Tag Archives: #amblogging

2021  Mid-Eastern Road Trip Part 9A

3 Nov

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Day 9 – 7/20/2021

This morning I headed south out of North Lima 9 miles on US-62 to visit the War Vet Museum located in Canfield, OH.  The museum is housed in the restored original home of Comfort S. Mygatt, built in 1809, and is the American Legion Post 177.  It displays historical military artifacts and memorabilia dating from the Civil War period.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

Now I headed south 10 miles on SR-46 to visit the Log House Museum located in Columbiana, OH.  This museum is housed in a log cabin that sits on the site of the first U.S. Post Office in Columbiana, which was established in 1809.  The log cabin was built by Jacob Nessly in 1820 and moved to this location in 1975.  This small museum features 1800s quilts as well as pioneer, Civil War, WWI, and WWII artifacts.

It was another 25 miles south on SR-11 to where I tried to visit the Museum of Ceramics located in East Liverpool, OH but they were closed.  So, I found SR-7 and continued 20 miles south, along the Ohio River, to the Historic Fort Steuben located in Steubenville, OH.  This reconstruction of the 1787 Fort Steuben (built to protect early land surveyors from hostile Indians attacks) is situated on the original site of Fort Steuben, was built in 1987. Visitors can tour the eight buildings that make up the original fort, and get an idea of how the men lived and worked in the wilds of the new Ohio Country (Northwest Territory) during the 18th century.

I got a big surprise when I happened to see a historical marker that said Steubenville was the birthplace of the American singer, actor, and entertainer Dean Martin.  I grew up listening to his songs on the radio, watching him in movies, and laughed at him and Jerry Lewis on his TV show over the years.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

I was really looking forward to visiting the Wheels Gone By automobile collection and the Welsh Classic Car Museum, there in Steubenville, but (Greta my Garmin) couldn’t find either one of them.  That turned out to be a real Bummer!  So, I just headed another 20 miles south on SR-7, skirting the Ohio River, to visit the Sedgwick House Museum located in Martins Ferry, OH.  This museum is housed in what was the Sedgwick family home (built in 1870) and displays rare antiques and artifacts related to the history of Martins Ferry and the surrounding area from the early 1800s.

Photo Credit:Bill Lites

It was only about 5 miles south on SR-7 to where I crossed the Ohio River, and drove into Wheeling, WV to visit the Kruger Street Toy and Model Train Museum.  The museum is housed in the original 1906 Elm Street Elementary School building, and has an amazing collection of dolls, toys, games, and model train layouts that will amaze young and old alike.

As I was leaving Wheeling, I stopped at the WV Independence Hall and discovered that Wheeling is considered the Birthplace of West Virginia and also served as the Civil War Capital of Virginia.   The museum is housed in the original building that was built in 1859 as a Customs House and served many other functions during and after the Civil War. 

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

Now I headed south about 10 miles on SR-7 to visit the West Virginia Penitentiary located in Moundsville, WV.  This prison structure was constructed in 1866 and served as a men’s and women’s prison until 1995.  In the later years of its operation the prison was listed as one of the Top Ten Most Violent Correctional Facilities by the United States Department of Justice.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

—–To Be Continued—–

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 64 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

2021 Mid-Eastern Road Trip-Part 8

27 Oct

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Day 8 – 7/19/2021

Leaving South Buffalo this morning, I headed southwest on I-90 some 60 miles, skirting along the Lake Erie shoreline, to visit the Barcelona Lighthouse located in Westfield, NY. This lighthouse was built in 1828 and served the Portland Harbor area until 1859 when the lighthouse was deactivated. However, now privately owned, the lighthouse is in working order and still burns to this day. 

Photo Credit Bill Lites

Now I took US-20 southwest 20 miles along the Lake Erie shoreline, across the border, to visit the Lake Shore Railway Museum located in North East, PA.  This museum is housed in the 1899 NYC Railroad Passenger Depot, and displays railroad artifacts and memorabilia dating from 1890s.  The museum also has several restored pieces of rolling stock and diesel-electric locomotives dating from 1910.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

It was another 15 miles southwest on US-20 to where I visited the Firefighters Historical Museum located in Erie, Pa.  This museum is situated in the 1903 Engine Company No.4 station (which replaced the original 1873 Eagle Hose Company station that used only hand-pulled firefighting apparatus) and displays many firefighting artifacts and memorabilia dating from the early 1800s.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

Before leaving Erie, I swung by the Eriez Speedway just to see what it was all about.  Nothing was going on, but I discovered this 3/8-mile dirt track is the home of the” World of Outlaws Morton Building Late Model Series” races that are scheduled year-around.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

Next, I continued southwest 30 miles on US-20, along the Lake Erie shoreline and across another border, to visit the Conneaut Railroad Museum located in Conneaut, OH but it was closed.  However, their website informs me that this museum is housed in the former LS&MS Passenger Depot (built in 1900) and displays many railroad artifacts and exhibits dating from the 1800s.  Their centerpiece is the restored 1944 Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 steam locomotive #755.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

Now it was only 20 miles southwest on US-20 to where I visited the Hubbard House Underground Railroad Museum located in Ashtabula, OH. The Museum is housed in the former home of William & Katherine Hubbard.  Built in 1841, this house served as the northern end of the ‘Underground Railroad’ that supported escaping slaves from the antebellum South during the pre-Civil War years.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

Just a few blocks away I tried to visit the Ashtabula Maritime Museum, but it was closed.  So, I turned south 50 miles on SR-11 & SR-45 to my next stop to visit the National Packard Museum located in Warren, OH.  This museum is housed in the original 1917 Packard Dealership building and has on display 35 beautifully restored Packard automobiles dating from 1901 to 1956.  WOW!  What beautiful cars!

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

Another 20 miles south on US-422/62 I tried to visit the Lanterman’s Mill (grist mill) located in the picturesque Mill Creek Park area in Youngstown, OH but it was closed.  Their website has informed me that the mill was built in 1846, providing residents with grains from local grown corn, wheat, and buckwheat until the late 1800s.  In 1892 the Mill Creek Park purchased the mill and restored it to its original condition, and it operates today as it did in the mid-1800s.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

Next on the list there in Youngstown was a visit to the Youngstown Historical Center of Industry & Labor.  This center is dedicated to the history and the people who worked in the local steel industry that dominated Youngstown during the 20th century. Steel industry exhibits, artifacts and photographs tell the engrossing story.   

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

It was another 10 miles south on SR-7 to where tonight’s motel was located in North Lima, OH.  When I checked in, I asked the desk clerk for good restaurants in the area, and he said Steamer’s was close.  I ordered their Baked Penne & Sausage plate.  The room was cold, so I left my iced tea, sunglasses, and a museum brochure on the table while I went to the van for my long-sleeved shirt.  When I returned to my table, it had been cleared and my stuff was gone.  “What is going on here?” Evidently another server had cleared the table.  I don’t know what she was thinking, but now they had to scurry around to find my sunglasses and brochure and bring more iced tea.   My meal finally came, and it was excellent.

Photo Credit: https://steamersbakedsusagepenne.com/

—–To Be Continued—–

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 64 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

2021 Mid-Eastern Road Trip Part 7

20 Oct

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Day 7 – 7/18/2021

This morning I headed north out of Syracuse on SR-370 about 5 miles to visit the Salt Museum located on the Onondaga Lake in Liverpool, NY.  Salt: that common ingredient that flavors our world, and that most of us can’t do without.  It all started in 1788 when Asa Danforth and Comfort Tayler came to Onondaga County New York, and with the help of the Native Onondagas, erected the first salt works.   The museum has an assortment of exhibits and artifacts used in the early 1800s to mine and process salt.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

Next it was north 30 miles on I-81 to visit the H. Lee White Maritime Museum located at the Oswego Historic Maritime District in Oswego, NY.  The museum is situated in the 1925 former grain elevator freight house and has a variety of rare marine artifacts dating from the 16th century.  The museum also includes the WWII Tugboat LT-5 and the 1927 Darrick Boat #8.  This museum also maintains the old Oswego West Pierhead Lighthouse built in 1934, to replace the original 1880 light.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

Before leaving Oswego, it was only a short drive to checkout the Oswego Speedway.  Known as the “Steel Palace” this track is the “Home of the Supermodifieds” open-wheel racecars.  There was nothing going on at the speedway, so I just found SR-104 and headed west.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

It was some 30 miles west on SR-104 to where I had planned to visit the Chimney Bluffs State Park in Wolcott, NY.  Time was against me, and I knew I wouldn’t be able to see all the places on my list today, so I skipped this park.  I continued west on SR-104 another 35 miles to where I tried to visit the Schutt’s Apple Mill in Webster, NY but they were closed.  So, it was just 15 miles west to Rochester, NY where I visited the George Eastman Museum.  This museum is located in the 1905 George Eastman House (I’d call 35,000 sq. ft. a mansion) and is said to be the world’s oldest museum dedicated to photography open to the public.    

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

I passed up the Charlotte Genesse Lighthouse and continued west another 45 miles on SR-31/31A to visit the Medina Railroad Museum located in the 1905 NYCRR Freight Depot in Medina, NY.  The museum displays antique railroad artifacts and restored rolling stock, and normally provides steam train tours throughout the year.  The museum also has a large model train layout for all to enjoy.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

It was another 35 miles west on SR-31 to where I had planned to visit the Niagara Falls Wax Museum and the Observation Tower.  But arriving in Niagara Falls, I found the entire area absolutely mobbed with tourists.  I gave up any idea of trying to visiting the museum and tower (that was a real disappointment) and headed for the Niagara Aerospace Museum a few miles east.  This museum located adjacent to the Niagara Falls International Airport has a small collection of rare historic aircraft and replicas dating from the 1950s.  Most of these exhibits and memorabilia represent the historical influence of the Bell Aircraft Company and the Curtiss-Wright Aircraft Corporation on this area dating from the 1920s.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

Now it was only a few miles south on SR-265, along the Niagara River, to where I visited the Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum located in North Tonawanda, NY.  This museum is housed in the original 1910 factory complex and displays wood carrousels and other rare artifacts representing the many products this company manufactured from 1833 to 1955.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

Before leaving the North Tonawanda area I drove a few blocks south to check out the National Railway Historical Museum.  This small museum is the Niagara Frontier Chapter of the NRHS and is located in the original 1922 Eire Railroad Freight Depot.  The museum displays railroad artifacts dating from early 1900s and several pieces of restored rolling stock.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

Now I headed south 20 miles on I-195, along the Niagara River to visit The Steel Plant Museum of Western NY located on Lake Erie in the Heritage Discovery Center in Buffalo, NY (known as one of the “Rust Belt Cities”).   The museum was closed, but their website informs me the museum displays artifacts and memorabilia related to the history of the western New York steel industry dating from the early 1800s.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

It was only a short drive south on US-62 to find my motel for the night in South Buffalo.  After I got checked in and carried my things into my room, I warmed up my leftover Baked Lasagna, from the Basil Leaf Italian Ristorante and enjoyed that great meal again.  Yummmm!  

Photo Credit: https://www.thebasilleafrestaurant.com/

—–To Be Continued—–

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 64 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

River Dawn

18 Oct

My Take

DiVoran Lites

River Dawn                                    

By Dora Jane Bedell Bowers

God is Love; God is light,

He protects us through the night. 

He turns morn to birds in flight,

To restore a lovely sight. 

When the morning sun begins,

Then the sound of violins

And the joy of mandolins

God forgiving all our sins

Now the day has just begun

Birds make circles one by one

Underneath a morning sun

Flying birds forever-fun

Silently the morning flight,

Follows from the windy night

First, the Pelican’s delight

Scooping fish, oh, what a sight.

How slowly moves the morning air

As the golden sun shines fair

And Holy Spirit always there

He is here and everywhere

Swirling clouds and sunny blaze

Making headwinds to amaze

Needing glasses to appraise

Like the sun, so go the days

Watching now as pictures dawn

Beneath a tree, a resting fawn

When the darkness comes withdrawn 

I’m ready for another yawn

Sea Gulls float on salty-sea

Blackbirds fill the sky to flee

Flying birds all comfort be

Wing-ed joy entrancing me

Now the dawn has changed its mind

Clouds oppress, the light is blind,

Colors muted, birds are still,

Back to bed, don’t catch a chill. 

Random Memories of Germany, Let’s Eat Part 2

17 Oct

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

I guess what I’m about to write about includes food, so the “Let’s Eat” is still a good title.  You see, I didn’t grow up drinking wine or beer or any hard alcoholic drinks, even with my meals.  So I have never “acquired” the taste for any of it.

And, as a matter of fact, when I was teaching aerobics, I was appalled at the horrible sweat odor oozing from the pours of women who had been drinking beer.  Blech!  That would NOT have encouraged me to drink beer in any form!  So I haven’t.

I must admit, that I have tried – many times – to accompany my evening meal with a glass of wine.  And I just can’t do it.  The taste turns me off.  When I have mentioned this to friends, the usual response is “oh, you just haven’t found the right wine yet!”  And so, when we were in Heidelberg, by invitation I went to a “wine tasting party” in an apartment near where we lived.  After sampling several different wines, I finally found a wine that I thought I could enjoy, and so purchased a bottle to take home with me.  Days later, when I opened the bottle to enjoy with my meal – I found that, once again, it turned me off.  So that bottle of wine was used later in my cooking.

Credit Pixabay

And that brings me to another topic of wine.  Many years ago I was given the recipe for making French Onion Soup.  A friend had made it for a meal, and I was quite taken with it.  Her husband had been a soldier in Vietnam, and had eaten French Onion Soup in a restaurant in Saigon.  He told her it was the best French Onion Soup he had even eaten!  And he had her try every recipe for it that she could find, and then tweak it until it tasted like what he had tasted in Saigon.  This was the recipe I was given.

Credit Google Search and Sharon Uzell-Meek

Well, that recipe called for “cooking sherry.”  Being a good non-drinking Baptist girl, I thought that I should use the “cooking sherry” instead of regular sherry.  When I tried it, I found it to be quite distasteful!  And as someone once told me – “If it isn’t good enough to drink, it isn’t good enough to cook with!”  And I have to agree. 

So from that point on, I have been cooking with regular wine.  The alcohol is burned off by the heat, and the flavor is left in the food.  I find it enhances the flavor of the food deliciously. 

And I still don’t like the taste of wine!

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.

Random Memories of Germany-Let’s Eat!

3 Oct

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

I had never really eaten any type of “international” food as I was growing up, just what was around Albuquerque.  You know – pizza, Mexican food, Chinese.  But I don’t remember there being a German restaurant in Albuquerque – at least one I knew about.

So I didn’t really have any kind of frame of reference for what to expect in the way of food when we got to Germany in 1967.  I am most happy to report that my experience with German food was off the charts!  It was wonderful – or as I used to compliment the server – “Ausgezeichnet” (outstanding!!).  That always got a chuckle from the server – whether it was my pronunciation or what the word means, I’m not sure.  But I like to think it left a good impression.

And let me make this statement right now:   we NEVER had a bad meal in any German restaurant – no matter where it was.  It could have been in the town where we were living at the time – or it could have been along the roadside where we would stop as we were traveling.  It was ALL good!

Our first experience was in the hotel where we were to stay for about a week when we first arrived in Wiesbaden – the American Arms Hotel.  We ate many of our meals there and were pleased.  Our military sponsors took us out to eat that first evening, and it was at the zum Keller in Wiesbaden.  I had my first taste of schnitzel there, as well as the wonderful salad they make (you know – cucumbers and onions in a vinegar sauce on butter lettuce…yummm!), and the French fries (pomme frites).  Wow…my mouth is watering just remembering!

Credit Google search

Credit Pixabay

In later years, when we returned for Fred’s second tour of duty in Germany, we found a wonderful restaurant, called Grimmingers, that was just down the street from our apartment.  They had the most wonderful schnitzel there – and we each had our favorite.  Fred always wanted the Jägerschnitzel (hunter’s schnitzel). 

Credit Google search and Quick German Recipes

Our daughters both loved the Rahmschnitzel (topped with a cream sauce). 

Credit Google search and German Culture

Unfortunately, I can’t remember the exact name of my favorite schnitzel, and it’s possible that it was a house speciality.  It was the usual schnitzel with a couple of stalks of Spargle (white asparagus) on top, and covered with a cream sauce.  Delicious!  Also unfortunately, our daughter, Karen, told us following a visit to Heidelberg in recent years, that the restaurant is no longer there – it is now a bank!  Shucks!

In a previous musing, I mentioned that we had a favorite Gasthause, the Schwartzeradler (Black Eagle) where we always stopped on our way to Rothenburg.

Credit Google Search and swartzer_adler_rothenberg.com

It was in a very small village, right on the road we drove on.  I believe we always got their schnitzel there, rather than trying to eat somewhere within the walled city of Rothenburg.  Our girls didn’t understand that, until we told them that the “local” restaurant had to have good food, or it wouldn’t survive, while the restaurants within cities that attracted tourists didn’t – the tourists probably wouldn’t return, so it didn’t really matter how good the food was.  It was an eatery that was well attended by the local population.  If the locals didn’t like the food, they wouldn’t return – and this one was well-established.

I have nothing but good memories of food in Germany.  It’s one of the things I miss the most about living there.  We are grateful God allowed us that time in our lives – and the memories that accompany it.

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.

Random Memories of Germany, Trips to Italy-Part 6

26 Sep

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

For the last of my memories of trips to Italy, I would like to tell you about when we stopped at Trieste.

Trieste is located in the northern part of Italy that has been dominated by many different nations throughout its history:  Austria/Hungary, Italian (Roman), France (three times during the Napoleonic Wars), Germany (with Mussolini as head) during WW2, Yugoslavia.  It was finally officially annexed to Italy in 1954.  The border questions with Yugoslavia and the status of the ethnic minorities (Slovenes in Italy and Italians in Yugoslavia)  were settled definitely in 1975 with the treaty of Osimo.  (Please see Wikipedia for more information)

Trieste is a natural port on the Adriatic, and is nearly surrounded by Slovenia.  Here is a picture that Fred’s father took while stationed in Trieste following WW2.  Don’t know the name of the Navy Cruiser, but it is a U.S. ship, and it is in the port of Trieste. 

 Another picture says it was possibly bringing Omar Bradley to visit.  Sorry, no picture of Bradley.

Fred’s parents lived for a while in this building in Trieste following WW2, 

on what he calls the “mezzanine” – it was the level under the “arches” – but not the ground level.  Between the ground floor and the second floor.  And here is our picture of that same building.

Here is a picture that Fred’s dad took of the living room of the apartment in the mezzanine, in July 1948. 

 And also in 1948 is a picture of Fred, his sister Emily, and their mother in front of the Fontana dei Tritoni in Trieste. 

One of Fred’s fondest memories of Trieste (and why he wanted to show it to me) was the Miramare Castle.  The Castle was used by the U.S. military as an Officer’s Club following WW2 (the British assigned to Trieste could use the O’Club as well).  Fred says they would attend church on Sundays, then go to Miramare Castle for lunch.  That was not the case when we visited in 1970 – we didn’t enter the Castle, as I remember.  But we toured the gardens, and they were beautiful.

1948

1970

1970 – some of the gardens, Miramare Castle – Judy by statue

Fred said he would take a G.I. bus to Miramare Castle and essentially spent all day swimming.  Here is a picture of his family – probably him and his siblings and parents – in the water. 

And here is a picture of that same spot that we took on our 1970 trip.

He said the beach was pretty rocky, so some sand was brought in to make a sandy beach. 

Another view of the beach

 Also, a “platform” or float was built on top of some large empty drums, where one could sit and sun, or dive off into the water.

Fred remembers walking to the docks when he lived in Trieste – it was only a few blocks to the docks from where they lived.  He would go there and watch the ships come and go. 

It was a lovely time of remembrance for Fred as we toured that city.  And an interesting city, as well.

A street in Trieste-1948

~~~~~~~~~~And so ends our trips to Italy~~~~~~~~~~

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.

Friendship

19 Sep

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

Back in the early 1970’s we were living in San Antonio, Texas.  Great place to live.  We really loved it there – even considered living there when Fred retired from the U.S. Air Force.  However, that was not to be.

The Alamo-San Antonio, Texas Photo credit Judy Will

We were members of the First Baptist Church in downtown San Antonio from 1971-1974.  It was an “old” church – established in 1861.  It was, at the time we were there, the 15th largest in the nation.  This sanctuary was built in 1925, and completely remodeled and modernized in 1964.  We thoroughly enjoyed that church.  The first Sunday we visited there, we walked in and the feeling was…home

First Baptist Church, San Antonio, TX – from a post card

Since it was a quite large church – somewhere around 5,000 members – it was in the Sunday School, choir, and other groups where we got to know other members.  Janet was still in nursery age, but Karen was school age and old enough to sit in the worship service.  Since Fred and I were both in the choir, I found an older couple she could sit with.  She always found her way to the choir room to meet us following the service.  

One Sunday morning, just before Sunday School started, I was sitting next to an older woman I didn’t know.  She tapped the coloring book I had on my lap (for Karen to entertain herself quietly during the service), and said, “I know how you keep yourself awake during the preaching!”  We both laughed.

I later found out that she was the Senior Pastor’s wife!!  Oops!

One of the organizations within that body of believers, was a young women’s group that we called “Friendship.”  The idea was for each of us to find one international wife who spoke very little English and bring her to the church.  I must say that the only thing “churchy” about this entire program was the prayer we said before we had refreshments.  No preaching…no church teaching…just pure love and friendship.  

We had a one-on-one hour of teaching them English via the Laubach Method of teaching English as a second language.  It is a highly successful method, and even those of us who were not fully trained, could help someone learn the language.

Following the hour of English, we would have some time with refreshments and getting to know each other.  And then we would have another hour of arts and crafts.  We had an exercise class; we had art painting, etc. My specialty was teaching crocheting.  My girls each crocheted a shawl from yarn.  Most seemed to enjoy it.

It was a lovely experience, and one I have treasured.  San Antonio, being a very “military” city, has many international women married to our military men.  Some had never had occasion to attempt to learn English – and sometimes, the U.S. military husbands didn’t necessarily want their international wives to learn English.  But it did my heart good to know we provided that service.

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.

A Quick Trip

18 Sep

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

What a couple of weeks this has been. First my husband’s sinus infection that I worried was Covid, then a quick trip from North Carolina to Florida, which seems a little crazy since we have a late September road trip to prepare for.

But and it’s big….I love free and we were gifted a free one night stay in a family suite at a Disney World resort and we would get to spend some days with our daughter. Plus, since Covid, I have been building up a nice nest egg of credit card points that would pay for our food.

What I didn’t factor in was Florida heat in September. We were spoiled with the cool mountain temperatures.

Florida does not have fall. Well at least not until December.

We chose to visit our favorite park, EPCOT and arrived there around 12:30 pm. This is our first trip to Disney with a handicap parking pass. I am so glad my husband has one or we would have never made it into the park. I’m not sure if it was due to Covid or shortage of staff but the trams were not running. We had to take a lot of rest stops. I think my husband is now ready to accept a motorized scooter that was offered to him.

I enjoy the fabulous landscaping in all of the Disney parks. This trip I was surprised at the flower choices. Coleus in different colors were used liberally, accented with caladium, canna lily and penta. There were also plantings of flowers that reminded me of field flowers. They were all beautiful.

I forgot to mention that Disney World is limiting attendance at the parks and requires advance reservations for entrance. We were pleased to be able to reserve both the entrance and lunch in one of the country themed restaurants. We chose Germany. I had checked out the restaurants online and noted that the Biergarten Restaurant was currently serving an all inclusive buffet, minus alcohol. That was extra. With online check in using an app no lines were necessary and that was a plus. The Disney dining app even gave us a count down to check in time notification. That was quite helpful and we resting at a table with an umbrella after the walk to get near the restaurant.

Once our name was called, a funny thing happened. Our party and another one were booked for the same time and had the same first and last name! Only ours was a party of three and they were a party two. It took some paper shuffling for the cast members to straighten it out.

The meal was delicious. I enjoyed the beer and cheese soup and their version of Mac and Cheese. The desserts were yummy too. I filled a plate with one each of the desserts (they were small) and we tried them all. My husband enjoyed a couple of them so much he had to have his own slices. He is very sweet to let me share pictures of him with food.

Our sugar binge is over, done, history. For now.

The Biergarten also had entertainment. Here is a short clip. I imagine this would be a fun restaurant with a large group of friends or family. How do they manage to blow those long horns?

After lunch we received notification our resort room was ready. Once again, check in was done in the app so no line to wait in. It took us awhile to make it to the park exit. When we were close to the parking lot, our daughter went ahead and brought the car to pick us up.

We stayed at The Art of Animation. By the time we arrived there I was too hot and tired to take a photo of the outside. Our building theme was Cars, as in the movie, Cars and the room decor was cute. Along with a queen size bed, the suite had a queen Murphy bed that by day, masquerades as a table.

Thoughts about Covid and Disney. Masks are required at all indoor spaces and some people wore them outdoors as well. It was easy to be socially distant for us, but we did notice that people waiting in lines were not maintaining distance outside. Since I didn’t go into the buildings, I don’t know what it was like indoors. There were a couple of rides we would have enjoyed but we decided to pass on them at this time.Except for the area around Mexico (which I am pretty sure was because people were trying to find a way to get a cold Margarita) we didn’t feel crowded. In the evening, we visited Disney Springs, the restaurant and shopping district. Masks were worn outside there, more so than in the park.

This trip was planned several months ago. The morning after arriving in Florida, we learned our son in North Carolina had Covid and was admitted to hospital and was placed on a vent. We were scared. I cried a lot the first day. Yet I was thankful to be in Florida with our daughter so that we could face this together. So we could pray together. He was in a small local hospital and they were looking for an ICU bed for him in a large facility. We prayed for that bed, thinking he would go to Mission Hospital in Asheville. We were kind of stunned when we learned he was transferred by air flight over 280 miles to Duke University Hospital in North Carolina. The number one hospital in the state. I am thankful God’s ways and thoughts are higher than mine. Yesterday was 10 days on a vent and the reports had been up and down. Then we received the call. Our son was off the vent, breathing on his own and talking. We almost had church in the parking lot of Sam’s Club. His wife is going to be allowed to visit him soon and that will be good medicine for both of them.

Our son may have a long recovery ahead and we will continue to pray and give thanks. Through all of this, we have been blessed with comfort that for us, can only come from God. One of my favorite passages in the Old Testament is about the twelve spies sent to check out the Promised land. Ten of them returned saying no way, no how. Those dudes are big. But two, Joshua and Caleb said yes they are but our God is bigger. The Israelites went with the opinion of the 10 and that didn’t turn out too well. A month ago, I made a magnet for my refrigerator that reads, “The Israelites saw giants but Caleb and Joshua saw God.” Daily and sometimes, minute by minute I prayed, “The doctors see Covid Pneumonia but I see God.” That was my comfort, is my comfort and it is available to everyone.

My final thought. I am trusting that our son will recover completely. I grieve for the many, many who have lost people they love to this horrid virus. I like this verse in Romans12:15

Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.

May our days soon be filled with more rejoicing and less mourning due to this virus.

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 5A

15 Sep

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Day 5 – 7/16/2021

This morning I headed northeast, from Roanoke, on I-581 & I-81 toward Staunton, VA.  About 55 miles up the road I stopped to visit the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) Museum located in Lexington, VA.  This museum and its 15,000-artifact collection are dedicated to the history of the first state sponsored military college (1839) and its alumni.  Founded in 1856 by then Superintendent Francis H. Smith, the museum now resides in the Jackson Memorial Hall there on the VMI campus.  I passed up a cadet guided tour as it didn’t start for another two hours.

Photo Credit: https://www.vmi.edu/

I continued north on I-81 another 35 miles to visit the Jumbo Antique Fire Engine Museum located in Staunton, VA.  This museum is located in the Staunton Fire & Rescue Station #1 and has the distinction of displaying the oldest motorized Robinson Fire Engine (1911) in Virigina along with other firefighting artifacts and exhibits dating from the early 1800s.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

Before leaving Staunton, it was only a few blocks to where I visited The Camera Heritage Museum.  This small museum displays a unique collection of antique cameras and camera equipment dating from the early 19th century to the present.  Many of the cameras were used by well-known personalities, which makes their history even more interesting.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

Now I headed northeast about 10 miles on US-11 to visit the Augusta Military Academy (AMA) Museum located in Fort Defiance, VA.  The museum is housed in the original 1869 home of Charles S. Roller and displays artifacts and representations of 1800s AMA cadet life as well as the accomplishments of many of the AMA alumni. 

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

I continued northeast another 10 miles on US-11 & I-81 to visit the Harrisonburg Fire Department Museum located in Harrisonburg, VA but neither Greta (my Garmin) nor I could find the museum.  Not too far down the street I tried to visit the Virginia Quilt Museum, there in Harrisonburg, but it was closed.  It was too warm for a quilt today anyway.  Ha!

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

As I was leaving Harrisonburg this historical marker caught my eye and I had to stop for a photo.  After reading the marker, I was shocked and amazed at the story it told.  As it turns out, the barn of Mr. Henry Sipe, a prominent Rockingham County citizen, was burned down on February 28, 1878, and Charlotte Harris, a black woman, was accused of instigating the deed.  After being apprehended, Harris was given a preliminary hearing, before local magistrates, and was ordered taken to the county jail in Harrisonburg, 15 miles away, for trial. That night an angry mob of armed local citizens stormeded the building where Harris was being held, dragged her out of town and hanged her.  Not the kind of thing I would think a town would be proud of, much less prominently display on a historical marker there on Main street.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

Now I continued northeast another 20 miles on I-81, to visit the Virginia Museum of the Civil War located at the New Market Battlefield State Historical Park in New Market, VA.  This museum sits in the middle of what was the New Market battlefield and displays historical artifacts and assorted memorabilia related to that famous 1864 battle.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

Next on my list of places to visit in this area was the Route 11 Potato Chip Factory located another 10 miles northeast on US-11 in Mt. Jackson, VA.  I got a quick tour of the factory and was surprised to learn that they only got about 10 pounds of chips out of every 100 pounds of potatoes they processed.  The free sample I selected to munch on was their Onion & Chives flavored brand.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

—–To Be Continued—–

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 64 years in Titusville, Florida. He was born and raised in the Southwest, did a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy, attended Northrop University in Southern California and ended up working on America’s Manned Space Program for 35 years. He currently is retired and spends most of his time building and flying R/C model airplanes, traveling, writing blogs about his travels for Word Press and supporting his wife’s hobbies with framing, editing and marketing.  He also volunteers with a local church Car Care Ministry and as a tour guide at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum there in Titusville.  Bill has two wonderful children, two outstanding grandchildren, and a loving sister and her husband, all of whom also live in Central Florida, so he and DiVoran are rewarded by having family close to spend lots of quality time with.

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

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