2021 Mid-Eastern Road Trip Part 5B

22 Sep

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Day 5 – 7/16/2021 (Continued)

My next stop today was about 45 miles northeast on I-81 to visit the George Washington Office Museum located in Winchester, VA.  This small museum is situated in the 18thcentury log and stone building that Washington used as his office while performing survey work in the Frederick County area from September 1755 to December 1756.  This same office was used by Washington to command the Virginia Regiment during the French & Indian War (1754-1763).

Photo credit: Bill Lites

I was surprisingly to find that the Stonewall Jackson’s Headquarters Museum was just a few blocks away, there in Winchester.  This museum is located in the house built by William Fuller in 1854 and was used by General “Stonewall” Jackson as his Civil War headquarters during the winter of 1861 – 1862.    The museum displays many of Jackson’s personal items as well as other family artifacts and memorabilia.

Photo credit: Bill Lites

It was only 20 miles northeast on I-81, and across the border, to where I wanted to visit the Bunker Hill Train Club located on the outskirts of Bunker Hill, WV but they were closed.  That was a bummer as I was looking forward to seeing their model train layouts.  So, I kept going another 10 miles up I-81 to visit the Martinsburg Roundhouse, but they were also closed. Another Bummer for me. 

Photo credit: Bill Lites
Photo credit: Bill Lites

Continuing northeast another 25 miles on I-81 I crossed another border and visited the Hagerstown Aviation Museum located adjacent to the Hagerstown Regional Airport in Hagerstown, MD.  This museum is situated in the former Fairchild Flight Test Hanger (built in 1943) and focuses mainly on the history of the Fairchild Aircraft Company, while displaying some 15+ restored rare and antique aircraft dating from 1928. 

Photo Credit: https://www.hagerstownaviationmuseum.org/

While I was in Hagerstown, I also visited the Hagerstown Roundhouse & Railroad Museum located in the City Park Train Hub.  This museum displays a restored 1919 steam locomotive (#202) and rolling stock as well as other railroad artifacts and memorabilia dating from the early 1900s.

Photo credit: Bill Lites

Now I headed north 25 miles on I-81, across the border, to visit The Old Jail Museum located in Chambersburg, PA.  This museum is housed in the original Franklin County jail which was built in 1818.  The jail served Franklin county for 152 years before being closed in 1970.  Many famous criminals, such as “Lewis the Robber” and “Captain John Cook,” among others, were housed in this jail over the years.

Photo credit: Bill Lites

Leaving Chambersburg, it was only 15 miles northeast on US-11 to where I visited the Cumberland Valley Railroad Museum located at the Shippensburg Station in Shippensburg, PA.  This small museum is housed in a restored 1956 Penn Central boxcar, there at the station, and tells the history of the Cumberland Valley Rail Trail (CVRT) and its influence on the local area, from its beginning, over the years.

Photo credit: Bill Lites

I got back on I-81 for another 20 miles northeast to where I visited the U.S. Army Heritage & Education Center located in Carlisle, PA.  This facility was designed to provide educational training and historical materials related to the history of the U.S. Army from its inception, during the Revolutionary War, to the present.

Photo credit: Bill Lites

Now I headed northeast another 25 miles on I-81 to visit the Pennsylvania National Fire Museum located in Harrisburg, PA.  This museum is located in the restored 1899 former Raily Hose Company No. 10 building and displays a unique collection of antique firefighting equipment including an 1804 Juniata hand-drawn engine, plus horse-drawn, and motorized fire engines and much more.

Photo Credit: https://www.facebook.com/Pennsylvania-National-Fire-Museum-114611048582302/

By now it was time to find the motel there in Harrisburg.  After I got checked in and got settled in my room, I relaxed and warmed up my leftover El Cazador Chili Verde from last night.  Ymmmmm!

Photo Credit: http://elcazadortaqueria.com/menu.php?cat=19&item=46&loc=5

—–To Be Continued—–

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 64 years in Titusville, Florida. He was born and raised in the Southwest, did a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy, attended Northrop University in Southern California and ended up working on America’s Manned Space Program for 35 years. He currently is retired and spends most of his time building and flying R/C model airplanes, traveling, writing blogs about his travels for Word Press and supporting his wife’s hobbies with framing, editing and marketing.  He also volunteers with a local church Car Care Ministry and as a tour guide at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum there in Titusville.  Bill has two wonderful children, two outstanding grandchildren, and a loving sister and her husband, all of whom also live in Central Florida, so he and DiVoran are rewarded by having family close to spend lots of quality time with.

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

Letters from Mother 17

20 Sep

My Take

DiVoran Lites

September 22, 1983

To answer your letter of 9-15-83, my goodness, that’s quite a while ago. Yes, we will probably buy one of those genealogy books. Ruth says I should send our pictures even though they should have been sent sooner.

It’s so good to be home. Everything was where I left it, and the house was clean. Even though the yard was good, it wasn’t great like Dad keeps it.

Yes, we had a good time as we all did last year when you came for the summer. I loved the printing and the church circle in the ladies homes, going to church in town, and visiting with my sister Judy who came for a week. She enjoyed it too. My friend Pauline who comes every year with her husband, came later, which made less strain of too many people to look after. Pauline likes to go off the island on Saturdays and buy children’s clothes at garage sales to take home to the children at an orphanage. 

 Ol Jake was here, but he brought his brother this year, and they cooked for themselves, so we didn’t have to feed anybody else.  When you were here, you asked your Dad if you could go out on the boat with him, and he said no because he didn’t want his daughter to hear Jake’s constant, colorful language.

Smithy’s wife doesn’t can food as so many on the island do, so she has more time for things she likes to do, such as her Avon cosmetic door-to-door business. I remember that you asked if you could go into the little house trailer full of products to look around. That was fun and got you a bit of alone time. 

My brother Smithy seems quite strong. Dad was the only one who suffered. He felt put-upon to do things, such as cleaning out the campground’s sewer system, especially when we paid rent. Also, Dad couldn’t catch crabs or fish because he didn’t have the 15 horsepower motor for the boat. It made him crabby too. 

Yes, the summer flew by. I was so glad to be happy after the emotional struggle I had about going. Some people love to travel, and some people are happier at home. I was ready to head for home by the time the summer was over.

I didn’t finish the big picture I’d been working on with my teacher. I guess I’ll have to finish alone. I’m a big girl now.

We’ve been using our A.C. some. The weather is sultry again. I’m getting embarrassed wearing my one pair of cotton shorts that I usually wear only in the house. I never wore them before, and now I’m 55 years old, too old, I think, but they sure do wear them in Florida. 

I guess your friend Marian is right; worrying about rejection just slows us down. 

Love you, your stationery, and your philosophical preachments. 

Mom

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.”

Friendship

19 Sep

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

Back in the early 1970’s we were living in San Antonio, Texas.  Great place to live.  We really loved it there – even considered living there when Fred retired from the U.S. Air Force.  However, that was not to be.

The Alamo-San Antonio, Texas Photo credit Judy Will

We were members of the First Baptist Church in downtown San Antonio from 1971-1974.  It was an “old” church – established in 1861.  It was, at the time we were there, the 15th largest in the nation.  This sanctuary was built in 1925, and completely remodeled and modernized in 1964.  We thoroughly enjoyed that church.  The first Sunday we visited there, we walked in and the feeling was…home

First Baptist Church, San Antonio, TX – from a post card

Since it was a quite large church – somewhere around 5,000 members – it was in the Sunday School, choir, and other groups where we got to know other members.  Janet was still in nursery age, but Karen was school age and old enough to sit in the worship service.  Since Fred and I were both in the choir, I found an older couple she could sit with.  She always found her way to the choir room to meet us following the service.  

One Sunday morning, just before Sunday School started, I was sitting next to an older woman I didn’t know.  She tapped the coloring book I had on my lap (for Karen to entertain herself quietly during the service), and said, “I know how you keep yourself awake during the preaching!”  We both laughed.

I later found out that she was the Senior Pastor’s wife!!  Oops!

One of the organizations within that body of believers, was a young women’s group that we called “Friendship.”  The idea was for each of us to find one international wife who spoke very little English and bring her to the church.  I must say that the only thing “churchy” about this entire program was the prayer we said before we had refreshments.  No preaching…no church teaching…just pure love and friendship.  

We had a one-on-one hour of teaching them English via the Laubach Method of teaching English as a second language.  It is a highly successful method, and even those of us who were not fully trained, could help someone learn the language.

Following the hour of English, we would have some time with refreshments and getting to know each other.  And then we would have another hour of arts and crafts.  We had an exercise class; we had art painting, etc. My specialty was teaching crocheting.  My girls each crocheted a shawl from yarn.  Most seemed to enjoy it.

It was a lovely experience, and one I have treasured.  San Antonio, being a very “military” city, has many international women married to our military men.  Some had never had occasion to attempt to learn English – and sometimes, the U.S. military husbands didn’t necessarily want their international wives to learn English.  But it did my heart good to know we provided that service.

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 Quick Trip

18 Sep

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

What a couple of weeks this has been. First my husband’s sinus infection that I worried was Covid, then a quick trip from North Carolina to Florida, which seems a little crazy since we have a late September road trip to prepare for.

But and it’s big….I love free and we were gifted a free one night stay in a family suite at a Disney World resort and we would get to spend some days with our daughter. Plus, since Covid, I have been building up a nice nest egg of credit card points that would pay for our food.

What I didn’t factor in was Florida heat in September. We were spoiled with the cool mountain temperatures.

Florida does not have fall. Well at least not until December.

We chose to visit our favorite park, EPCOT and arrived there around 12:30 pm. This is our first trip to Disney with a handicap parking pass. I am so glad my husband has one or we would have never made it into the park. I’m not sure if it was due to Covid or shortage of staff but the trams were not running. We had to take a lot of rest stops. I think my husband is now ready to accept a motorized scooter that was offered to him.

I enjoy the fabulous landscaping in all of the Disney parks. This trip I was surprised at the flower choices. Coleus in different colors were used liberally, accented with caladium, canna lily and penta. There were also plantings of flowers that reminded me of field flowers. They were all beautiful.

I forgot to mention that Disney World is limiting attendance at the parks and requires advance reservations for entrance. We were pleased to be able to reserve both the entrance and lunch in one of the country themed restaurants. We chose Germany. I had checked out the restaurants online and noted that the Biergarten Restaurant was currently serving an all inclusive buffet, minus alcohol. That was extra. With online check in using an app no lines were necessary and that was a plus. The Disney dining app even gave us a count down to check in time notification. That was quite helpful and we resting at a table with an umbrella after the walk to get near the restaurant.

Once our name was called, a funny thing happened. Our party and another one were booked for the same time and had the same first and last name! Only ours was a party of three and they were a party two. It took some paper shuffling for the cast members to straighten it out.

The meal was delicious. I enjoyed the beer and cheese soup and their version of Mac and Cheese. The desserts were yummy too. I filled a plate with one each of the desserts (they were small) and we tried them all. My husband enjoyed a couple of them so much he had to have his own slices. He is very sweet to let me share pictures of him with food.

Our sugar binge is over, done, history. For now.

The Biergarten also had entertainment. Here is a short clip. I imagine this would be a fun restaurant with a large group of friends or family. How do they manage to blow those long horns?

After lunch we received notification our resort room was ready. Once again, check in was done in the app so no line to wait in. It took us awhile to make it to the park exit. When we were close to the parking lot, our daughter went ahead and brought the car to pick us up.

We stayed at The Art of Animation. By the time we arrived there I was too hot and tired to take a photo of the outside. Our building theme was Cars, as in the movie, Cars and the room decor was cute. Along with a queen size bed, the suite had a queen Murphy bed that by day, masquerades as a table.

Thoughts about Covid and Disney. Masks are required at all indoor spaces and some people wore them outdoors as well. It was easy to be socially distant for us, but we did notice that people waiting in lines were not maintaining distance outside. Since I didn’t go into the buildings, I don’t know what it was like indoors. There were a couple of rides we would have enjoyed but we decided to pass on them at this time.Except for the area around Mexico (which I am pretty sure was because people were trying to find a way to get a cold Margarita) we didn’t feel crowded. In the evening, we visited Disney Springs, the restaurant and shopping district. Masks were worn outside there, more so than in the park.

This trip was planned several months ago. The morning after arriving in Florida, we learned our son in North Carolina had Covid and was admitted to hospital and was placed on a vent. We were scared. I cried a lot the first day. Yet I was thankful to be in Florida with our daughter so that we could face this together. So we could pray together. He was in a small local hospital and they were looking for an ICU bed for him in a large facility. We prayed for that bed, thinking he would go to Mission Hospital in Asheville. We were kind of stunned when we learned he was transferred by air flight over 280 miles to Duke University Hospital in North Carolina. The number one hospital in the state. I am thankful God’s ways and thoughts are higher than mine. Yesterday was 10 days on a vent and the reports had been up and down. Then we received the call. Our son was off the vent, breathing on his own and talking. We almost had church in the parking lot of Sam’s Club. His wife is going to be allowed to visit him soon and that will be good medicine for both of them.

Our son may have a long recovery ahead and we will continue to pray and give thanks. Through all of this, we have been blessed with comfort that for us, can only come from God. One of my favorite passages in the Old Testament is about the twelve spies sent to check out the Promised land. Ten of them returned saying no way, no how. Those dudes are big. But two, Joshua and Caleb said yes they are but our God is bigger. The Israelites went with the opinion of the 10 and that didn’t turn out too well. A month ago, I made a magnet for my refrigerator that reads, “The Israelites saw giants but Caleb and Joshua saw God.” Daily and sometimes, minute by minute I prayed, “The doctors see Covid Pneumonia but I see God.” That was my comfort, is my comfort and it is available to everyone.

My final thought. I am trusting that our son will recover completely. I grieve for the many, many who have lost people they love to this horrid virus. I like this verse in Romans12:15

Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.

May our days soon be filled with more rejoicing and less mourning due to this virus.

I'm a winner

After my retirement, I decided to re-learn the canning and preserving skills I learned from my mother but hadn’t practiced for twenty years. I titled the blog Old Things R New to chronicle my experience.  Since then I have been blessed to have six other bloggers join me, DiVoran Lites, Bill Lites,  Judy Wills, Louise Gibson, Janet Perez Eckles and Melody Hendrix

In addition to blogging, I work as the publicist/marketer/ amateur editor and general  “mom Friday” for my author daughter, Rebekah Lyn. I also manage her website, Rebekah Lyn Books  

My 2021 goal is continue touse my love of photographs and words to be an encourager on social media. You can visit Real Life Books and Media You Tube Channel if you would like to view some of the mini-videos I have created for our church, Gateway Community in Titusville, Fl.

2021 Mid-Eastern Road Trip Part 5A

15 Sep

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Day 5 – 7/16/2021

This morning I headed northeast, from Roanoke, on I-581 & I-81 toward Staunton, VA.  About 55 miles up the road I stopped to visit the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) Museum located in Lexington, VA.  This museum and its 15,000-artifact collection are dedicated to the history of the first state sponsored military college (1839) and its alumni.  Founded in 1856 by then Superintendent Francis H. Smith, the museum now resides in the Jackson Memorial Hall there on the VMI campus.  I passed up a cadet guided tour as it didn’t start for another two hours.

Photo Credit: https://www.vmi.edu/

I continued north on I-81 another 35 miles to visit the Jumbo Antique Fire Engine Museum located in Staunton, VA.  This museum is located in the Staunton Fire & Rescue Station #1 and has the distinction of displaying the oldest motorized Robinson Fire Engine (1911) in Virigina along with other firefighting artifacts and exhibits dating from the early 1800s.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

Before leaving Staunton, it was only a few blocks to where I visited The Camera Heritage Museum.  This small museum displays a unique collection of antique cameras and camera equipment dating from the early 19th century to the present.  Many of the cameras were used by well-known personalities, which makes their history even more interesting.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

Now I headed northeast about 10 miles on US-11 to visit the Augusta Military Academy (AMA) Museum located in Fort Defiance, VA.  The museum is housed in the original 1869 home of Charles S. Roller and displays artifacts and representations of 1800s AMA cadet life as well as the accomplishments of many of the AMA alumni. 

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

I continued northeast another 10 miles on US-11 & I-81 to visit the Harrisonburg Fire Department Museum located in Harrisonburg, VA but neither Greta (my Garmin) nor I could find the museum.  Not too far down the street I tried to visit the Virginia Quilt Museum, there in Harrisonburg, but it was closed.  It was too warm for a quilt today anyway.  Ha!

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

As I was leaving Harrisonburg this historical marker caught my eye and I had to stop for a photo.  After reading the marker, I was shocked and amazed at the story it told.  As it turns out, the barn of Mr. Henry Sipe, a prominent Rockingham County citizen, was burned down on February 28, 1878, and Charlotte Harris, a black woman, was accused of instigating the deed.  After being apprehended, Harris was given a preliminary hearing, before local magistrates, and was ordered taken to the county jail in Harrisonburg, 15 miles away, for trial. That night an angry mob of armed local citizens stormeded the building where Harris was being held, dragged her out of town and hanged her.  Not the kind of thing I would think a town would be proud of, much less prominently display on a historical marker there on Main street.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

Now I continued northeast another 20 miles on I-81, to visit the Virginia Museum of the Civil War located at the New Market Battlefield State Historical Park in New Market, VA.  This museum sits in the middle of what was the New Market battlefield and displays historical artifacts and assorted memorabilia related to that famous 1864 battle.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

Next on my list of places to visit in this area was the Route 11 Potato Chip Factory located another 10 miles northeast on US-11 in Mt. Jackson, VA.  I got a quick tour of the factory and was surprised to learn that they only got about 10 pounds of chips out of every 100 pounds of potatoes they processed.  The free sample I selected to munch on was their Onion & Chives flavored brand.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

—–To Be Continued—–

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 64 years in Titusville, Florida. He was born and raised in the Southwest, did a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy, attended Northrop University in Southern California and ended up working on America’s Manned Space Program for 35 years. He currently is retired and spends most of his time building and flying R/C model airplanes, traveling, writing blogs about his travels for Word Press and supporting his wife’s hobbies with framing, editing and marketing.  He also volunteers with a local church Car Care Ministry and as a tour guide at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum there in Titusville.  Bill has two wonderful children, two outstanding grandchildren, and a loving sister and her husband, all of whom also live in Central Florida, so he and DiVoran are rewarded by having family close to spend lots of quality time with.

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

Letters from Mother Part 16

13 Sep

My Take

DiVoran Lites

September 21, 1983

Last week we went to Dave’s on Wednesday to get the boat and motor on its way home. Lowell and Helen came here on Saturday and spent the weekend with us. She is a nice lady, and we enjoyed her. I was kind of tired, though. It seems like we had been with folks and doing things for a long time.

Ivan and Lowell, Brothers as young men 

Helen has been a widow for twenty-two years, making her living and socializing with other businesswomen. She says this is a whole new life for her. She’s trying hard to please Lowell, waits on him, worries about him, and even hopes to make him look better with a diet. She would marry him in a minute, I think, but he’s running scared and peeks out like a little rabbit, as Dad says. My neighbor, Ruth, said they should live together for a year because people change after six months of living together. Ruth is divorced, while Lowell lost his wife to cancer. 

I hope he goes slow. They both have a lot of adjusting to do. 

Baking a Cake-Photo credit Pixabay

                                                                                            

I’ve gotten myself in trouble a couple of times lately. Ruth brought me a gift-it was a chain cake-I think that’s what it is called. You take some sourdough or raised dough starter, something like that, in a bowl and the recipe and give it to a friend. It rises for seven days, during which time you add sugar and stuff. On the last day, you bake it for forty-five minutes in a Bundt pan, and it’s like a fruit cake. I told her I didn’t want it because I couldn’t remember to do all that stuff for seven days. (Besides, what if I got a cake from everyone? Ha! Ha!). She was surprised at my refusal, but we’re still friends.

Photo credit Pixabay

                                                                    

Then yesterday, I helped with the opportunity table at the Church Woman’s Association luncheon, and when I saw two idols on the table, bells went off in my head; I got goosebumps and went to the leader I was working with. I said, “Those idols have got to go; we can’t have them for sale at a church bazaar. Who do you suppose brought them in?”

 Well, she whisked them into a shoebox and placed it face down on a bench. It seems her husband had brought them to her from Korea years ago, and she had wanted to get rid of them ever since. That’s the way it is with Christians because our guide, the Bible, says not to worship idols, and we take that to mean not to have them around.  The devil loves them. We don’t.  

Last week, when we went to David’s to get the boat and trailer, it had fallen, and it took the men twenty-two hours of labor and one hundred dollars worth of parts to get the boat and motor on its way home. 


That’s all for now, folks.

Love,

Mom

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-Trips to Italy Part 5 B

12 Sep

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

Still thinking about our trips to Pisa, Italy…

We still concentrated our visit to Pisa on the Cathedral and it’s Leaning Tower.

The Cathedral with the Leaning Tower (bell tower) Picture by Fred Wills

I’ve mentioned previously that we stopped in a shop in Pisa that specialized in marble, alabaster, and “composition” figurines.  Here are pictures from a brochure from that very shop.

Last time I presented pictures of the marble lampstands we purchased,

as well as the composition tumbling angels, 

and the composition figures of Moses and the discus thrower.  

Here is a picture of some alabaster “fruit” they had. 

We have enjoyed all these things, ever since 1968.

I noticed in the brochure that they had marble stands that look very much like the one I inherited from my Aunt Jessie.  However, I KNOW she never went to Italy, and am not sure where she acquired hers.  She had it a long time – as here is a picture of her in 1949 standing by it in her house in San Antonio, Texas, 

and another of her living room in Albuquerque in 1954.

And here it is in our living room, in Orlando, Florida.

Wikipedia also states that there are several medieval palaces in Pisa.  Wow did we miss a lot!  I don’t remember visiting any palaces in Pisa!  

Also from Wikipedia:   Pisa was the birthplace of the important early physicist Galileo Galilei. It is still the seat of an archbishopric. Besides its educational institutions, it has become a light industrial centre and a railway hub. It suffered repeated destruction during World War II.

Since the early 1950s, the US Army has maintained Camp Darby just outside Pisa, which is used by many US military personnel as a base for vacations in the area.

I believe we stayed on Camp Darby when we visited Pisa.  It was a nice place to “base” our explorations of the area.

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

Judy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years .

  Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing. Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.

After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins as well as a great-grandson. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

Five Promises to Keep You Secure

11 Sep

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

Reblogged September 11, 2021

September 10, 2021

We can’t blame him. At one time or another, you and I did it, too. And sometimes we can’t even figure it out. Was it simply a shortcoming? Was it jealousy, envy or sorry self-pity?

This scenario plays out in the prodigal son’s story. We all know it. One day he packed foolishness in his suitcase and took off to relish in a wild life.

Eventually, life wasn’t pretty anymore. And like most of us, when life tastes bad, we want to go back to what we had before.

That’s what the prodigal son did. He went back home, remorse weighed heavy in his heart. And when his father saw him coming, he dashed to meet him. He kissed him and called for a celebration.

But not everyone gave him a cheery welcome. His older brother pouted. In his heart and mind his resentment might have repeated, “not fair, it’s just not fair.” In Luke 15:31 the older brother reminds his father how he was the good son, stayed by his side, worked and obeyed him. But there were no celebrations for his efforts. And now that the foolish brother comes back, a party is being prepared. Not fair.

You’ve been there, haven’t you?

You see others being celebrated with blessings. They seem to have an easy life. They have no problems compared to you. Unlike you, they don’t even serve the Lord, yet they live untouched by troubles.

Sometimes we can’t resist the temptation to scratch our heads and complain. “God, you celebrate their lives with good things, why is mine sorrow-filled instead?”

To this good question, the Father gives the answer. It’s filled with profound wisdom. And within it, He brings down the walls of self-pity and shakes out all traces of the poor-me attitude. “’My son,’ the father answered, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours.’” (Luke 15:31)

What God Offers

Is God saying that to us too? Can all that God has and offers be ours too? When we see what we’re missing. When we focus on what others have and feel we have nothing at all, God hears our heart. With His fingertip, He lifts our chin and says, “But all I have is yours.”

Those are God’s words that should echo in our soul. And because we receive, believe and embrace what He offers, our security is solid and our confidence firm.

And even when the craziness of this world turns to the chaos that robs our security, God reminds us of His love-filled reassurance, His promises and direction. In them is the secret of our security that transcends headlines, social media postings and shouts from dark places. We silence them all with His reassuring truths:

  1. God’s help. “So, we can say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper, so, I will have no fear.” (Hebrews 13:6) Lord, when You are our helper, we can conquer mountains, bring down walls of anxiety and delight in the truth that You already overcame the world.
  2. God’s guidance. “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.” Psalm 119:105 In the darkness of the unknown, I trust the light you shine for each step I take. I walk confidently under the light of Your secure guidance.
  3. God’s strength. “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10) Lord, with Your promise that You will strengthen and sustain me, my tears stop, my doubt leaves and my worry ends.
  4. God’s security. “… neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38) Lord, nestled in Your love, I can sleep with peace in my heart, with confidence in my thoughts and with expectation in my soul.
  5. God’s protection. “’Because of the oppression of the weak and the groaning of the needy, I will now arise,’ says the LORD. ‘I will protect them from those who malign them.’” (Psalm 12:5) Lord, many seem set out to hurt us, to oppress our values, and harm us, but You are our defender. You are our shield and strong tower to guard us.

Let’s Pray

Father, today is the day I will recognize what You have for me. I will receive the reassurance, the confidence and the security that is found in You. I embrace it to face any attacks, to remove mountains of fear and to restore the peace within me. In Jesus’ name.

What threatens your security today?

Janet

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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: 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

2021 Mid-Eastern Road Trip Part 4B

8 Sep

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Day 4 – 7/15/2021 (Continued)

Leaving Burlington, NC I headed north on US-87 toward Roanoke, VA.  On the way I crossed the border and stopped in Ridgeway, VA long enough to take a photo of the famous Martinsville Speedway.  Built in 1947, this ½ -mile oval track is home to the NASCAR Cup Series races and is referred to as “The Paper Clip” by many drivers.  I’ve watched a lot of NASCAR races that have taken place at that track, over the years, and wanted to at least be able to say I saw the track.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

Another 10 miles north on US-220 I visited the Rucker’s Antique Emporium located in Martinsville, VA.  I wanted to check-out the Telephone & Telecommunications Museum which I was told was on the 2nd floor of the Emporium.  This museum uses antique artifacts displayed to allows visitors to walk thru the history of the telephone and other telecommunication devices dating from the early 1800s to the present.

Photo Credit: https://didyouknowscience.com/top-technology-breakhroughs-in-the-1800s/  

Now it was another 50 miles north on US-220 to visit the Virginia Museum of Transportation located in Roanoke, VA.  This large museum is housed in the old 1918 Norfolk & Western Railway freight depot and displays many 1940s era steam locomotives and other rolling stock.  The museum also has on display several restored 1800s antique cars, in addition to the Big Lick; a 1940s era passenger station replica and much more.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

Just a few blocks away I visited the O. Winston Link Museum, there in Roanoke.  This small museum is located in the restored 1852 Norfolk & Western Railway passenger station and displays the photographic works of Winston Link, who is said to be considered the 20th century master railroad photographer.  His railroad themed photographs are nationally known and have appeared in many books and magazines over the years.

Photo Credit: https://hddsite1.com/

In another few blocks, there in downtown Roanoke, I visited the Virginian Station which is the old 1909 Roanoke Passenger Station.   Renovated after a fire in 2001, the station now displays historical exhibits, artifacts, and memorabilia as they relate to the influence 

of the Virginian Railway Line on the early city of Roanoke and the surrounding Roanoke Valley area.  Passenger service from this station was terminated in 1956.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

Before leaving downtown Roanoke I stopped to check-out the Roanoke Pinball Museum located at #1 Market Street, in the Market Center, on the 2nd floor of the Center in the Square building.  This museum has 60 fully playable pinball machines and other interactive displays dating from the 1930s to the present.  And yes, I remember spending a lot of time playing pinball machines as a teenager.  But Snooker was really my game of choice.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

I was running out of daylight, and by now it was time to locate my motel, there in Roanoke, and get checked.  Once I got everything in my motel room, I ask the motel clerk for restaurant recommendations close by and he said he liked the El Cazador Mexican Restaurant down the street.  I had their Chili Verde plate with Spanish rice and refried beans.  It was wonderful, and I had enough left over for tomorrow night.

Photo Credit: http://elcazadortaqueria.com/menu.php?cat=19&item=46&loc=5

—–To Be Continued—–

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 64 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

Just a Little Talk with Jesus

7 Sep

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

Of late, I have been singing myself to sleep with the song “Just a Little Talk with Jesus” One of the many seeds of faith planted in my child heart that now sustains me as our child faces a difficult decision. Oh parents, isn’t it the hardest when we have to stand by while our child struggles?

Isaiah 55:11 is a frequent verse that I have often associated with those turning away from God, praise God it also means the seeds of His truth planted in our hearts will not be lost, but will grow. They will multiply. They sustain me.

So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

I have precious memories of my family and my mother’s sister’s family singing this song. My uncle Connie could really hit the low notes. My dad sang tenor and played guitar, mom added her unbelievably beautiful alto and my aunt Della her clear, high soprano. How I wish we had the modern recording abilities then, but memories live beyond every new technology.

I listened to two versions of the song on You Tube. One with Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis and Johnny Cash The other an unknown to me group of African A Capella singers, Jehovah Shalom A Capella. The celebrity rendition was snappy and upbeat but I loved the smiles and blending voices of the African singers.

The days we are living in are hard and some days hope seems to have vanished. Even friends who have remained positive during the season are weary. I am weary. And yes, there is a song from my childhood for that. Come Unto Me. To keep my mind from dwelling on the negative I try to fill my mind and heart with God’s peace.

When churches were closed, so many went online and that has been a huge blessing to me! I regularly watch First Baptist Orlando. The pastor, Dr.David Uth is kind and loving and teaches in an easy to understand manner. The congregation is diverse and the church cares about the community and devotes time and money to it. The singing is wonderful. The 8:30 service music is a blend of traditional and contemporary and I enjoy it. The old songs soothe my heart and the newer ones lift it!

My Florida home church, Gateway Community is also online. The pastor, Clay Stephens is totally different from David Uth but they both love and serve God and although both can be called Doctor, neither uses the title. We call ours, Pastor Clay. He doesn’t have the smooth delivery of many, I am 100% positive the man has serious ADHD but a pastor doesn’t have to be perfect to serve God. Our small church is blessed to call him pastor. He is currently doing a series on Revelations available on You Tube. I have heard this preached many times but I appreciate that Clay admits to not having all the answers.Each week he stresses God’s love for all through the difficult times. Although, unlike the Orlando church we are small, we operate a food pantry to assist our neighbors.

All of the above to say, there is hope and there is peace to be found. You don’t have to venture into a church to find it. You are not alone and you are loved.

I'm a winner

After my retirement, I decided to re-learn the canning and preserving skills I learned from my mother but hadn’t practiced for twenty years. I titled the blog Old Things R New to chronicle my experience.  Since then I have been blessed to have six other bloggers join me, DiVoran Lites, Bill Lites,  Judy Wills, Louise Gibson, Janet Perez Eckles and Melody Hendrix

In addition to blogging, I work as the publicist/marketer/ amateur editor and general  “mom Friday” for my author daughter, Rebekah Lyn. I also manage her website, Rebekah Lyn Books  

My 2021 goal is continue touse my love of photographs and words to be an encourager on social media. You can visit Real Life Books and Media You Tube Channel if you would like to view some of the mini-videos I have created for our church, Gateway Community in Titusville, Fl.

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