Peru and the Amazon River~Part 2

18 Apr

A Life to Live

Melody Hendrix

Amazon River Commerce

As we traveled to our next location on the live a board, we saw several rafts along the way. They are going to a market to sell their goods.

They would build live aboard rafts with everything sellable even the balsa wood that makes the raft. They would live in them for days or weeks until reaching their destination where they could sell the goods. Then take a water service back home.

 

 

There are no bridges that cross the Amazon, mostly because there is no need, the majority of the Amazon River runs through rainforests rather than roads or cities.

The river is the principal path of transportation for people and produce in the regions, with transport ranging from balsa rafts and dugout canoes to hand built wooden river craft and modern steel hulled craft.

 

 

 

The river markets are busy. This is their grocery, pharmacy, household supplies and gathering place. They can buy many things including natural medicines for healing from the rainforest.

 

 

 

Some goods are brought to street markets in other locations. We were able to walk around here, but the guide would not allow us to bring money or cameras because of the pick pockets. A small distance away was a tent village full of the extremely poor.

 

Back on the boat, we docked at our next location where we will take a walk in the rainforest and visit the Shaman.

 

 

 

 

I am retired and enjoying life. My hobbies are my 5 grandchildren, son and daughter, and my loving husband. I am a photographer and extreme nature lover. I love spending time in my garden or in the wilderness connected to God my Creator.
Melody

31 Days of God’s Comfort~Day 22

17 Apr

Painting and Paraphrase by DiVoran Lites

 

Day 22,

Teacher

Isaiah 54:13

John 8:32

 

Beloved,

I am the teacher for all your children.

I bring them back to you.

I give you, and them, truth, grace, and wisdom.

I set all of you free.

Listen to Me and follow my ways.

Truth, like a laser beam, will zap the locks on your minds and open the doors.

The truth will create rooms for healing, peace, and joy.

It will bring progress and growth into your life.

Memories of New Mexico~Part 8

16 Apr

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

 

 

More random memories….

 

Our house in Albuquerque wasn’t really all that big. I’ve just looked it up on Google, and am informed that it was built in 1940 (we moved into it in 1945) and has 1,056 square feet of living space. I didn’t realize it was that large. But it had three bedrooms and one bath, separated living room from the dining room, and a kitchen.

 

 

It is near an elementary school and a middle school (a Junior High School in my day), and not too far from the University of New Mexico (UNM), from which my husband, Fred graduated. Unfortunately, I flunked out of UNM….but that’s another story (too much Fred, not enough study).It was always a nice neighborhood to live in, and grow up in. There were a lot of children within that entire area, and we all went to the same schools.

I’ve mentioned before that my parents really worked that house and yard, until it was a thing of beauty. Perhaps not the largest house, but my parents made it a home, and we were quite comfortable there.

I remember that the sprinkler valves were right by the front door, off to the side. We had a long metal pole that we used to turn on or turn off the sprinklers. We didn’t have to use our hands, and we didn’t get wet while doing so. I also remember my father purchasing sheep manure to spread on the front lawn every Spring. I’m sure the neighbors hated that time of year – because our yard smelled so bad! But boy! did we have the best-looking yard around!

Sorry about the double-exposure! But this shows the lush front yard we had, and the forsythia bush under the window

I know it’s not my house anymore, but I’m almost distressed to see, by the pictures on Google Zillow, that the current owners have completely done away with the front lawn grass, and put in rocks (xeriscape). I know that saves on water consumption, but…. There are a few flower pots in the yard, but no lush grass. The tree my father planted in the front yard is still there, and is a beautiful shade tree. The pampas grass is completely gone as well.

There were large evergreen trees on each side of the front of the house, and they are gone. Mother had a lovely forsythia bush under her bedroom window – but it’s gone, too. And remember when I described the screened-in front porch where we would spend so much time in the summers? It is now glassed-in. I’m sure it makes for more useable space, but I really liked that screened-in area.

I do see that the city has done away with that house-to-street concrete sidewalk requirement, and now the new owners have a lovely stone walk. I liked the original one we had – it was made from slate stone and curvy, however.

 

Note the curvy sidewalk

 

While the front yard wasn’t terribly large, the back yard made up for it. It was quite large. From this picture, you will see that, when we first arrived, there was the stereotypical white picket fence in the back yard.

 

Bill, Daddy and me by the back door…notice the picket fence

 

At some point, my parents put in a concrete-block fence. They also made a little “cut out” in the fence for the garbage cans. The alley way was behind the house, between our house and the house behind us. I kind of liked that.

 

My brother, Bill, with his young daughter in our back yard she loved to “swim” in Grandmother’s galvanized tub clothes line to the left; garbage can cutout to the right peach tree behind Bill that Daddy pampered.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

12 ways to overcome sorrow.

15 Apr

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

 

Everyone celebrates Easter Sunday, but for so long, I was stuck on the Friday, the day of sorrow, the day of pain and the day of darkness. It was because the death of our son, Joe, had covered us with the veil of grief.

But one spring, right before Easter, healing came. It arrived with Christ’s example as He also dragged the cross of His own sorrow. He bled his pain.

Without complaint, sorrow scraped his heart too. And then nailed on the wood, he tasted the bitterness of betrayal mixed with the hardship of injustice.

Why did He not fight? Beg for freedom from the cross? Or curse His fate?

The answer nearly exploded in my heart. Because He knew glory awaited Him. He was certain eternity was his. And He counted on heaven.

“I want the same,” my soul cried out. And God heard my plea.

So with the celebration of the resurrection of hope, and the rebirth of my joy, came a new beginning – my own Easter Sunday. And while wearing the new outfit of healing, of joy and renewed gusto, I got busy creating a new joy-filled life.

When the day comes and my chair is empty at the dinner table, celebrating Easter, what will my family say about my life? While they scoop up a second helping of mashed potatoes or more slices of honey-baked ham, will they remember the way I dreaded my Calvary or will they recall how I lived my Easters?

How about you? Have you reached your own Easter of triumph for others to see? Whether sorrow or serenity, we’re subtly creating a legacy, weaving memories and painting strokes on our own portrait. The one our family will hold in their hearts.

And for the Easters to come, the portrait will display the life we lived, the values we held and the conviction that danced in our heart when we answered:

  1. Did we sink under the weight of our cross?
  2. Did we keep moving with the strength of hope?
  3. Did we relish on our own Easter of joy?
  4. Did we choose to see life beyond circumstances, or did circumstances see us to despair?
  5. Did we face challenges with determination, or did we allow them to determine our destiny?
  6. Did we look for tomorrow with passion, or did momentary trials rob the passion for today?
  7. Did we reach out to others to encourage them, or did our own discouragement reached out to hold us back?
  8. Did we live life rich with God’s reassurance, or did we live empty of His grace?
  9. Did fear steal our joy, or did God’s joy erase all fear?
  10. Did we do things for our own interest, or did we first take interest in God’s ways?
  11. Did we follow our plans, or did we first plan to follow God’s path?
  12. Did we fret over petty things, or find the power of God’s precepts?

No matter what the answer, there is no cross of pain that can hold us down; no suffering that can hold us back because Jesus is alive. And with passionate Love He declares, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

Father, I thank you for the triumph. And I pray your everlasting love nourishes my desires, goals and dreams. I ask for wisdom to leave a legacy that honors you, resonates with my children’s children, and reflects my obedience to your precepts. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Janet

 

Source: 12 ways to overcome sorrow. ~ Janet Perez Eckles

Two are Better Than One

14 Apr

From the Heart

Louise Gibson

 

 

People need people.
It is embedded in our soul.
Make reaching out to others
your foremost God-given role.

 

So simple, so painfully simple.
Two are better than one.
Two are more effective,
and, oh, so much more fun.

 

Friendships blossom over shared labor,
and we accomplish much more that way.
Open your heart to another.
See how it brightens your day.

 

Two are better than one for walking,
for if they fall, one will lift up his
companion.
But woe to him who is alone when
he falls, for he has no one to help
him up. Ecclesiastes 4:20

 

Two are better than one for working.
Two are better than one because they
have a good reward for their labor.
Ecclesiastes 4:9

 

Painting by DiVoran Lites from Go West

Just One Quarter

13 Apr

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

I think there is magic in the quarters used for the Aldi grocery store carts. I wouldn’t say there is enough magic to bring about world peace, but for brief seconds in time, people in the parking lot stop and smile at each other.

What brings about this spontaneous camaraderie?  The simple exchange of a quarter as the departing shopper offers their cart to someone heading into the store. Sometimes no quarter is exchanged as people decide to pay it forward. In the current climate of anger, I enjoy these simple moments of kindness inspired with just one quarter.

Photo credit OnMilwaukee.com

 

You might want to visit the blog Ten Reasons to Dig Aldi.

A 2016 Dawn Patrol Rendezvous Trip~Part 15

12 Apr

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

 

Day 15 (Thursday Oct.13, 2016)

 

I was up early this morning, and had a delicious breakfast at the Bob Evens Restaurant just down the road from the motel. With a full tummy, and since I didn’t have to be at the airport until after lunch (2:00 pm), I decided to drive around the Columbus area, to see what I could find of interest.

 

 

I drove up and down what looked like busy business streets, but came across nothing much of interest in the area where I had stayed. I Googled “Things to do in Columbus,” and one of the things recommended was German Village. So I picked the Schiller Park, which was said to have an interesting “Umbrella Girl Fountain” on display. It turned out to be a beautiful but small park, and the fountain display was very restful.

 

 

By the time I got through checking out the Schiller Park and the “Umbrella Girl Fountain” it was getting close to noon, and I thought I better get something to eat to tide me over, on the Southwest “Peanut Flight” back to Orlando. Google had also informed me, that one of the best places to eat, in the German Village area, was the “German Village Coffee Shop” located on Thurman Street. I found it (it was tiny) and tried one of their grilled ham and cheese sandwiches. I’m not sure what all the “Hoopla” is about?

 

 

Then I headed for the Enterprise Rental Car office to turn in my car. That process went well, and I tried to call an Uber ride. That didn’t go so well, until one of the Enterprise agents helped me out. I had a ride within ten minutes, and was delivered to the John Glenn Columbus International Airport in another fifteen minutes. What a great service!

 


The non-stop Southwest flight from Columbus to Orlando was on time, smooth, and the peanuts were fresh. Those peanut bags are really small, and I had to ask for an extra bag. I was in the first row isle seat on the left, so was one of the first off the plane in Orlando. The walk from the arrival gate, to the tram into the main terminal, and the wait at Baggage Claim took almost as long as the flight had.

 

 

My lovely wife, Divoran, picked me up at the arrival area, and we headed north on SR-436 looking for somewhere to eat dinner. She let me know that she had her mouth set for pizza, and we were able to find a small Pizzeria not far from the airport. We enjoyed the food and time alone together, bringing each other up to date, mostly about her adventures with Hurricane Matthew.

 

 

The trip home to Titusville was uneventful, and I was glad to be home where I could unwind and sleep in my own bed for a change. Living out of a suitcase gets old in a hurry, and people’s loud TV at night doesn’t help. And as they say, “Home is where the heart is.” At least until I can plan another of my exciting travel adventures. Hope you have enjoyed hearing about this road trip and will join me for the next trip, when I will be exploring the many museums of the American North Country.

 

 

 

—–The End—–

Peru and the Amazon River~Part 1

11 Apr

A Life to Live

Melody Hendrix

The Amazon and it’s Indigenous People

 

The Amazon River is the greatest expression of life on earth. The rainforest holds answers to questions we have yet to ask. But it is rapidly disappearing.

 

 

The Amazon River is by far the world’s largest river by volume. It has over 1,100 tributaries, 17 of which are longer than 1000 miles. The Amazon rainforest is the largest tropical rainforest in the world, covering 1.4 billion acres.

The Amazon is home to more species of plants and animals than any other terrestrial ecosystem on the planet — perhaps 30 percent of the world’s species are found there.

Although indigenous people have lived on their lands for thousands of years, they do not own it, because they have not filed “deeds” of land and do not possess a “title.” Therefore governments and other outsiders do not recognize their rights to the land. Indigenous peoples possess an enormous body of almost irreplaceable information and skills about living in the rainforest without destroying it.

 

 

“Within the next few decades, the fate of the world’s remaining indigenous peoples, the fragile environments they occupy, and the valuable knowledge that they embody could well be decided once and for all. A number of individuals, corporations, and states are already pursuing their own “final solutions.”

 

 

The 20th century will be remembered either as the century when we destroyed much of the Earth’s genetic and cultural diversity, or the century when peoples learned to live together and share their knowledge in order to maintain the diversity upon which we all depend. Great civilizations like the Mayas, Incas, and Aztecs developed complex societies and made great contributions to science. Living from nature and lacking the technology to dominate their environment, native peoples have learned to watch their surroundings and understand the intricacies of the rainforest. Over generations these people have learned the importance of living within their environment and have come to rely on the countless renewable benefits that forests can provide.

 

 

Cattle ranching accounts for roughly 70 percent of deforestation in the Amazon. The world’s forests need to be seen for what they are—giant global utilities, providing essential public services to humanity on a vast scale. They store carbon, which is lost to the atmosphere when they burn, increasing global warming. The life they support cleans the atmosphere of pollutants and feeds it with moisture. They act as a natural thermostat, helping to regulate our climate and sustain the lives of 1.4 billion of the poorest people on this Earth. And they do these things to a degree that is all but impossible to imagine.

 

 

 

 

I am retired and enjoying life. My hobbies are my 5 grandchildren, son and daughter, and my loving husband. I am a photographer and extreme nature lover. I love spending time in my garden or in the wilderness connected to God my Creator.
Melody

31 Days of God’s Comfort~Day 21

10 Apr

Painting and Paraphrase by DiVoran Lites

 

Day 21,

Real Love

1 John 3:18-20

 

Beloved,

 

Humans talk a lot about love. But do you know what love is?

Get ready to practice my definition of love so you’ll know when you see the real thing.

One of the big things you need to know is that being hard on yourself blocks love for you and through you.

Self-criticism, guilt, and going over the past to see what you’ve done wrong goes against my idea of love.

If I want you to know something about yourself, I will tell you, no need to dig around and hurt yourself.

My conviction is timely and gentle. It will come as a relief, not as a tirade.

I am so much greater than your perceptions, worries, and judgements.

I know everything about you and that’s a lot more than you know about yourself.

Once you start putting your thinking under my control and stop condemning yourself, you are free and bold before me.

That’s when you experience the presence of my Holy Spirit flowing through you and setting things right.

That’s when you begin receiving whatever you ask in My name.

That’s when you can love others without judging them.

Memories of New Mexico~Part 6

9 Apr

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

I really love New Mexico. I actually don’t remember anything about living in Dallas, Texas, but then, I was only four years old when we moved from there to Albuquerque. I think the “memories” I have of the house in Dallas are from pictures I’ve seen, and the stories others have told me about it.

 

 

I do have one memory of Dallas – we attended the First Baptist Church in Dallas. I have a very vague memory of black-and-white tiles on a floor, and the smell of Pinesol. Mother told me that the nursery at the church had a floor like that, and that they used Pinesol as a cleaner. But that’s it!

Now, New Mexico…that’s a whole different story. I’ve given you pictures of our house – we lived in that house the entire time I lived there. It wasn’t sold until after my father died – and mother lived there more than five years until she married again and they moved into an apartment.

I had a most unique experience with that house in later years. It was in 1993, when my mother died. Fred and I, as well as my brother, Bill and his wife, DiVoran, flew out for mother’s funeral. Our oldest daughter, Karen and her husband, Brian, decided to drive from South Carolina to Albuquerque for the funeral, as well. On this particular day – the day after the funeral – Fred and Bill had stayed at the apartment to arrange shipment of some of mother’s things that each of us wanted. Brian drove his car with Karen, DiVoran and myself in it. I wanted to show him where we had lived and grown up.

We drove to the house, and he stopped the car in front of the house. As we sat, looking at the house, with me describing what was where, the couple who owned the house, came out and looked at us. I rolled down my window, and assured them that it was okay – that I had grown up in that house. I nearly fell out of the car when they asked if we would like to come in and see it now. Remember now, it had been about 22 years since I had been in that house!

I was NOT about to pass up that invitation!! So we all piled into the house. I would point out things for Brian – I think Karen might have been a bit too young to remember much about it, as well – and tell what we had then. When we arrived in the kitchen, I mentioned that mother had painted the cabinets pink, and that we had green linoleum on the floor. The husband looked at me and said, “ I remember stripping pink paint from those cabinets!” DiVoran and I then explained that mother had pink plastic (like Melmac) dishes, and she wanted to “match.”

 

 

Pink cabinets, green linoleum – Granny holding Trixie, Mom, Boots the cat, all in the kitchen

When we got to the bathroom, I told them that we had green tile around the tub/shower. Again, he looked at me, and said, “I tiled white tiles over those green ones.” I guess it showed him that I had, indeed, grown up in that house. I told him how mom and dad had added the patio and cover that joined the house to the garage. They had a large bamboo shade that they could roll up or down, depending upon whether the sun was beating down on it, such as at supper time. We enjoyed many, many meals out on that patio.

I still think it was quite brave of that couple to invite four strangers into their house!

More memories to come…..

 

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

 

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