Archive by Author

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

 

My Blog Tour

13 Jul

My Take

DiVoran Lites

 

Who would have thought I’d be doing a “blog tour?” Do you know what that is? I didn’t until recently. It’s where you are interviewed on blogs like this one about books you have written. The company who is managing the tour, Orchestrating  Your Blog Tour, created this graphic for the tour.

 

 

I’ve enjoyed getting ready for it. I like writing down answers to an interview rather than speaking them into a microphone with the possibility that I might have to defend something I’ve said.

I’ve had some adventures during this time of publishing Go West. We in the business of writing romances call my type Sweet Historical Romances (which means clean).

    1. I’ve met other authors on-line who write in various genres and become friends on Face Book. The group I’m interfacing with now is called, “Pioneer Hearts.” If you write historical romances, you can join too. I’ve noticed all kinds of groups on Face Book. I didn’t know how many I was beginning to accumulate. Well, really only three. I now belong to, “Pioneer Hearts,” “Christian Poets and Writers,” and “Artists Journal Workshop,” You could probably also find new friends who like what you like.
    2. I’ve been inspired to get back in touch with the Center for Journal Therapy where I learned to journal in ways that have helped me for decades. Though it is not overtly Christian, the book, “Journal to the Self,” opened up new freedoms in prayer and understanding and now I’m signed up for a class called, “Capturing Your Family Stories.” It sounds fascinating. I can hardly wait! Hey, maybe they’re on Face Book, too.
    3. I have learned how much it really means to have my books read and appreciated. I know reading Go West will be quick in comparison with writing it. Writing resembles cooking an elaborate meal that takes a long, careful time to prepare. But still, I’ll enjoy having it in print and on Kindle at Amazon and here at home. One of my childhood dreams was to have a book on a library shelf. Now three of my books live at our public library system here at home, and in the Orlando Library system, too. Dreams can be fulfilled, thanks to a tremendous amount of help from Our Lord and wonderful people like my family and friends, old and new. Bless you.

 

If you would like, head over to Rebekah Lyn Books and enter to win one of five prizes I am giving away to celebrate Go West. The art cards are a limited edition I painted just for this giveaway!

 

Old Hat, New Look

10 Jul

My Take

DiVoran Lites

 

Onisha saw my post on Facebook about my new novel, Go West and said I should use it as my post for today. I am busy this week with a virtual blog tour. More on that on Thursday or you can hop over to Rebekah Lyn Books to get in on the tour and giveaway.

 

Photo by Melody Hendrix

 

Here’s the picture on the back of my new novel, Go West.  This is Bill’s cowboy hat, everyone in the family has worn it at one time or another. In this case it represents my “sweet” Historical Western Romance. I loved writing the book. You can get it from Amazon. I hope you’ll love reading it.

 

 

 

 

31 Days of God’s Comfort~Day 31

3 Jul

Painting and paraphrase by DiVoran Lites

 

Day 31

Supply

Isaiah 41:10

 

Beloved,

Come let us talk reasonably together.

You need not evade or hide.

I know you and love you.

I am not angry with you.

At one time, your sins were like scarlet,

But now you are as white as snow.

Don’t be afraid to approach Me with anything.

Look for answers in My word.

Study My word and you’ll know my will.

31 Days of God’s Comfort~Day 30

26 Jun

Painting and paraphrase by DiVoran Lites

 

 

Day 30

Acts 20:24

Generosity

 

Beloved,

What matters now is the job

Jesus gave you of radiating My

Incredible generosity

And extravagant caring.

I have designed you as a chalice

To carry My Kingdom to friends and family.

I want you to experience good health,

Right-thinking, peace and joy.

My Dad Could do Just About Anything

12 Jun

My Take

DiVoran Bowers Lites

 

 

Author, Poet and ArtistIf my dad were still with us, he would be 102 years old this month. I’m glad for him that he is in Heaven. Life is easier there than on earth. Now that I am older and wiser, and I believe I could understand him better, I’d like to have a visit with him

Dad always worked hard at whatever job he had. Some of his earliest memories were about going out to the barn to get oats for breakfast. He worked in his parents’ beauty parlor/barbershop and delivered papers. He learned to cook from his mother because there were no girls in the family for her to teach the finer arts of homemaking and hair cutting.

 

Grandmother, Dad as young man, Granddad, Dad’s Brother in front.

 

He rode his dad’s horse, Smoky, in races against the prisoners at the state penitentiary where his father worked, but he wasn’t allowed to win because it might affect his dad’s job.

 

Smoky, Granddad, DiVoran- see Dad’s feet in front of the power pole?

 

When I was a very small child, my mother felt a bit competitive because my dad seemed to be able to do everything. One day she said, “I’ll bet you can’t make DiVoran the cotton slip she needs.” Well, Dad sat right down at Mother’s 1934 Singer Sewing Machine and made the slip. Mother never challenged his talents again.

Every new endeavor Dad went in for required a move to a new town or state. When he and Mother married, he was a meat-cutter for Safeway in a small mining town in Nevada. When Mom’s dad died, my mother and dad moved back home so he could take over the job of keeping the gas company going. Sometime before WWII started, we moved to a small farming community and dad repaired machinery at the tomato factory. Near the end of the war, even though he was married and the father of two children, he was drafted and became an infantry man. When the war was over the couple bought a restaurant and bar. Dad also became a hunting and fishing guide, and a friend taught him how to fly a small airplane.

When it was time for the next change he became a security guard in a town called Los Alamos, but soon worked his way up to courier which required a move to Albuquerque and from there to Livermore, California.

In all he was a: commercial fisherman, farmer, vacuum store owner, lobsterman, and a grower of fruit and nut trees. He could fix just about anything and when he came to visit us, we always had jobs set up for him. I still have the jar opener under my kitchen cabinet.

 

 

 

When I use that jar opener I realize that he installed it about the time his hands started giving out. He had two carpal tunnel operations, but still the strength in his hands deteriorated to where I had to open packages of potato chips for him. I wonder if he thought ahead to the time when I might need something under the cabinet to help open jars, which is now.

Did I forget to mention that Dad liked kids?

 

 

Dad did work hard, but he was an artist too. He framed Mother’s paintings, and made birds from abalone shells to hang on the wall. He welded sailing ships and shrimp boats. He also hand-dipped chocolate. At one time in their lives Dad and Mother became rock hounds. Dad made a tumbler and polisher out of a small motor and a coffee can and soon Mother and Dad had a lot of semi-precious jewelry to give away.

 

 

Dad didn’t sell his art, the fish he caught, the venison he brought home, or the fruits and vegetables he grew. He gave it all away. One day he gave away his authentic totem-pole because a visitor saw it and asked for it.

 

 

 

 

Like a lot of kids, I took both my parents for granted. That’s why a visit would be so nice about now. Thank the Lord, they and we are eligible to meet in Heaven because we have given our lives to the Lord Jesus Christ. I’d love it if there were a time and place to sit down and talk with people we know and love. That may or may not be part of God’s plan, but if it happens to be, I’m up for it.

31 Days of God’s Comfort~Day 29

5 Jun

Paraphrase and Painting by DiVoran Lites

 

Day 29

Bloom

Colossians 2:6-7

 

Beloved,

The Spirit of Jesus lives in you and wants to help you.

Move ahead with Him

Whether you feel like it or not.

Let your faith spill over into thanksgiving.

Let my word bloom in your heart

It will pour out of you like the fragrance of flowers.

And all will be well.

31 Days of God’s Comfort~Day 28

29 May

Painting and Paraphrase by DiVoran Lites

 

Day 28

Wisdom

Matthew 10:16

 

Beloved,

Be glad and serene when tempest clouds form.

I always bless in the eye of the storm. D. L.

Because you gave your heart and soul to Me

Through the redemption of Jesus Christ,

You are My true child.

Fly with the joy I impart to you.

Don’t allow the worry-bird to make a nest in your hair.

I want you to be as wise as serpents,

As gentle as doves.

Simplify according to my directions.

Instead of living in the next moment or a past one,

Delight in Me now. Put your mind on whatever you are doing

Let Me give you grace and bathe you in love.

31 Days of God’s Comfort~Day 27

22 May

Painting and Paraphrase by DiVoran Lites

 

Day 28

Work of Art

Matthew 11:29

 

Beloved,

My children are my best works of art.

Release the light in you.

Meet the new friends I send.

You’ll enjoy them.

You have a gift of discernment.

Use it, but harbor no judgement of others.

I relish working with you,

I turn your mourning into dancing.

I have cast off your sackcloth and ashes.

You prosper in body, soul, and spirit.

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