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Floods Sweep over Eastern Colorado 1921

17 Jun

My Take

DiVoran Lites

The New York Times June 3, 1921

Pueblo, Colorado Inundated, Hundreds Reported Dead 

Story by Dora Bedell Bowers

My cousin, Lloyd had his birthday on June 3, 1921. We were then both six years old. I have a picture of the two of us from around that time. We were the same height and we wore identical blue rompers. Our hair was cut in Dutch Bobs with every strand in place. My mother, my brother, and I had come to Pueblo to stay with Grandmother and Daddy Hunter while my father was working as the manager of the gas plant in Canon City. We would join him when he found a place for the family to live. 

We were in Lloyd’s mother’s upstairs apartment gazing at the birthday cake sitting on the table in front of an open window. We could hardly wait to get our forks into that cake. Suddenly we heard a hullabaloo of sirens, church bells, factory whistles, and shouting from the street below. Daddy Hunter ran down to see what was going on and discovered that a telephone call had from upriver at Canon City with a warning that Pueblo was about to be flooded by the Arkansas River and a tributary that had joined it.  Daddy Hunter hustled us downstairs and into the wagon where his horse Big Bill waited patiently. I’d never seen Daddy Hunter hit anything before, but he used the whip to get Big Bill galloping up the street to higher ground. That night we and hundreds of other people slept or tried to sleep on the floors of the schoolhouse that sat on a hill. We learned later, that although there were many miracles and generous-hearted people who saved others, the death toll eventually rose to 1,500.

The next day we heard that men from Canon City were coming to help clean up after the flood. My daddy was one of them. Six years before, around the time I was born, Mother and Dad had lived in a small house across the railroad tracks from the Pueblo gas plant and Daddy had worked there. There was talk of him being a good man in a pinch and I was so proud of him. He brought four men from Canon City in a Model T Ford to help clean up and reorganize the Pueblo gas plant. When they got there they discovered that the holder where the manufactured gas was stored had sunk into the muck and had to be lifted and resettled. 

Better times, Roger, Dora’s Daddy, Vera her aunt, Dora, Mabel, her mother and Dora Bell, her grandmother.  DiVoran’s Vintage Pictures

That first day at the school I looked up and saw my daddy walking toward us through the crowd. I ran to meet him. There he stood, tall and straight. He was about 5 foot eleven and always weighed one hundred forty- four pounds. He was dressed as he always dressed in well-shined black Bulldog boots that had a rounded toe and laced to the ankle. He wore striped work pants, a blue shirt, and a one-inch long black string tie. He parted his thick chestnut hair on the side. He had blue eyes and big ears. When he saw me, he got a silly grin on his face and picked me up and swung me around. After he set me down, I put my small hand into his big one and kept it there while he talked to the other adults. My only thought was, daddy’s here, and I’m safe. 

The next morning we ventured out to see what we could see. The river was still in full spate roiling up under the nearby bridge until I was afraid people standing on it would be swept off and drowned. I learned later that it had happened just as I had feared. The muddy yellow water contained all kinds of debris, including dead horses and cows. We saw bedraggled bouquets that had been set out in the cemetery for Decoration Day. The water had swept them off the graves and into the raging flood. We half expected to see dead bodies come rolling down the river. It was scary but I knew my daddy could look after all of us.

When we were sure the danger was past, we went to Grandmother and Daddy Hunter’s rooms to bathe and put on clean clothes. We were surprised that even though the two-story building sat by itself on the low ground everything was just as it had been when we left to go to the party. There was the old rocking chair with its homemade cushion, and the coal-oil lamps ready to light as soon as it began to get dark. After our baths, Lloyd and I walked the block to Dammeron’s where we bought red and black licorice sticks, one for a penny.

When the family got together for our belated supper at Lloyd’s house, Auntie told us what she found when she got home. The first thing was the high-water mark at the second story level.. When she actually got into her apartment she was amazed to see that the cake had floated off the table and out the window. My mother said that we could have been swept out just as easy if we hadn’t got away. We were so grateful for the warning and for our escape. The watermark remained on that building for decades and it could still be there as far as I know.

More about the Great Flood of 1921

When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. Isaiah 43:2 New Living Translation

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.”

Heading West

10 Jun

My Take

DiVoran Lites

Story by Ivan Bowers, DiVoran’s Dad

Source unknown

I was born in Hidalgo, Illinois on June 9, 1915. My grandfather, Noah Dulgar, had been hearing about how easy it was to grow cherries, apricots, grapes, peaches, plums, pears, and apples in Paonia, Colorado. Being a long time farmer he decided to move there and start a new life.  

The Dulgar Family                               DiVoran’s Vintage Pictures

I had just turned five when Pa Dulgar loaded thirteen of us into a one-ton, model T, flatbed, truck, and we started the 1,500 mile trip from Hidalgo, Illinois to Paonia, Colorado. Pa Dulgar a carpenter built side rails in the back of the truck to hold all the family and goods we had to take with us. The front windshield could be swiveled up to let in air and closed down for rain. Pa’s truck-bed had a canvas over the top that could be rolled back in the daytime. Most of us rode perched on boxes, cans, bedding, and whatever else we needed for the trip. We followed the Ocean to Ocean Pikes Peak trail (OOPP) by watching for markers on telegraph poles.

We must have looked like the family in the movie, “The Grapes of Wrath.” In those days, unless you were rich enough for trains, hotels, or restaurants, travel was rough. Some people rented out rooms in their homes, but there were too many of us for that. We slept in the truck bed, a few small ones in the cab, and some under the vehicle. 

Ivan as a child                       DiVoran’s Vintage Pictures

All along the way, we had to keep fixing the truck. Pa let me watch and help the best I could. Whenever it rained the mud dried into ruts with sharp edges that cut the tires. Pa and my dad, Ira, jacked up the truck and removed the wheel, then patched it and we were on our way. A lot of times we all, except for the two-year-olds, got out and pushed the truck through sand or up the hills. Later, when Ira told the story he’d say, “Yep, by golly, we pushed ‘er all the way from Illinois to Colorado. We had to keep fillin’ up that leaky ole radiator but sometimes we weren’t close enough to a river or a creek to get water so we always took a big jugful along.

For food, we shot rabbits and squirrels and we fished when we could. The women of the family had brought some of their canning and we’d buy milk, eggs, and sometimes vegetables from farmers along the way. One thing is sure we didn’t have any money to waste, so we ate a lot of oatmeal cooked over a campfire. 

Amy, Pa’s wife, and my grandmother sometimes sat on the bench seat in front with Pa with the two-year-olds on their laps. Other times, Ira took the driving and Marie sat in the front seat with him. Pa’s wife, Amy wasn’t strong, so we all tried to protect her the best we could.

The men wore overalls and the women wore homemade wash-dresses. Most of our clothes got pretty raggedy, but Amy and Marie and the older girls tried to keep them sewed up as much as they could. 

Of Pa and Amy’s kids, my mother Marie was the oldest, then there was Ruth, Glen, Mable, Pauline, Earl, Helen, andPaul. Helen was the same age as me and that was so funny. How could an aunt be the same age as her nephew? Helen had pretty red hair like my mother’s, and she liked me, so we stayed friends all our lives. The two-year-olds were my little brother Lowell, and my uncle Paul who was an even younger uncle than Helen was an aunt. 

Plough Horses  Pixabay

Sad to say, Pa’s plans didn’t turn out like he hoped they would. His wife Amy died, his workhorses drowned when they fell off a bridge and his children scattered. Finally, he made up his mind to go back to Illinois where he had friends and more family to help with the children. Marie, Ira, Ivan, and Lowell moved to Canon City where Marie and Ira lived for the rest of their lives. Some of the family ended up in other states, but they visited when they could. I met Dora in Canon City when we were both just kids.

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.”

Meow;Hello

3 Jun

My Take

Thea’s Post 

Scribe- DiVoran

I have been asking Ma when I could tell my stories again. One of her friends even asked about Meow-Me! Finally, she is finished with all that baby book nonsense and can focus on Meow-Me.

I’ll start by telling you about the room we are in right now. Sometimes Ma calls it the office, sometimes the scriptorium, and sometimes the sanctuary because she does her quiet time here in the winter. In summer, we get to go out on the porch early in the morning when the Sand Hill Cranes fly over honking their horns. 

Sand Hill Cranes  Pixabay

I like pillows and chairs, and blankets, and rugs. I liked the taste and texture of Ma’s birch-cloth sheets, but every time she catches Me pulling at them with my teeth she yells. “No!” I must say she did a good job patching them. She likes them more than any sheets she’s ever had because they are pale green and soft. Now they contain perfect memories of Meow-Me forever. I realize that she likes me a lot better than she does those ole sheets.

A while back I decided to spend all night on the porch watching the action and listening to the night sounds. Several of the noises were scary, but the worst one went like this: whoo-whoo-whoo. Ma tried to assure me that it was only a night-bird, but something told me it was not safe to connect with it. Nothing can get me when I am safe on the porch. 

Ma has an office chair and sometimes she rolls it over to another chair so she can pet me. I refuse to get in her lap, and I still don’t like to be picked up so this works.

None of the chairs in our house are big enough for both of us and neither is her lap. 

In the evening we have snacks. I like my Greenies. They are supposed to clean my teeth. Ma throws one at the wall and when I hear it hit I run to find it while she is hiding the rest in the folds of the red blanket. 

Two of my playmates are called rugs.They are thick and stiff but pretty and can survive a whipping with my back claws. 

I hear talk of cutting claws again. One of them holds me while the other snips. I try to get away, but I am no match for giants. I think they are cutting them because of a few small holes in the porch screen. Really, all she has to do is to fix the holes with packing tape.

It’s good to finally to talk to you again. Thank you for reading. Here’s a nice big purr for you PUURRR. I’ll be back. 

Meow, Me 

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.”

Baby Book Four

27 May

My Take

DiVoran Lites

Story by Dora Bedell Bowers

DiVoran talks very well now and she is still just as friendly with people as ever. She sucks her thumb (yet & still). She weighs 26 ½ pounds. She has a black kitten which we call, “Little Devil.” We have a grass yard here so she is able to get outside in good weather. Everyone compliments her on her lovely curls, which are now blond. Grandmother Bowers sometimes forms them into a head full of long curls. Our child is sweet and everyone loves her. May that always be true.

January 1, 1944

Dear little book,

It has been a long time since I have written.  We are living in Crowley, Colorado now. Ivan works on the machinery in a tomato factory, and my paid job is to cook the noon meal for six workers every day.  Sister is five years old now. I call her that because she has a two-year-old baby brother. His name is David.  He is just learning to talk and can’t say her real name so he calls her Doo-Doo. We still have our cat. He is big and very mean at times, but he’s beautiful and shiny, and we love him in spite of his disposition. 

David and DiVoran about 1943   DiVoran’s Vintage Photos

We have a goat for milk, and she has a kid. DiVoran loves warm goat’s milk. The doctor recommended it. It’s very good for her. We have chickens and a rooster. When we go over to the factory to visit Daddy, we walk in a line. I carry David piggyback, then comes DiVoran, Boots the Irish Setter, Mama-goat, baby goat, and Chanticleer the rooster. I’m always surprised when the baby goat prances over the window glass that protects the young tomato plants. He never breaks a one.  

Sister can help out a great deal now. She sets the table and takes the scraps to the chickens. She looks after Dave very well for her age. I take them to Sunday School. DiVoran still has curly hair but so hates to have it combed. She says she is going to let it grow until she can walk on it. She has decided to marry the neighbor’s boy Lloyd Osbourne. 

Sister doesn’t care for dolls. She loves books, though, and she likes to color. She reads to Dave when she can get him to sit still long enough to listen. Sister has a persistent cold which I hope we can overcome. Her eyes are hazel now; her hair is darker too. Her feet were somewhat curved when she was born. I tried to massage them and help them to be straight, but I didn’t succeed. Sister likes the radio, and she loves to dance. I suppose she picked that up from me. Daddy Ivan will be examined soon for the army unless his boss, Mr. Picketto gets a deferment for him. Don’t misunderstand, he’s ready and willing to fight for his country, but the boss needs him at the tomato factory to keep the machinery running. I’ll close now with a prayer that I may be a good mother through the coming years. 

The End 

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.”

Writing

22 Apr

My Take
DiVoran Lites

As I was growing up, I didn’t realize that my mother, Dora, was a journal keeper. Now that I am older I appreciate her stories and cherish her handwriting more than ever. She wrote about her ordinary life if there is such a thing. Lately, I’ve been posting some of Mother’s stories on Old Things R New. I’m grateful for the opportunity to share something so close to my heart.


Dora didn’t write much growing up, but she paid attention to everything. When I was born she filled a baby-book hand-made by an inmate at the penitentiary where my grandfather worked. Though the book is primitive, you can see that the convict who made it took time to do a good job. I have wondered if perhaps he had a little girl, too.

Dora wrote more after she retired. She also assembled a family history for my brother and me and sent along a few ancestor stories to go with the names and dates. I’m not really into genealogy, but I have enjoyed referring to the wheel now and then over the years. I see now that it needs refurbishing.

When we were small Mother told us stories. She could ask us to give her three words and then make up a tale from them. Some of them were probably about our beloved dog, Brownie.

Mother was a good role model. When I was twelve, she started a Girl Scout troupe. She also bought me a Girl Scout diary and I filled it with youthful chatter. When I was in high-school I got a red one and wrote about my boyfriends and girlfriends.. After I married Bill, I received a white one and filled it with a young wife and mother’s observances.
When Bill and I moved to Titusville with our children, we began to understand the Bible better and to form a deeper relationship with Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Both our pastor, Peter Lord and his wife Johnny Lord taught us ways to know God for ourselves and brought in wonderful guest speakers to enhance their teaching.

One of the things Peter Lord suggested was that we write letters to God. I could handle that. After all, Mother and I had been writing to each other since I left home eight years earlier. For over forty years, letters flew between California and Florida with real visits in between. That’s about 4,000 letters crossing in the mail. I enjoyed that, and because I did, I started writing to God too.

To be Continued

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.”

 

Lovelock Wedding

15 Apr

My Take

DiVoran Lites

As told by DiVoran’s mother, Dora Bowers

Dora Bedell became Mrs. Ivan Bowers on April 27, 1937. I put on the rose flowered dress because the long white one didn’t seem right for a small group wedding. Ivan’s dad had arranged for me to have a rose corsage, and the fragrance of those roses has reminded me of that day ever since.

We were married in the basement of the Baptist Church between Sunday School and church by Reverend Swabackland. Lucille and Glen stood up for us.  Two of their friends and a child were there. After the wedding, we all went to Glen and Lucille’s for chicken and noodles Sunday dinner.

The ladies of the First Baptist Church of Canon City sent us a shower by mail. We got handmade lunch cloths, pillowcases, and tea towels. Most of the shower gifts were hand hemmed, embroidered, and crocheted. Mother and Dad got us an electric iron. Ivan’s mother and dad got us silver-plate flatware.

We spent our first night in Lovelock at the better hotel on the right side of the tracks. There were slot machines all over the lobby. Ivan put a nickel in one and a jackpot of nickels poured out. But a nickel jackpot didn’t go far and we were running out of money, so after the first night, we moved to the Big Meadows Hotel across the tracks. Accommodations took the last $20 of the original $80.00 we started out with. 

Ivan was making $27.50 per week. After the Big Meadows, we rented a large, empty house, empty except for a bed and a table. Lovelock, the county seat, had a population of 2300 and drew Black Foot Indians off the reservation, and miners and ranchers came from a hundred miles away in all directions. Between Safeway and home, 13 bars and gambling parlors and 3 houses of ill repute nearly filled the main street.

We still lived on the wrong side of the tracks and Ivan had to walk past about half those places with his weekly paycheck to get home. One Saturday night, he lost the week’s wages gambling. After that, I met him and walked home with him. I imagine that was when he first felt truly married. 

I remember though, that I always felt safe with him. He kept a butcher knife by the bed to protect us from the many railroad bums who jumped off the boxcars of the Reno-Salt Lake City train and roamed Lovelock looking for handouts before they got back into the boxcars.

Home at Last

25 Feb

My Take

DiVoran Lites

 

Painting by DiVoran Lites

 

After I was born, one of my first visitors was my great-grandmother from Illinois, Hester. She was my Granddad’s mother who came all the way to Colorado, then to Nevada for a family get-together. Grandma Bowers was blind, so she came with other family members.

Dora had one regret about the visit. Great-grandmother wanted to hold me, but Dora had strict instructions from the doctor not to pick me up or let anyone else pick me up between feedings, which were every four hours. Great-Grandmother stood by my bassinet (a bath for a baby) while Mother bathed me. The tiny blind lady moved close to the legs of the bassinet and rocked it with her knee. Once Dora became more experienced she realized it couldn’t have hurt to let an old blind grandmother hold her baby granddaughter.Fortunately,I got to meet her when I was twelve and Grandmother and Granddad took me to Illinois for a visit.

Dora didn’t work all the time. Sometimes she and dad went for walks in the desert hills around the town. Dad probably fished in the pond. That was where Mother liked to swim in the days of warm weather before I was born. She was surprised that I didn’t grow up terrified of snakes, as she often saw them swimming by.

Mother liked to take me out in my buggy for walks. One day she saw a nest under a bush and stopped to inspect it. When she saw some very small mice playing she took me out of the buggy and held me where I could watch the babies play.

We had a Setter called Red. The Doctor had told them to bundle me up and put me out in the sun for part of each day. It was a safe, small town, so they left Red to watch over me while I slept.

 

Photo by Ryan Stone on Unsplash

One day when mother was home alone a small fire got started somehow. She grabbed me and ran over to Walkama’s across the street and asked her to look after me until she got the fire out.

I wish I had more details, but I think once our folks are gone, we have many questions we wish we had asked while they were still with us. I do have to say, though, both Ivan and Dora were excellent story-tellers, and I’ve so grateful for that rich heritage.

 

 

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.”

My Name Is: DiVoran

18 Feb

My Take

DiVoran Lites

 

For most of my life, I’ve been explaining how I got my name. This is how it happened: My mother, Dora, and my father, Ivan, lived in Lovelock, Nevada where Daddy worked as a meat cutter for Safeway, and Mother worked at a laundry mostly patronized by miners.

 

 

 

One morning toward the end of her pregnancy she got up with so much energy, she thought she’d clean the coal-burning cook stove in the kitchen before she went to work.

While she cleaned she was thinking about her friend Walkama, who worked there too. Walkama had had a baby earlier. Her labor started while she was at work. I don’t know how her husband knew to come and get her, but he took her home, then she had the baby. Maybe some of the tribe’s women were with her, and in the same day, her husband brought her back. Dora had never heard of anything like that, and she knew she was going to have a very different experience with her child’s birth.

About the time Dora was ready to put the stove back together, her labor started. Ivan came home for lunch and walked Dora to the hospital a short distance away. Her labor commenced in earnest and by 4:00 P. M. I had arrived. She always said, “Just in time for tea.”

In those days white women were held at the hospital for two weeks to recuperate from the ordeal of having a baby. Given Dora’s enjoyment of work of all kinds, she had a long and probably boring time there. One startling thing happened though: on Halloween night three days after I was born, the radio program, “The War of the Worlds,” scared people half to death all over America.

The radio program was presented as a newscast about something that was happening right then. People all over America were scared out of their wits, including Dora. It was one of my birth stories.

The War of the Worlds https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xs0K4ApWl4g

The story about my name went like this: toward the end of the two weeks, the nurse came into our room and told Mother and Daddy that they had to name me or they couldn’t have a birth certificate nor could Mother and baby go home. Now,this is what I think had happened. Daddy really wanted that boy and they must have had boy names picked out, but no names for girls. When the nurse saw that they were flummoxed, she suggested they put their two names together. They worked on it on a scrap of paper and finally came up with DiVoran, with two capitals, one from each of their names.

 

 

We left the hospital the day the birth certificate was issued. When we got home, Daddy had the stove all put together clean and shiny. The next day, Mother took me to work in a light-weight baby cot and Walkama, perhaps, carried her baby in a cradle-board on her back as they worked.

I was surprised and pleased to learn in later years that I was born on the Lovelock Paiute Indian Reservation where the town was located.

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.”

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.”

Tattered Quilt

4 Feb

My Take

DiVoran Lites

 

 

In the emergency waiting room
The black girl huddled in her quilt
As I have huddled in my guilt
The fabric thin and patched
Here a check, there a fan pattern
Stitched long ago from rags.

 

In my soul
Guilt and faith collided
And I knew that God
Shredded each prayer
Given in a hodgepodge way
And wove it into a garment of praise
For the spirit of heaviness.

Romans 8:26  In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness.

We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.

 

 

 

 

 

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.”

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