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Moving On…Almost on Schedule

14 Apr

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

Our target date for our annual migration from Florida to North Carolina was April 4th. Our actual leaving date was April 6th. A two day delay is almost a record for us as we seldom leave on the planned date.

We managed this even with two surgeries and an emergency hospital admission for my husband. We did have to promise to return in June for medical follow ups.

Saturday, April 2nd was the annual Fox Lake Spring Craft Fair. For our area it is a pretty big event and our daughter had secured a table to sell books. Of course, I wanted to remain in Florida for that! The weather forecast was almost 100% rain and even though her table was under a large pavilion, a day of wind and rain didn’t sound good for sales. Regardless, the event was on and we went early to set up. Fortunately, there was an overseer making sure everyone was in the correct spot.

Our set up was simple. A table cloth, banner and books. I enjoyed watching the other vendors set up. It was obvious they were well acquainted with craft fairs. Most had help but the vendor next to us set up her whole table alone and did a great job. One thing I will say though, books are heavy, even with a hand cart.

Vendors spaces were not limited to the pavilion. There were a lot of vendors on the outside. I didn’t realize how many until we were leaving for the day. I was too tired to take pictures of them. I did snap these pictures early in the day of a few vendors set up close to the entrance of the pavilion.

Besides my daughter there was another local author there, Jay Heavner. I bought two of his books a few years ago and was hoping he would be there. He writes murder mystery novels set in our county. When people stopped at our table we would ask what type of books they enjoyed. If the answer was murder or mystery, we told them there was an author in the far corner with just what they were looking for. On a side note, since people are moving to Florida in record numbers, his books give a local’s perspective of Florida. Check him out.

I walked around looking at the different crafts for sale. Man, there are some talented people in the area! I was drawn to two of my favorite things, quilts and wreaths.

A man stopped by our table carrying what looked like twisted wire. And that is exactly what it was. Twisted aluminum wire made into art by a retired electrician. Our cousin, Roger, is a retired electrician and I promptly took a picture and emailed it to him with the text, you can do this!

As the day progressed we kept checking our phones for the hourly rain forecast. Little by little the expected rain time pushed further out. With each delay we said, “thank you, Jesus.” The event was supposed to end at 4 pm. Around 2:30 the skies took on a threatening locker and some vendors began packing up. At 3 pm, we decided to pack away most of the books and leave one or two of each title on the table. We were making ready for a quick departure. Hauling books in the rain would not be fun. My daughter scoped out the vendor parking field and found an empty space next to the paved road. I don’t know how she did it, but she maneuvered her car into the space. When we decided to pack and run, we wouldn’t have to pull the cart in mud.

Being in the pavilion recalled to mind memories of church picnics there as well as the year the high school Band Parents association ran the kitchen for the MacDonnell Douglas company picnic. It was a hot, hard work, fund raiser, but when you have kids, you do these things. It was mind boggling that 32 years had passed since then.

The crowd, which had been quite heavy began to dwindle as the clouds became heavy and dark. We decided it was time to go. We almost made it home when the skies delivered the promised rain. Once home, we left the books in the car and made a dash for the house. We were tired, hungry and happy that the day went well.

The following day, my husband and I celebrated our 51st wedding anniversary. We are blessed. And now we are settling into our home in the North Carolina mountains. The hummingbirds arrived two days ago and unfortunately a bear did too. My neighbor captured a photo on his game camera of one a bear sniffing around their children’s trampoline. The neighborhood is hoping that if we all bring in our bird feeders at night the bear will move on. It’s kind of creepy seeing a bear on the porch like we did last year. He made multiple visits.

The following day, my husband and I celebrated our 51st wedding anniversary. We are blessed. And now we are settling into our home in the North Carolina mountains. The hummingbirds arrived two days ago and unfortunately a bear did too. My neighbor captured a photo on his game camera of one a bear sniffing around their children’s trampoline. The neighborhood is hoping that if we all bring in our bird feeders at night the bear will move on. It’s kind of creepy seeing a bear on the porch like we did last year. He made multiple visits.

I'm a winner

After my retirement, I decided to re-learn the canning and preserving skills I learned from my mother but hadn’t practiced for twenty years. I titled the blog Old Things R New to chronicle my experience.  Since then I have been blessed to have six other bloggers join me, DiVoran Lites, Bill Lites,  Judy Wills, Louise Gibson, Janet Perez Eckles and Melody Hendrix

In addition to blogging, I work as the publicist/marketer/ amateur editor and general  “mom Friday” for my author daughter, Rebekah Lyn. I also manage her website, Rebekah Lyn Books  

My 2022 goal is continue to use my love of photographs and words to be an encourager on social media.

The Seamstresses in my House-Part 1

6 Mar

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

My wonderful, delightful, loving sister-in-law DiVoran Lites, suggested recently that she would like to see some blogs about the clothes I have made and purchased.  She is interested in the fabrics, colors and things related to that.  Well…that is certainly a subject that I never thought to write about…yet definitely something to consider.

So, let me start with the blog that I did write about the “Fiesta Dresses” I made years ago while growing up in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  (Please see my post of December 9, 2012 – Fiesta Dresses)  That was my beginning experience learning to sew.  You see, my Mother, her sister (Aunt Jessie), and their Mother (Granny) all worked in a handkerchief factory in San Antonio, Texas when they moved there.  So sewing was in their genes, so to speak.  And, of course, back in those days, store-bought clothes were more of a luxury – everyone made their own clothes!

1959 – originally white with red trim, but the red “ran” when washed.  So we dyed it beige.

1959 – light green with white and silver trim

I remember my Mother being a working woman most of my life, and while she did a fair bit of sewing, I seem to remember that Granny was the one who taught me to sew.  It was Granny who showed me how to work the sewing machine, and how to sew those very straight rows upon rows of trim and rick-rack on the fabric to make the fiesta dresses.  Fairly boring sewing, but gave me a sense of what sewing was all about, and a great sense of satisfaction with the finished product.

I remember several garments Granny made for me.  Here is a turquoise velveteen jumper that I wore over a shirt/blouse.  

1953

Turquoise is probably my favorite color in all things, so you will see Granny made several items for me that were turquoise in color.  For instance, she also made me a turquoise velveteen housecoat.  And a turquoise overcoat – I believe it was wool with a lining and filling that made it toasty and warm.

1953 – Me in my overcoat – Granny and her sisters (Lillie in the middle, Loa next to my Mom)

I am fairly sure she made this dress for me – it was the dress I wore for my initiation into Rainbow Girls when I was 13 years old.  The dress itself was out of a taffeta fabric, with a sheer overlay of chiffon.

1952

I am fairly convinced that Granny made my Mother’s wedding dress. 

1937

It was a taffeta fabric, and the skirt was full-circle.   Aunt Jessie took it following the wedding and wrapped it in tissue paper and kept it in a cedar chest in her garage.  All that to say that, when it came time for my wedding, we took Mother’s wedding dress, removed the sleeves, and had an entire over-dress made from Belgian lace.  I thought it was beautiful.

1961

My brother, Bill wrote about Granny sewing for him, as well:

During my teenage years, Granny kept an up-to-date (as I got bigger) long sleeve Western Shirt pattern, so all I had to do was find a fabric and pattern I liked and buy (3) yards of that material and give it to Granny. She would make the shirt and then she and I would install the pearl snaps (front, sleeves, & pockets). Granny also made a Red Corduroy Ike Jacket for me that was one of the items, along with the Red Corduroy pants from Penney’s, that got DiVoran’s attention in Miss Millers English class the day I wore that outfit to school.

1955 – This shirt shows the pearl buttons quite well

A good example of  Bill’s shirt made by Granny

Another good example of one of the shirts Granny made for Bill

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

Judy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years .

  Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing. Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.

After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins as well as a great-grandson and a great-granddaughter. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

2021 Road Tripping to Arkansas-Rattlesnake Saloon

19 Nov

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

Tuscumbia Alabama

The day’s adventure beginning with Little River Canon Preserve had taken longer than planned. We arrived at our hotel in Tuscumbia feeling tired even though I had eliminated an anticipated stop. Hotel check in was disconcerting as the lobby was very small making maintaining distance a challenge. Once it was our turn, the front desk worker was rather abrupt, almost rude. A rarity as we have been fortunate with this chain hotel. I don’t know if she was feeling stressed or if she was just not a happy person.

Our room was equally disappointing. It definitely did not reflect the bright, cheery pictures online. When I noticed the mildew, maybe mold in the top window frame I was almost ready to leave, but we were just too tired. I barely remember that we ate supper at a Cracker Barrel.

We did sleep well that night. A plus for starting off a new day. The hotel’s breakfast was a grab and go bag, which we can’t eat and after the previous morning’s smoking mini griddle event I wasn’t eager to try that again. Fortunately there was a Waffle House, or maybe a Huddle House in walking distance. ( I get confused about which one as they are very similar.)After a short wait we were seated with nice, hot coffee delivered in record time. The day was looking good. Back at the hotel, the front desk was staffed with a very helpful and kind man.

A totally different experience from the night before and a good start to the day’s adventure, lunch at the Rattlesnake Saloon. A cousin who loves to travel backroads told us about this fascinating restaurant built in a cave than once was used as a pig pen! It sounded so unique, we had to visit it.

Their daughter, Theresa, spent 6 months road tripping and sleeping in her car and visited there a couple of weeks ago. She created this video for her You Tube channel and gave me permission to share it.

The saloon is unique in every way. Transportation down to the saloon cave is in the back of a customized pick up truck. Of course, one could walk down to the saloon but at our age, we will choose the ride!

The menu consisted of sandwich baskets. My husband ordered pulled pork and he said it was good, not exceptional, but good. I was surprised to learn that all of the food was prepared on site. The day we were there they even had live music!

Here is an excerpt from their webpage:

“The Saloon took just 49 days to construct before opening on Labor Day weekend in 2009. Since its opening, it has been featured in magazines, music videos, and tv shows and has become one of the top attractions in the area. So far our guestbooks show visitors from all 50 states and over 30 other countries have stopped at the Saloon.”

In due course a trip to the facilities was in order. I entered with some trepidation. Would it be clean? The interior walls were covered in rough wood but the back wall was one of a kind… the cave! And yes the facilities were clean.

Looking back, I wish we had visited the gift shop. Even if I didn’t purchase a thing, I have a feeling their souvenirs would be as creative as the saloon.

We rode the truck back to the parking lot which we now noticed was filled with horse trailers being unloaded. There were some beautiful horses! Along with the saloon the property has extensive trails for horseback riding and ATVs plus a campground with full hookups. The following weekend they would be hosting a mule event with people coming from across the country to show their mules. THAT I would have liked to see.

Then it was back on the road to our next night’s stop, Olive Branch, Mississippi. A town just across the border from Memphis, Tennessee and the Elvis Presley estate.

I'm a winner

After my retirement, I decided to re-learn the canning and preserving skills I learned from my mother but hadn’t practiced for twenty years. I titled the blog Old Things R New to chronicle my experience.  Since then I have been blessed to have six other bloggers join me, DiVoran Lites, Bill Lites,  Judy Wills, Louise Gibson, Janet Perez Eckles and Melody Hendrix

In addition to blogging, I work as the publicist/marketer/ amateur editor and general  “mom Friday” for my author daughter, Rebekah Lyn. I also manage her website, Rebekah Lyn Books  

My 2021 goal is continue to use my love of photographs and words to be an encourager on social media. You can visit Real Life Books and Media You Tube Channel if you would like to view some of the mini-videos I have created for our church, Gateway Community in Titusville, Fl.

Thoughts

7 Nov

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

Greetings friends. Judy usually posts on Sunday but she is busily completing an afghan for a friend. If you remember she wrote about her long time delight in afghans and the love that goes into each one she creates.

I have zero skills with crochet or any crafts, but this week, I just happened to have created a tiny video for a Bible verse that is dear to my heart. So many times I just don’t understand life and this verse always brings me peace and confidence. May it do the same for you.

As an FYI, You Tube chooses the video suggestions after this one plays. Does anyone know how to disable that?

Lava

25 Jul

youtube.com/watch

Oh April-50th Anniversary Part 2

6 May

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

April 10, 2021-Day 2

We began our first full day in Pigeon Forge with coffee on the porch, followed by a breakfast of peanut butter waffles and precooked bacon. I prepared the waffles before leaving home, so it was a simple matter of popping them in the toaster. Over breakfast we discussed our plan for the day. Afternoon rain was forecast so we decided to venture out to a short nature trail behind the Sugarlands Visitor Center.

The trail was an easy 1.1 mile walk, more like a stroll through the woods leading to Cataract Falls. Perfect! Shortly after we began walking, we felt a few sprinkles of rain, but nothing more. We came across multiple signs like this one, It was interesting to know not only the name of the plants, trees and bushes, but how they were used.

Of course, no self respecting mountain trail would be complete without a cheerful stream running alongside.

Just before the bridge was this odd tree stump. What stories it could tell!

When we arrived at the falls, a light rain began, but it didn’t last long enough to wet us. An interesting interaction happened where people were having their pictures taken in front of the falls. A bystander saw a group posing and called out a man’s name. Surprised laughter followed. To the best of my eavesdropping ability, it seemed they were acquaintances from the same town and I think they were involved in a sport. You just never know who you will see. We did the picture thing too.

Husband and daughter

After leaving the falls we discovered a shortcut back to our car. Not nearly as picturesque, but with rain threatening, it seemed like the best choice. We followed a couple who were walking confidently and seemed to know where they were going. I’m glad we chose that route as it brought us out in front of the stone ranger station. We admired the stone work. There’s just something about it that says strong and enduring.

Back at the timeshare we had lunch then banished my husband to take a nap. My daughter and I decided to brave the impending rain and do some shopping in Sevierville. I got a kick out of the ducks in front of the Dollar Tree store. Just before I snapped the picture their faces were pressed close to the windows.

Taco soup that I made ahead at home was a perfect rainy night supper, followed by streaming one of our favorite TV shows ended day 2 of our anniversary celebration.

I'm a winner

After my retirement, I decided to re-learn the canning and preserving skills I learned from my mother but hadn’t practiced for twenty years. I titled the blog Old Things R New to chronicle my experience.  Since then I have been blessed to have six other bloggers join me, DiVoran Lites, Bill Lites,  Judy Wills, Louise Gibson, Janet Perez Eckles and Melody Hendrix

In addition to blogging, I work as the publicist/marketer/ amateur editor and general  “mom Friday” for my author daughter, Rebekah Lyn. I also manage her website, Rebekah Lyn Books  

My 2021 goal is continue touse my love of photographs and words to be an encourager on social media. You can visit Real Life Books and Media You Tube Channel if you would like to view some of the mini-videos I have created for our church, Gateway Community in Titusville, Fl.

Three Steps to Remain Steady and Strong

17 Apr

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight\

Janet Perez Eckles

Reblogged April 17, 2021

April 9, 2021

He belongs behind bars. I think you’ll agree after you read this excerpt from Wild at Heart, by Ransom Ministries.

“Our local zoo, for years had one of the biggest African lions I’ve ever seen. A huge male, nearly five hundred pounds, with a wonderful mane and absolutely enormous paws. Panthera leo, the King of the Beasts.

Sure, he was caged, but I’m telling you the bars offered small comfort when you stood within six feet of something that in any other situation saw you as an easy lunch. Honestly, I felt I ought to shepherd my boys past him at a safe distance, as if he could pounce on us if he really wanted to.

Yet he was my favorite, and whenever the others would wander on to the monkey house or the tigers, I’d double back just for a few more minutes in the presence of someone so powerful and noble and deadly. Perhaps it was fear mingled with admiration; perhaps it was simply that my heart broke for the big old cat.

This wonderful, terrible creature should have been out roaming the savannah, ruling his pride, striking fear into the heart of every wildebeest, bringing down zebras and gazelles whenever the urge seized him. Instead, he spent every hour of every day and every night of every year alone, in a cage smaller than your bedroom, his food served to him through a little metal door.”

Whew!

Although pitifully out of his habitat, he’s behind bars so visitors are safe. Not so in the zoo of life we’re living in right now. Another being lurks around. He’s on the loose, free, roaming from here to there as “he prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).

But before we take a step back in fear, we recognize what we must never do: not for one minute do we become intimidated, or do we focus on his presence, his demonic ploys or his masterful lies that carry counterfeit messages.

Instead, we follow the FBI’s method. They have an effective way to detect counterfeit currency bills.

Their approach is to intensely study, analyze and examine the intricate details of the authentic, genuine currency.

So deeply ingrained in their brains are the details of the true and legitimate paper bill that when they encounter a counterfeit, they immediately recognize it.

We need to do the same. We prepare. We study, examine and internalize God’s truth. Then, quicker than a flick on the cell phone, we can identify the adversary.

3 Steps to Take

And to avoid being his prey, we take these three steps:

No. 1: Dress up for the day. Each morning, before we pour the first cup of coffee, we put on the armor of God. Why? Because the day of temptation and attacks will come. When it does, here’s what we do:

“…put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” (Ephesians 6:13-17)

We have that mighty designer armor delivered right to the door of our heart. But what do we do? Instead of putting it on, we sometimes head out spiritually naked. We do because life’s tasks demand our time. Because social media lures us. Because we become busy feeding our worry with exaggerated lies from the media. And before we know it, we become an inviting prey for the enemy.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Dressed in God’s armor, we’re the ones who sit at the table of His grace and feed our mind, spirit and soul with the promise of His guaranteed protection.

No. 2. We declare our position. Equipped and ready, we can step at the front of the battle line. Fear left behind, worry shed away, anxiety has no power anymore.

And from this point on, no matter how gloomy the world turns, how uncertain the future may seem. And no matter what threats may come our way, we stand firm empowered by our position of truth. God’s truth that, in the midst of our worst pain and anguish, He speaks to us through the Apostle Paul’s words “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered” (Romans 8:36).

The danger is real and the threat is near. But we stand in the position of power because “…neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).

Our place of security is in Christ.

 Our place of security is in Christ.

That’s why even if the world seems to be falling apart, we’re secure because we’re in the right location—in Him. In Christ, in His corner. In His strength and in His love.

No. 3 Dare to be different. Have you read the posts? Have you listened to the news? Have you seen the complaints and lamenting words? We all have. But not all of us have to follow the crowd and become members of the “frantic club.”

Once inducted in this club, we’re doomed. We end up making decisions based on everyone else’s example. We follow steps dictated by fear. And we head in directions paved by others.

Time to change. What if we chose to dare to be different? Let’s disconnect that channel from which we receive our information. What if we pull away from the computer? What if we temporarily turned off our cell phones. Outrageous!

Though it may seem an impossible task as our cells have become a body part—they go with us everywhere—restaurants, cars, stores, the park, the bathroom. Soon they might sell water-proof cell phones so we can take them in the shower.

But what if we choose to be different and take a few minutes to be in silence. And with resolve, we direct our focus only on the Lord. On His ways. On His goodness. On His promises. And on His comfort.

The Result

The result will be that in God’s presence, we find peace. In the stillness of our heart, we find rest. In the quiet of the moment, our minds become clear. And in the pondering of His goodness, we gain strength.

That’s why we remain steady. We remain strong and faithful. And instead of wimpy Christians, we become warriors, conquerors. Actually, “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Romans 8:37).

More than conquerors, secure in who we are, we begin each day spiritually dressed. We declare our position in Christ. We boldly choose to be different than the crowd. And thus, we put the enemy behind bars and we stand firm and victorious.

Although a victorious life doesn’t mean empty of adversity, it’s rich with God’s promise that we’re guided by the truth of His Word. We’re anointed by His Holy Spirit. And protected by the blood of the Lamb.

Let’s Pray

Father, thank you for providing the perfect shield from the enemy’s attacks, Under Your grace, we may not be immune to suffering, but we’re equipped to endure, to triumph and live in the security of Your protection. In Jesus’ name.

What steps have you taken to live secure and protected?

Janet

______________________________________

Did you know I wrote a book filled with words of encouragement, uplifting thoughts and illustrations of real-life triumph to empower you? Its title, Trials of Today, Treasures for Tomorrow: Overcoming Adversities in Life. You can get it HERE.

CLICK HERE for a one-minute inspirational video.

Looking for a speaker for your upcoming event? A great speaker makes the difference between a so-so event and one that shines with impact. I invite you to view one of my two-minute videos HERE.

Please shareFeel free to share Janet’s posts with your friends.

Some say she should be the last person to be dancing. Her life is summarized in this 3-minute video: http://bit.ly/1a8wGJR

Janet Perez Eckles’ story of triumph is marked by her work as an international speaker, #1 best-selling author, radio host, personal success coach and master interpreter. Although blind since 31, her passion is to help you see the best of life.

www.janetperezeckles.com

Children and God-1

12 Apr

My Take

DiVoran Lites

 Photo Credit Pixabay

To read the Bible is to get reassurance from our Heavenly Father. A wonderful Christian I read about stated that he never worried. I believed him. Unfortunately for many of us, this is a worry-wart world, especially now in this dark time of Covid 19 and ruthless leaders. However, I’m concentrating more on our Father God than on the problems; that’s what gives me peace.  

From what I’ve heard, God has started the greatest revival the world has ever known. That means a possible billion, or however many people of the world God chooses or those who choose Him. When it is time, people will settle in and give their hearts and souls to Jesus, the Son of God who died for our sins. We can worry less because we are the beloved children of God, and we are cleansed in the blood of the Lord Jesus. All we need to do is to acknowledge that he died for our sins and turn our lives over to him.

No one does life better than God.

When our son and daughter were still at home, we prayed with and for them. The neighborhood kids came back after supper to hear the Bible stories read by Bill. The whole bunch of them were doing well in school and playing in the woods. They still had plenty of problems and questions to deal with, though, because they were children and still needed to be trained in the art of becoming adults. That was why I was so thrilled to come across the following scriptures. 

Isaiah 54:10-14 says, “And all your children shall be taught of the Lord.

[and obedient to His will], and great shall be the peace and undisturbed composure of your children. Amplified Bible

John 6::45 says, “It is written in the book of the prophets, (Isaiah 54:15)

And they shall all be taught of the Lord, have Him in person for their teacher.” 

Photo Credit Pixabay

It is wonderful to know that God has been and still is teaching our children about Himself. If we turn our problems over to our Heavenly Father, we don’t need to worry so much. It is useless to try to fix things with our minds or any other human mind. We need to go directly to God and open the door to be told what He wants us to do.  Getting counsel can be necessary, but we still need to continue to check everything with God first. (And rebuke evil while we’re at it.) 

God loves the children and has given them as gifts to Himself and us. Thank you, Lord, for all the children in the world. Bless them and make their lives good.  

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.”

Music and Me-Part 3

11 Apr

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

But while the piano has been a large part of my life, I found singing to be my love and joy.  I can remember singing in childrens and youth choirs most of my life.  When I came of age, I began singing in the Adult Choir in our church.

First Baptist Church, Albuquerque, New Mexico Credit Google Search

1964 – Sanctuary Choir – First Baptist Church, Albuquerque, New Mexico

I remember the very first solo I sang – it was in 1st grade and it was for a Christmas program in my class.  I sang “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.”  I don’t remember singing many other solos until I reached Junior High (what today would be called Middle School).  I was in the school chorus there, and we sang for many school functions.

November 26 – Christmas parade – I’m holding the 2nd “F” – Jefferson Junior High School

In that day, Junior High was grades 7, 8, and 9, with High School being just three years, 10th, 11th, and 12th

Highland High School – Albuquerque, New Mexico

I was in the girl’s chorus all three of those years.  I had tried out for All-State Chorus in 10th grade, but had a cold that day, and didn’t make it.  However, I was in it the next two years.  

Highland High School’s All State Chorus – 1959

Since Albuquerque was the largest city in New Mexico, that’s where All-State Chorus was held.  We met in the gymnasium of the University of New Mexico.  It was a great time – all the All-State choruses from around the state gathered in Albuquerque, and we all sang together.  I loved it!

I remember one particular All-State Chorus time – probably my senior year in high school – when we began to sing, and we found ourselves off-key – and we were in the concert time, not rehearsal!  The director stopped us from singing.  I was mortified!  And I think most of the rest of the chorus was, as well!  He had the pianist play something in another key, then started us up again.  We stayed on-pitch that time, much to my surprise.  But rather than let us fumble through the piece in the wrong key, he had the presence of mind to correct it.  HE was not mortified at all!  I have since learned that, if the group is being accompanied by a drum, that even if the drum is the only sound going, we stay on-pitch.  Amazing!

The most fun of my high school singing time was that I was chosen to sing in the hand-picked group of girls singers – Dreamers.

Dreamers – 1959 – Highland High School – Albuquerque, New Mexico

We had 12 girls in the group, with four girls on each part.  Occasionally the songs we did had more than three parts, and we would split into more parts.  That’s where I learned to love singing second soprano.  I learned to sing the second soprano with the first soprano ringing in my head.  Still do that to some degree.  Dreamers sang at many functions around the city.  It was a wonderful time in my life.  I was in Dreamers my entire three years in high school.  

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

Judy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years .

  Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing. Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.

After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins as well as a great-grandson. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

Fishing with Ivan Part 4D

7 Apr

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

The scenery was beautiful as we continued north on CA-1 to our next stop in San Francisco, CA where we wanted to show our kids some of the sights and sounds of that fabulous city.  First we took them to Ghirardelli Square, where we checked out the shops and bought some chocolates for DiVoran.  Then we took the famous Powell & Hyde cable-car to Fisherman’s Wharf for some really wonderful seafood.  After that delightful experience, we went back to our car and drove down the famous winding Lombard Street with our camper!  I wasn’t sure we were going to make it around some of those curves.

Photo: https://www.queenanne.com/things-to-do/fisherman-s-wharf

Leaving San Francisco, we crossed the Golden Gate Bridge, and took U.S. 101 north to our halfway point for this trip, which was to visit Ivan & Dora in Ft. Bragg, CA.  See there, I told you we would eventually get to them, if you were patient with me for the first half of this road trip.  We had a great visit with Ivan and Dora.  They were a little isolated from their family, and loved seeing us and their grandchildren.  They showed us around their small fishing village of Fort Bragg (pop ~4737), and introduced us to some of their friends there.  One day Ivan took us all out in the woods, close to their house, to collect mushrooms for our dinner.  He showed us how to tell the eatable ones from the poison ones.  Dora grew a lot of the fresh vegetables they ate in her small garden.  The fresh vegetables and mushrooms sure were good with the charcoal grilled steaks we had that evening.  

Photo: https://www.phinneycenter.org/calendar/edible-and-medicinal-mushrooms-of-the-pnw/

Now for the fishing story you’ve been waiting for.  One day while we were there, in Fort Bragg, Ivan took me out on the Pacific Ocean (just the two of us) in his commercial salmon fishing boat, Husky, to show me how he fished for Chinook Salmon.  What an experience that was!    I mostly just watched, helped when I could, and steered the boat once he started letting out his fishing line.  Ivan did all the work, and had his one-man system worked out well.  You couldn’t pay me enough to do that kind of work, but Ivan seemed to love it.

       Photo by Dora Bowers – Ivan’s new fishing boat (Husky)

Ivan told me that he fished alone most of the time, and used the trout line method.  He would use his Lowrance Fish Finder to locate the schools of fish, and then he would put the boat on auto-pilot and let out his baited hooks and line.  Once the line was all the way out, he would make a very large turning circle, and head back, reeling in the line and fish with the aid of a small electric powered winch.  He would ice down the fish, and if the catch was good, he would repeat the procedure all over again.  It was a difficult task, but he seemed to manage without any problem, as long as the seas didn’t get too rough.  

Photo:  https://www.asupervip.top/products.aspx?cid=36&cname=trotlines

—–To Be Continued—–

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 63 years in Titusville, Florida. He was born and raised in the Southwest, did a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy, attended Northrop University in Southern California and ended up working on America’s Manned Space Program for 35 years. He currently is retired and spends most of his time building and flying R/C model airplanes, traveling, writing blogs about his travels for Word Press and supporting his wife’s hobbies with framing, editing and marketing.  He also volunteers with a local church Car Care Ministry and as a tour guide at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum there in Titusville.  Bill has two wonderful children, two outstanding grandchildren, and a loving sister and her husband, all of whom also live in Central Florida, so he and DiVoran are rewarded by having family close to spend lots of quality time with.

One of Bill’s favorite Scriptures is:  John 10:10

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