Tag Archives: Family relationships

It’s Been a While

22 Mar

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

I knew it had been awhile since I wrote a blog, but I am kind of shocked I haven’t written anything since last January. February first brought pre-op visits, surgeries, post op visits, loss of a family member and a lot more, I think you get the picture.

But good things happened too. A twenty year broken family relationship was restored and my heart is dancing with delight. Only God could have healed done it.

I wear funky old people sunglasses that fit over my glasses because I am not responsible enough to remember where I put the glasses I take off to wear shades. Due to an eye condition I have to wear sun shades that do a great job at filtering UV rays and they are expensive. To my dismay I realized my sunglasses were fraying and needed to be replaced. I took them to the optical office where I had purchased them in 2019 to order a new pair and received a wonderful surprise. The glasses were covered with a lifetime warranty! I filled out an online warranty claim on March 18th and received a new pair on March 21st. Amazing! The brand name is Cocoons and I highly recommend them.


Monday was promising to be typical of most days since the first of February, appointments and a tight schedule. I had the day planned. The first item of my to do list was a failure. The office where I needed to drop off my tax paperwork was unexpectedly closed until noon. (note on door). Fortunately our daughter was off work for the day and volunteered to drop them off later. The second and third tasks went pretty smoothly and I thought the 4th one had gone smoothly too, but not so much. The fourth and final errand before going to an out of town doctor appointment was to stop at Publix Grocery. A quick grab and go for some fresh green beans for our supper. My husband is on special diet and can’t eat much, but he can eat green beans.

The grab part went well and my husband agreed to snap the beans while I put laundry in to wash and made his lunch. Then I pulled the beans from the package. G R O S S. They looked fine but…they were slimy. My first thought was I don’t have time to go back to the store.

My second thought was, I’m calling Publix. For those not familiar with the store, they are a great grocery chain and take pride in their products. I wanted to alert them to the problem since I wouldn’t be taking mine back for at least a day. When I spoke with the manager she offered to replace them, which I knew they would. I told her I had a tight schedule and couldn’t return to the store in time to prepare and serve them. She offered to have them delivered right away. Wow!

Probably less than 15 minutes passed before there was a knock on the door. Too soon for Publix I thought. Our daughter answered the door and there stood the produce manager of the store, with a grocery bag in one hand and flowers in the other! Who does that?

The rest of the day went smoothly. We made it to the doctor appointment, took out a loan to fill up the car with gas (joking about the loan.) and even ran the car through a free car wash. My husband had green bean for his supper and I was happy that the doctor had told us the end of his restrictive diet is near.

Life happens with its joys and difficulties and sometimes my mind is too muddled to put coherent words together. I am thankful for my fellow bloggers, dear friends who keep the blog going.

Today is a new day with new challenges. I don’t think the day will end with flowers, but, you never know what sprinkle of joy God has planned for us.

A 1960 California Family Christmas

25 Mar


Judy Wills



I know….I know….Christmas was either three months ago – or nine months to come. So I am either WAY late or WAY early with this post! However, in going through my pictures recently – something I really enjoy doing – I came upon the Christmas before Fred and I married, and it was in California with my parents and Bill and DiVoran.

We stayed with Bill and DiVoran in their tiny little house, so it was cramped spaces, but sometimes that can be the most fun, right?



In any case, we drove from Albuquerque, New Mexico early that morning, and drove straight through to Inglewood, California. It was a long drive, but there were four drivers, so it wasn’t too bad. We drove in Fred’s car – that lovely, classic 1957 Chevy Bel Air.


It was a dream to drive and to ride in. And with the four of us in the car together – Mom, Dad, Fred and me – we had a great time together. I remember starting out that there was frost on the windows. It didn’t take long before the sunshine on the car melted the frost, even though it was so cold outside.

Because Bill and DiVoran’s house was small, DiVoran made the best use of the space, knowing we would really crowd the place. There was no room for a Christmas tree, so she made one out of a tinsel garland, tacked on one wall.



She placed ornaments on the “tree” and a star at the top. They had a credenza underneath it where we placed our Christmas gifts. It was quite unique and imaginative. She’s so creative, and it shows in the paintings she does, as well.

I remember them setting up a cot for Fred to sleep on.


Bill and DiVoran sitting on Fred’s cot


There was a couch that I suspect folded down to make a bed, where my parents slept.



I have absolutely NO memory of where I slept, but perhaps there was another cot somewhere in that room that was my spot for sleeping. Perhaps they put me in the kitchen? It was a one-bedroom little house, and Bill and DiVoran slept in their bed. It was quite cozy!

We had some plans for things to do while there. I know we went to Disneyland one day.




We went to Marineland.



To Knott’s Berry Farm.


We kept busy, and made the most of our trip.

When Christmas Day arrived, we had a great meal together. And it was made even better because DiVoran’s parents came and joined us at the table. My mom and dad ate from TV trays, but that didn’t lessen the fun. It was just a great time together.

It just goes to show that you don’t have to have a lot of space, or expensive tastes, to have a wonderful family time together. And that’s the key – time together. That’s what makes family. We are blessed.


A Journey to Peru and the Amazon River

4 Apr

A Time to Live

Melody Hendrix

As a child, I remember my father always watching travel shows on tv. Later in his life he was able to travel extensively after playing the stock market. He said he made more money doing that than ever working. I was so happy for him and my Mom. However, my Mom tired of traveling so my dad would go alone.
One day he asked me to go vacation with him to Peru on a live aboard boat down the Amazon River. I couldn’t contain my excitement. What an awesome opportunity he gave me. It was his last trip before he passed away. It was a most precious time.
I would like to share this series of incredible events and sights on this trip, which includes Peru, Nazca lines, the Amazon people and the way they live.




I am retired and enjoying life. My hobbies are my 5 grandchildren, son and daughter, and my loving husband. I am a photographer and extreme nature lover. I love spending time in my garden or in the wilderness connected to God my Creator.

Dad: My Worst Enemy, My Best Friend~Part 1

6 Jun

My Take

DiVoran Lites


Author, Poet and ArtistI’m writing this post on Memorial Day, May 30, 2016 the day when I finally knew how much I loved my Dad. In church the day before, our Pastor invited the congregation to call out the names of loved ones who had died for their country. There was a silence then one person spoke, another short silence and then someone else spoke. No one said the name loudly, but soon we heard a chorus of voices expressing grief. It was sad, but suddenly I had an epiphany. My dad was an infantryman in WW2. That means he did most of the war on foot. The difference was: my dad came home. That meant that I didn’t go through life without a father as so many children have done over the centuries. Sounds like I should have known how blessed I was, doesn’t it? But you see, Dad and I were at odds for most of my life and I developed some fairly hefty grievances because of it.

Ivan went to war when I was five years old and my brother almost three. He was in the Battle of the Bulge, and although he came back whole, I think there was an unseen part of him left behind. On top of that, Dad was a male and I happened to be born a female, something that dad took hard. Old story, eh, Dad wants a boy for his first born. This Dad knew little about girls because he just had one brother growing up, no sisters to teach him what girls were like. I guess you might say he did his best to make a real man of me. Now don’t get me wrong, I really like men. I’ve had one of every male relative a person can have and I liked them all pretty well, most of the time.

Ivan Bowers

Ivan Bowers, circa 1919

At the time we happened to be living in Crowley, Colorado where dad was a mechanic in a tomato factory. Mother’s job was to give the workers a big dinner at noon. We lived in a shotgun house, which meant that if you shot a gun through the front door, the bullet would go out the back door. The kitchen was at the back. We had a rooster, some chickens, and a Nanny goat for milk. When I got older, Mother told me that when we walked over go over to factory to visit Dad, we’d all go together in a line: Mom, Sister, Brother, our dog, and Chanticleer (the rooster), Nanny Goat and her kid, Billy. Billy would walk on tiny hooves trip-trap over the panes of glass that protected the tender, new plants from the elements. Mother said she held her breath hoping Billy Goat wouldn’t break any of them and he never did.

—–To Be Continued—–

Christmas Walk

5 Jan

My Take

DiVoran Lites

Author, Poet and ArtistHi, I feel as if I haven’t talked with anyone for quite a while. I’ve been sick, you know. I’m such a baby about that. I want to be treated like a princess and my prince indulges me. It’s the season for colds and I had the one that was going around. It started about the time we got home from our family Christmas celebration. I was so thankful that I felt good all that glorious, wondrous day.

We drove over to Orange City in the middle of the state where our son and his family live. The house was beautifully decorated for Christmas. Granddaughter, Lacey, grandson, Jacob, and his friend, Tiffany, from Missouri were waiting for company, along with mother and ad. Jacob and Tiffany met in Japan in their Japanese language class. She’s a lovely, quietly unassuming redhead, who loves Jacob’s puns. Our daughter, Renie and her husband, Ron, arrived soon after we did.


There was more food than any nine people could eat in a day, though we did our best. It wasn’t exactly traditional Christmas fare, but started out as brunch and was enough to feed all of us throughout the day, including take-home.

Of course we enjoyed the chat as we seemed to ebb and flow around various conversational areas. It’s grand how pleasantly the time passes when you’re with people you love and enjoy.The best part was when we decided to go for a walk. We have always walked as a family. I have walked as a pastime for my whole life. I walked my children, and then the grandchildren.

We got in two cars and drove over to Blue Springs which is only five minutes from the house. It’s so charming the way a group of people can take a walk together. I don’t know how it evolves, but somehow a person will be walking and then, for a while, there’s someone coming alongside and they talk sweetly together about the things that matter. The next thing you know you’re walking with, or perhaps standing next to someone else looking over a rail into the water.


We went to Blue Springs which is only about five minutes away from where Billy and Lisa live. As soon as we got to the head of the stream, up by the boil, we got to see some manatees. Those usually only come up into the spring on very cold days to stay warm, so I was really surprised to see them.



Tiffany asked Bill about where the swamp was and Bill turned the question over to our son, Billy, the environmentalist, because she’d get a fuller, better answer from him. He pointed down at a pool of apparently standing water (it’s never really sill, though) and said, that’s a swamp. Then he explained a bit about what that meant. The water was clean, but tinted brown from the tannic acid from fallen leaves. Tiffany listened avidly as seems to be her way and then we all went on.

Tiffany is studying languages. She and Jacob met in Japan in their Japanese language class. They ended up climbing Mt. Fuji together. It was grueling, but they were together, so what did they care?

We who live close to the east coast left at about three-thirty in the afternoon. By the time we got home, I was hurting all over and yet thanking God that we’d had such a grand day. I rejoiced that I’d made it all the way through without even knowing I was sick.

For the next picture, we laid five phones on a big stump and asked some passing young men to take pictures. We had several volunteers and a lot of pictures.


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