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The Hummingbird

9 May

A Few Thoughts

Patricia Franklin

My delight for today was a little hummingbird that perched on the branch outside my window and said.  “Hi! I’m back for the summer and ready for you to put out my feeder.”  (Even though it is pretty cold out there, I guess he knows best, so I am listening to God’s little messenger and will get busy on this task).😊

Patricia Franklin

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.”


8 Feb

My Take

DiVoran Lites

Patricia Franklin

If you have time, please watch this video first. 


During our elementary school years, my friend Patricia and I both lived with our families in Westcliffe, a small town at the foot of the Sangre de Cristo mountain range in the Wet Mountain Valley. The town had a two-block downtown and a century-old elementary school that held first grade through sixth, with the seventh and eighth graders in a small annex attached to the back of the school. Except for electricity and motorcars, the town was much like a pioneer town, especially when it came to health. 


When we were in elementary school, we got mumps, measles, chickenpox, and many colds (viruses, I guess).  I don’t think we even went to the doctor for these ailments.  We went to school, caught the illness, and stayed home until we were better.  I remember in 5th grade; my cousin came to school with chickenpox.  I sat next to her during a project, noticed her little bumps, and figured I would get it.  I was a little scared, but not much.  When my brothers and I caught it, Mom gave us warm baths with baking soda in the water.  It really helped the itching. Nobody made a big deal about any of it. I remember hearing about polio when they had it in another town.  People from Westcliffe stayed away from there. 


My brother David and I got chickenpox, and since mother and dad were just a phone call or two blocks away taking care of the restaurant, they let us stay at home on our own for the two weeks of quarantine.  Believe it or not, there was no crime in our small town of perhaps 400 people. We had a big shaggy dog named Brownie as a baby-sitter.  We played with our ranch and doll toys, listened to the radio, played records from WW1, ran around the house, ate what we wanted, and had a great two weeks. We didn’t tear anything up or make any messes that we didn’t clean up. I don’t recall fighting much.  I did try to read a children’s self-help book to David. I thought he needed it, but he didn’t seem interested. I don’t remember us having any doctors in Westcliffe or even any nurses. We did have our beloved pharmacist, Cope. We should have called him Mr. Cope, but we dropped the formalities with our friend who gave us comic books with no covers and in later years let us babysit his children. As I recall, no child in our grammar school died from any illness.


We did have doctors in Westcliffe at times. If you got sick, the doctor would come to your house.  I remember going to the doctor’s office once or twice as a child.  I don’t think we had doctors all the time, or maybe they came from Pueblo or Canon occasionally, like the dentist did once a month.  


So, worse things have happened than this Covid 19. More people survive than don’t. The other terrible things that were happening finally went away. And I guess I’d have to say a lot of changes, good and bad, occurred. I’d also have to say that God loves us and is always with us come what may. 

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want, He makes me lie down in green pastures, leads me beside still waters, and restores my soul. Yea, though I walk through the valley of death, I shall fear no evil, for you are with me, your rod and your staff comfort me. You prepare a table for me in the presence of my enemies; my cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.  

Psalm 23

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.”

A Little Christmas Story

23 Dec

Guest Post

Patricia Franklin

 We have not had any birds in our yard since about July when that old chicken hawk took residence in our neighborhood.  We have had suet in our feeder all these months and no one came.  We even had snow a couple of times and no one came.  We had 4 inches of snow the other day, so my husband put out some bird seed in our other feeder.  Still they did not come…. finally I saw one or two of the little snow birds with their black hoodies and galoshes on their feet.  They came and went so quickly, I thought I was dreaming.  Then yesterday I saw one of the little black and white woodpeckers at the suet feeder.  He and his mate used to live here all the time.  I was so happy to see him.    

Image result for Pixabay small birds

 This morning while I was sitting at the table with a cup of coffee, I opened the curtains and there was a party going on out there…. the sparrows, the little red headed finches and the snow birds, along with a couple of doves are at the birdseed and are squabbling over it like they normally do.  Three little squirrels are gathering up the remaining seeds from the ground.   Christmas is finally here! 

  Merry Christmas to you and yours! 

Horseshoe Lake

16 Jul


My Take

DiVoran Lites


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.






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.





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.



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


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


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 Cup.html










A Fair View

20 Oct


A Fair View…From a Volunteer

By Patricia Franklin



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.



For more fetal baby models see:

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.




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




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

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