Tag Archives: Grandparents

Getting Dressed

18 Apr

My Take

DiVoran Lites


My brother and Brownie, the neighborhood kids, and me.


When WW2 ended and our family moved to Westcliffe, Mother would take Dab and I to Denver to visit our other grandmother, Mabel. She and Mother’s auntie worked as chamber maids in big hotel. We’d get a stop at the pet store and a trip to Elitche’s Garden where we rode the Ferris wheel and the merry-go-round. We all slept in Grandma Mabel’s high up in the building and whenever Dab and I could slip away we’d slide down the bannisters to the next floor.  There’s just something about bannisters and kids, and we felt like we’d invented the game on our own. We eventually got caught and had to stop. 

The other real reason for the trip was to outfit us for school the next year. We’d go to the May company where they had a perfume fountain in the lobby and I’d try to stick my finger in it so I could adorn my pulse points. I knew you had to be bathed and in fresh clothes to wear perfume, so I felt I was perfectly qualified, but a scorching look by a shop-girl soon put me straight on that score. 

When I was twelve Grandmother came to visit and brought me some suntops she had made for me to wear with my jeans. The tops were very pretty, but I had a problem with themI’d been begging mother for a brassiere, and she had finally broken down and bought me one. When I tried a sun top on, the straps of the undergarment showed and I refused to wear them. Grandmother just gave them to one of my friends and it was never mentioned again.  

It wasn’t long after that when I became interested in boys. I wanted jewelry, and make-up, and clothes became more interestingI had some money from washing dishes in the restaurant and ironing the family’s clothes, so I bought a pair of dangly earring with blue-green jewels. I also bought a Tangee Tabu lipstick.  As I was looking for the color name online I discovered that The Vermont Country Store still sells Tangee Tabu lipstick plus many more wonderful things. I asked for a catalog. If you want one, you can request it on https://www.countrystorecatalog.com/Default.aspx  

Granny~Part 3

26 Jul


Judy Wills



I’ve mentioned before that Granny was a great seamstress. I don’t know whether or not she made Mother’s wedding dress, but it is quite possible.


And remember – she and both of her daughters (my Mother and Aunt Jessie) all three worked in the Rochester Handkerchief Factory in San Antonio for a number of years. So she was well-versed in the art of sewing, and with a machine.

I know that she was partly responsible for teaching me to sew fiesta dresses (please see my post on December 9, 2012).

I remember my brother, Bill, telling me how she would make Western shirts for him. Seems she had the pattern for a long-sleeved western-style shirt on hand. He would go to Sears or Penney’s or a fabric store where they had fabric by the bolt, and he would purchase 3½ yards of fabric of his choice. He would take it to Granny, and she would sew up that shirt in no time. Bill had a “kit” that enabled them to anchor pearl topped snaps on the shirt. They would get together; Granny would mark off where the snaps were to go; and Bill would make the attachment. Fun time for both of them, and lots of shirts in his closet.

Remember now……Granny had an old treadle Singer sewing machine.

She did all this work on that machine. I seem to remember it was “commercial grade” – they probably purchased it from the handkerchief factory. I believe in later years they removed the treadle and upgraded to an electric motor. But I’m not sure about that. One thing I really do remember about that machine is that, off to the left side, was a long button drawer. And it had tons of buttons in there – all kinds, colors and shapes.


I would spend hours just sifting through those buttons. It was such fun for a child. (Don’t be alarmed – I never swallowed any!)

Bill told me that Granny also made him an “Ike” jacket, which was very trendy during that time.


She made it out of red corduroy – and he loved it! He had a pair of red corduroy pants to go with it, and he wore that outfit to school. He thinks that is what captured DiVoran’s attention after they had met. Interesting story, huh?

I also remember that she made a turquoise velveteen jumper. I wore it a lot.7

She also made a turquoise wool coat for me –


and later a blue wool coat. And along with those, was a turquoise bathrobe. Think I might like the color turquoise?

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

Our Grandtwins

25 Aug


 Judy Wills




In previous musings, I have mentioned our “grandtwins.”  I would like to think that I coined that phrase, since I’ve never heard anyone else use it.  But that’s probably rather vain of me to think so.  However, they are our grandchildren, and they are twins.

Our youngest daughter and her husband went through the very expensive InVitro process to have their children.  And we are thrilled with the results of that process.  Our grandtwins are delights to our lives.  There are 15 years between our older grandchildren and our grandtwins, so I’m afraid these cousins won’t be very close to each other, and that hurts our hearts.  However, our grandtwins were both in our oldest grandson’s wedding just a few short weeks ago, and they are all quite familiar with each other.

But the birth of the twins was quite an experience – for us all.  Our daughter (Janet) called to say that the twins would probably be born within a few days via C-section, as she had developed toxemia. The twins would be born about six weeks early.  Fred immediately called and made airplane reservations for us for a couple of weeks out, staying one week.

However, we had a call from our oldest daughter (Karen), that her husband insisted that someone from the family be there for the delivery, it should be at least her, as well as me.  So Fred called and changed my reservation to the following day.  It was to be a surprise to Janet.  Janet called Fred’s cell phone as he was driving me to the airport, and was surprised to hear my voice instead of his.  She seemed quite disappointed to learn that “we” wouldn’t be coming up for another week.  When I hung up, I rubbed my hands together and said, “Oh, this is going to be GOOD!”

Karen flew in first, rented a car, and picked me up at the airport.  We, of course, got lost trying to find the hospital, just praying we would arrive before Janet was taken up to surgery and delivery of those babies.

Our arrival was such fun.  Karen and I had planned it all out on the way.  She would walk into the room first and greet her sister.  Then she would say, “I picked something up at the airport that I thought might make you smile.”  That was my cue to walk into the room.

Well, it worked.  However, Janet hadn’t seen her sister in over a year…..Karen had let her hair grow…..Janet was in pregnancy “fog”….. and she actually didn’t recognize Karen at first.  She said to herself, “I know this person.  Who is it?”  It wasn’t until Karen was at her bedside that she recognized her and exclaimed, “It’s Karen!!”  After they hugged, Karen said her prepared speech, and I walked in.  Opened mouth – Janet was speechless!  I had anticipated hugs and laughs, but instead got hugs and tears.  It was quite an emotional time.

Later, Janet was taken into surgery, and those two beautiful babies were born.  God is good.

God is with you in everything you do.


Genesis 21:22



Let’s Go Fishing

19 Sep

A Slice of Life

      Bill Lites

My father-in-law loved to fish. It really didn’t matter what kind of fish it was, he just loved the challenge.  To get away from the Summer heat he and his wife would select a relatively cool location, known for its good fishing reputation, and set up their semi-permanent base camp (usually a 30’ travel trailer) there.  Sometimes he would rent a travel trailer at a campground or sometimes he would buy a used travel trailer, haul it to the location, use it for the season, and then sell it when it was time to head home.

One year he called us and said, “The Silver Salmon are going to be running up the Columbia River and you should bring your family out and go on a fishing vacation with us.  Well, I’m not much of a fisherman, but we tried to make it to California once each year so the grandparents could see our kids (4 & 5 years old at the time) and we thought this would make everyone happy.


The plan was to fly from Orlando to San Francisco where Ivan would pick us up and take us to Livermore where they lived.  We prepared the truck, boat and crab traps for the trip to Garibaldi, Oregon where Ivan had made arrangements for us to stay together in a motel.  By leaving at 4 am, we made good time for the first 200 – 300 miles, when a wheel bearing went out on the boat trailer.  The repair took the better part of the day before we could continue our journey.  We finally made it to Garibaldi, had dinner somewhere, got checked into our motel and crashed for the night.

The next morning Ivan and I headed out early to get the boat in the water and set the crab traps on the way out to the “best fishing spot” as defined by the locals Ivan had pumped for information at the boat ramp.  That first day we were encouraged by the number and size of the fish being caught all around us.  The picture below gives you an idea of what some of the other people were catching.  This was what we were expecting to catch too.

Funny thing though, we didn’t catch a single fish that day.  Ivan was pretty upset about that, but his attitude improved somewhat as we came back in that afternoon, stopping to check the crab traps, and discovered we had a great catch of dungeness crabs

Of course, the kids were a little squeamish when they first saw the load of crabs we brought home!

Our family had not been introduced to what fine eating dungeness crabs could be, but after the initial shock of seeing how they were cooked, and getting over how they seemed to stare up at you from the plate as you were tearing off their legs, we enjoyed a wonderful, all-we-could-eat, crab meal.

As it turned out, each day after that was a repeat of that first day.  We never caught a single Silver Salmon, but Man-Oh-Man did we gorge on dungeness crabs!

On a rainy day, we took a tour of the Tillamook Cheese Factory.  That was a informative adventure seeing how all the different types of cheeses are made, wrapped, cured and packaged for shipment.

Ivan never did get over not catching any Silver Salmon, but the family had a good time and enjoyed seeing the local sights including the cheese factory.  The return trip to Livermore was uneventfull, but we all enjoyed the beautiful Oregon and Northern California scenery and a wonderful time together.

Scripture: Ecclesiastes 3:6 (NIV)

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