21 Sep

My Take

DiVoran Lites


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.


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.”

One Response to “Transplants”

  1. Bonnie Anderson September 23, 2020 at 10:09 am #

    I love this story. When my husband and I moved to the Orlando area in 1976, I was shocked at sheer size of the palmetto bugs. It wasn’t until we built a house in what had been an old cow pasture but was then a new neighborhood, that we discovered the frogs – that was 1983. Or they discovered us. They are no friends of mine and if I had been your friend who had the frog plop on his head, it would have been all over! I have had to learn to co-exist with them, but sadly, as you probably know, the invasive Cuban frogs have been eating all of our local green tree frogs. Now, strangely, I miss the little guys. My husband and I have declared war on the invaders, but it doesn’t look like we’re going to win. I love Florida and really enjoyed your article.


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