Tag Archives: Colorado Memories

Doing What Comes Naturally

10 Aug

My Take

DiVoran Lites

The Sangre de Cristos 

From the time they were six years old, my parents, Ivan and Dora Bowers were friends. Both of them attended the only schools in town. Both became nature lovers throughout their childhood.

Dora grew up on the outskirts of Canon City (Canyon City) Colorado on an apple farm with a meadow, a vegetable garden, a few milk cows, and of course, apples. They churned butter and made cabbage slaw, which was the pro-biotic of the era. Dora remembered walking out to the pasture twice a day to herd in their three cows and milk them. She had a mother, a father, a brother, and the sister that she had begged God for when she was eleven years old. During the Great Depression, her family took in their extended family whenever they were out of work.


When they were in high school, Ivan worked at the auto garage next door to his Mother and Dad’s Beauty Shop and learned welding and car repair. He fished and hunted with his dad and younger brother. Fishing became for him a lifelong passion, and after he retired, he bought a shrimp boat in Northern California and caught shrimp to take to market. 

When Ivan got back from being in the infantry in WW 2, he and Dora bought Min’s Café in Westcliffe, Colorado. It took about ten minutes to get out of town, walking in any direction. Old silver mines on the prairie appealed to my brother and his friends, but since we were forbidden to enter them, he didn’t let me tag along. We rode our horses up into the mountains as a game guide. We also rode them on the prairie, but we were forbidden to gallop because there were too many prairie dog holes where the horses could break their legs. At night we lay in our beds listening to the coyotes’ howls.  When Dora and Ivan bought the old train depot and renovated it, they found many rabbit families under the boardwalk. Rabbits were a curse in those days because they were overabundant and ate every kind of vegetation in sight, so the rabbits had to go. 

Mountain Stream

Mother loved wildflowers, and whenever we went into the mountains while Dad and my brother fished, she and I walked around the meadows looking for them. We were thrilled when small animals such as rabbits, Pica, and Whistle Pigs came into sight. We were not thrilled when our dog Brownie got porcupine quills in his nose from sticking it where it didn’t belong. Dad had to remove them with pliers when we got home. And any little animals running around in the rocks, such as the Pica and Marmoset (Whistle Pig), thrilled us. My great grandmother and grandmother taught  Dora the names of wildflowers and herbs, and also how to use home-remedies. I’ve enjoyed checking some out and learning new ones. When we drove up to Hermit Lake, Dad taught us how to fish, and Mother taught us the names of wildflowers. I especially recall the name, fringed gentian

I recall one trip in which we were sitting down to a supper of rainbow trout and hand-picked dandelion greens when light snowflakes began to fall. We grabbed our food and hurried to the four-person tent and finished supper in the light of the lantern.  After we ate, we wiggled into our sleeping bags in our clothes and went fast asleep. We were afraid of nothing. Who would be frightened in such a beautiful place with parents who loved us and would protect us with their lives? And oh, yes, Dad being a mountain kind of man and former infantry sharpshooter went nowhere without a gun. He also taught us to shoot, but although my brother followed up with that, I never did. In the morning, I took the bar of soap and went down to the fast-flowing creek. Wouldn’t you know it, the soap slipped out of my hands and went bobbing down the creek. Who knows where it ended up? Mother’s nature training came in handy then. She taught us how to use sand to wash our hands and the metal pots and pans we cooked with. 

I didn’t care to fish, even though the browns and rainbow trout Dad caught were delicious the way he cooked them. I was intro reading and always had a book with me, so in the morning, I left the pole dad baited for me, hanging over the bank and into the water. I probably took a little snooze along with the reading. Anyhow when I went back to the bank, I was excited because a keeper fish hung from my line.  Later on, I found out Dad had put it on there to surprise me and probably to encourage me to like fishing more. 

When dad got his Piper Cub, he named it Dinty Moore. We flew over the 14,000-foot mountains to see our grandparents in Canon City, and I remember making noises like an airplane to amuse myself. Ivan asked Dora to ask me to stop because he couldn’t hear the state of the engine over the wind in the wings and my humming. I quit immediately.

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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