What Did You Say?

11 Feb

My Take

DiVoran Lites


Bill and I kept up with a lot of changes in American English for most of our lives, but now we feel we may be slipping behind. Sometimes younger people look at us as if they have no clue what we’re talking about.

When we were in Colorado a few years ago with our grown children our daughter asked why everyone was saying Back East when referring to the whole East Coast of the U. S. I gave that some thought and remembered hearing Out West once we had moved to Florida. Bill and I have lived on both coasts so we have a mixture of ways to say things. We try to stick with the jargon of the place where we live. It would be hard to go Out West again and be understood because we’ve been Back East for 52 years.

I told my daughter that BackEast was where almost everyone came from in the olden days. Ranchers and sheepherders, gold prospectors, and movie stars migrated west and so Back East was looked upon as a sort of original home.

My mother would say a few words and then warn me not to use them because they’d betray my common background. At night when we went to sleep she said, “Goodnight, sleep tight, don’t let the bed-bugs bite.”  I thought that was a funny poem but when I said it once she told me it wasn’t really a nice thing to say. Another word she didn’t want me to use was: do’less. To me, that is a perfect word. It means you don’t feel like doing any work or patching of clothes which was thought of as rest.



Speaking of work, over the years I read a lot of British fiction and watched Masterpiece Theater offerings. I’ve been putting two and two together about my ancestors and got to thinking my ancestors were indeed just common down to earth folks. I know they were farmers and store-keepers, janitors, and embroiderers. My own closest grandmother was a hair-dresser with a bedroom that had a separate entrance. That was her beauty shop. She and Granddaddy bought a Victorian house and made it into an apartment house with the family living downstairs. Granddad was a guard at the Colorado State Penitentiary, a very dear man. When I went to visit I got to know all the boarders, one of which was an older deaf woman. She would give me sign-language lessons when I went up to see her.





I was a bit of a pill, but Grandmother really did love me. The hand on my arm, however,isn’t affection it is restraint.



During World War II, Mother, my brother and I lived in the biggest of the three apartments while dad was in the infantry in Europe. Thank the Lord he did come back and nothing was hurt except his night-dreams which would wake him up screaming.



My other grandmother was widowed by then. She and her sister worked at the Brown Hotel in Denver as chambermaids and lived on the top floor in a small room. She died when I was seven and my mother cried for a week.



This is my mother’s dad, her Aunt Vera, my mother at 4, her mother and Grandma Hunter, the matriarch of the family. I love this picture.


Our mother and father at Grandmother’s house.

Over the years watching all those British dramas I came to imagine that some of my grandmothers, were maids in the big houses. Perhaps the men were stable men and gardeners.



Notice the shovel my great-grandfather had. He must have been a funny man. Our grandfather is the fifth from the left. To me,he resembles Prince Charles.

In imagination, when I see a young woman on screen walking across the hills to become a scullery maid and to have her bed in the turrets of the house while working up to parlor maid I am glad I don’t have to do any of that. Back East or out West or over the seas, I am who I am and I enjoy my background make-believe immensely.




We enjoy talking with folks our own age because they understand our meaning. The younger people in the family are lots of fun too. They understand our hearts. Whatever people say, one of the very best things in the world is having a family. Thank you, Lord for family then and now.

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.”

3 Responses to “What Did You Say?”

  1. Onisha Ellis February 11, 2019 at 10:05 pm #

    The pictures are fabulous! I do so enjoy the stories of earlier times.


  2. ludyja February 11, 2019 at 9:36 am #

    I really enjoy all the stories about our ancestors. Perhaps because I’m getting up there in years, myself, that I feel closer to them. But this is a fun story. With thanks and love.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Daniel Kemp February 11, 2019 at 5:40 am #

    A lovely article to read.

    Liked by 1 person

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