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Horseshoe Lake

16 Jul

 

My Take

DiVoran Lites

with

Patricia Franklin

 

 

If you see the video first you will better appreciate the rugged terrain in the story.

 

 

 

 

This is a reply about last week’s blog from my childhood friend: Patricia Franklin.

Dear DiVoran,

Your blog, “Hermit Dam” reminds me of the time when I was a kid and I went to Hermit Lake with three of my brothers to go fishing (what other reason was there?!)  The older ones had done odd jobs to earn money to buy the pickup, and once they had it, they used it for all kinds of work around town, and for going fishing. Since you had to park at the beaver dams and hike to the lake we always started out about daylight to get there in time for plenty of fishing.

But, we never stopped at Hermit really, everybody fished there, and the good fishing was up higher at Horseshoe Lake. The problem was, it was a cool, cloudy morning, and instead of clearing up, it just got worse. By the time we got to Hermit, we were in the clouds.

We started on up to Horseshoe and got to where there was a break in the clouds and you could look down into the valley between the two lakes. There are (or were) three ponds between Hermit and Horseshoe. We got to that point and, looking through the fog, the ponds looked large enough to be a lake. At first,we thought we had reached Horseshoe, but we walked up further, and then back down again to the ponds, and knew we had a ways to go. By then it was raining and I was freezing cold, even though I was wearing a waterproof poncho.  We were above timberline, and there was not much shelter there. I sat down next to a large boulder that gave me a little protection from the rain while the guys decided what to do. We were never worried, just cold and wet. Our parents would only have worried if we had been out after dark.

 

Google search

 

Our eldest brotherBill, a teenager and a Boy Scout decided we would go back down to Hermit where we might find more shelter among the trees and some wood for a fire. We got down by the lake and started looking for some dry wood, and twigs under the bushes.  Bill started a nice little campfire to keep us warm and give us a comfortable spot to eat our bologna sandwiches.

 

 

By the time we finished lunch we were too cold and too wet to go fishing, and as there was no sun to dry us out, we walked back down to the pickup. We were home soon after not disappointed about the fishing, but satisfied with the fun day we’d had trekking into the mountains.

Later, they improved the road and people could drive all the way up to Horseshoe. I do not know if that is a wilderness area now or not, but I too am deeply grateful for adventures like this in another time and place.

Love,

Patricia

 

 

 

Author, Poet and ArtistDiVoran 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.”

Memorial Day-Two Families Remember

28 May

My Take

DiVoran Lites

 

Author, Poet and Artist

 

 

I knew my friend, Patricia had a wonderful family tradition. She grew up in a mountain valley where her great-grandfather had homesteaded. Some of the family has left the valley, some have stayed. Here is Patricia’s story:

 

 

 Memorial Day or Decoration Day as it was first called, was observed by most of the community who had loved ones buried in the cemeteries.  The tradition was started to commemorate those who had died in the wars.  People brought flowers and flags in the spring to place at their graves.  Spring, because the flowers were beginning to bloom, (there were no artificial flowers). Decoration Day officially began in 1868 and was on the last Monday of May.  Traditionally families and church members would celebrate it on that day.  Flowers only lasted a day or two, so we would go out on Sunday or Monday to decorate and visit with other family and friends, many of whom we saw only once a year, as they would come home to decorate the family graves.  It was a time to connect with old acquaintances who had moved away and came back to honor their loved ones and visit with old friends.

 My family still goes out to decorate and acquaint the youngsters with their ancestors.  Many good stories are shared and the children are very interested in learning about the people who are buried there and how they lived their lives back in their day.  They want to know how they are connected.  We have so many ancestors now that the children cannot remember them all.  Fortunately, we have family history documented by family members, to be passed down to the younger ones.  Hopefully, there will always be someone there to take care of the family and the old tradition. 

 We are excited about our visit beginning tomorrow with our children who will all be getting together for the once a year get together.  For three years it has coincided with our granddaughters’graduations.  So we are busily preparing, corresponding, coordinating, etc., which is very hectic, but also very fun and rewarding.  Nothing can be planned in advance, because everything changes, so I do not worry about the planning anymore.  It always works out.  Looking forward to seeing our kids tomorrow.

 

DiVoran

 

 

My grandparents settled in a town fifty-two miles away from where Patricia lived, but I got to live in her community from the time I was 7 until I was 12. It almost broke my heart to leave, but Dad and Mom had sold Min’s Café and Dad had a new job in Los Alamos.

All four of my grandparents and two of my great grandparents along with an aunt and two second cousins are buried in this larger town. Our Mother took us there when we were children to tell stories about her parents and grandparents. Her parents had graves next to each other near the beginning of the cemetery. They were also near their long-time friends and neighbors and each couple has a pine tree, now huge at the site of their grave. Mother’s dad died in 1939 when I was six months old. Dad and Mom came home from Nevada to take over the gas company his father-in-law had run before his death. Mom’s mother passed on when I was seven. I remember Mother crying and serving customers for days.

I was an adult with grown children when my Grandparents died. I didn’t get to attend Granddad’s funeral, but I did fly there for Grandmother’s.

 

Ten years ago I met with my brother, his wife, and her sister to bury our Mother and Dad’s ashes. The aunt who is gone now and two of her daughters came and brought their families. My brother lived in California and we lived in Florida. He kept their ashes until we could meet in the middle. Our son had a combined business trip and vacation so his wife and two children attended. Our daughter and her husband flew with us and our daughter got us a bed and breakfast to stay in that was the same two-storyfloor plan as Grandmother and Granddad’s house and just down the street.

Being together again went a long way in tempering our grief. We did the service ourselves and stayed in the park visiting on a sunny November day. My brother had just picked up a beautiful puppy at the Denver airport, and our grandchildren sat on the grass and took turns holding him while he rested after his strenuous journey. Afterward,our son drove the immediate family to the valley town where Patricia and I had lived as a children.

 

I WAS BORN FOR THIS TIME

25 Dec

We are happy to welcome our guest blogger, Patricia Franklin to share a heartwarming story for this blessed Christmas day.

 

A Few Thoughts

Patricia Franklin

 

 

 

This is the story of “Belle,” our fearless leader at the crisis center, who always begins the day with prayer time. She began this day, shortly before Christmas, by emotionally saying “I was Born For This Time,” and I need to tell you my story. She begins….

“In the Bible, the story of Esther relates, ‘I was born for this time’.” ….

Belle’s youngest child was 9 months old, when she became quite ill. She went to the doctor, and subsequently other doctors, who found something in her lung. After many tests and many doctors, the diagnosis turned out to be a fatal lung disease.  It was progressing rapidly and there was no cure for her. The doctors said, “We can try medicines and treatments to make you more comfortable, but it will continue to progress into the liver and kidneys and will be fatal.”

She decided against treatments and told her doctor. “No doctor, I have my own way of healing.” She went home and continually prayed… “God, please give me 15 years to raise my son.” So she carried on the best she could, and at the advice of her doctor, she continued to see him for x-rays and prognosis of her condition, but received no medicines or treatments, and continually prayed her prayer to God.

One morning she woke up deathly ill and went to see her doctor, thinking her time was up. He took his time and gave her a thorough examination.  When he was finished he said, “Belle, do you believe in miracles?” She told him, “YES, DOCTOR, I DO.”  He said, “There is no sign of the disease in your body.  You have been healed!”

So she raised her family, and along the way, served in her church and community. Then, with her sister and many volunteers, took over running this faith-based crisis center. 37 years later, although her younger sister passed away from cancer, Belle is still going strong. She very humbly said, “There is a reason God wanted me here for this time. Just like Esther, I was born for this time.”

Yes, the center continues to grow, as the need is greater all the time. We are now serving at least twice as many needy people as we were a few years ago.  I heard Belle say after the prayer meeting, that she had just come from the hospital where she had visited one of our volunteers.  And although, she did not say it, she is known to visit the homeless camps, and help as many people as many ways as she can along the way, with her quiet, competent manner. Yes, Belle, like Esther, you were born for this time. We could not proceed or succeed without you and your wonderful compassionate and caring leadership.

 

The Veteran and Other Heroes

19 Jan

A Few Thoughts

Patricia Franklin

1

The veteran’s story started many years ago, but I will start when I met him last spring. I was working my regular shift at the crisis center when I noticed a man hanging around the center.  He never got called in to be helped, and was there all morning.  He looked like any other bedraggled and unshaven client down on his luck.  Finally, he came over and walked behind the front counter.  I said, “You can’t come back here, you have to wait out front.”

“But I’m working here,” he said.”

I discovered that he was volunteering as a security guard.  Our clientele has exploded this past year, and we are so busy and crowded that the administration decided there was a need for some help with minor problems and crowd control in the waiting area and parking lot.  He showed up and wanted to help because this was the first place he came for help when he was down and out.  And the Vet’s story began to unfold.

He was a serviceman whose parachute failed during a jump and he ended up with permanent damage to his legs, along with other injuries.  He was disabled and discharged. His marriage had ended in divorce, so not only was his body broken, but his mind and his spirit were too.  He could see nowhere to go, no solutions and no means or reason to continue living. He showed me pictures of what he called his home.  Lost and lonely, he had ended up living for years in a crate down by the Arkansas River with just enough space for a pallet and a camp stove. It was neatly organized, with a little shelf for his meager food, but the pictures and his story made me want to cry.

After eleven years of this living hell, God sent him an angel. She worked for the VA, but not just as an employee.  She actually went out to look for these broken vets where they lived.  She came to his camp one day, got down in the mud with him and said “I am going to help you.”  She came back with some papers from the VA and said, “I have a place for you to live.”  And thus began his rehabilitation and transition back to life in a civilized world. He was sent to our crisis center, where he got food, clothes, hygiene items, and a reason to start to live again. After months of treatment, he was back on his feet, still facing surgery and treatment, but healing in mind and spirit.

Now he and two other compassionate veterans are at the crisis center every day volunteering their services. They have made connections in the community and in churches to help other people in dire need.  They know what to do and how to help because they have been there. They have turned many lives around by their presence and helpfulness. This Christmas they were a big part of our special Christmas outreach project, in which we procured supplies, toys, books and entertainment for the needy. These humble, helpful men became Santa and elves to the clients and their families, bringing smiles, laughter and love to those who need it most.

A man came into the center the other day, and tearfully asked: “Do you help with heat?  I just need some propane to heat my place.”  We chatted a little and he informed me that he was out of a job, he lost his house and all his belongings, and now he lived in a trailer behind some building. I was devastated by his situation. He finally said “I’m at the end of my rope, I’ve lost everything, and I can’t afford propane to heat my trailer. I am a veteran, if that means anything.”

“We can help you,” I said with a relieved smile. I called one of our vets over and told him the man needed his help. I knew they’d take him through the line for food, clothes, hope, and so much more. When he left with his arms loaded, he was smiling through his tears.

“Thank You,” he said quietly

Oh yes, and as for my vet friend.  He spent Christmas with his entire family for the first time in 15 years!   Happy New Year everyone!

 

 

 

Tin Cup

3 Dec

A Few Thoughts

Patricia Franklin

1

Tin Cup is a very special place.  It is a unique, old fashioned little mining town in Gunnison County, Colorado.  I’m not sure if anyone lives there year round, but the old homes and cabins are all occupied in the summer.

I love their cemetery most of all.  A little creek runs through it and you have to cross over some little hills and a little bridge and follow a little path to reach the different parts of the cemetery.

One hill is Jewish, one Protestant, one Catholic, and then the last one is Boot Hill the final resting place of criminals and nondenominationals. The unique graves and tombstones are fabulous.  Famous people, infamous persons and paupers are all buried there.  One man’s grave had a stump at the head of it with an old tin cup sitting on top.  I’ve seen the cup every time I’ve visited the cemetery. I’m sure almost everyone who passes by has picked it up and set it back down again.

In the cemetery, up a long hill, we saw a single gravestone inside a rail fence, so we walked up the hill to look at it. The name on it was Kate Fisher. Later we heard her story. She had been the only black person in town, she had fed and sheltered the community in her rooming house, but the cemetery was segregated, so she had to be buried alone. She was well-loved and revered, so I like to think her grave was above the others because she was so special to the miners.

The old jailhouse is still there. Someone bought it and made it into a home.  The bars are still on the windows of the tiny cabin.  We took a picture of it when we were there, but that has been at least a couple of years ago.  I don’t know where the picture would be.

There is a legend about how Tin Cup was named:  A man dipped a tin cup in the stream and discovered gold-dust and sand at the bottom of the cup.   I bet you could find something at the library or on the internet.  There is a beautiful lily pond on the other side of the town, just a little way from the main (dirt) road.  You have to know where it is to find it, as you can’t see it from the road.  I love this place.

Please see pictures at http://www.ghosttowns.com/states/co/Tin Cup.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Fair View

20 Oct

 

A Fair View…From a Volunteer

By Patricia Franklin

1

DiVoran:

Our guest blogger, Patricia Franklin and her husband volunteered at the Colorado State Fair this year. These are her observations as seen in the Publication of Pikes Peak Citizens for Life newsletter:

I have been a volunteer at the  Pike’s Peak Citizens for Life booth for several years and would like to express what a positive impact it has had on visitors. This year, in fact, the display seemed to impress many people.

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For more fetal baby models see:

http://www.hh76.org/details.aspx?prod_id=1333

Men, women, families, teens, and children were all interested in the display. The children loved the models and loved seeing how a baby grows. Boys as well as girls, asked to hold the 12 week models. Pregnant moms were excited to see how big their own babies were. I was particularly surprised and heartened by the number of men who commented, thanked, and encouraged us.

A man approached the booth, picked up a couple of 12 week models, and handed them to his two teenaged girls. I gave them a brochure, he pointedly said to them, “Read that!” as he handed me a donation.

One young man came up with several of his friends, saw the models and repeated excitedly, “My baby is 11 weeks old! My baby is 11 weeks old!” He hurried back to find his wife and brought her over to look at the baby models. His friends thoroughly enjoyed his outburst and enthusiasm.

Some men had tears in their eyes. One man with his wife and two teenage sons stopped, looked, and tearfully said, “I thank God every day for my sons.”

Several people asked, “How can anyone abort a baby,” or commented, “God bless you for your work.” Some from past years stopped by to give a donation.

The video stopped people in their tracks. Even mothers who already had children were excited and surprised that the baby in the film was opening its mouth, yawning, and sucking its thumb right in the womb.

A couple of men and a woman hurried up just as we were closing for the evening. They thanked us, took our hands, and prayed with us.

There’s really no other public venue where people have access to this type of information, and they are so pleased and grateful that it’s right out there for them to see and share with family and friends.

I just wanted you to know what an impact Pike’s Peak Citizens for Life have made on people’s lives. For me it is a blessing to be a small part of this experience.

List of Pro-Life Organizations.

 

 

 

Hummy Hummingbird

25 Aug

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

My husband and I spent a few days this past week in Raleigh, North Carolina visiting family and eating way too much good food. Since we returned home, I have been busy catching up as well as wandering aimlessly.  Fortunately, our guest blogger, Patricia Franklin  sent a story that I am posting today. I feel better missing my posting day if I can share something good. Enjoy- Onisha

Patricia Franklin

A Few Thoughts

 

I just had a quick story to tell you.  We got home last night and I noticed the hummingbird feeder was out of juice.  I wasn’t going to put any more out, as it draws the hornets and they fight with the hummingbird to get it.  Also, it is getting to the end of the season.  But, I was standing at the patio door this morning, about 6 feet away from the feeder, which hangs right in front of my window over the sink.  Little Hummy came up to the patio window and buzzed around several times right in front of my face.  I was a little startled and thought “Is she trying to tell me something?”  I went about my work in the kitchen and went over to the sink to start the dishes.  She came flying over and was buzzing around the feeder.  I watched her and suddenly she came up to the window over the sink and flew around in front of my face again.  I said to myself, “She really does know where the food comes from, and is telling me she is hungry.”  There are fewer flowers around now, so she is looking for food. Guess she does not mind fighting with the hornets.  I sit outside frequently in my chair next to the feeder, and I know she keeps an eye on it because occasionally another hummingbird will come, and she is immediately there to chase it away.  So I made up some juice and hung it out there. She has been back about six times already today.

 

Hummingbird

 

I loved this story. I do believe that hummingbirds communicate with us humans. We have had them fly from the feeder to hover in front of us as though saying “thank you.” One summer my husband put his camera on the tripod and took some great photos we treasure. Here is one of them-Onisha

 

DSC_1203

 

Do you have any hummingbird stories or photos?  If so, it would be fun if you shared them in comments.

The Robin Story

21 Jul

Patricia Franklin

A Few Thoughts

I think I mentioned that the mother robin left a little egg shell by my door.  Since that time, I noticed she had two babies.  I watched them both and worried that they had left the nest too soon.  She tried to keep them in the branches of the lilac bush.  The young one pretty much listened to her, the other one was a little more independent.  (I’m using my imagination here).
One morning I went out and found one of them dead on the back lawn.  It did not look damaged, so I did not know what got to it…. either a cat or a very angry black bird??   It seemed to be the bigger one that was dead.  I kept track of the little one, who thrived, and learned to fly pretty well.  He discovered our birdbath, and loved it.  Whenever he got in it, he had so much fun he did not want to leave.  He would splash around, then just lay there, then kept repeating it.  He was fun to watch, as he loved it so much. Then he would fly up on the fence and shake out his feathers.  No other bird has ever spent that much time bathing there.

I lost track of the birds for about 3 or 4 weeks while we were gone, and busy running around.  Several times since, I have  seen birds in the back, and several were robins with the spots on their breasts, so I knew they were brand new in the neighborhood.

This morning, I was sitting outside and there were quite a few birds around, some still being fed by their mamas.  Then a robin flew into the birdbath and splashed and played for the longest time.  I was sure it was the one from our lilac, especially when he finally got out and flew on the fence to shake out his feathers.  I noticed he was bigger, but still had some of his baby spots.  I’m sure it was him, and I hope he will be our neighbor for a long time to come. I think I’ll always recognize him by his antics in the birdbath.

 

From Flickr

Do Birds Bond with People? 

27 May

 A Few Thoughts

Patricia Franklin

 Our friend Patricia Franklin wrote me this week. Here’s what she had to say about the robin that nests in her back yard-DiVoran

robins

Sorry I have not answered your newsy letter…. and thanks so much for the interesting article on birds!  I guess they live and thrive by instinct, but I think they have a built in intelligence too, that we do not understand.  I think I mentioned that we have a robin’s nest in our back yard.  I have been waiting and watching for a couple of weeks for the 1st hatchling.  I usually sit out on the patio chair, I water my flowers, etc. and sometimes I talk to the robins if they are around.  They have found out that we do not bother them, in fact, I chased some intruders away the other day.  Do you think they bond with us in some way?   Here is what happened today.

We were sitting in the kitchen having a cup of tea after supper, with the patio door open, when I heard this scratching and tapping on the patio cement right outside.  I turned my head, and there right in front of the door was the mother robin tapping a little blue eggshell on the cement.  I got up and walked over to the door and said something like, ” Well, I have been wondering when you were going to hatch the first one.  I’m so happy for you.”  She actually strutted around, back and forth in front of me for a little while and then went flying off to her nest, leaving the eggshell for us.  Is that uncanny or what?  Am I reading too much into this?  I do feel a bond with them, and maybe they feel it too. It was the highlight of my weekend!  (Hey, I’m pretty simple and easy to please!)

Colorado Adventures

22 Feb

My Take

DiVoran Lites

and

Patricia Franklin 

1

 

Patricia and I have been corresponding for years. We first met when she was in first grade, just before she was promoted to second and moved one aisle over to the second grade aisle where we five second graders sat. She got promoted because she was the only child in the first grade, and because she was smart. It was my first time in that school because my family had recently moved to town. This letter starts where my last blog, “Shelf Roads,” left off. I liked the extra details she shared so thought I would pass them on.

DiVoran

 The Altmans started coming to our school after the consolidation. (Before that they had gone to a small country school closer to their ranch. The consolidation was when all the students from valley schools were bussed to town.)

Marjorie and I were friends in high school, and we actually were roommates our first year in college in Gunnison.  They had a ranch at the foot of the range, near Alvarado, (a mountain meadow where the community had field days and picnics). We used to go horseback riding on the trails up there. That was so much fun.

One time we came upon this old cabin.  We looked inside a broken window and something white moved inside.  We screamed and ran, then went back to look again.  It was a white goat, and was inside standing in the middle of the bed. The cabin was old and still furnished.  The cupboards had been taken over by rats and any other creature that could get inside.  I guess it had been abandoned, as everything in it was a mess.  We never did find out who the owner was, or what happened after that.  Although, I remember my Dad had me write up an article for the Wet Mountain Tribune about the adventure, and it was on the front page of the paper.  We sure had some great, fun adventures in those times.

There is a shelf road between Canon City and Cripple Creek.  It is named the Shelf Road and is used a lot.  It has been closed various times, due to rock slides and erosion, but is still one of the main roads up there.  That and the Phantom Canyon Road are the two most used from Highway 50 to Cripple Creek I would say.  I have not been up those roads for a few years, but I love them.   After driving all over the “jeep roads” in the San Juan and Gunnison mountains, I do not mind them anymore.  We have been on some very narrow and scary roads, but I love it so much, I got over my worst fears.

I still do not like being on the edge and looking down though.  Once Frank and I had to pull way over to the side because some 4 wheelers were coming down and would not move over.  (As we were going up, we were supposed to have the right of way).  Our Jeep was so close to the edge, I could see the pebbles falling out from under the tires and rolling down the mountainside. And there was a pickup upside down about 1000 feet down.  Now, that was scary!!😕 One time we started up that road when it was raining. A lightning bolt hit a nearby mountain, and then some rocks started rolling down the side of the mountain above us.  Needless to say, we backed down and did not make the trip that day.

The Shelf Road from Canon City to Cripple Creek

 

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