Tag Archives: #amblogging

On the Road Again

18 Mar

My Take

DiVoran Lites

 

 

DiVoran’s Vintage Photos

 

David and DiVoran

After we left Lovelock, we went back to Canon City for a few years until Ivan got the gas plant properly staffed. Jobs were scarce, but he applied for one at the tomato factory in Crowley, Colorado and got it. We drove to Crowley, where Dad was to repair and keep the machinery running. By this time I was five years old and my brother David was two and a half.

The house we lived in was called a shotgun house. It had four rooms. The name came from the idea that a person with a shotgun could shoot a bullet into the opened front end and it would come straight out the back end. Each room was twelve feet square with high ceilings for the sake of ventilation, and we had windows that opened and closed all the way down the sides of the house.

Mother was still cooking on a coal stove, but in Crowley,she had a job cooking a hearty noon meal for the factory workers – mostly men. Now that I know the dimensions of the house, I’m not sure where she actually put them all. Perhaps someone came with a farm truck to pick up the food and take it back to the factory, maybe it was Ivan. Maybe he paused for a good-bye kiss from the lips of his beloved wife as he went out the door.

 

Pixabay

When she wasn’t cooking, cleaning or hanging out clothes to dry, Dora liked to gather her gang and walk over a narrow berm to the factory. Her little group consisted of David, who got a piggy-back ride, little daughter who walked behind her on the high berm, the dog, the Nanny goat, and after her, Billy, her kid. The rooster, Chanticleer brought up the rear. Along the way,Mother watched in surprise as Billy Goat click-clacked across window panes covering the young plants without breaking a single pane.

When I was a baby I fainted and she took me to the doctor. The Doctor said I wasn’t getting enough nourishment from breast feedings o Mother put me on goat’s milk. In Crowley even when I was five she gave me a dented tin-cup full of warm milk and sat me on the wooden step out front. Later when I met a milkshake it reminded me of the goat’s milk. I still like it better than cow’s milk and I believe it is better for me too. I’m fascinated with the fact that it is naturally homogenized.

Each day of the season, Mother gave me a salt shaker and a red tomato right off the vine. The juice ran down my chin as I thoroughly enjoyed the salted tomato of the day. I’ve never tasted one as good since. After I finished she washed my face and put me in clean pajamas.

 

 

Every year, Dora made new pajamas for both children on the Singer electric sewing machine she inherited from her grandmother. Later, I made clothing for my children on it. It’s there in my living now and I never knew before how heavy it is to lift out of itscradle.

Mother was a great storyteller and once she had us cleaned up and in our new jammies she sat on the bed and told us made-up stories until we went to sleep. I’m so grateful that she was a story-teller and that she kept a record of her life on scraps of paper which I inherited from her.

I went to kindergarten at Crowley School. There, for the first time, I met a girl with skin darker than mine. She may have been Native American or Mexican, and she might be considered my first best friend, yet she never came to my house and I never went to hers.

Our sojourn in Crowley ended during World War II when Ivan was called up and assigned to the infantry. In his letters home, he tells about his rise to sharp-shooter and how happy that made him. I guess he got lots more practice in the Battle of the Bulge.

Our last supper in the shotgun house was chicken and noodles. That was usually my favorite supper, but when I found out we were eating Chanticleer the rooster, I gave up on chicken for a longtime. I don’t know what happened to the dog and the goats, but Daddy probably had to sell them or give them away. Grandmother’s apartment house and corner lot had room for family, but not for the family’s menagerie.

 

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.”

 

Fun, Fun, Fun

9 Mar

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

When I began this blog in January of 2012 I had no idea what I was doing or how I would come up with consistent content. Well five years later, I still struggle with creating consistent content but I have been blessed with a group of bloggers who are amazing. Every week they share their lives with us. Having surgery, going on vacation? No worries, these folks send their blogs to me in advance. I have read that managing a group blog is hard, but I am telling you, these friends are a delight.

Wednesday we gathered for our annual blogger lunch and yea, everyone was able to attend. We have a new blogger this year, Melody Hendrix and since we don’t all live in the same city, she had not met some the bloggers. We had a grand time with laughter from start to finish.

Left side: DiVoran, Bill, Mike, me, Louise, Janice . Right Side: Fred, Judy, Janet, Melody, Janice.

Looking at this picture I realize what an amazing group they are. Each has a life story behind their picture. DiVoran is an author and accomplished artist and  her husband Bill worked as an engineer on America’s space program (He liked to blow things up). My husband, Mike retired from the space program and has discovered hidden talents in painting, carving  and woodworking. Louise, our poetess has written poetry her whole life as she followed her military husband across the country, making a hone for  her family. At the end is her daughter Janice, an antique connoisseur and baker of confections.  Whew!

 Starting on the right side is Judy’s husband, Fred  a retired military meteorologist for the Air Force. Next is Judy.  She is a pianist, a  crafter and a military wife. Enough said on that, we know the important role wives play for our country. Once Fred retired, she became the secretary for her church. Let me tell  you, church secretaries should get an extra jewel in their heavenly crowns. Do you see Janet leaning forward to be in the picture? She is a best-selling author, an international speaker, has an MBA degree and she cracks everyone up with her blind jokes. She can do that, she is blind, and an amazing testimony of walking by faith, not by sight. See the lovely blond? That is Melody, our newest member and a professional photographer and collector of inspirational quotes. Each week she shares beautiful photos with us. Missing is Lynn, she took this picture. She is the daughter of Louise and my very best friend from high school and my go to when Word Press make me crazy. She recently retired from her financial planning business where she counseled women on money matters.  She promises that she is going to begin her own blog and I am holding her to it.

I am already looking forward to next year’s lunch. Maybe this year we can mange a second one. We barely stopped talking the whole meal, yet we still had more to say! Next time we plan to try out “seat shifting,” so can don’t miss anyone. I am not sure how that will work while we are eating .

We met at a seafood restaurant in Orlando and its decor was  “fishy”. The booths were lit by these clever lights. The fish and sea creatures are metal art and they look quite happy. As I study it, I find myself thinking about how Jesus is the light that draws us all together.

John 8:13  Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”

God Has Been Watching Over Me~Part 3

23 Nov

From the Heart

Bill Lites

 

Sometime during my last year in high school, my friend Leon invited me and two other guys to make a weekend trip to El Paso, Texas to visit another of his friends and check out Juarez, Mexico just across the border. Leon had a job, so we left late Friday after he got off work (poor planning on our part). We were having a great time on the road south until it got dark, and we discovered it had rained heavily somewhere north of our route and now we had to cross a water-filled arroyo.

 

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It didn’t look too deep and didn’t seem to be running too fast (bad assumption anytime, but especially at night). As you have probably guessed, we got about halfway across that arroyo, but Leon didn’t keep the engine revving and the water went up the tailpipe and stalled the engine. Of course, the water was deeper than it had looked. There we were, stalled, with water piling up to the bottom of the window on my side of the car, and water starting to leak into the car. Leon was trying to start the car but it wouldn’t re-start. Then this guy tried coming across the arroyo from the other direction. Just as he got to us, the water his car was pushing moved Leon’s car sideways just enough for him to side-swipe Leon’s car as he passed (not bad with the water cushion between the cars). The guy kept on going in order to keep from getting stalled like we were.

 

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Then a semi-truck started across from the other side toward us. His truck was high enough and heavy enough to get through, but his huge bumper was pushing a wall of water in front of him. That wave of water rolled right over Leon’s car as the truck passed us. If we hadn’t had the windows rolled up, the water would have filled the car. All this time Leon was trying to re-start the engine. He finally got it started (a real miracle) and I hollered at him to keep it in first gear until we were clear of the water. We made it! (I think God must have His hands full when it comes to teenagers). We had fun in El Paso and in Juarez and by the time we headed back to Albuquerque there was no water to be seen anywhere for that 265 mile stretch of New Mexico desert.

 

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The summer after I graduated from high school, I was ready to go out and meet the world head-on and make my fortune in life. I had heard from friends that the pay was really good for “Roughnecks” at the oil fields in northern New Mexico (Can you just imagine a smooth faced 18-year old skinny kid, 120 lbs. soaking wet, trying to keep up with experienced workers on a job like this.

 

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After much begging, pleading and promising to be careful, I somehow I talked my parents into letting me go try my luck at that kind of work there for the summer.   I packed a suitcase full of clothes, strapped it to my trusty Harley Davidson and headed for Farmington, New Mexico, some 185 miles north of Albuquerque on US-580.* One day during my adventure there in Farmington (You’ll have to read the blog for the gory details of that summer adventure) I was riding down the road and came to a curve that wasn’t really sharp enough to slow down for, so I just leaned into the curve like any other. What I didn’t see was the light film of sand right across the middle of my lane.   Halfway through the turn, the rear wheel lost traction and I went down. My Harley and I went sliding down the road for several yards, and across the double line into the oncoming lane.   This was another case of no cars anywhere on the road at the time of the incident. Thank you Lord!

*See Bill’s blog “On My Own”- 8/15/2012.

 

—–To Be Continued—–

 

What to say to a depressed loved one. 

1 Oct

Walking by Faith , Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

Depression, anxiety and worry are the enemies trying to kill our peace and they are on the rise among men, women, and teens. Why? Few know the answer. But here, Dr. Michelle Bengtson has important guidelines so you can help someone begin the victory path.

09-23-16 Bengston

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue…” Proverbs 18:21

What we say to others can either build them up or tear them down. We must take care not to further injure someone in their suffering from something we say.

As a neuropsychologist, I’m witness to the well-intentioned but misdirected words of friends and family to depressed loved ones that only serve to pull them down further.

When people suffer from depression, they often also harbor low self-esteem, guilt, and shame. What they crave is to know they are loved, accepted, and not alone.

Let Scripture help you determine what to say to a depressed loved one: “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up” (1 Thessalonians 5:11).

Here are a few things to say to someone struggling with depression:

  • I love you. There is no better time to hear this than when they are struggling to love themselves and wonder if others truly love them too.
  • I’m here for you. This is one of the most comforting things you can say to someone feeling alone.
  • You are important to me. It’s vital to know they are still acceptable, accepted, and important.
  • I’m sorry that you are going through such a painful time. Expressing your sorrow for their pain communicates that you care, even if you don’t fully understand.
  • Is there something I can do for you? This communicates your willingness to help and just your offer will lend comfort and encouragement.
  • You may not believe this now, but you won’t always feel this way. The depressed individual often needs reminding that there is hope.
  • We will get through this together. This communicates your acceptance, and your love.
  • Nothing. Actions often do speaker louder than words. I remember when Job encountered great hardship. Job 2:13 says his friends came and sat with him for seven days and nights. During that time, they didn’t speak a word because they saw how great his pain was. Words could do nothing to help his misery, but their company spoke volumes.

Remember, when you are speaking to a depressed loved one, your goal is to encourage and uplift them. “But if it were me, I would encourage you. I would try to take away your grief” (Job 16:5 NLT).

How will you encourage a loved one today?

 

Source: What to say to a depressed loved one. | Janet Perez Eckles

The Impersonal Internet

28 Jul

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

I'm a winner

Yesterday, after breakfast with friends we made our weekly stop at a produce market that in season, sells veggies from their farm. Often the items have been  picked mere hours before I buy them. This year’s crop of cucumbers, tomatoes, melons and peaches  and lots of others have been delicious! And hurray, green beans are cheaper this year!

Osage veggies

The corn was so pretty I wanted to bring home several ears,  but decided to settle for two. I have a tendency to put  corn in my fridge and forget it.

 Our dinner menu was sweet potatoes, sliced pork barbecue sandwiches (I ate mine without bread but I buttered and grilled a bun for hubby) and corn on the cob. Everything was super simple to prepare except the corn. I didn’t want to shuck it, pull off the silks, boil water and time it. Then I remembered that my friend, Sharon is the queen of  microwave corn and decided to call and get her advice. But I didn’t. Instead, I went online and viewed several recipes and a couple of short videos. I chose a method and the corn was incredibly delicious. (Regretting I didn’t buy more)

Now I feel a bit cheated. I chose the impersonal internet over an opportunity to talk with a dear friend.  Maybe I should invite her up to visit. We can chat and “put up some peas” the easy way. : )

I will supply the freezer bags!

Shelled peas copy

Perfect Love Casts Out Fear~Part 2

21 Mar

Beach

My Take

DiVoran Lites

Author, Poet and Artist

 

You unlocked the park’s bathroom door and stepped out into a cloudy day. You heard sea gull’s caa-caaing and the shushing of the surf. You climbed the stairs of the boardwalk. You then removed your sandals and rolled up your pants legs. When you started walking and felt the roughness of the old boards, you recalled the time when you ran a hand over a shuffleboard table and got attacked by a splinter. Now you watched where you walked because you didn’t want any more wood injuries.

It is hard for you to write these things because you’re afraid people will judge you for your fears. In my reality, though, rear is common to almost all men and women. Does not my word contain at least 365 references to that state of being?

When you stepped off the boardwalk and onto the cool sand, you saw large and small footprints. You saw ruts where folks’ toes dug in as they ran. Because the fisher- folk were to the right, you decided to walk in that direction. If it seemed appropriate you could ask the folks who had their poles stuck in the sand: “What’s biting, and what are they biting on?” All eyes, however, stared at the shivering lines as if mesmerized. All along you thought fishing was a serious enterprise and now you knew it truly was.

You continued toward the old launch pad, which had once held a giant gantry atop a multi-story, tracked, crawler- transporter that which had carried the 363 foot tall Apollo/Saturn V launch vehicle to launches. You recalled the time when Bill got you a pass to go all the way out to the space center with three other worker’s wives to watch a launch. You’ll never forget the giant countdown clock in front of the visitor’s gallery close to Vertical Assembly Building (VAB).

In your mind’s eye, as you walked, you envisioned a vehicle set to go. A column of smoke billowed from the flame-trench underneath. But the Saturn V did not move. Was something wrong? At T minus zero seconds, after full power on all five 1st stage rocket engines had been verified, the swing arms retracted and the vehicle began to rise. When the sound and vibration reached you it was like a continuous thunder clap echoing off the walls of the VAB. You felt the pulsations inside your body. You looked up and saw fire-tinted clouds boiling underneath the Saturn V as it began to leave the earth. It was such an awesome combination of sight and sound that you wanted to laugh, to shout, and to cry all at the same time.

Soon your mind-video ended and you were back on the quiet beach. Now you looked down at the foam scalloping the shore and lapping at your feet. The air felt humid, and the sand undulated like miniature hills. You leaned against a hearty wind and held on to your wide-brimmed hat as you continued down the beach.

After about fifteen minutes, you turned back toward the boardwalk. You asked yourself why you had come. The only reason thing you could think of was because you remembered being there with your children and grandchildren. All at once you remember being afraid for the children and the not wanting to take your eyes off them. The boardwalk was far away. You turned around and headed back. You climbed the stairs, put on your shoes, and rolled down your jeans.

 

My Beloved Child, hear me in this:

The world is afraid, it has always been afraid. The terrorists can’t take credit for it. You will see the phrase, terror of the night in my word along with a promise that you will not be overcome by it. You needed to come here today, so you could capture those fearful thoughts and memories and let me erase them for you, never to be remembered again. Fear, my dear, is the direct opposite of love. The world, the flesh, and the devil, are the unholy trinity, the enemy. You do not belong to these. You are mine I have called you by my name. You’re “designed for peak happiness, thinking, and health,” (Dr. Caroline Leaf.) I will never, never, ever leave you or forsake you, not for any reason. I have prepared a place for you and I’ll help you move into it now.

 

 Dr. Caroline Leaf 

 

 

 

 

The Cruise of a Lifetime~Part 6

13 Mar

SUNDAY MEMORIES

 

Judy Wills

JUDY

 

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Wednesday, we arrived in Wűrzburg, Germany.

We were up early, showered and dressed. At 7:30 a.m. we went to breakfast in the restaurant. Richard, Judy, and Lucy joined us just about the time we had finished our meal. We stayed and talked with them for a while. Judy and I compared piano stories, such as when I was playing for Margaret Nikol (concert violinist; see my post on October 7, 2012) and my sheet music began to fall. I had to stop playing and place both hands on the music to make it stay up. Margaret was on a long note, and just continued to play. When she was ready to move on, I was ready, as well. When I apologized later, she told me that no one noticed. And she was right! Even Fred, who had heard me practice so many times, didn’t notice. Judy said that happened to her, except that the piece of music fell to the floor and she just looked down at it and kept playing!

We had some time before our first excursion, so I transferred the pictures of Miltenberg from our camera to the flash drive I had brought with us. And it’s a good thing I did – we took a LOT more pictures!

At 9:45 a.m. we boarded a tour bus for the 75 minute ride to Rothenburg ob der Tauber.

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While on the bus, the guide told us about part of Rothenburg’s history. Rothenburg has always been one of our favorite German cities. It is a medieval walled town, and there is a 1.5 mile walkway at the top of the wall that encircles the town, that is still walkable. According to the info sheet: “The wall connects five medieval gates, complete with guard towers that date from the 13th to 16th centuries.” Fascinating!

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When we arrived in the town center, there was an impromptu brass concert going on, with the players all dressed in German outfits. They were quite good, and we enjoyed their music.

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At 12:00 all of those on the Viking tour that had taken the Rothenburg excursion, met for lunch at the Gasthof Glocke.

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It was a neat old eatery, and they were open just for us.

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Unfortunately, they only had one menu: bratwurst, sauerkraut and mashed potatoes. I know it was easier for them to only serve one menu for that many people, but we were really looking forward to schnitzel. Fortunately, since Fred doesn’t touch sauerkraut, he was able to get his without the sauerkraut. It was still a good meal. We sat at a table for four, kind of in a booth. We didn’t get the names of our table mates.

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After lunch, we were on our own to explore Rothenburg. We found a shop we had seen on the tour, and purchased a Christmas table runner. We found Käthe Wohlfahrt’s Christmas shop – a favorite place to shop for Christmas ornaments. We purchased three Christmas brass ornaments for Christmas gifts.

We walked around and found “the door” that we had been looking for (please see my post on December 13, 2015 titled “The Door”)

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~~~~~~~~~~Part 6 – To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

 

 

 

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