Tag Archives: Family

Thanksgiving Our Way

5 Dec

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

We had an untraditional Thanksgiving day. Our daughter flew up around noon and since the airport is an hour and a half away, we decided to not stress about the meal. We could be thankful just as easily on Friday. And we were!

Usually when we make an airport run to Asheville, we do some shopping. Since shops were closed we decided to take a scenic route home along the Blue Ridge Parkway. For some reason, maybe because the area is familiar, we hadn’t driven this portion. It was beautiful and we will be driving it again!

To our surprise there were several cars parked at the overlooks and the passengers were sitting in the sun, some even picnicking. This car was parked next to us and I tried to snap this picture without them noticing.

Saturday evening a cold front moved in bringing with it rain and heavy winds. I heard some noise during the night but didn’t think much about it. I always hear noises. Sunday as we were backing out of the driveway on the way to church, my ever observant husband spotted at tall pine tree down at the back of the house. We have a lot of trees and the downed one was stuck in the top of one. We were thankful for this as it prevented the tree from falling on our roof! Getting it the rest of the way down would prove to be challenging.

I was thrilled that our daughter was here to help her dad. Their brains run on the same track and she works well with him. Me….not so much.

A portion of the tree that was hanging at a 90 degree angle was fairly simple to bring down. The rest of the tree not so simple. As darkness closed in they secured the tree with ropes in the hope that if the wind brought the tree the rest of the way down, they would control the fall.

Our daughter had an early evening flight on Monday and her dad didn’t want to spend the morning working on the tree. That meant that on Tuesday I would be his helper. Uh-oh.

Tuesday morning he brought out a come-along (no idea if that is spelled correctly) and attached it to ropes and then a chain. He cranked and pulled to no avail. Mostly I watched and said “be careful!” I suggested he come inside for lunch and rest a bit. The bit turned out to be a couple of hours and that was a good thing. Because, before I could put my jacket and shoes on, I heard a whoosh. I ran to the window to make sure my husband was ok and saw this.

The tree was down and with only minor damage to a path rail! We are beyond thankful the tree didn’t damage the house and fell in such a way that we didn’t have to pay a tree surgeon to take it down. My husband has plans for the wood and next spring I hope he is able to spend many happy hours in his wood shop.

I'm a winnerAfter 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  where we frequently host the best in up and coming authors.

My 2019 goal is to use 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.

Fun With Family-Part 3

7 Nov

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

After our adventure with my aunt and cousin earlier in the week, we decided to set out on another one, but not so strenuous for my aunt. My husband loves driving Highway 441 through the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Even with the twists and curves, it relaxes him and we are blessed to spend 6 months of the year less than an hour from the park.

During leaf season Highway 441 can become congested, especially on the weekend. We checked the weather forecast and decided that Thursday, October 23rd would be a perfect day. We packed some snacks and set out.

The park has frequent turnouts, or scenic overlooks and we stopped at a couple of our favorites.

The walkway in the picture above leads to an overlook and the colors were gorgeous.

The first time my children went sledding was in this park at one of the turnouts. Friends had invited us to visit them at their cabin in Franklin, NC and we were thrilled when we learned the park had snow. Good memories were made with our children and the grandchildren.

Our next stop was the Newfound Gap overlook. It sits astride the Tennessee and North Carolina border and is a popular stop. It took a while but my husband found a parking space.

The Great Smoky Mountain National Park now has webcams and I am thrilled. The mountains are always showing a different look. Here is the LINK if you would like to check it out.

Back on the road, we headed down into Tennessee. We planned to shop in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee for Christmas gifts but stopped at Chimney Top Picnic ground to enjoy our snacks. There are several popular trails off the road and their parking areas were full beyond capacity. We were concerned there would not be any free tables at the picnic area, but the concerns were unfounded. I can’t believe I didn’t take pictures of our picnic, but I did take pictures of the boulders along the stream.

When we arrived in Pigeon Forge, we only visited one shop, a ladies clothing store-of course. We scored some bargains then my husband drove us to his favorite shop…Krispy Kreme doughnuts! Since we don’t usually eat carbs this was a serious treat but we each only ate one and a half of the lusciousness!

My husband was tiring and since he was the driver, we decided to retrace our route to return home. The park reintroduced elk a few years back and the herd has prospered. We were hoping our family would see them when we reached the Oconaluftee Visitor Center area. And they did!

We weren’t the only ones gawking, I mean enjoying them! The park service had made one of the road lanes a viewing lane and helped keep visitors safe.

This is the end of my Fun With Family series. We enjoyed the time we spent with them. Time with family and friends is truly a gift.

The delayed colder temperatures have arrived and the beautiful colors are losing their luster. Even once the color is gone, the mountains still call to me and I love the time I am blessed to spend among them.

I'm a winnerAfter 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  where we frequently host the best in up and coming authors.

My 2019 goal is to use 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.

Fun With Family-Part 1

24 Oct

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

Western North Carolina is always beautiful but fall, when the leaves turn to golds, yellows and flame is especially outstanding.

Our daughter enjoys visiting when the leaves are in full blown splendor but unfortunately the color was late this year. On the plus side, it was a short visit and thanks to a conversation in the local home improvement store, we found a new place to explore.

St John’s Episcopal Church is located off of Highway 64 west, on a road appropriately named, St.John’s Church Rd. While it dates back to the 1800s it is still and active church.

Among the cemetary headstones we discovered an Indian Chief and his wife as well as the Rufus Morgan garden where several family members are buried.

I knew that a Rufus Morgan had been instrumental in mapping hiking trails, including the Appalachian Trail in Georgia and Western North Carolina but had no idea what an avid naturalist he was.

This is an excerpt from Find a Grave

Naturalist, Author, explorer: Rufus Morgan was one of the early pioneers in the founding and development of the Appalachian Trail. Raised in the far western mountains of North Carolina he was well acquainted with the various peaks and valleys of the area. Following the proposal for a national trail to follow the spine of the Appalachian Trail he was a natural to develop the trail route from the Georgia Border to The Great Smokey Mountains National Park. He was the original author of the Appalachian Trail Guide for this part of the path. Over the years he introduced thousands of people to the Appalachian Trail, the Nantahala Gorge, and the National Park.

Find A Grave.

 After leaving the church we headed to one of our favorite local recreation areas, Standing Indian. We enjoyed a picnic then took advantage of the cool temperature to indulge in a short hike to Mooney Falls.

It is not spectacular, but we find the sound of rushing water to be both relaxing and refreshing.

At home we spotted a doe with her two babies in the woods next to our driveway.

Our neighbors have an awesome inflatable dragon for Halloween. The thing is, the dragon’s movement results in it toppling sideways. Our daughter couldn’t resist posing as a dragon slayer. For fun, I looped the photo so that it appeared as if she kept falling off. Unfortunately, WP wouldn’t recognize the file. (I don’t think our neighbors read this blog but if they do…honest, she was not kicking the dragon!)

It was short visit but we laughed, made memories and enjoyed each other’s company, even if the Fall color was late. We feel blessed and look forward to making more memories.

Next week Part 2 will be adventures with more family. Hint: The Fall color doesn’t disappoint.

The Mixer Trick

6 Jun

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

We have family coming to visit today. I am looking forward to their arrival and have been making mental meal plans. Yesterday I put a Boston Butt in the crock pot and today I will make Eastern North Carolina pulled pork, along with cole slaw and some red skin potatoes. We won’t be able to eat the potatoes since we are eating low carb, but I will enjoy fixing them. For dessert I made a strawberry cream pie drizzled with chocolate ganache. We can eat that!

I’m not a gifted drizzler.

Once the pork was fork tender, I let it cool then placed it in the bowl of my stand mixer. In less than 2 minutes the pork was shredded. How amazed my mom would have been at the ease of shredding the meat!

In her final years, my mom spent a good bit of time at our home recovering from hospital stays due to her COPD. She would sit at the kitchen table as I cooked our evening meal and we would talk about all kinds of things. Growing up with 11 brothers and sisters, she had a lot of stories to tell.

Often during these visits we would make barbecue together. I would place the cooked Boston Butt between us on the table and we would each cut off a chunk and begin to cut it into smallish cubes. Alone, it was a tedious task but working together the time flew by. Sweet memories. Memories we wouldn’t have made if I had known about the mixer trick.

I'm a winnerAfter 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  where we frequently host the best in up and coming authors.

My 2019 goal is to use 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.

What Did You Say?

11 Feb

My Take

DiVoran Lites

 

Bill and I kept up with a lot of changes in American English for most of our lives, but now we feel we may be slipping behind. Sometimes younger people look at us as if they have no clue what we’re talking about.

When we were in Colorado a few years ago with our grown children our daughter asked why everyone was saying Back East when referring to the whole East Coast of the U. S. I gave that some thought and remembered hearing Out West once we had moved to Florida. Bill and I have lived on both coasts so we have a mixture of ways to say things. We try to stick with the jargon of the place where we live. It would be hard to go Out West again and be understood because we’ve been Back East for 52 years.

I told my daughter that BackEast was where almost everyone came from in the olden days. Ranchers and sheepherders, gold prospectors, and movie stars migrated west and so Back East was looked upon as a sort of original home.

My mother would say a few words and then warn me not to use them because they’d betray my common background. At night when we went to sleep she said, “Goodnight, sleep tight, don’t let the bed-bugs bite.”  I thought that was a funny poem but when I said it once she told me it wasn’t really a nice thing to say. Another word she didn’t want me to use was: do’less. To me, that is a perfect word. It means you don’t feel like doing any work or patching of clothes which was thought of as rest.

 

 

Speaking of work, over the years I read a lot of British fiction and watched Masterpiece Theater offerings. I’ve been putting two and two together about my ancestors and got to thinking my ancestors were indeed just common down to earth folks. I know they were farmers and store-keepers, janitors, and embroiderers. My own closest grandmother was a hair-dresser with a bedroom that had a separate entrance. That was her beauty shop. She and Granddaddy bought a Victorian house and made it into an apartment house with the family living downstairs. Granddad was a guard at the Colorado State Penitentiary, a very dear man. When I went to visit I got to know all the boarders, one of which was an older deaf woman. She would give me sign-language lessons when I went up to see her.

 

 

 

 

I was a bit of a pill, but Grandmother really did love me. The hand on my arm, however,isn’t affection it is restraint.

 

 

During World War II, Mother, my brother and I lived in the biggest of the three apartments while dad was in the infantry in Europe. Thank the Lord he did come back and nothing was hurt except his night-dreams which would wake him up screaming.

 

 

My other grandmother was widowed by then. She and her sister worked at the Brown Hotel in Denver as chambermaids and lived on the top floor in a small room. She died when I was seven and my mother cried for a week.

 

 

This is my mother’s dad, her Aunt Vera, my mother at 4, her mother and Grandma Hunter, the matriarch of the family. I love this picture.

 

Our mother and father at Grandmother’s house.

Over the years watching all those British dramas I came to imagine that some of my grandmothers, were maids in the big houses. Perhaps the men were stable men and gardeners.

 

 

Notice the shovel my great-grandfather had. He must have been a funny man. Our grandfather is the fifth from the left. To me,he resembles Prince Charles.

In imagination, when I see a young woman on screen walking across the hills to become a scullery maid and to have her bed in the turrets of the house while working up to parlor maid I am glad I don’t have to do any of that. Back East or out West or over the seas, I am who I am and I enjoy my background make-believe immensely.

 

 

 

We enjoy talking with folks our own age because they understand our meaning. The younger people in the family are lots of fun too. They understand our hearts. Whatever people say, one of the very best things in the world is having a family. Thank you, Lord for family then and now.

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.”

Happy Days

31 Oct

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

 

After I got out of the U.S. Navy, DiVoran and I moved to California for me to go to Northrop University.  Times were tough for a young married couple trying to get an education. DiVoran worked at a beauty salon for three years obtaining her PHT Degree (Putting Husband Through). God was good to us, and when I had enough education to get a full-timeengineering job I finished my classes in night-school.  It was about this time that we were blessed with our first child. A beautiful girl who we named after DiVoran’s best friend, Charlene.  Little did we know then what a wonderful woman she would grow up to be.

 

                                                 

Of course the name “Charlene” was way too big for such a tiny little thing, so we came up with the nick-name of “Renie” and it stuck.  I remember being a daddy in many ways.  I helped with the dishes, changed diapers, and carried her around with great joy.  Most of all there was no one who could bring up that essential burp like I could.  Our little bundle of joy took after her beautiful mother, and before we knew it she was the glamor girl of the family.

 

                                               

In the midst of work, school and taking care of our daughter, our son, Billy, was born a couple of years later.  As they grew up together, Renie became mama’s little helper with her baby brother.

 

                                       

When I finished my degree, North American Aviation transferred me and my family to their Florida Field Operations, which was at the Kenedy Space Center.  This job was part of the Apollo/Saturn V Manned Space Program to send a man to the moon.  We moved into our first new house, in a new housing development, and the children were quick to make new friends.  As usual Renie took good care of her little brother as they learned their way around their new suroundings. 

 

                                   

The problem was our Renie was the only girl in our neighborhood, and she had to let the six boys she usually ran around with know that she could hold her own.  She was quickly accepted into the neighborhood “pack” and it was good training for getting along with the men she would eventually work with, at her various jobs she would have over the years.

 

                                   

During these early years in Florida, our family became avid campers (see “Our Trip Across America Part 1-12).  We started with tents, and over the years, evolved into a beautiful air conditioned pop-up camper.  Renie and Billy loved Florida camping with its fresh water springs and nature trails.   By the time Billy got his first motorcycle Renie was finding many of her own interests and began to drift away from a lot of the outdoor activities the boys in the neighborhood were into.

 

                                   

Renie made us very proud while in high school, participating in the school’s swim team program, the marching band where she played the French Horn, and as one of the football team’s cheerleading “T-ettes.”

 

                                               

Renie has always been a hard worker in what ever she did.  After graduation from high school, it was at her Sears job, that she met the love of her life, Ron.  After a long courtship she and Ron made both families happy and proud when they married in 1987.

 

                                               

After years of hard work, and receiving their college degrees, Renie is now an Executive Assistant for The Veria Company, and Ron is a Logistics Comptroller for the Brevard County Sherif Department.

 

                                               

DiVoran and I are blessed that our children have found work here in the Central Florida area and we get to enjoy their company often.   Renie and her younger brother, Billy, get to see each other occationly, as his company is a contractor to The Veria Company, and he has a chance to visit her office once in a while for his job.  As a dad, I’ve always been proud of Renie and loved her with all my heart. Now that we’re older she helps DiVoran and me with our computers, our i-phones and lovingly ministers to us when we have health issues.

 

—–The End—–

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 61 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.

 

 

 

Bill

 

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

Memory Lane Trip~Part 7 (Continued)

15 Aug

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

 

 

Day 7 – Monday 4/23/2018

 

As you might have guessed by now, this was turning out to be a really busy day.  Next on my list, there in Dallas, was a visit to the Frontier of Flight Museum a few miles north of downtown Dallas, located at the Dallas Love Field Airport.  This is the best aviation museum I have visited on this trip so far.  This is a large museum with two large display areas and 30+ beautifully restored airplanes.

 

 

One of the museum’s most unique displays is their complete Boeing 737 airliner. The nose section of the airplane is inside the building and the passenger section is outside the building.  Visitors can access the airplane from inside the building and examine the entire complete interior at their leisure.

 

 

One of my favorite TV series of late, is “Fast N’ Loud” which follows the exploits of hot rod hunter, Richard Rawlings, and his Gas Monkey Garage crew, located there in northwest Dallas.  I’m constantly amazed by the crew’s talents, as they transform “barn finds” or a “basket case” car into some of the most beautiful and unusual road machines ever. Since I was in Dallas, I decided to stop in at the Gas Monkey Garage and see what was happening.

 

 

Surprise!!  The episodes of the TV series I have seen are mostly confined to the garage area, as seen in the photo above, with Richard’s office cubical in the back of the garage.  So imagine my surprise to find that Richard has expanded his Gas Monkey complex to include Corporate Offices, and the “Merch” store, which is an apparel store feathering “Trending Threads” and Gas Monkey souvenirs.

 

 

As luck would have it, the Discovery film crew was working on another episode, and access to the garage area was restricted.  I was disappointed not to be able to meet any of the “Monkeys” to tell them how much I enjoy the series and the wonderful work they do.

 

 

One of Richard’s ventures, since the series started, was the opening of the Gas Monkey Bar & Grill, located just a few miles north of the Garage, on I-35E.  I stopped by to check out this beautiful restaurant, but things were very quiet, as the dinner crowd had not started showing up, so I headed west on I-30 to meet my cousins in Arlington, TX.

 

 

I had made arrangements to meet three of my first cousins in Arlington for dinner and some reminiscing. These cousins were from my father’s side of the family, and I hadn’t seen any of them in almost 20 years.  Our family had made several visits to see them, in central Louisiana, when I was 6 or 8 years old.  Milton is my age, so we ran around with each other during those visits.  Gerry and Delois were Milton’s older sisters, and as you can imagine, we had lots to talk about.  Well, as luck would have it, we had a communications breakdown, and we missed each other at the restaurant.  After driving around a while trying to connect with them, I finally gave up and stopped to enjoy some really delicious St. Louis Ribs with baked beans and cold slaw at Jambo’s BBQ Shack there in Arlington.

 

 

With the help of my cousin, Gerry, I had made reservations, before I started this trip, for a room at the Texas Masonic Retirement Center, where Gerry and her husband George live. This was a great arrangement for the two nights I planned to stay in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, as it included three meals each day if I so elected.  And, I would be right there in the same building with two of my cousins.  Later, when we finally did find each other, there at the center, we had a wonderful time going over some of our family history. Gerry’s sister, Delois, also lives in the Masonic Retirement Center, and she joined us in Gerry’s apartment for the festivities.

—–To Be Continued—–

 

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 61 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.

 

Bill

Animals at the Train Station Depot

30 Jul

My Take

DiVoran Bowers Lites

 

 

Brownie look alike from Pixabay

 

Animals have been important to our family for as far back as I know.  When we first moved to Westcliffe (the town’s spelling has an e on it, but the school’s does not.) Dad learned by the grapevine that one of the ranchers had some part Border collie pups. He may have offered one to Dad, I don’t know about that.

“Get your money and let’s go, Dad told us.” He believed in paying for what he got and he drove us out to the ranch to pick out a pup. In the barn,we held some soft, wiggly puppies trying to get closer to us. I don’t know how we decided which one to take, but whichever one it was, we ended up calling him Brownie. We’d brought all our earnings from working in the restaurant and around the house. We had killed flies with a swatter to keep the café clean, washed dishes, cleaned off tables, and taken out crates of empty pop bottles to send back to the bottling factory next time the delivery truck came up from Canon City.  We had thirty-five cents. Dad was satisfied and so was the rancher.

 

Clover (Pixabay)

 

A few years later Dad bought each of us a calf so we could get started in the cattle business. My calf’s name was Clover and she was a sweet and pretty little thing. David named his calf, Red,because as a Hereford, that was his color. One morning when I went out to the shed to feed Clover, she was sprawled in the straw not moving or breathing. It was the saddest day of my young life so far. If I ever needed to call up tears for any reason, all I had to do was to remember Clover. Red, however, grew up thinking he was human.

 

Goose (Pixabay)

 

Another time Dad bought a white goose we knew was for Thanksgiving. I suppose Dad meant to take it, all nicely dressed, or undressed, so to speak, so Grandmother could cook it for us. The goose was majestic and tame. We loved her and decided we couldn’t let her become a cooked goose. We opened the shed door and let her out. When Dad noticed that she was gone, he made us go out to look for her. Thinking goose-swan what’s the difference, we ambled down to Grape Creek where the willow bushes grew. We ducked and pushed our way through them until we came to a small woven hut. Inside we saw a pallet, an empty whiskey bottle, and the picture of a lady from another time…but no goose. Dad was cross, but apparently,our misdeed didn’t warrant a spanking.

 

Trail Horses, Pixabay

 

Dad was a restaurateur, a builder, a flyer, and a budding cattleman. He also kept trail horses for the tourists he took up into the mountains to fish in the lakes. We kids also had a horse we kept in the feedlot. I think Dad got him cheap. His name was Yankee and Dad said judging by his teeth he was elderly. Part Shetland pony, he was also small, no match for the quarter horses most people kept. At first, Yankee and I had a hard time getting used to each other. I’d get on and he immediately trotted to the feedlot where he stopped on a dime and looked up to see me sail over his head. Dad only allowed that to happen a couple of times before he taught me to let Yankee know who was boss.

 

Tiger Kitty, Pixabay

 

Mouse (Pixabay)

We had a tiger kitty to keep the mice down, and he mostly lived outside because that was where the mice mostly stayed. Dad seemed like a tough guy, but he hated mice. In a small mining town in Nevada, he worked in Safeway as a meat cutter. For some reason,mice in the back room loved climbing up inside the worker’s pants. Dad shuddered even at the thought of mice. On the other hand, Mother thought they were adorable as long as they stayed out of the restaurant pantry. She told me that when I was a baby, we were delighted to sit and watch a nest full of baby mice romp and play with their mama invisible, but nearby. I like mice, too, but I’ve never been thoroughly tested by them.

Sometimes on the inside, I still feel like the little girl I was decades ago. My peers say they feel that way, too. For a lot of us, good memories like these are silver and gold and unfortunately for our poor families, we tell them a lot.

 

 

 

 

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.”

Memory Lane Trip~Part 3

27 Jun

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

 

Day 3 – Thursday 4/19/2018

 

After breakfast this morning I took a little side trip, off of I-10, north on SR-27 to visit the Dequincy Rail Road Museum located in Dequincy, LA.  This was a very small museum and I got there before they opened. I took a photo of their steam locomotive #124 and their restored 1923 railroad Depot, and then headed on down the road to the next museum.

 

 

Next on the list this morning took me across the border into Texas, where I visited the Fire Museum of Texas located in Beaumont, TX. This is the restored 1927 Beaumont fire engine station, which displays several beautifully restored pieces of 19th century firefighting apparatus, and several fire engines/hook & ladder fire engines from the early and mid-20thcentury.

 

 

While I was in Beaumont, and just a few blocks away, I also visited the Texas Energy Museum.  This was a very large modern museum with exhibits, artifacts, and memorabilia that major on the progress that the state of Texas realized, as a result of the development of the local oil industry.

 

 

Just around the corner from the Texas Energy Museum was the small restored Travis Street Electrical Sub-station, which has been converted into The Edison Museum.  This small sub-station gives the visitor a view of how electrical power was transferred for residential and commercial use back in early 1929, to keep the city of Beaumont lighted and running.

 

Next on the list was a visit to The Clifton Steamboat Museum located some 12 miles west of Beaumont. This museum was created by Mr. D. H. Clifton, who was an avid fan of Civil War maritime technology. The museum is filled with beautiful renderings of Civil War maritime battles and miniature models of many of the Civil War battleships and Ironclad’s of the period.  Mr. Clifton took it upon himself to single-handedly rescued the 1938 tugboat “Hercules” that was scheduled for the scrap yard, and moved it to his museum location in 1994.  Old “Hercules” could stand a new coat of paint in my opinion.

 

 

Now I headed west on I-10 again, to visit the Royal Purple Raceway (Now called Houston Raceway) located in Baytown, TX.  This huge sports complex includes a ¼ mile dragstrip (NHRA) and a 3/8 mile oval dirt track.  The pit area is large enough to accommodate 400 racing rigs, and the spectator viewing area seats 30,000.  The activity was electric at the raceway the day I was there, but sorrowfully it was all in preparation for the weekend event that I would miss.  Maybe I’ll catch an event next time I’m in the area.

 

 

I had no idea of what a big mistake I would be making when next I tried to visit the Battleship Texas (BB-35) located in La Porte, TX.  Road construction was terrible and had Greta so confused she couldn’t find the location. This was complicated by the fact that coming on the shortest route from Baytown, she had me using ferries which I didn’t have time for.  So, after several tries, I just gave up and headed for my next museum.

 

 

 

Note: This day’s activities will be continued next week.

 

—–To be Continued—–

 

 

 

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 58 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 Space Program for 35 years. He currently is retired and spends most of his time building and flying R/C model airplanes, writing blogs 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 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.

Bill’s favorite Scripture is: Philippians 1:6

Tea Party

5 Mar

My Take

DiVoran Lites

 

 

 

 

My friends love tea parties and so do I.
Grandmother Marie left me her
Collection of fancy teacups and
Mother Dora gave me her creme1940-s
“Ovenware” Tea Pot with flowers on it.
Mother told me all the stories in her world.

 

I heard about when she was a young mother
With two small kiddies. Every day
She would cook oatmeal on a coal stove
Like the one she was cleaning
Just before she went into labor
And had to go to the hospital g-r-u-n-g-y…

 

In those days the men went away
And the women held down the fort
Dora kept a clean, uncluttered house
After every meal.
She washed and dried the dishes
She gathered eggs,
Milked the goat
At five years old, I got to sit on the front step
And drink a glass of hot foamy milk
Dora fed chickens and gathered eggs.

 

Sewed clothes, repaired clothes
Washed clothes
Hung them on the line
To be examined by the neighbors.
And Grandmother Marie.

 

Early every morning
Mother hurried with her work so
She could dress up and
Walk her children down the block to
A neighbor or neighbors
Wanting to save her own cleaning effort
She couldn’t stay long
She had letters to write
To Daddy who was at the front.

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