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Learn My Word

18 Sep

Learn My Word

Proverbs 4:20-22

Paraphrase by DiVoran Lites

 

Learn From my Words

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Fatih and Thanksgiving

11 Sep

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According to My Purpose

4 Sep

No Anxious Thought

28 Aug

 

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My Lambs

21 Aug

Not an Angry God

14 Aug

Comforter

by

DiVoran Lites

 

Give Us Wisdom

7 Aug

My Take

DiVoran Lites

 

 

 

My Hair and Mrs. Hibbs

31 Jul

My Take

DiVoran Bowers Lites

 

 

Our fourth-grade teacher, Mrs. Hibbs, stands up front talking. I’m not listening. I’ve had a sudden urge to comb my hair so I lift the desk lid and scramble for a comb. Mrs. Hibbs hesitates, but when she sees me begin to try to get the tangles out of my long brown hair she proceeds with the lesson. I’ll never know why she let me do that. I guess she saw as well as anyone that it had to be done.

Mother had tried for years to get me to hold still long enough for her to comb my hair. We didn’t use brushes, though she had a fancy one on her dresser. The trouble was that Mother was almost always in a hurry now that she and dad owned a bar and restaurant. She put on her pristine white waitress uniform and got there at 6:00 A. M. to serve breakfast, mostly to the other shop-keepers of the town, and a stray fisherman getting a late start. Mrs. McGregor was in the kitchen filling the air with smells of frying bacon and making her famous pancakes. Dad stayed home and slept off his night shift of serving the drinks and chatting with the regulars who valued his counsel.

Whenever mother combed my hair she tried to pull the tangles out with the comb and it hurt. Her mother, my white-haired grandmother was softer and easier and she never hurt me, but she died when I was only seven. I still had another grandmother, though, and she was a professional beauty operator with her own shop. Whenever we went to her town she took care of my hair. I didn’t like that either, especially the machine permanent waves.

So here I was in the schoolroom with the sun shining in my eyes from the window and Mrs. Hibbs soft voice coming into my ears. Separating strands of hair took a long time. Mrs. Hibbs held steady. She was allowing me to do something that she saw needed doing. Overall, I think I was something of a poor learner, but it was obvious from her steady patience and kindness that even though she never had children of her own she loved us and understood us all, even enough to bend the rules when they needed to be bent. Due to her indulgence, I was able to run a comb my hair. I never let it get tangled again.

 

 

 

Gone Fishin’

24 Jul

My Take

DiVoran Bowers Lites

 

Photo from Pinterest

 

My dad learned to fish from his dad. He loved it the best of all recreations. The first fishing trip I recall going on with dad was when we lived in Westcliffe, Colorado. We had a little restaurant and bar on Main Street called Min’s Café.

One early fall, Mother and Dad closed the restaurant and we went up into the Sangre de Cristo Range to fish in a creek. We drove our black 1946 Ford two-door car to about 9,000 feet elevation. We took a tent, fishing gear, and an aluminum set of pots, pans, and flatware that all fit together in a cozy kettle.

It wasn’t far, so we arrived early in the day and found ourselves in a high meadow. Dandelions with their green leaves grew all around, some of the flowers were yellow, and some were dressed in white fluff. The air was cool and fragrant. Grasses along the creek had begun to change colors. As soon as the tent was set up Dad took my brother and I down to the creek to start fishing. Our poles had two hooks each so we’d have a chance to catch more rainbow trout and more browns. Dad thought that since I was such a big girl I ought to be able to thread the worms he’d brought along onto the hooks. They were wiggly and squishy and I didn’t like doing it one bit, because I knew it had to hurt them. Dad was proud of me for doing it, though, so I was proud, too. He wanted us both to learn to enjoy his favorite sport. Dad and my brother went to fish further up the creek. Mother was resting in the car after a long week of working in the café. Feeling lazy, I released the fishing line into the creek in a quiet place and propped the rod against the bank with rocks. I then crawled into the tent and picked up my Nancy Drew mystery from the library. Reading was already my favorite recreation. Before I got through even one chapter I heard a commotion outside and crawled out of the tent to see what was going on. Dad and my brother were waiting for me. Holding up my fishing pole to show me that I had caught a fish on each hook. Wow, was I ever satisfied with my talent for fishing. Dad took them off the hook for me, thank Heaven. We put them in the creel, then Dad and brother went back to fish for our supper. Mother was ready to pick dandelion greens and wanted me to help her. I had never heard of such a thing as eating dandelion leaves before, but she said said Auntie Elvira had taught her in Camp Fire girls when she was younger.

After we picked a batch of green and started them cooking in the kettle, mother gave me a bar of soap and told me to wash my hands. I got down as close as I could to the water and put my hands in holding the soap. Whoosh, the creek took it, and it was gone. I went back to tell Mother and she was understanding about it. “Oh, well,” says she, “we’ll just have to wash our hands with sand.”

Dad had brother and I watch him clean the fish so we’d know how to clean our own next time. I’ve never had to do it, but I can see clearly in mind mind’s eye how he slashed it from the bottom of the belly to the gills and pulled out the guts. It was pretty cool and then after it was fried in cornmeal in a skillet over the camp stove dad taught us how to get the bones out. We started at the tail, got hold of the inner skeleton and pulled all up together. We then pulled that from the side and had two clean sides.

During supper, my brother kept casting bright-eyed glances at my dad. Did they have a secret? What could it be? I would find out one way or another.

As I was finishing my canned peaches for dessert I looked up and saw that gentle snowflakes were wafting down. I’d never seen it snow in summer

Later on when no one was looking I got my brother in a headlock and made him tell. Did I mention he was younger and smaller?

Anyhow he talked. He said that after he and dad had caught a few, they sneaked in and put a couple on my hooks. “That’s what you get for readin’ when you’re supposed to be fishin’” my brother said. He then ran away. I gave chase, but I never caught him. Did I mention that he was swifter a well?

 

 

One Tough Chick

17 Jul

My Take

DiVoran Lites

 

After an illustration by Avanti Cards

 

Mothers and grandmothers are tough. I’ve received two of the same card over the years, one from our son, Billy, and one from my sister-in-law, Judy. The picture on the front shows a stocky little old lady, like me, in jeans and a plaid shirt. She wears a string of pearls that match her white hair, and holds the handles of a jackhammer over broken cement. The inside caption says, “Motherhood…it’s not for sissies! Happy Mother’s Day”

At church one day, a few years ago, I talked to some women about giving them frozen chickens from my freezer. They weren’t mine, a friend from another church asked me to store them. Then the church didn’t need them back, after all. My friend, Paula, who had two hip replacements–with her daughter’s help– hauled ten pound bags of dressed chickens from their car to friends’ doors, including mine. Paula is tough.

The first person I approached, our pastor’s wife, said she could take four. Rachel, is the perfect picture of the Proverbs 31 woman. She entertains with dinners for six, takes casseroles to anyone who needs them, takes care of old people, acts as peace-maker in the church, keeps family and church books, and sees that the church is scrupulously clean. She ministers to broken hearts and counsels people on marriage and children. She teaches Bible classes, and dresses beautifully. Rachel is tough.

I talked to Lila about the three remaining chickens. Lila, a woman with great style was probably once wealthy. Judging by her gentleness, she may at one time have been a Flower Child. Now, she and her family are quite poor. Eight of them live together in one house. While Lila’s daughter, is in re-hab for drug addiction, Lila and her husband care for three very rowdy grandsons and a new baby granddaughter. Lila and her husband do everything they can to keep the family fed and cared for. She also has accumulated ten cats and a dog. Lila is a sweet Christian woman. She goes out of her way to extend love to everyone including the next door neighbor who hates them all. Lila is tough.

While Lila and I were in the church kitchen talking about chickens, Lila picked up a large ant with her fingers. She turned to put it outside, but it ran up her arm and fell to the floor. While she was looking for it, Rachel came into the kitchen, saw the ant and stepped on it.

“I was going to put it someplace else,” Lila said softly.

“It is someplace else,” said Rachel, in her what’s next voice.+

We three women, standing in the small church kitchen, went back to talking about chickens. We had all cut up chickens, but we had not all cleaned or plucked them. Of course, Rachel had. She was reared in a coal mining town where you had to be practical or starve.

When I was a child many people kept chickens in their back yard even in town. I remembered my grandparents chose a chicken from their coop for supper one day. It was still early in the day as it took a while to prepare it for cooking. I was there when Granddad axed off the head. Suddenly the headless chicken got away and started running all over the back yard leaving splashes of blood in the grass. I was only five years old, and started laughing. Shocked, grandmother hushed me and got me out of the way. When the chicken collapsed, Grandmother picked up the now still carcass and pulled out all the big feathers. At some point she gutted it, saving the heart and gizzard, which were considered delicacies. She then put the bird into a cauldron of boiling water to loosen the tiny pin feathers. At last it was all done and grandmother took it into the kitchen to boil it and serve it with chicken and noodles. That’s one of my favorite dishes to this day, don’t ask me why. Grandmother was tough.

Lila said she had never cleaned a chicken, but she had cleaned fish. I had too, since my dad was a fisherman. She said she had to clean a rabbit once. (Cleaning means taking out the insides). She didn’t know how so she pretended it was a fish and did fine.

Rachel said she killed, plucked, and cleaned ten chickens and cooked them all in one day.

So I must say again, women are tough and I’m glad I get to be one.

Judy is tough too. I don’t know how she feels about chickens, though, I just know you’ve got to be mighty tough to be the wife of a military man.

“A capable, intelligent and virtuous woman, who is he who can find her? She is far more precious than jewels, and her value is far above rubies or pearls.” Proverbs 31:10

 

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