My Take

DiVoran Lites

Pixabay

My husband (of 63 years today) and I went to Europe about twenty years ago. I knew I’d need something good to read on the plane, so on the way to the airport, I rushed into a grocery store here in Titusville and bought a fat paperback for $15.00. What an outrageous amount of money for a paperback book! I thought it was a romance, and in a way, it was. The romance, however, seemed to be more about raising and processing opium in plantation days in a far-away country than smooching. I discovered I didn’t want to read it, but I did because it’s a long way across the pond, and I couldn’t sleep. 

It’s too bad I didn’t have a Kindle or any audiobooks on a digital phone as I do now. You can have a gazillion books on your phone or pad or whatever, and you can take them everywhere you go.  Many of my friends major in reading that way, and I think they are smart to do it. But for some reason, I can’t shake the desire to have a book in my hands. I even paint handmade bookmarks as a hobby. I paint them and lose them. The library called me once to tell me I had left one in a book and did I want them to hold it for me. I said yes, but to my embarrassment, I forgot to ask for it when I went there again.  I do have one friend that hasn’t gone digital, and we have a delightful time together exchanging books. 

Now, I don’t keep a whole lot of books, even though I do have a big bookcase and a couple of small ones. But I have a working plan that utilizes the public library where I have been going for 55 years. When we first came to town, it was in a small building, but since then, we have newer ones.  I thank the U. S. Government for free libraries.

I’ve always liked family stories and romances, as well as non-fiction. It bothers me, though, when people say, “Pretty soon, we aren’t going to use paper anymore because everything will be digital.” I don’t think that is panning out the way people thought it would, and there’s probably more use of paper than ever in history because it’s so easy to print things out and spread them around.  

The Bible and I are old friends, and I like to read it every day. Sometimes I go to Bible Gateway on my computer or phone to look something up or read a passage. Gateway has audio bibles, too.  They seem to have all the translations ever produced. I like the variety and understanding that comes from that. 

I’m appalled at the COVID pandemic, but in one way, I have benefitted by having all the time in the world to read. Also, slowing way down has had a a healing effect on me. 

Maybe I’ll talk about this subject some more. I think I like to write about reading as much as I like to read. 

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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