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2018 Florida Road Trip Part 11(Continued – 2)

13 Mar

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites


Day 11 Monday 10/29/2018


I hopped on another Trolley and made the short trip down the road to visit the Fountain of Youth and Archaeological Park.   This is one of at least three known locations in Florida that claim to be the site that Juan Ponce de Leon named  during his 1513 search for what the local Timucua natives referred to as the Fountain of Youth (I don’t think he ever found it).



Excavations of this area (1909-1977) have produced much evidence of the existence of Timucua native communities dating from as early as 2400 BC, but no actual proof of Ponce de Leon or his party.  The site has been a tourist attraction since 1927, when Walter B. Fraser purchased the property.  The attraction consists of several exhibits, including The Spring House, where I was able to sample water from “The Fountain of Youth” (I don’t feel any younger), a Timucua native village, a 1585 Spanish Menendez settlement, a chalupa boathouse, and a blacksmith shop, just to name  a few.



Next stop turned out to be a major Trolley stop where the Old St. Johns County Jail (Oldest Jail) was the centerpiece for the Oldest Store Museum, Gator Bob’s Cracker Trading Post, and the Florida Historical Museum.  The jail was built in 1891 by Henry Flagler in this location to keep it away from the downtown St. Augustine area.  It was designed to look like a hotel, so Flagler’s prospective investors would not be put off by its presence.  With room for 72 inmates and warden’s quarters, the jail was used until 1953, when it was closed and became a museum.  The museum displays prison articles, exhibits, and memorabilia explained to visitors, during their tour, by costumed actors relating tales of the jail and its occupants.



The Oldest Store Museum is a re-creation of the original 1908 general store that was operated by Mr. C. F. Hamblen.  The store is filled with turn-of-the-century “modern living” items that are demonstrated to visitors, by period dressed “clerks” and “salesmen” as part of their tour of the store.



Gator Bob’s “Cracker” Trading Post is your typical Florida tourist trap, with everything imaginable the visitor could be looking for as a souvenir.  I have to admit, this store has the most complete size range of alligator heads I believe I have ever seen.  Since I didn’t need an alligator head for my man-cave at home, I just took the next trolley back to downtown.



The next hour was a whirlwind of sights, sounds, and information about the many interesting places there in St. Augustine by our Trolley driver.  It would have been smart of me to have a tape recorder, so I could have recorded that wealth of information.   But, of course, who thinks that far ahead when on a road trip?  I got off the Trolley at the Plaza de la Constitucion park (1573), and began taking a closer look at some of the points of interest we had just driven past.



The Governor’s House is on the west side of the Plaza de la Constitucion, and served both the Spanish and British Governors, who ruled St. Augustine, during the First Spanish Period (1565-1763), the British Period (1763-1784), and until 1812 in the Second Spanish Period (1784-1821).  The building now houses the Cultural Center and Museum (click on Wikipedia for Governor’s House & Government House for more interesting information about early St. Augustine).



The Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine (1565, 1586, 1605, 1707, 1793-1797) is located on the north side of the Plaza de la Constitucion, and represents the oldest Roman Catholic parish in the United States.  The placement of the church facing the Plaza de la Constitucion follows the tradition of siting religious, government, and commercial functions around the central plaza, as dictated by the 1573 Laws of the Indies for Spanish Colonial town planning.

The original commercial stores, and more modern tourist shops, are situated on the south side of the Plaza de la Constitucion, satisfying the 1573 Spanish decree.  I looked up and down the west side of King Street for the Lyons Maritime Museum, but to no avail.   I continued a short distant west on King Street to visit the Lightner Museum.  This museum was originally built in 1887, as the Hotel Alcazar, by Henry Flagler (1830-1913) for wealthy northern tourist traveling south for the winter on Flagler’s railroad (1885).  Flagler spared no expenses on this magnificent hotel, which was far ahead of its time in amenities, including being one of the first hotels in the U.S. to incorporate electric lights designed by Flagler’s friend Thomas Edison. However, many of the rich and famous people in America were not exempt from the dreadful effects the depression years had on this country, and the hotel ended up closing in 1932.


—–More of this day’s activities will be continued next week—–





Completely Satisfying

12 Mar

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis


AW Tozer had so much wisdom.

Canon City

11 Mar

My Take

DiVoran Lites


Canon City

Pronounced Canyon City


We left Lovelock when I was six months old. It was 1939 and Dora’s father, Roger, had died. Because he ran the gas plant, the town needed someone to take over his job. As my father, Ivan, had worked there before and was good with all kinds of machinery we went back to save the day.


DiVoran about three years old.

The gas was called water-gas and it ran all the electricity in town. I looked it up, but I still don’t know anything about it, except two things that Mother told me. She said that when she was a childif the gas lamp over the table started to flicker at supper time, her father had to get up and hurry down to the plant to solve the problem. The other thing Mother told me was that sometimes when Roger came home from work he was groggy and the children had to walk him around the back yard until he began to wake up. I believe there may have been some carbon monoxide from the plant involved. Is this possible? He was 54 when he passed away. His wife, our grandmother, Mabel, died at the same age in 1946.

So from the time I was six months old until I was seven years old, we lived in Canon City. I was three and a half when a baby brother was born to the Bowers household. When they told me where he had been born, I made up my first poem,” Baby David was born at Saint Thomas Moore on the basement floor.” For some reason, Mother didn’t think it was a bit funny, but I just meant that it was the part of the hospital where he was born.” I don’t know if it really was or not.

When America entered World War Two,Ivan didn’t have to go. He was doing vital work and they had a deferment for married men with children. But it was predicted that by 1943 they would run out of single men and the married ones would have to be called up. That’s what happened to Ivan. He was twenty-eight years old and had flat feet, but he had to go.




Dora, David, and I moved to an upstairs apartment in Grandmother and Granddad’s Victorian house on Greenwood Ave. Grandmother Marie had her beauty shop there and Granddad Ira worked as a guard at the Colorado State Penitentiary which had once been the Territorial Prison. Now parts of it are a museum.



Author, Poet and Artist

DiVoran has been writing for most of her life. Her first attempt at a story was when she was seven years old and her mother got a new typewriter. DiVoran got to use it and when her dad saw her writing he asked what she was writing about. DiVoran answered that she was writing the story of her life. Her dad’s only comment was, “Well, it’s going to be a very short story.” After most of a lifetime of writing and helping other writers, DiVoran finally launched her own dream which was to write a novel of her own. She now has her Florida Springs trilogy and her novel, a Christian Western Romance, Go West available on Amazon. When speaking about her road to publication, she gives thanks to the Lord for all the people who helped her grow and learn.  She says, “I could never have done it by myself, but when I got going everything fell beautifully into place, and I was glad I had started on my dream.”

Another Surprise! Part 2

10 Mar


Judy Wills


After we thanked Bob and Aileen for their part in the subterfuge (their meal was paid for by our girls),


Bob and Aileen

we piled into two cars and headed up to Sanford, Florida for our next adventure of the day.  It took about one hour to reach the port.  The girls had arranged for us to take a trip on the St. Johns River on an old, paddle-wheel boat.  Fred and I have done this trip several trips with the senior adults from our church, and really enjoy it.  There is live entertainment, and lots of information about the boat as well as the river.

The gentleman who sang for our entertainment did a lot of the “oldie” songs – much to the enjoyment of those of us older ones who were on the cruise.  They recognized those having birthdays (including Fred!), and one gentleman who is a WW2 survivor!  Such an honor to see him.

We like to sail with the St. Johns Rivership Company, and their boat is the Barbara-Lee.  I gleaned from their website:

The only authentic sternwheeler sailing the St. Johns River. Measuring 105 feet from stem to stern, the ship was built in 1986 and was extensively refurbished prior to its inaugural St. Johns cruise in 2012.

Featuring ornate wrought iron railings and massive wooden paddle wheels, the five-story rivership accommodates up to 194 guests, making it ideally suited to host events of varying sizes. Plus, all enclosed decks are climate controlled with air conditioning and heating.


Credit Google Search and JP Tours


Credit Google Search and Orlando Magazine


From Google search I found: 

A paddleboat or paddlewheeler is a ship or boat propelled by one or more paddle wheels driven by an engine. Boats with paddle wheels on the sides are also called sidewheelers, while those with a single wheel on the stern are known as sternwheelers.[This boat has dual wheels on the stern, which allows it to turn around in its own length]

In sunny weather, it is a pleasure to go outside and walk around the decks, observing the river and its wildlife. Unfortunately, this day it was overcast and drizzly.  But that’s okay – we enjoyed the cruise anyway.

And then there is lunch!  It is cooked right there on the boat, and served during the cruise.

Credit Google Search and TicketSpice

And the pre-lunch specialty is their famous sticky buns!  Yummmm.


Credit Google Search and Simply Recipes


And of course, there is dessert after.  We had a blast!  And even our 12-year-old grand-twins enjoyed their time there.

Here are a couple of pictures we took on that cruise – on the Barbara-Lee.


Fred and Judy at the table

The whole gang in front of the Barbara-Lee


After that three hour cruise, we went to the resort/condo Tom had reserved and just rested for a few hours.

The rest of the day involved dinner (supper) at Bonefish Grill – one of our favorite places to eat!  Great food…great fellowship…great end to a great day.


Credit Google Search and Twitter


We said our goodbyes to Karen and her family, as they would be leaving the next day, while we were in church.  Janet and her family spent that day at Magic Kingdom. Unfortunately, it was a fairly rainy day – but they enjoyed their time, anyway.  They came back to our house that late afternoon and settled in for the remainder of the day and overnight.

We had some time with them on Monday morning, then Fred took them to the airport following lunch.

It was a very short – but wonderful – weekend. And a birthday to remember!! After all, one doesn’t turn 80 years old very often!

We are thankful the girls wanted to do this for their dad.  He loved every minute of it.



JUDYJudy 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.
She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.


Pleasing God is easier than you think

9 Mar

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles


My friend and I attended a talent show a few weeks ago. Rumor spread that this would be a great event. Singers filed on the stage displaying their best performance as they chose a song to delight the audience. But deep down, they coveted the first prize.

Great songs, beautiful voices.

But unexpectedly, one of the contestants gripped the mic and began his song. Then he paused, and pulled out a harmonica. With gusto, he slid his lips from side to side creating contagious melodies that made us all sway and tap our feet. Then he followed up with the rest of the song with effusive passion, bringing a glorious ending to his performance.

The crowd jumped to their feet, cheered, whistled, and roared with applause.

Wow! What happened?

Nothing extraordinary—all he did was to take an extra step, do something different, add a special flair, and move beyond the ordinary singing.

You and I know that deep, deep, really deep inside we also want to do that extra special thing in life. That feat in our journey that others would recognize as important, significant, and worth noticing. Maybe not for the masses crowded around us, but maybe just for our simple, personal satisfaction.

But in the audience of life, God is also watching, He’s observing our moves, motives, and desires. And good news…contrary to human expectations, He doesn’t expect us to pull out a harmonica, nor perform extraordinarily to please others

Instead, He wants a simple servant heart, committed and true. In the midst of sorrow, He wants our trust. When answers don’t come, He still longs for us to trust Him. And when life turns dark, He simply wants us to trust in Him for the outcome.

He expects us to…

…love Him, trust and lean on Him. His demands are simple. But we are the ones who make them complicated. We want to reach success, but He wants us to succeed in trusting Him first. We want a nice house, but He wants us to house His promises in our hearts. We want a trouble-free life, but even when trouble abounds, He wants us to delight in the freedom of His ways.

We’re tempted to perform, but He wants us to instead find purpose in Him.

We sweat trying to please, but He doesn’t expect grandeur, just gratitude because His applause is ready when we simply “trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.” He calls out the instruction: “Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart…Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him…” (Psalm 37:3-5, 7).

Pray With Me

Father, show me the silent place in your presence. The place where I don’t have to perform, prove anything, or measure my work with the world’s gauge. Grant me contentment while I wait for your next calling. I ask this in the name of your son, Jesus.

Whom are you trying to please these days?



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 share: Feel free to share Janet’s posts with your friends.

Let’s connect:



Janet Eckles Perez

Some say she should be the last person to be dancing. Her life is summarized in this 3-minute video:

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.

Seeking Peace-Even When the Time Changes

8 Mar

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis


It seems silly to be disturbed about the upcoming spring forward time change but it annoys me. I am not a morning person. Never have been.



This moves from annoying to soul-searching as I dig into what really bothers me about spring forward. Since this occurs on a Sunday morning, I have to get up an hour earlier to make it to our 9am Sunday morning class. I’m not sure which pastor decided we should begin meeting at 9am. Didn’t he know that Baptist always begin at 9:45 am?

It comes down to this, Is my hour of sleep more important  to me than gathering in fellowship with my sisters and brothers in Christ? Am I being legalistic  or lazy? And this is where my losing peace comes in.



Love: God loves me  infinitely even when I don’t want to give up my sleep. I want to show love the way He does. Not there or even close.

Joy: I can choose this Sunday to be grumpy or joyful.  Grumpy isn’t a lot of fun.

Peace: Because I am secure in His love, I can be honest with him.

Singed Again

7 Mar

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis



MAY I HAVE YOUR ATTENTION PLEASE. No part of my hand was singed or nicked in the making of these muffins. After my experience on Tuesday with the curling iron, I started off Wednesday by singeing a finger just below the knuckle, on a Belgian waffle maker. This hurt less than the curling iron, but left a blister. Maybe avoiding small electrical appliances would be a safe choice in the future. But then again, maybe not. A couple of years ago I was testing something in the oven and my pointer finger drifted up and touched the oven element. Youza! That burned. I am left handed and my husband is doesn’t like me to use sharp knives because from his right handed point of view, I look like I am going to stab myself.  I very seldom do so but after my electrical injuries, I am going to stay far away from an electric knife!

Wednesday was a perfect Florida Winter day. Loads of sunshine, a brisk breeze and a high around sixty degrees. It has been a warm winter and I didn’t want to waste this glorious day inside.   After my finger singeing we decided to drive up to Daytona to check out Academy Sports, a chain new to our area, although they do have them in Orlando. I would have preferred to go to one of the river parks, stand of the banks with outspread arms like in Titanic and savor the wind. But it would have been chilly



After strolling through several of the stores at the mall, we had a late lunch at one of our favorite places before driving home.




It was a good day.


PS The banana nut muffins are low carb, Keto and the recipe is in the  Keto Gatherings cookbook by Kristie Sullivan. My husband had one after they came out of the oven and gave them two thumbs up.

i almost forgot. Here is the video from last Sunday. 





I'm a winnerAfter 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  where we frequently host the best in up and coming authors.

My 2019 goal is 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.

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