Tag Archives: Friendship


25 Sep


Judy Wills


Is that title intriguing? Does it add a touch of mystery? You might figure out the “U” is University, and you would be right. Remember I said in previous musings that I grew up in the great state of New Mexico? That’s where the “NM” comes in. The only letter left is “E” – and – you guessed it – it stands for Eastern. Okay, all together now: Eastern New Mexico University.


credit Google search and ENMU website


ENMU Admin Building – credit Google search




Concept Art for ENMU stadium – credit Google search


That was my first venture into the collegiate world. It is located in Portales (por-tal’-es), New Mexico, about 18 miles from Clovis, NM – also Cannon AFB – and a little farther to Texas. Several girls in my dorm had come over the Texas line to attend ENMU. Portales is about a four-hour drive from Albuquerque, so it wasn’t somewhere where I could hop home very often.



Photo credit Jimmy Emerson



Photo credit Google search


I tend to be a “people person” so it would not have mattered too much to share a room in the dorm with someone new.



However, as God planned it, my best friend, Billie Ann, decided to attend ENMU as well, so we were roomies. Too many times, that situation can break apart a good friendship. I’m pleased to say that Billie and I continue to be super good friends to this day. Here’s a picture of Billie and me the first day at ENMU, before we headed off to church. We hadn’t even had time to unload our bedding and suitcases. (See…we wore those pointy-toed shoes back then! Nothing new here!)




Back in high school, Billie’s older sister, Becky, Billie and I formed a singing trio. As a child, Becky had contracted polio, and wore braces on her legs, and walked with crutches. Billie and Becky are not very tall people, so it was funny to see us – two shorties and one tall girl in the middle. Actually, Billie played the piano for us, so she was sitting during our singing times. Becky and I sang along with her. We were actually pretty good – not bragging or anything, of course. Fred said he thought we could have cut records – but we never did.

Here is a picture of us at my house, during one of our rehearsals. I’m the tall one. Becky is 4’7″ tall, Billie is 4’9″ tall, and I am 5’6″! Can anyone say “Mutt and Jeff?”




We did imitate some of the current trios, and thoroughly enjoyed our time together. I remember Moon Over Miami, Mr. Sandman, and several others.

However, back to ENMU – I was not a terribly good student in high school. And I really can’t remember why I didn’t apply to UNM right there in Albuquerque. But I didn’t, and so went to ENMU. It was a small town, and a fairly small campus, and my first experience with dormitory life. Interesting – and not one I cared to repeat. Fortunately, Billie and I returned to Albuquerque after one semester.

But I found the academics to be quite good, and felt that I learned quite a lot. I actually made good grades while there, but of course, Fred wasn’t there to distract me!

Billie and I attended the BSU on campus (Baptist Student Union), and made some good friends while in that organization.

It was a fun experience, and I’m glad I had that opportunity.



A friend who refreshes.

17 Sep

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

As I mentioned in last week’s newsletter, this month is extra special as you’ll be inspired by other voices with uplifting messages. Here is the first one from my friend Kolleen Lucariello. Enjoy!


09-09-16 LucarielloAs we flip our calendars from August, ushering in September, we say farewell to our summer vacations and hello to the season of back-to-school, cooler temperatures of fall and one of the highlights of our home: football. Here’s another bonus of September: it’s also Women’s Friendship Month and I love the gift of friendship!

Recently I was reading in Acts about Paul and how difficult life had become for him. He was beaten, bound with chains, accused by the Jews, imprisoned, taken before councils and Rulers, and then eventually sent to Rome. I imagine by the time Paul boarded the ship to begin his journey to Rome he was a tired man; he’d endured a great deal. As I’m feeling bad for him, this verse jumps out at me: “The next day we landed at Sidon; and Julius, treating Paul with [thoughtful] consideration, allowed him to go to his friends there and be cared for and refreshed” (Acts 27:3 AMP).

I simply adore the fact that Julius, the guard in charge, thought enough of Paul to recognize he needed the care and refreshment of his friends. That part of the story just blesses my heart because I’m so grateful for those who recognized when I needed the care and refreshment only a faithful friend could bring. While my journey, or your journey, may never look like Paul’s, it’s still possible for imprisonment to find us.

We might endure a prison of darkness when depression covers us like a thick heavy blanket. Or chained to a past we can’t seem to move away from. We may find ourselves standing before accusers—relentless in voicing their opinions while refusing to hear ours. Life is full of moments when the waters can become a turbulent sea.

That’s when we need our own Julius, the guard in our lives, to recognize our need for care and refreshment. Who is traveling your journey with you? Who is your guard in life that notices when you’re about to break? Who reaches out when you begin drifting away? We all need a guard like Julius, someone willing to stand by us, giving thoughtful consideration to our needs. And we all crave friends who bring care and refreshment to our lives. The ABCGirl said: Proverbs 11:25b promises, “Whoever refreshes others will be refreshed” (NIV).


Source: A friend who refreshes. | Janet Perez Eckles

Company of a Friend

16 Aug

A Life to Live

Melody Hendrix

“How beautiful it is to find someone who asks for nothing but your company.”
Brigitte Nicole
Love those who will love you when you have nothing to offer but your company.”
“You can’t be friends with someone who wants your life.”
Oprah Winfrey
only have eyes for you



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.


Nothin’ to Do~Part 2

1 Aug

My Take 

DiVoran Lites

Making Plays

Making Plays in Patricia’s cousins’ back yard.

One day wandering around town, Patricia and I made a pact to remain friends even when we were grandmothers and we have done so. We email each other regularly and Patricia helps with my writing when I need a second opinion or another brain with similar memories in it. Not long ago a winter seemed extra cold in Florida, and all I wanted to do was to hole –up in a small room with my computer and an extra heater. Joan had a much deeper cold in Colorado and holed up too. One day I wrote to ask her what she remembered about our eighth-grade classroom and we got started writing our memoirs about growing up in a small town at the foot of the Sangre de Cristo mountain range in the Wet Mountain Valley in Colorado.

Since then we’ve written about family, politics, nature, travel, whatever comes to mind and once in a while we throw in another remembrance.

Patricia is speaking of those memoir days when she refers to the good old days.

 “While looking at some of your old emails, I was remembering the good old days, when we didn’t have so much going on, and just took things as they came, enjoying the little things and just being together. 

When we were in Gunnison recently the internet shut down.  Somehow a main cable got cut and several towns on the Western Slope were without internet service.  We were unaware until we went to dinner at a restaurant and the waitress said, “We can’t take credit cards, so you will have to pay cash or wash dishes.” Banks and the ATMs were down too. No one’s cell phones were working either.  So anyway, we ordered our food and started watching other people to see what they were doing.  Couples were actually talking to each other, since they couldn’t use their phones.  When we got through with dinner, we walked out to the parking lot and people were gathered in bunches, having great conversations.  It was so unusual and old fashioned.

Many people I know have a love/hate relationship with technology. I love the convenience of being able to save my drafts, being able to keep in touch with friends by email, and shopping for things I can’t get in our small community. Most of all I love having my music station with me wherever I go and being able to choose every kind of music I can think of. Also love the camera on my phone and knowing if I get into trouble when I’m out I can call someone else who will most likely have their cell-phone with them. I wouldn’t be able to use any of it if it weren’t for our grown kids and their patience with teaching us and fixing our devices. I’m grateful for all that, but I’m enjoying doing other things such as painting and using a pen to write in my journal and things like cooking and cleaning and reading second-hand books you can buy in abundance these days. I guess it’s like the old saying: “Moderation in all things.” Attributed to Publius Tenentius Afer (c. 150 B. C.)


The Impersonal Internet

28 Jul

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

I'm a winner

Yesterday, after breakfast with friends we made our weekly stop at a produce market that in season, sells veggies from their farm. Often the items have been  picked mere hours before I buy them. This year’s crop of cucumbers, tomatoes, melons and peaches  and lots of others have been delicious! And hurray, green beans are cheaper this year!

Osage veggies

The corn was so pretty I wanted to bring home several ears,  but decided to settle for two. I have a tendency to put  corn in my fridge and forget it.

 Our dinner menu was sweet potatoes, sliced pork barbecue sandwiches (I ate mine without bread but I buttered and grilled a bun for hubby) and corn on the cob. Everything was super simple to prepare except the corn. I didn’t want to shuck it, pull off the silks, boil water and time it. Then I remembered that my friend, Sharon is the queen of  microwave corn and decided to call and get her advice. But I didn’t. Instead, I went online and viewed several recipes and a couple of short videos. I chose a method and the corn was incredibly delicious. (Regretting I didn’t buy more)

Now I feel a bit cheated. I chose the impersonal internet over an opportunity to talk with a dear friend.  Maybe I should invite her up to visit. We can chat and “put up some peas” the easy way. : )

I will supply the freezer bags!

Shelled peas copy

A Dream of Orchids

16 May

My Take

DiVoran Lites

Photo by Melody Hendrix

Photo by Melody Hendrix

The first real orchid I ever saw came in the mail from Hawaii. Bill the sailor sent it to my parents’ home where I was living in Albuquerque waiting for him to get out of the service. I unpacked it slowly, carefully, and admired it in the box packed for its trip to the mainland. It looked like ones in this photo and the accompanying note called it a Vanda Orchid.

Before I lifted it out, I brought the package up to my sniffer to see if it had a fragrance and it did. What a joy! I learned later that not all orchids do. If it was close to Sunday, Mother may have pinned it to the dress I wore to church. The flower didn’t last long, but the memory did. Bill and I have been married for fifty-nine years. I must remember to thank him again. Thank you for your thoughtfulness, Bill, for the orchid and for the bouquets from the florist and the flowers you’ve grown for me. I think you like them as much as I do and that’s an extra bonus.

One Friday, my friend, Melody and I went to Kiwanis Island off Merritt Island to visit an orchid show called, I Dream of Orchids.

I Dream of Orchids


We couldn’t stop snapping pictures, Melody from one of her two cameras and I from my iPhone. She wanted to purchase an orchid for her husband’s mother who raises them in Georgia, so she talked to the growers about the details of shipping. I had no idea it was such a big deal, and in my mind thanked Bill again for the special one he had sent in 1958.

The first person Melody talked with told us he was a lecturer on the subject. He is an engineer, he was born in Viet-Nam, but has lived in Melbourne all his life. His name is Thanh Nguyen and he will send orchids by mail. His phone number is 321-223-6173 if you want to talk to him about it. He doesn’t have a website because he spends every spare moment on his beloved orchids. He says it takes a lot of effort to pack a plant for shipping, but if you want the materials you can buy them from him. Among other materials, he listed cotton-packing and heat-wraps. Mr. Nguyen says orchids survive the trip, but if they were shipped with blooms, the blooms will die. Never fear, says he, they will come back exactly the same in the next blooming.

As I dreamed of orchids I recalled another one a different gentleman arranged for me to have. It was this way: Bill and I more or less eloped. We invited our families to the wedding in California, though. Both of our dads were traveling men. Bill’s mother flew to California where Bill was stationed. I had gone with a family she’d known a long time in their VW fan and stayed at their house. My Aunt Jenny drove my mother and cousin. I had ordered a gardenia bridal bouquet, but when we picked it up, it had a wonderful white orchid at its center. My dad had called and changed my order. He wanted me to have the best. My wedding orchid looked like this one.

Wedding Orchid

After we moved to Florida, orchids began to collect themselves on our porch. Every time we saw a good buy we bought. They took a minimum of care, here in Florida, and lasted for many years. But then they came to a place where they were going to need transplanting and I, being a casual plant owner, decided to find good homes for them instead. I gave them to three friends at church, each of whom cared well for hers and gave me thanks and reports for many years after. One friend put hers on a tree in her yard where it thrived. I think orchids make people happy, no matter what.

Green leaf orchid



12 May

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

I'm a winner

#ThankfulThursday was trending on Twitter this week. Yes, it is a hash tag, but it is exactly what I feel. My husband has been feeling poorly for a while and today he is building a form to pour a concrete walkway, Three weeks ago, he could not do that. I am REALLY thankful. I am also thankful to be back in the North Carolina hills where summer hasn’t even begun. Florida was becoming unbearably hot and this week will have many ninety degree days.

When we left Florida, Rebekah was able to come up with us  for a long weekend. The hills were experiencing a weak cold front and we all welcomed the cooler temperatures. One of the reasons she chose to come to the hills is that Franklin was holding their annual “Airing of the Quilts.” It was a cool and breezy morning.

Check out this quilted car and the “Granny Clampet” truck.

We also came across a “Little Library.” I knew there was one in downtown Franklin but I had not seen it yet.


We were sad when Rebekah’s visit came to an end but we had a fun moment when we were driving her to the airport. Sylva, North Carolina is the setting for a movie shoot!



We took  some photos as we were driving.  Yes, I had my head and arms outside the car trying to get the shots. My friends know I am NOT a movie fan, I did if for movie buffs Jen and Pam. Those shots were awful so I went with windshield view.

I like the blue on the red brick. I think they should keep the colors. There was also a newspaper office but I wasn’t fast enough to get it.

Another thing I am thankful for is that I am back in the hills in time to enjoy the gorgeous blooms on my peonies. The first time I saw peonies was at the cabin of our friends Karen and Bill. I fell in love with them and they were a must-have on my list of flowers when we built our North Carolina home. The white ones are particularly dear to my heart as they came from Karen and Bill’s cabin. I think of them with a smiling heart as I enjoy the blooms.  They both passed away within a year of each other and I miss them.

I would love to hear what you are thankful for!


Mrs. Q. and the green ink

4 Apr

My Take

DiVoran Lites

Author, Poet and ArtistI suppose someone provided me with a first pair of jeans when I started riding a Shetland pony at eight years old. Anyhow I grew up wearing 3jeans whenever I could get away with it. When we moved from Colorado to Los Alamos, we wore jeans to school on Fridays. No one missed that opportunity. When I moved to Florida as a married woman with children, I gave jeans up and went for knit pants. Eventually someone came along who loved clothes and loved to shop and she straightened me out. Jeans wanted me.

After a while I hit another snag for which I needed the help of friends. Apparently my jeans bagged now that I had lost weight. My friends tactfully explained about Mrs. Q. and her skills as a tailor and sent me to see her.

I had a number of clothes that needed to be fitted, so I took them all. When you enter Mrs. Q’s small shop it’s as if you’ve come home. Her finished work hangs on a rack along the south wall with Mrs. Q’s counter in front. At the back of the room you see three large sewing machines with a small man sitting at one. Mr. and Mrs. Q. are from Vietnam. Both of their fathers tailored clothes for a living, and now they are carrying on the tradition. They are good at what they do. Mrs. Q. and I talk over every aspect of an alteration. Mr. Q. never opens his mouth. I’ll bet he gets an earful, with all the girl-talk that goes on.

Last August, I bought a pair of white jeans with diamonds on the back pockets. I knew the jewels would never be seen because I always wear my tee-shirts on the outside. I had these jeans for several months before I took them to Mrs. Q. to shorten. When I laid them on the counter we both saw that the security tag, still attached. Mrs. Q. tugged on it and then shook her head saying, “Better take them back to the store and let them take it off.”   2


When I got home, I thought I’d force the tag off, but it wouldn’t budge. The next time I went out I visited the two stores where I thought I might have purchased the jeans.

“No, our store doesn’t carry this brand, but don’t try to force it because it has ink in it and it will stain the jeans,” store 1 associate.

At the next store the only associate in sight tried to help even though she knew right away that the jeans hadn’t come from their store, either. Apparently every brand of store has a magnetic key to open their own tags. She couldn’t budge it. “Be sure not to force it open, I had an accident with one and it stained my purse and my hands with bright green ink,” store 2 associate.

While she fiddled with the problem, though, I realized the tag hung from the belt loop, so I decided to cut off the loop and throw it and the tag away.

I took the jeans back to Mrs. Q. and told her about my fix. She shook her head with a worried frown until I persuaded her no one but us would ever see the loopless spot.

As I got ready to leave, I remembered to warn Mrs. Q. about the trap. “Oh, yes, I know. Ink. Green. That’s the reason I told you to take it back to the store.”

I’m sure I’m not the only person in the world who didn’t know about security tags and ink. But instead of feeling ignorant I thanked the Lord for sending helpers my way. We all need help with one thing or another. It feels good to be kind and it feels good to receive kindness.

Bill and I met our computer-programmer grandson in one of the prettiest and ritziest downtowns I’ve seen. I wore my well-fitting jeans and felt like I fit in. For one of our conversation topics, he helped with a computer problem we’d had. I believe the world has more good people in it than bad ones, but maybe that’s because I rarely meet anyone bad, as far as I know.

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. 1 John 4: 7.




Spring Cleaning Fling~Part 2

7 Mar

My Take

DiVoran Lites

Author, Poet and Artist



House with Flag


Spring Emails from Onisha and Patricia Franklin

I’m kind of glad you felt the same way about the classes as I did. It makes me feel better about myself. My mother wasn’t in to the cleaning thing. Whenever we would be cleaning the house when company was expected she would get side tracked and begin building something, a new closet, or shelves, whatever. I ended up doing the cleaning. I often wonder if there are cleaning tips that mothers passed down to daughters. My brother in law’s wife was a professional cleaner for many years and I often wanted to ask her about tips but didn’t want to appear dumb. I did get her potato salad recipe though. The secret to it was the number of eggs used plus some sour cream. I had to iron for free at home as well as basically run the household during my teen years. Fortunately by then, permanent press had been discovered.  For that, I got lunch money for schook, fifty cents per day plus $2.50 for a total of five dollars per week. I saved that up plus some babysitting money to buy my first prom dress.  I also ironed for some of mom’s friends. One lady had a lot of baby clothes, 5 cents a piece is what I think I received.


Monday seems like a good day to put in a “cleaning” blog.😉  I can’t recall doing much cleaning as a child.  In fact, I had one dresser drawer with all my stuff in it.  We did not have much “stuff.”  As far as housecleaning, I think my Mom did most of it.  I spent a lot of time at my grandmother’s house.  In fact, I do remember “penny dusting” at her house.  She would go around and put a penny on each item that needed dusting and I would make a little spending money that way.  It wasn’t much, but seemed like a lot in those days.  We usually spent it on penny candy. You could get a lot of candy for a penny from my aunt’s Biggest Little Store in the World or from Mrs. Motts store on Main Street.

I did help her more with the yard work later on, raking, pulling weeds and even mowing.

We now have a lot of stuff to go through, including a closet full of pictures.  Husband and I are both collectors, so we have a hard time getting rid of things.  He is better than I am about it, but I know my kids will not have any use for it so I ought to just pitch everything. It seems like I can’t find time enough to do anything extra, except my usual everyday things.  Hopefully we will be able to get at it soon.  It drives me crazy thinking about it.


Fly Lady http://www.flylady.net/

“Build My Mansion Next Door to Jesus,” written and sung by Dottie Rambo





Colorado Adventures

22 Feb

My Take

DiVoran Lites


Patricia Franklin 



Patricia and I have been corresponding for years. We first met when she was in first grade, just before she was promoted to second and moved one aisle over to the second grade aisle where we five second graders sat. She got promoted because she was the only child in the first grade, and because she was smart. It was my first time in that school because my family had recently moved to town. This letter starts where my last blog, “Shelf Roads,” left off. I liked the extra details she shared so thought I would pass them on.


 The Altmans started coming to our school after the consolidation. (Before that they had gone to a small country school closer to their ranch. The consolidation was when all the students from valley schools were bussed to town.)

Marjorie and I were friends in high school, and we actually were roommates our first year in college in Gunnison.  They had a ranch at the foot of the range, near Alvarado, (a mountain meadow where the community had field days and picnics). We used to go horseback riding on the trails up there. That was so much fun.

One time we came upon this old cabin.  We looked inside a broken window and something white moved inside.  We screamed and ran, then went back to look again.  It was a white goat, and was inside standing in the middle of the bed. The cabin was old and still furnished.  The cupboards had been taken over by rats and any other creature that could get inside.  I guess it had been abandoned, as everything in it was a mess.  We never did find out who the owner was, or what happened after that.  Although, I remember my Dad had me write up an article for the Wet Mountain Tribune about the adventure, and it was on the front page of the paper.  We sure had some great, fun adventures in those times.

There is a shelf road between Canon City and Cripple Creek.  It is named the Shelf Road and is used a lot.  It has been closed various times, due to rock slides and erosion, but is still one of the main roads up there.  That and the Phantom Canyon Road are the two most used from Highway 50 to Cripple Creek I would say.  I have not been up those roads for a few years, but I love them.   After driving all over the “jeep roads” in the San Juan and Gunnison mountains, I do not mind them anymore.  We have been on some very narrow and scary roads, but I love it so much, I got over my worst fears.

I still do not like being on the edge and looking down though.  Once Frank and I had to pull way over to the side because some 4 wheelers were coming down and would not move over.  (As we were going up, we were supposed to have the right of way).  Our Jeep was so close to the edge, I could see the pebbles falling out from under the tires and rolling down the mountainside. And there was a pickup upside down about 1000 feet down.  Now, that was scary!!😕 One time we started up that road when it was raining. A lightning bolt hit a nearby mountain, and then some rocks started rolling down the side of the mountain above us.  Needless to say, we backed down and did not make the trip that day.

The Shelf Road from Canon City to Cripple Creek


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