Tag Archives: Dad

Cousins, Saw Blades and Pity Pits

13 Jul

We have more cousins coming to visit today and we are looking forward to sharing memories and a lot of laughter. My husband turns used circular saw blades into knife blades The last time we visited with these cousins, they gave Mike a whole box of used blades. They had belonged to his recently deceased dad. Mike will be demonstrating to him how to do this. I think repurposing some of the blades will be special.

Family visitors and laughter are good medicine for the heart. Something else that is good for the heart is Philippians 4:8. Many years ago as a young wife I found myself frequently fuming over petty slights or comments my mother-in-law made. The verse has raised me out of my pity pit many, many times since.

Tomorrow is the 28th anniversary of my dad’s move to Glory. He was a good and imperfect dad. Sometimes it seems I miss him more as the years pass or maybe, I don’t remember the depth of loss from that time.


11 Jun

My Take

DiVoran Lites





I started walking in 1939
And thank the good Lord I haven’t stopped yet.
Mama and Daddy were there for my first steps
And I was with Daddy for his last one.

Believe me, he walked plenty in his lifetime
He walked to school,
Walked to fish and to hunt
Walked on his paper route
Walked to his girlfriend’s house
Then he went into the war
And marched and slogged through mud up to his ankles.

He bought a business and stood behind the bar
Listening to the problems of his customers.
Once he walked down off Pike’s Peak after he and his friend,
Sweak Jeske got caught in a downdraft in a Piper Cub.
God was with them that day.
All Daddy got was a ruined plane and a chipped ankle bone.
His friend walked down the mountain and brought help.
After Daddy retired he walked at least a mile every day.
He showed me how to walk in the Florida woods
Being new here, I was afraid to explore,
It has been my favorite trail for over fifty years.

Dad didn’t usually attend church, but when he was 87
He went back to a Christian Church like the one he had attended with his mother, Marie.
There he either received Christ or renewed his commitment.

It was around that time that he had an accident and had to go into assisted living.
I was present when the therapist came to teach him to
Walk again, and they asked me to help by
Standing at the end of line of support bars, and calling him to come.
It was just like teaching a baby to walk,
“Come on, Dad, you can do it!”
It took all his strength and was all a therapist and a nurse could do
To get him out of his wheel-chair.
He looked up at me with a light in his face
And took a step.
My heart soared, but then
He fell, supported, back into the chair.
But it was not for lack of willingness.
His brain just didn’t have control of his
Body anymore.

Three years after they tried to get him up and walking
I was at my church in Florida for an evening sing-along
We sang “Draw Me Nearer,”
And in my mind’s eye, the hymn book I was holding
Disappeared and I saw Dad walking toward me.
He said, “Would you walk a ways with me?”
I knew then that he was in Heaven.
Early the next morning my sister-in-law called
And told me he had died the night before.
Good night, Daddy.
We’ll see each other again, some glad morning.


Ivan and DiVoran


My Dad Could do Just About Anything

12 Jun

My Take

DiVoran Bowers Lites



Author, Poet and ArtistIf my dad were still with us, he would be 102 years old this month. I’m glad for him that he is in Heaven. Life is easier there than on earth. Now that I am older and wiser, and I believe I could understand him better, I’d like to have a visit with him

Dad always worked hard at whatever job he had. Some of his earliest memories were about going out to the barn to get oats for breakfast. He worked in his parents’ beauty parlor/barbershop and delivered papers. He learned to cook from his mother because there were no girls in the family for her to teach the finer arts of homemaking and hair cutting.


Grandmother, Dad as young man, Granddad, Dad’s Brother in front.


He rode his dad’s horse, Smoky, in races against the prisoners at the state penitentiary where his father worked, but he wasn’t allowed to win because it might affect his dad’s job.


Smoky, Granddad, DiVoran- see Dad’s feet in front of the power pole?


When I was a very small child, my mother felt a bit competitive because my dad seemed to be able to do everything. One day she said, “I’ll bet you can’t make DiVoran the cotton slip she needs.” Well, Dad sat right down at Mother’s 1934 Singer Sewing Machine and made the slip. Mother never challenged his talents again.

Every new endeavor Dad went in for required a move to a new town or state. When he and Mother married, he was a meat-cutter for Safeway in a small mining town in Nevada. When Mom’s dad died, my mother and dad moved back home so he could take over the job of keeping the gas company going. Sometime before WWII started, we moved to a small farming community and dad repaired machinery at the tomato factory. Near the end of the war, even though he was married and the father of two children, he was drafted and became an infantry man. When the war was over the couple bought a restaurant and bar. Dad also became a hunting and fishing guide, and a friend taught him how to fly a small airplane.

When it was time for the next change he became a security guard in a town called Los Alamos, but soon worked his way up to courier which required a move to Albuquerque and from there to Livermore, California.

In all he was a: commercial fisherman, farmer, vacuum store owner, lobsterman, and a grower of fruit and nut trees. He could fix just about anything and when he came to visit us, we always had jobs set up for him. I still have the jar opener under my kitchen cabinet.




When I use that jar opener I realize that he installed it about the time his hands started giving out. He had two carpal tunnel operations, but still the strength in his hands deteriorated to where I had to open packages of potato chips for him. I wonder if he thought ahead to the time when I might need something under the cabinet to help open jars, which is now.

Did I forget to mention that Dad liked kids?



Dad did work hard, but he was an artist too. He framed Mother’s paintings, and made birds from abalone shells to hang on the wall. He welded sailing ships and shrimp boats. He also hand-dipped chocolate. At one time in their lives Dad and Mother became rock hounds. Dad made a tumbler and polisher out of a small motor and a coffee can and soon Mother and Dad had a lot of semi-precious jewelry to give away.



Dad didn’t sell his art, the fish he caught, the venison he brought home, or the fruits and vegetables he grew. He gave it all away. One day he gave away his authentic totem-pole because a visitor saw it and asked for it.





Like a lot of kids, I took both my parents for granted. That’s why a visit would be so nice about now. Thank the Lord, they and we are eligible to meet in Heaven because we have given our lives to the Lord Jesus Christ. I’d love it if there were a time and place to sit down and talk with people we know and love. That may or may not be part of God’s plan, but if it happens to be, I’m up for it.

My Dad Changed the Family DNA

14 Jul

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

I'm a winner

I have been hearing about DNA Encoding. It seems that when a very traumatic event occurs in a life, it can affect the DNA, and future generations will have an irrational fear due to it. Well my dad was way ahead of the science. He didn’t give me an irrational fear but he did change the family DNA.

Me and dad

Me and dad

As a kid, if I got mouthy around him and THE LOOK from my mom didn’t work, he would grab the hair on the top of my head and pull until I was standing on tip toe. I hated having my hair pulled so I calmed down pretty quick. When our son came along, he did the usual kid thing of throwing himself on the floor and pitching a fit. Nothing worked to stop it. Finally at wit’s end, I reached down, grabbed his hair and pulled him off the floor. (Amazing how one’s body will follow the hair) It worked. Unfortunately, he did this frequently so a lot of hair pulling went on. Now I know, some people will be appalled by this, but it took the drama out of the situation.

When he was in kindergarten, his teacher asked him why the hair on the back of his head always stood up. His reply “my mom pulled it so much it stuck that way.” Embarrassing. Fast forward twenty years and he has a son whose hair sticks up in the same place.

I love this guy!

I love this guy!

My dad gave me a final hug twenty-three years ago today. I still miss him.


15 Jun

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis



Back in the late fifties, going to church was a much more sociable activity than it is today. Once the service was over the adults would linger outside the church, on the sidewalk just to chat and enjoy being together. The children, glad to be freed from the trial of sitting still would run around like uncaged monkeys playing tag and screaming until a parent shushed us.  One particular evening, the air had a chill to it and I stood Lucerne Parkshivering next to my dad. Without making a big  “to do” about it, he took off his suit jacket and put it around my shoulders. It covered my small body completely and smelled like my dad’s Vitalis hair oil and a faint scent of cigarrete smoke. I felt completely safe and warm covered by his jacket. That was my first picture of how much God loved me.

My dad and mom loved to fish and we drove to the east coast of Florida every Friday night to fish. In my childhood I can’t remember a time I didn’t have a fishing pole. I started with a cane pole in the local lakes. When I was considered big enough to have a real fishing rod and reel, it was a small Zebco. I remember my dad teaching me first how to bait my hook, release the line and how important it was to “hold your pole Loved catching the big ones.up” when you were reeling in a fish. Next he taught me how to tie a hook onto my line and change the weights. He wanted me to be self-sufficient but he was always there to help me out when I tangled my line or man the long dip net when I had a fish to big for me to reel up. This was my second picture of how God loved me. Like my dad, God would always be there to help me untangle my life and he would be my “dip net” when I called out to him.

Matthew 7:11 says-“ If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!”


My dad was a humble man and because of his humility, it took me many years to realize what a truly remarkable father he was.

Me and dad

Me and dad



Snake Bit

1 Aug


A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

When I was around 6 years old our family took one of their many summer vacations to the beautiful Alto Frio Encampment near Leakey, Texas.  Even though the Encampment was established in the early 1920’s, by the mid 1940’s, it was still fairly primitive.  Our rustic cabin furnished only the basic eating and sleeping needs.


The south Texas summers were hot, so one of the joys of the trip was the afternoon swim in the Frio River.  On this particular day, Mother, Dad, my younger sister and I headed down to one of our favorite swimming holes on the banks of the river.  Being a frisky lad, I was running out in front of the others.  As I reached the edge of the water, and started to wade in, I felt something on my left shin and reached down to brush away what I thought was a deer fly.  My hand came back with blood on it.  About this time, my dad yelled for me to stop, he ran up to me and began to wrap a bandana tightly around my thigh. He tied it with a knot then picked me up and ran for the cabin.  I had no idea what was going on, but my dad and my mother who had been right behind me, had seen what happened.


Evidently, I had scared or stepped on a snake (water moccasin) in the shallows and he bit me, and then he was gone.  When we got to the cabin, my dad used a razor blade to make small cuts over the fang holes. He then sucked on the wound to get the poison out. He picked me up again, rushed to the caretaker’s house, and asked him to take us to the hospital.  I remember feeling dizzy and a little sick to my stomach, but that could have been from the smelly exhaust fumes coming through the firewall of that old Model A pickup we rode in.

The closest hospital was too far away, so we ended up at a doctor’s office where the doctor used a glass suction device to remove any poison that might be left.  Hardly anything came out and the doctor praised my dad for having done a great job.

I learned later that my dad had been a medic at the front during WWI and I  understood that was how he knew what to do in case of snake bite.  I also learned that sucking the poison out of my leg, could have been dangerous for him because of the fillings in his teeth. If there had been even a pinhole cavity around in one of them, the poison could have entered and made him sick or even killed him. Of course, he wasn’t thinking about himself at the time, only me, the little boy that he loved so much.  Thanks, Dad.


Psalm 23


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