2021 Mid-eastern Road Trip Part 4A

1 Sep

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Day 4 – 7/15/2021

I headed north out of Fayetteville on US-401 about 50 miles this morning for my first visit to the New Hope Valley Railway located in New Hill, NC.  As it turned out, this location is the terminal depot for the 5-mile steam train ride between New Hill and Bonsal, NC where the museum is located.  The museum features a collection of beautifully restored steam & diesel locomotives and antique rolling stock dating from 1869.

Photo credit: Bill Lites

I continued northeast about 20 miles on US-1 to visit the Legends of Harley Drag Racing Museum located in Raleigh, NC.  This museum is situated on the second level of the spacious Ray Price Harley Davidson dealership and displays exhibits and the history of world-famous drag racing champion Ray Price and others.

Photo credit:Bill Lites

After learning all about the history of motorcycle drag racing, it was only a few blocks to where I visited the Raleigh Fire Museum.  This museum displays several beautifully restored pieces of fire-fighting equipment and other fire-fighting memorabilia dating from their 1905 American LaFrance Steamer.

Photo credit: Bill Lites

On my way to visit the Mordecai Historic Park there in Raleigh, I passed the Capital building and stopped long enough to take a photo of that grand edifice.

Photo credit: Bill Lites

At the Mordecai Historic Park, I learned that the Mordecai House is the oldest house (1785) in Raleigh.  The Andrew Jackson (17th U.S. President) Birthplace House was built in 1795, and is among seven other restored buildings, at the park, that are part of the original Mordecai Plantation complex, or have been moved there over the years. 

Photo credit: Bill Lites

I wanted to visit the Neuse River Valley Model Railroad Club there in Raleigh, but they were closed.  I was disappointed to miss a visit to this club because I’m always amazed at the detail that goes into the model railroad layouts at these model clubs.

Photo credit: Bill Lites

Now I headed northwest 25 miles on US-70 & I-85 to visit the Duke Homestead & Tobacco Factory Site located in Durham, NC.  The Duke Homestead was built in 1852 by Washington Duke who founded what evolved into the first, and largest, tobacco firm (the American Tobacco Company) in the early 20th century.

Photo Credit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bC6rot_u8l8

It was only about another five miles west on I-85 to visit the Bennett Place Historic Site there in Durham.  This site is known as the 1789 home of James Bennett, where General Joseph E. Johnston surrendered his Confederate army (last to surrender) to General William T. Sherman on April 26, 1865 effectively ending the Civil War.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

Another 15 miles west on I-85 took me to the Orange County Historical Museum located in Hillsborough, NC.  This museum has the distinction of being the site of North Carolina’s 1788 Constitutional Convention and displays artifacts and memorabilia related to Hillsborough and the surrounding Orange County area from the pre-settlement period thru the 1950s.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

Now I headed west another 20 miles on I-40 to visit the Whistlestop Exhibit at Company Shops Station located at the Alamance County’s AMTRAK passenger station in Burlington, NC.  This exhibit includes models of the 1800s Company Shops with scenes of life in the 1900s with steam and diesel engines coming thru the engine house.

—–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

Letters from Mother 14

30 Aug

My Take

DiVoran Lites

September 12, 1983

Dear ones,

We’re sitting in the master bedroom where the air conditioner is. I’ve been paying bills, and that once lovely balance is beginning to look like a grain silo with a slow leak. We have our tax estimates to pay and car insurance. No problem, it’s done. Just that we did well by renting out the house while we traveled, now it’s time to catch up.

 I’m including a photo of the four pictures that I painted up in Washington State. The two on the right were from Elsie Delp, the teacher in Hadlock. The two on the left came from Liz Duval’s workshops. She has taught for 25 years. (Pictures lost.)

  Before we got back to Los Angeles, we had a hard time keeping the truck running as we drove up over the high range of mountains.  Your Dad thought it might be the high altitude affecting the carburetor. Then it was an hour and a half of bumper-to-bumper driving getting through L.A. Dad got tired, and so did I. and Susan came to the house Saturday, and Dave and Dad took the carburetor off and cleaned it, then the truck ran fine. 

Dad’s not sure it’s o. k. but he wants to go to Salton Sea to get the boat. The trailer is broken down, and Dave was to weld it. But your Dad was worried about how the truck would pull the boat over the Sierras to Salton Sea.  I think I would prefer to stay home. If it’s between 90 and 100 degrees here, it’s bound to be sweltering in the desert. 

Photo Credit Pixabay

Dave sold his dune buggy and got a 13 ft boat with a 15 H.P. motor for duck hunting in Mexico. 

Christ and Jen have an assortment of plastic, heeled shoes in various colors for school. Have you seen that kind of shoe in Florida? They look like they will wear a long time if they don’t get scratched. 

Thanks for having letters here when we got home. It sounds like you are encouraged with your writing. I pray you will have great pleasure with it and some income too. My prayer is not limited. I only ask that you might publish something like Gone with the Wind.

I saw the movie “Tammy Tell Me True”  T. V. I guess I like it as well as you like, “The Wizard of Oz.” It reminded me of a night when grandson Dab was just a little shaver, and I took him to a drive-in movie. He discovered the full moon that night. I shed a few tears, remembering.

Well, I have a chicken in the refrigerator, and someone has to cook it. Guess who? 

Love you Lots

Mother and Dad

Dave and Susan each made the same remark about my paintings. They individually said, “I’m impressed.”  

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.”

Just When You Think Life is too Much

28 Aug

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

ReBlogged August 28, 2021

August 27, 2021

In 1962, my brother and I snuggled next to my mom. We rode in the back of a dilapidated truck around the mountains in Bolivia. “When will we get there?” I asked her as my ten-year-old mind anticipated fun moments in the tropical area of Bolivia.

But to get there, we risked our lives. The only way to reach our destination was to travel on the most dangerous road in the world.

The narrow one-lane, dirt road had no barriers. One wrong turn of the wheel would plunge the vehicle down the huge cliff. Hundreds of crosses marked the spots where fatal accidents took place.

One such accident reached the news recently. The injuries included a young man paralyzed. His family, American missionaries, sent prayer requests through cyberspace.

How does that happen? He walked only moments earlier, paralyzed the next.

Tragedy barges in.

Why is it that on the road of life, tragedy barges in unannounced? It catches us unprepared, vulnerable to its cruelty.

I tasted that heartache when COVID struck our home. I recovered with God-given natural protocols.

But my precious 92-year-old Mom had a different kind of victory as the Lord called her home.

I experienced the deep pain of having to say goodnight to my joy-filled Mom who lived with us for nearly 30 years. In our human mind, that sudden painful change has no reason. But through reflection and in moments of silence in His presence, I also learned God’s restoring love has no limit. And this truth will allow me to say “good morning” in heaven someday.

7 Promises

When days drag on, and when we think life’s too much, God offers the freedom from the prison of sorrow and heartache. They’re included in these seven promises.

  1. We count on His help, constant and never changing because “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1). He’s present when tears flow unexplained. He’s present when the burden presses down. And He’s by us when the void aches within.
  2. We silence words of self-pity or sorrow as we declare “My lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live…” (Psalm 63:4a). Even in the midst of sobs, we give Him glory for His power at work. For His love that soothes. and for His promises that hold us up.
  3. Rather than gaze at our pain, we repeat the psalmist words,” I lift up my eyes to the hills, where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth” (Psalm 121:1-2). His help is timely. His help is perfect. And it’s the one our heart needs.
  4. Our heart may be broken, but our soul is intact. “My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you” (Psalm 63:5). Although life may seem unfair, we count on the richness of His provision. He will provide the comfort, the peace and the reassurance for every desperate moment.
  5. We thank Him for the sweet sleep that will come because “On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night because you are my help…” (Psalm 63:6). God does not slumber or sleep so that we can. We rest in His presence and sleep on the pillow of His whisper.
  6. We claim His power, knowing where we find protection. “We sing in the shadow of your wings. Our soul clings to you…” (Psalm 63:7). His Wings protect us. His refuge covers us. And His embrace gives us life.
  7. We declare: Lord, we will not faint because “Our soul clings to you; your right hand upholds us” (Psalm 63:8). We may feel weak. We may stumble. But we’ll never fall, His strong arm sustains us.

Let’s pray.

Father, I praise you for already knowing the help we would need, the comfort we would desire, and the reassurance we would call for. Thank you for going before us to prepare the healing and the restoration of our peace. I thank you in Jesus’ name.

To whom will you turn when life becomes too much?

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

___________________________________

Janet Eckles Perez

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

Our Covid Tests Were Negative and Other Things.

28 Aug

My Take

Onisha Ellis

On the 12th of August my husband began to feel unwell. I fretted, and he insisted it was a sinus infection. By the weekend he wasn’t feeling well at all and I had begun to have sniffles. On Monday morning I called the county health department and we went for tests in the afternoon. We didn’t get the results until Thursday. Meanwhile my husband’s sinus pain worsened but my symptoms disappeared. Our local hospital has a fairly good urgent care center and as soon as we had the results, we drove to the center armed with his report. My husband was right…sinus infection. Thankfully the medicines are working and he is on the mend.

Our daughter was here for a short visit and was supposed to fly home on the 16th. A few days before her flight, she received a message the airlines had cancelled the flight. That turned out to be fortuitous as around 1 am on the 16th the electricity went out for 10 hours. None of us slept well after that. It would have made for a very long day for her.

Once we were all up and about, I wanted to go into town to get coffee. We have a Coleman camping stove but it was buried in the garage and I didn’t want my still recovering husband to have to dig it out but, well, you know men. He found it and set it up. Our daughter went upstairs and brought down our ancient stove top percolator. As I prepared the coffee pot I wondered if I would still be able to make a decent cup of perked coffee. Once the pot began to bubble, it all came back to me. I adjusted the flames and watched the color change in the glass knob on the top. I told my daughter I was passing on to her the ancient art of making coffee. It turned out quite well.

While our daughter was here we managed to visit a couple of waterfalls in between rain showers.When we arrived at Whitewater falls after an hour and a half drive it was raining and we were starving. Fortunately there was an empty picnic shelter that we could pull up to and unload the food.

We visited this waterfall a few weeks ago with our cousins and were anxious to share it with our daughter.

Our next stop was Silver Run falls. I think of this as a friendly waterfall. The trail is short and well maintained and the falls, while not majestic are pretty and is a favorite place for locals to let their children splash.

Our daughter had rebooked her cancelled flight for Thursday but when our Covid tests results weren’t available on Wednesday she asked for and received permission to work from our home in North Carolina until Monday. We of course, were thrilled to have her with us a few extra days. Before she left, the two of us had lunch at an interesting restaurant near downtown. All of the seating was outdoors, some under a shelter and others covered with large umbrellas. Those umbrellas were came in handy as yet one more rain shower passed over.

On Monday we had to be up at 5 am to take her to the airport. i am not fond of arising before the sun but I do enjoy a nice sunrise. From our home in the mountains, we seldom see sunrise so I was looking forward to a spectacular one! I forgot about fog. I had resigned myself to no sunrise and then we rounded a curve in the road and there it was.

We enjoyed her visit and the house feels a little lonely now.

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.

2021 Mid-eastern Road Trip Part 3

25 Aug

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Day 3 – 7/14/2021

This morning I headed northwest out of Mt. Pleasant on I-526/I-26 and US-52 some 50 miles to visit the Berkeley County Museum located In Moncks Corner, SC.  This museum is situated in the Old Santee Canal Park and displays exhibits and memorabilia related to the cultural and natural history of Berkeley County and the surrounding area dating from the Ice Age, and the Revolutionary “Swamp Fox” Francis Marion to the Civil War, semi-submersible torpedo boat CSS David on display.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

Continuing north on US-52 about 40 miles I visited the Williamsburg Historical Museum in Kingstree, SC.  This museum displays exhibits and artifacts which tell the history of Williamsburg County and the immediate area, including tours of the 1749 Thorntree Plantation House.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

It was just 15 miles north on US-52 to where I visited the Ronald E. McNair Memorial Park located in Lake City, SC.   Ronald McNair was one of the seven Astronauts who tragically lost their lives in the explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger on January 28, 1986.  The memorial honors the life and the many accomplishments of Dr. Ronald E. McNair who was a native of Lake City.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

Continuing north another 25 miles on US-52 I visited the War Between the States Museum located in Florence, SC.  This museum is housed in the 1923 home of former Confederate soldier R. Frank McKain and displays mostly Civil War artifacts and memorabilia dating from 1850 to 1900.  There is also a model of the Florence Stockade, which also served as a Prison Camp for some 400 captured Union soldiers during the Civil War.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

Ten miles northwest of Florence, on US-52, I visited the Darlington Speedway Museum located at the Darlington Speedway in Darlington, SC.  Being a NASCAR enthusiast, I enjoyed reading about the history of how the speedway was built by Harold Brasington in 1950.  The 1.3 mile oval track is the home of the “Southern 500” and has become known as “The Track Too Tough to Tame” by many of the race drivers.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

After that exciting adventure, I headed northeast 50 miles on I-95 thru Mallory, Dillon, and across the border to visit the Robertson County History Museum located in Lumberton, NC but they were closed.  So, I got back on I-95 and drove another 35 miles north to visit the Fayetteville Transportation Museum located in Fayetteville, NC.  This museum is housed in the restored 1898 Cape Fear & Yadkin Valley RR Depot, and displays exhibits related to the history of the railroad in the area thru the early 20thcentury.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

While I was in Fayetteville, I wanted to visit the Airborne & Special Operations Museum, but they were closed.  Bummer!  Then I tried to visit the 82nd Airborne Division War Memorial Museum located on Fort Bragg, but that museum is closed to the public without a special pass because of Covid-19.  Double Bummer!!

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

So I just headed for the motel there in Fayetteville.  Once I got checked in and got all my things into my room, I heated up my Melvin’s BBQ pork ribs dinner and enjoyed that wonderful meal again.  WOW that was good!

—–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

Letters from Mother 13

23 Aug

My Take

DiVoran Lites

Dear DiVoran,

I still want to carpet the house. If you come out, we could decide on what’s good. Is there any news about your coming to California?

We’re home, and the excitement is over for now, and I don’t seem to have a lot to say. Friday, the day before the Labor Day weekend, we had a wild ride down from Mt. Shasta and up into the Sierras. The traffic was so bad with big trucks everywhere and me not driving because I had a nervous stomach and a headache. Ivan had to drive most of the way.

Mount Shasta Pixabay

We stayed put in a motel Saturday, Sunday, and Monday and came down off the mountains on Tuesday. We have one more full day of driving, probably on Friday. 

I’ve been thinking about the songs you wanted. Maybe someday after I get home and unpacked, I’ll record them for you on my little cassette. Those were from the days before television, and some go further back. “Dutchman, Dutchman, will you marry me. How could I marry such a little girl when I have no shoes to put on? So down to the store she did go … is one I remember.  

Oh, one more thing, Mt Shasta was fantastically gorgeous. It was raining the first day and cleared the second. The mountain just outside Jerry’s front door had a new coat of snow, and the very top was outlined in pure white in a 3-D fashion against the blue, blue sky that you remember from Colorado. 

It was so cool and fresh and breathtaking. I called everyone’s attention to it, and Jerry said, I guess I get so busy I take it for granted. 

He carries the greatest load of responsibility where electrical power is concerned of anyone I know. He drinks lots of coffee and smokes. He has no contact with church things. I haven’t been around so many non-Christians in a long time. But at least there were no idols above the bed we slept in.  They just don’t know what they are missing. 
“Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.” Loves us all. 

Lots of Love and kisses,

Mother and Dad 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Shasta

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.”

Random Memories of Germany-Trips to Italy Part 4

22 Aug

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

One of the cities we stopped in was Florence.  I actually believe Florence is my favorite of all the Italian cities we toured.  I can’t even explain that – it just is.

The architecture in Florence is different from Rome and other Italian cities.  In some respects, I really like it, and others, well, not so much.  

For instance, here is a picture of one of the older buildings in Florence – with a clock tower – the Palazzo Vecchio.

Photo by Fred Wills

It houses some of Michelangelo’s best sculptures, such as David.  Here is the original of David.

Photo by Fred Wills

While I had known of Michelangelo’s David, I had never really studied the piece, especially to see the frown on his face.  It is the moment he saw and heard the giant (Goliath) tormenting the Hebrews and their God.  It made him mad!  That’s the look you see on David’s face.  Wonderful!

Photo credit to theartpostblog.com

You will notice that he already has his sling over his left shoulder, ready to use.  And his right hand holds the five smooth stones.  He’s ready to fight!  Amazing. 

Photo credit to nbcnews.com

I’ve read that Michelangelo, when faced with a large chunk of marble, would see the object “inside” the chunk, and then worked to get it out.  What an amazing way to look at sculpture.  And look at how smooth the piece is!  How did he get it that way, with hammer and chisel?  And the veins in David’s hands.  Michelangelo was truly gifted.

Here is a picture of the outside of that building – Palazzo Vecchio – with replicas of Michelangelo’s works.  They are enormous!  There is Neptune on the left, David in the middle, and far right is Hercules and Cacus.

Photo by Fred Wills

Perhaps seeing those statues inspired us to purchase a few for ourselves – not in that size, however!  We did purchase the Discus Thrower, and a Moses.  (There was store in Pisa that had all kinds of “composition” figurines as well as marble.  We purchased our “tumbling angels” and marble lampstands there, as well as the discus thrower and Moses)

There is a lot of controversy about Moses – he has horns!  From all we’ve been able to glean, there was a “mistranslation” of a scripture, and so Moses is seen with horns.  Interesting!  Someone suggested that Michelangelo effectively captures the rage of disapproval coursing through Moses body (credit timelessitaly).

There is another “type” of architecture in Florence that I really am not fond of.  It belongs to Santa Maria Novella (St. Mary’s cathedral).  I guess I just like the older type of architecture more.  But this is beautiful, in its way.  Here I am by the obelisk in front of St. Mary’s.

Santa Maria Novella – photo by Fred Wills

~~~~~~~~~~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.

2021 Mid-eastern Road Trip Part 2

18 Aug

A Slice of LIfe

Bill Lites

Day 2 – 7/13/2021

Heading north out of Savannah, on US-17 this morning, I picked up I-95 in Hardeeville, and continued north thru Ridgeland, Coosawhatchie, and Yemassee to visit the Tuskegee Airman Memorial Park located at the Walterboro Army Airfield in Walterboro, SC.  This memorial park commemorates the valiant men who trained as pilots at this airfield during WWII.  The Tuskegee Airmen and the Doolittle Raiders are among the many pilots trained at this airfield during WWII.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

I headed northeast about 15 miles on US-17 to visit Bee City located in Cottageville, SC but they were closed, so I continued another 20 miles to the Dorchester Museum located in Summerville, SC.  This small museum is housed in the old 1923 Police Station and displays artifacts and memorabilia related to the history of Summerville and the surrounding area from 1913 to the present.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

It was only about 15 miles to where I visited the North Charleston Fire Museum.  This museum displays over 20 completely restored fire- fighting equipment vehicles dating from the 1780s.  

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

It was only seven miles east to the banks of the Cooper River where I planned to visit the Friends of the Hunley Museum.  I was looking forward to seeing the CSS Hunley, the first combat submarine to sink a warship (USS Housatonic) on February 17, 1864 during the Civil War.  See Wikipedia for the full story of the CSS Hunley.  Unfortunately, the museum was only open on the weekends, and I will have to visit this famous relic another time.  Bummer!

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

Now I headed southwest just a few miles to visit the Charles Towne Landing Historic Site, located adjacent to the Ashley River, there in Charleston.  This site preserves the original 1670 site of the first permanent English settlement as a Carolina colony.  The 17th century sailing ship replica, Adventure, can be toured as part of the park’s offering to show visitors the method by which those early settlers traveled to America.

Next in drove several miles to visit the Old Slave Mart Museum located in historic downtown Charleston.  The building (built in 1859) was originally called Ryan’s Slave Mart (a private slave auction gallery), and houses the museum, which is said to be the location of the oldest, and last, antebellum slave auction gallery in South Carolina.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

The next museum on today’s list was some 20 miles east, across the Ashley River and Cooper Rivers, to visit the Patriots Point Naval & Marine Museum located in Mt. Pleasant, SC.  This is an unusual museum in that it consists of retired U.S. Navy ships, each of which have been turned into a living museum of its own.  There is the USS Yorktown (CV-10) , the USS Laffey (DD-724) and the USS Clamagore (SS-343) which make up the main features of this attraction.  I not sure about parents, but I know young kids would enjoy camping overnight on the Yorktown.  What a story they would have to tell their friends. 

For the last museum on today’s list, I stopped by the Boone Hall Plantation there in Mt. Pleasant, but they were closed.  Wikipedia has a lot of historical information on the Plantation.  As the story goes, the 470 acres of land, which today is called the Boone Hall Plantation, was deeded by Theophilus Patey to his daughter, Elizabeth, as a wedding present when she married the Englishman Major John Boone in 1681.  John and Elizabeth began the development of the plantation which is one of the oldest operating plantations in America, having been continually producing agricultural crops for over 320 years.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

Before I checked in at my motel this evening, I stopped and had a great meal of Pork Spareribs with Baked Beans, Golden Onion Rings, and some of the best cornbread I’ve ever had anywhere, at Melvin’s BBQ there in Mt. Pleasant.  It was wonderful!! 

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

—–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

Letters from Mother 12

16 Aug

My Take

DiVoran Lites

September 6, 1983

Dear ones,

This day in 1957, you and Bill have been married twenty-six years. You share this anniversary day with your grandmother and granddad and Grandmother’s sister, Helen, and her husband, Ray.

Photo credit Pixabay

We arrived safely at Helen and Ray’s. Ray and your dad have gone to get repair parts so that Ivan can fix their toilet. As you know, he does things like this for people wherever he visits. We had a long weekend up at Ernie and Audrey’s place above Sonora and Twain Heart in the high Sierras. You’ll recall that Ernie has been Ivan’s best friend since they were boys back in Canon City. Dad got a lot of things done for their house and grounds and loved doing it. They put R-30 insulation in the eaves of the attic room and repaired three door locks. They also got the shower fixed. The bathroom upstairs is a shower with a 2×4 frame around it, but there is no wall yet. We call out: “Lady in the showe,” when we go up there, and the guys respond: “we’ll be right up.” 

Photo credit Pixabay

They brought a gramma and grandpa with them and their great-granddaughter, Zoe. Everyone was either eating and drinking or thinking about eating and drinking. 

It wasn’t a bad weekend/slumber party. I especially enjoyed Zoe. It was a joy to take her for a walk in her stroller; everything is exciting to a baby that age. We communicated with grunts and groans and later did some finger painting.  Yes, I cleaned it up when we were finished. 

Now back to Ray and Helen. Ray is so very tired; they shopped for lumber and stuff for your dad’s jobs.

Our visit with Mary and Jerry was nice. We had corned beef and cabbage again. We had it at Audrey’s too, but we didn’t tell Mary. She also got a big ham and cooked it one night, and the next night she got a turkey from the deli, all baked and ready to eat.  All delicious. 

Oh, yes, I am skipping around a lot because a lot is going on. We went to a barbeque. They served a delicious salad from a large trash bag with a rubber-gloved hand. There were shredded cucumbers in it, and it was nice. We chose our tomatoes, cucumbers, and onions. They also dipped the roasting ears into a big pan of melted margarine when they were done. We had cantaloupes, watermelon, and Crenshaw melons. I thought they had some very good ideas.

Helen’s so pleased to have us share the load for a while. It gives her a break from her immediate care of Ray. She loves following Ivan around and handing him things.  They have been good friends since they were born. Helen is Ivan’s and Lowell’s aunt, which means their mother, Marie, was the daughter of Helen’s mother. Figure that one if you can. 

Well, I’ve put my painting aside for now. Dad built a rack up and the shelf in the back of the truck. I’ve been crocheting pillow tops for Lowell’s two bar stools.

Lowell and his friend another Helen went to Canon City to see your grandmother; then he told Aunt Helen that Grandmother hasn’t been feeling well and hasn’t slept lying down for a long time. 

Guess I’ll close for now and think of more to say in the morning. 

Love you,

Mother

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.”

Random Memories of Germany-Trips to Italy-Part 3

15 Aug

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

Last time, I made this statement:   

This sign was before we went inside [the Vatican], and unfortunately, I don’t remember what it was of – whether it was some ceilings or something else of importance to the Vatican.  And, I don’t speak or read Italian, so am not sure just what it tells.

Our oldest daughter Karen, and her husband, Brian, have made a few trips to Europe, and Rome, and this was her response to that statement:

Regarding those signs at the end, they are for the tour operators to explain all the details of the Sistine Chapel before entering, because you’re not allowed to speak once inside. We took a tour a few years ago, and our guide stood by one of those signs to point out significant parts of the ceiling’s amazing artwork so we would know what we were looking at.

My thanks to Karen for supplying that piece of information.  It has just been too many years gone since we’ve been to Rome to remember it all, and I had forgotten that we were unable to speak once inside.

In any case, on with the story:  When we made our trip in 1970, we traveled by car, since we had gone to the Oberammergau Passion Play, then on down into Italy.  We made several stops along the way.  I am not going to present this in any particular order, just showing places we stopped, both in 1970 and 1982, with our girls.  In 1982, we took a bus trip/tour from Heidelberg over the Thanksgiving holiday.

We stopped in Venice.  I don’t remember just where we stayed in 1982, but it was a hotel in Venice itself.  I remember our girls were in a room by themselves, down the hall from us.  And so, I was alarmed one night, about 2:00 a.m. when it sounded like someone was trying to break into our room!  Finally, Fred shouted that he “had the wrong room” and the drunken man apologized and moved on down the corridor.  Then I was concerned that he would try to get into the girl’s room.  But they were safe, thank goodness!

In 1970, Fred had arranged a hotel for us outside Venice itself, in Mestre.  We drove across a bridge, parked in a large parking lot, and then toured Venice on foot and with water taxi.

But Venice was fascinating:  We saw the Dodge’s Palace and the Campanile and the Stairway of the Giants (Mars on the left, Neptune on the right)

We saw the Clock Tower in St. Mark’s Square (Piazza San Marco)

We saw the Grand Canal and the Rialto Bridge

We saw the Bridge of Sighs

We saw many gondolas – some with passengers

We took a water taxi ride – such fun!

And TONS of pigeons!!!

~~~~~~~~~~~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.

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