Tag Archives: Christmas in Florida

A Florida Christmas

30 Dec

My Take

DiVoran Lites

According to legend the explorer Ponce de Leon discovered the Fountain of Youth as a spring near what is now DeLand, Florida. Each day a million gallons of water surge from deep caverns, fill the pool and make a wide stream that runs into the St. Johns River. DeLeon believed that if you swam in the spring you would live forever. It may be true, although DeLeon only lived to age 45, Bill and I are still kickin’ and my mother, who swam in it when she was eighty lived to be ninety. She took great joy in believing, even though she didn’t particularly want to live forever, which is probably wise. 

I’m so fond of that place that I decided to use it for the setting of my first novel, “Sacred Spring.” It is a place which is full of history.

This year we decided to go to the Old Mill Pancake house for our special Christmas. We customers sit at long tables. Each table has a griddle in the middle upon which to cook pancakes and eggs. The waitress brings crisp bacon and savory sausage. It’s hard to choose from the half dozen syrups. Everything tastes as delicious as ever. 

We have six members of the immediate family and sorely miss the other two of our immediate family of eight. We talk and laugh about things that had happened over the decades and told family stories that our 27-year-old grandson has never heard. He and his uncle had a brief discussion about computers since both are involved in them at work. Too soon we feel we should give up our table for the many people who are crowding in at the door. 

What should we do now? Our son’s choice is a four-mile hike. That will be puny for him and overwhelming for me. Fortunately, it is still cold and a light rain falls.  Outside, we stand under an eave and talk about trying to find a place where we can sit and talk…maybe a mall with tables somewhere. We couldn’t come up with anything so we get in our cars and head south. We are an hour and fifteen minutes away from our home and a bit more for our daughter and her husband. Our son’s house is half an hour from where we were. As we tootle along I have a serendipitous thought. Why not go there? I call him and he says, “Yes, do come to my house.” I call the car behind us, and our daughter said they could come too. 

When we walk in it is sad to realize once again that those two are not with us as they have been for so many years. Somebody wants coffee and the coffee choices appear. Some want hot chocolate which is hard to find ingredients for. Finally, they appear tiny-mini chocolate chips, milk, cardamom and cinnamon and leftover syrup from Cracker-Barrel. I tend the increasingly chocolate milk spoon a sample and sigh. Just right! 

Our host asks if we’d like to have a fire in the fire-place…lovely thing for a sharp-aired, rainy day. The flicker of the fire and the smell of the burning wood remind us of camping trips of old. The ancient red dog of our grandchildren’s childhood follows us wherever we go. No-one turns on a TV or sits down to hide behind their phones. The daughter fiddles with getting the best picture with the finest background possible.

And now it is time to call the away ones…our grand-daughter and her mother who complete our circle. Both work currently in what to us are far away places. Son made the conference call and all eight of us had time together as we have for so many years. It was wonderful to talk with them. Finally, it was time to get in our cars and head on down south.

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.”

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