Tag Archives: Franklin North Carolina

Find Him

23 Dec

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

I have the best blog partners. Without fail they create a blog every week. Since our road trip in October, I have struggled to put words on paper. Life happens-sometimes frustrating, often very good. Both seem to derail me.

Last week we closed up our home in Western North Carolina and drove to Florida to celebrate Christmas with our daughter and spend the winter. The change from cold nights and chilly days to sunshine and T-shirts was dramatic.

Our town in North Carolina is seriously into decorating and celebrating. People gather downtown for the tree lighting, free carriage rides and of course, hot chocolate. It could be a Hallmark movie. The evening was cold and we had to park several blocks away but I am so glad we went. After the isolation and division of Covid, it was heart stirring to see family and friends laughing and enjoying each other.

The residents deck themselves out in festive wear as well. I brought two short sleeve Christmas T shirts with me to Florida and have enjoyed wearing them but was surprised to observe few people sporting holiday cheer. I understand. When we lived in Florida full time, I found it hard to feel Christmas-y while sweating. As I write this we are having a brief cool front with low temperatures in the upper 40s. I am savoring every moment of it. I think the high for Christmas Day will be in the mid 70s followed by 80s the rest of the week.

My daughter and I began a baking frenzy yesterday. What joy to spend time working together to create delightful treats for Christmas Eve. We follow the Keto lifestyle eating which means making most everything from scratch, but it is so worth it. My husband popped into the kitchen periodically to volunteer his taste testing abilities. What a sacrifice as his back is messed up and he is using a walker. Haha!

Even with life’s challenges, we are so blessed. This month, God restored 2 broken family relationships. One I had been praying over for 20 years. Our hearts rejoiced. The father of the Prodigal son in the Bible killed a fattened calf when his son returned home. We didn’t have a calf on hand, but we did pick up some pizza to celebrate.

This verse was in my morning reading earlier in the week.

As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him wholeheartedly and with a willing mind; for the Lord searches all hearts, and understands every intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will let you find Him;

1 Chronicles 28:9

Our broken hearts led us to seek Him with all of our hearts and minds. He not only let us find Him, he sustained us.

Do you follow The Chosen a crowd funded story about Jesus and the disciples? This Christmas they aired a wonderful Christmas special. It debuted in theaters but we watched it on You Tube. If you haven’t watched, you can watch it from here. https://youtu.be/5QeZnmCEeto

We wish you all a joyful Christmas.

I'm a winner

After 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  

My 2021 goal is continue 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.

Airing of the Quilts with Friends

25 May

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

That’s right, my favorite event of the year happened on May 13, 2017. I am not a quilter so it may seem odd that I love this event so much. I think it is because I have childhood memories of  heavy quilts made by one of my aunts. I think it was Erma. She could sew anything and always had scraps for quilting. To me, quilts convey love and warmth.

This year two of my friends came from Florida and one from South Carolina to share the day with me.  The weather was threatening rain all morning but only produced a few sprinkles. The breezes from the weather front whipped the quilts and sent their supports swaying.


There were some amazing quilts on display and several organizations were raffling off some beauties. One quilting group from Georgia spent a year working on the quilt they were raffling.  My favorite was, surprise, surprise a tea pot theme. I especially liked the color scheme.



The city government building  was open and housed a texture exhibit complete with someone spinning alpaca into threads and a demonstration of an old form of hook quilting. My friends received a short lesson from the helpful artisan.



The following day husband and I with Florida friends Pam and Diana headed to Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge, Tennessee for some shopping and nature.  Of course I made a stop at the Corning Revere store in the Red Roof mall. There are several of these outlets in the area, but the one in this particular mall has a clearance area in the bottom level and I have scored some great deals there.

As we drove up US 441 through the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, I was saddened to see the damage to the forests during the November fires caused by arson.




In Gatlinburg we discovered our hotel was literally down the street from where the fires encroached on the city. This is an overview of the city.


We did a motor tour of the Roaring Fork nature trail which begins near the top arrow. Much of the forest had suffered fire damage but the park service had many of the trails reopened and parking areas were full with the cars of hikers.

Of course, sampling the restaurant fare was a top priority. Along with the usual favorites of  The Old Mill and The Apple Barn, we tried out Bubba Gump. They have a yummy dippin” sauce.



On one of our drives, we had a mixup on directions and took a scenic detour.  I wasn’t sure how we got turned around, then I saw this sign in Pigeon Forge.



I guess in the mountains, north can be south and south can be north!

On Monday, I received a telephone call congratulating me on winning a gift card to one of our local stores, North Carolina Mountain Made. I was thrilled and knew instantly what I would buy.



I have been wanting this CD for ages. This man’s soft guitar strumming and picking of hymns is very similar to my father’s playing. The sound of my dad “plunking” on his guitar is the soundtrack of my childhood. I love how God listens to our hearts and delights in giving us sweet gifts.

Fall, Family and Margaritaville

3 Nov

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

After the drama of Hurricane Matthew, we were more than ready to return to our home in the North Carolina mountains. I had my heart set on being able to spend some time enjoying the Fall color and cooler temperatures. We set off on our return trip October 12 and quickly ran into a rain shower. Fortunately, it was brief and we were blessed with a double rainbow just before we drove up the interstate entrance ramp.


We arrived at our home in the early evening and I was delighted to see the trees were still clothed in vibrant colors.

The following weekend, my cousin Delores, and her mom drove over from Raleigh to spend a week with us. They arrived in time for the annual Pumpkin Fest. It is a fun time with lots of food, crafts and of course, the pumpkin roll. The participants in the contest take it seriously, after all, the grand prize is $100.00! There was a large crowd milling around watching and awaiting their turn.

Fall in Florida consists of slightly cooler days but there are no changing leaves and definitely not the fun of all festivals. If one was inclined, I think they could attend a Fall festival every  weekend.

My cousin’s birthday occurred while she was visiting and we decided to make it a special day. We began the day with a drive on Highway 28 and once we were past Bryson City the Fall color was gorgeous, especially near Fontana Dam. I am sure the low sunlight and low hanging clouds added to the “pop” of the color.

Just north of Fontana, Highway 28 meets up with US Highway 129 and becomes the world-famous “Tail of the Dragon”.  With over 300 curves in 11 miles, daredevils on bikes and sports car drivers love the thrill and danger. Fortunately or unfortunately, we weren’t driving either, but it was still a fun ride and my cousin enjoyed taming the dragon and she has the tee-shirt to prove it!


After the Dragon, we continued up 129 to the Foothills Parkway and eventually ended up in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. It was time for some retail therapy! After all, we were celebrating a birthday. We didn’t visit a single shoe store but we did score some great finds in the Corning Revere outlet. The one in the Red Roof mall has a section that has some serious discounts due to it being a returns center. While my husband was in a tool store, I placed a call to Paula Deen’s restaurant located on “The Island” and had our names put on the dinner list.  The Island is a newly renovated entertainment area complete with an Eye-like ride called the Smoky Mountain Wheel, Margaritaville and several other dining venues. If you enjoy Southern style food, I think you will like Paula Deen’s restaurant. I sure did!

My cousin and her mom

My cousin and her mom


As we left the restaurant, I wanted to explore more of the Island’s shops and entertainment, but it had been a long day and we faced a two hour drive over through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park ahead of us, so we boarded the tram for the parking lot. I know I want to visit it again and Rebekah has a birthday coming up in December. I need to find a Groupon or discount for the Margaritaville Hotel!

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