Tag Archives: Life during Covid19

Our Day on the Farm

11 May

My Take

DiVoran Lites

Almost everyone has a deep desire for human contact! We hadn’t seen our married daughter and our married son in a long time nor their spouses whom we love. We kept in touch with Zoom, the phone, and email. It all worked well, but we were thrilled when we got a phone call to meet the four of them at Shedd’s U-Pick farm. We would do the sunflower maze. They gave us the address and said we’d meet at the farm at 10:00 A. M. on Sunday when we would normally be at church if the church were open. The digital map said it would take 26 minutes up Highway 1 to get there. 

Bill and I got there first. It was a four-acre maze full of sunflowers. Some were tall, but most came only up to our waists. There was no chance of getting lost, especially when our daughter’s tall husband led the way.

 We walked in joy for over an hour as happy as we could be. No one wore a mask in our party or any other. The air was fresh with a cool breeze and looking up, we saw a large flock of starlings flying over the field many times, tweeting zooming up and down. At first, I thought it was two different kinds of birds because they were mixed colors some black and some gray. The latter was smaller. But on second thought I knew it was males and females.

 I don’t know why they stayed for such a long time. Maybe it was the open space over the maze, or maybe they enjoyed seeing the people as much as the people enjoyed seeing them. A drone hovered causing curiosity, then it landed in the hands of a man right there in the maze. Everyone had their idea of why it was there, but no one knew for sure. 

Our son bought each of us ladies three sunflowers of our choice. That was how they came at checkout.  Some were deep reddish-brown and some yellow. The bees were busy on them sometimes two at a time. Our son practically begged us to ask for the hardest ones to get to because as he said he likes to push his way through tall vegetation in a field. 

Beautiful children abounded. Everyone looked so fresh and pretty and you could feel the love the visitors had for each other. When it was time to leave, we bought a pint of Orange Blossom honey made by the bees that belong to the farm. 

Our next stop was the National Cemetery on Highway one. Our son had never been there, and I think he wished to honor our son-in-law by asking to see where his mother’s ashes were stored. 

Our son-in-law and our daughter cared for his mother in their home with the aid of caregivers. For five years. The couple was able to keep their jobs and bring in people from hospice because even though she was not physically terminal it is the law for people with dementia to be able to receive help from Hospice.  Our two managed to get out for an occasional football game or breakfast at the port. Once in a while, they could visit us to help with our computer questions. Because his dad was at the National Cemetery, his mother was too. 

It’s the most beautiful cemetery I have ever seen with rolling hillocks of grass, birds, and our beautiful Florida sky. Someday… when we fly off to Heaven, Bill and I will leave our ashes there. 

Our daughter got one of her sunflowers from their car to put in a provided metal vase, daughter-in-love gave one of hers and I gave one of mine. We discussed the whole subject of being there. Our Son-in-law looked up the different crosses and other small carvings on the marble fronts of the niches in the Columbarium.  There are 72 to choose from. We took the opportunity to tell them which one we liked best.

Finally, we came to our house in Titusville. We had enough room on our porch to socially space us. We talked for a good long time.  Billy said it was a Mother’s Day gift. It was thoroughly wonderful. Fortunately, they were vigilant to watch that I didn’t accidentally grab one of them for a hug. It was a Mother’s Day to remember.

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.”

Quarantine Time

9 May

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

Well, we are still in “lockdown” or quarantine over this COVID-19 or coronavirus.  At this point in time, we are finally beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and states are beginning to open up things.  Thank goodness!

We’ve had people ask us how we are coping with being in the house all day every day.  I assume that for some people, it is a true hardship.  We understand the there has also been a dramatic uptick in domestic violence and child abuse during this time.  That is horrible, and we pray for those families.

As for the two of us, we’ve told people that actually, since we are both retired, the days aren’t so very different than they have been.  We still come and go as we please, it’s just different.  For instance, we still go “out” for lunch – it’s just that it is “take out” now, and we bring it home to consume.  We usually stay home for supper.  But some days the weather has been nice enough that we are able to open up the house – the windows are open, and the patio door stands open and lets that wonderful Spring air breeze through the house!  That gives the feeling of being outside and openness.

But one thing we have done that we don’t usually, is watch movies.  We have quite an extensive DVD collection, and some of them we haven’t watched in quite a long time.  So Fred began rummaging around through them recently, and came up with a couple that we wanted to watch. 

The first one he pulled out was “Around the World in 80 Days” – the original one, with David Niven.  It’s a classic!!  It has been a favorite of ours for a long time.  And actually, there is a history of that movie for Fred.

When he was living in Japan in 1955-1957  in a suburb of Tokyo, when August 1957 , arrived,  it was time for him to leave his family and fly back to the USA to attend college.  One of his high school class mates was scheduled on the same early morning flight from Tokyo’s large international airport.  The day before their departure, the boy’s parents put them in a large US government run hotel in downtown Tokyo.   While exploring the area, they learned that the movie, “Around the World in 80 Days” was playing in a nearby theater. They managed to purchase tickets to see that very movie.  He still has the ticket, and here it is!

It’s a bit worse for the wear, but you can make it out.  He said the theater was built specifically for that movie, and was one of the first large-screen, cinemascope, surround-sound theaters in the world.  He said there must have been about 100 speakers completely around the theater.  If anyone reading this has seen that movie, then you remember the magnificent music from that movie.  In surround-sound it would have been fantastic!

Fred said that it was a 6:30 p.m. showing.  He also said that the ticket cost 500 yen, which at that time was equivalent to about $1.40.  Pretty inexpensive for that major production!  It was an adventure he has never forgotten.

So that was one of our day’s adventures during this quarantine time.  We’ve actually enjoyed our time together.  

How about you?

Judy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years .

  Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing. Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.

After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins as well as a great-grandson. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

Life During Covid 19-Part 9

25 Apr

The Comments Trap

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

I am a comments section junky. I have a nosy curiosity about people. Why does a person hold a particular opinion? Is it from personal experience? How do they express themselves-with humor, kindness or rudeness? What motivates them?

Reading comments can be enlightening, but for me it can also be a trap. There is truth in what our mother’s taught us about not saying anything if you can’t say something nice. Even when I don’t comment negatively, my brain is churning with negative replies. This isn’t healthy for me spiritually or mentally.

So I am purposing to do better but I haven’t worked out the details yet. : )

This morning we went to the food distribution center. We waited in line for two hours but we had an audio book to finish and there was a nice breeze.

We never know what they are giving out, the surprise is part of the experience. Today they had an abundance of produce. South Florida has been turning under crops due to a lack of restaurants to supply. I am wondering if the veggies came from repurposing efforts to get the food to families. Today they had potatoes, onions, broccoli, cucumbers, peppers, cabbage, and beets as well as a package of pork chops, shredded cheese and a half gallon of milk. We don’t have an abundance of funds to share but we do have an abundance of time. We were able to share most of what we brought home with a neighbor friend who is a nurse and she shared with her parents. Together we will make it through this crisis.

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Life During Covid-19 Part 8

23 Apr

We Are So Blessed

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

We have toilet paper, hand sanitizer and paper towels. Two months ago, these items would not have made my thankful list of blessings. Coronavirus has changed our world. We definitely spend more time together.

Saturday night we watched the 25th anniversary of Phantom of the Opera from the Prince Albert Auditorium. It was free on You Tube. I am not a huge fan of the show but Mike and Rebekah love it. The best was the finale. Andrew Lloyd Webber and his wife made an appearance along with the original Phantom. Sarah Brightman sang an except with the original Phantom then with great drama several actors through the years joined them onstage to sing. It was magical.

On Sundays we eagerly tune in to a couple of our favorite churches online services. During the week we each have favorite churches and ministers that we listen to. If nothing else, this virus has created in us soul hunger.

Sunday night we watched Hope Rising, a group of Christian singers and speakers on Facebook.

Over 3 million people watched and worshipped together. Our churches are closed but our hearts are praising. The concert was to raise money for Samaritan’s Purse and their medical team. It accomplished so much more, inspiring all with a sense of unity in Jesus. As of Tuesday 1.6 million dollars were donated and this was a zero budget production!

Our daughter has been fortunate to not be furloughed from her job as most of her team have been. Monday was her first day of working from home. We rode with her to east Orlando (Any reason for an outing!) to meet a coworker and receive the “work” phone. She will be working 3-1130 pm. A shift in our family dynamics, but not a bad thing. Before The meet up for the phone was set in the deserted Chilli’s parking lot (Which felt kind of like a drug hang off. ) Before the meet up we went to the drive through at Culvers and got their cashew chicken for our supper. We really enjoy Culvers. And I love not cooking!

It’s warm in Florida but Wednesday there was a steady breeze that held a hint of cool. Any day now, the winds will shift and feel like they are coming off the equator. After a grocery run to Aldi, my daughter and I decided to sit out on the patio. We have an abundance of birds at the feeders and in the trees. Much more than usual. I choose to believe that God is providing them to enliven our days as we enjoy watching them. Rebekah put up the patio umbrella while I made each of us a granita.

I modified the recipe for the granita, which is an icy coffee drink, from one that I found on Cooking Keto with Kristi. This is a good blog if you eat low carb. Currently she is sharing 10 days of sheet pan meals using meats and foods one has on hand.

As I was writing this, the radio reminded me that SpaceX would be launching in two minutes with a payload of satellites. These satellites are set to create a new internet delivery system. I should have remembered that the radio is on delay. The rocket was already speeding on its journey by the time I grabbed my camera.


Later I went outside to take a picture of the Town Home construction across the street. The construction has been clogging the road making backing out of the drive a pain. Of course the trucks weren’t there. I am choosing to be thankful the crews are working and people will be getting new homes. It’s easy for me to choose thankfulness. I’m not the one who has to back our truck!


This week as I mentally list the good things happening as a result of what I call The Pause, I also feel guilt. There are heartbroken and frightened people around me and I can’t fix them. Thanks to the masks, I can’t even smile at people or receive a smile in the store, unless my eyes send the smile. Families are being separated at the hospital and die with only the staff at their bedside. This is brutal. I pray that those alone are surrounded with comforting angels. I don’t know it that is Biblical but I am praying it.

I am reminded of a favorite Bible verse, Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
    do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do,
    and he will show you which path to take.

I’m counting on this verse!

I almost forgot! Did you see this fun video on Facebook?

Daily Life During Covid-19 Part 4 My Amazing Egg Experience

26 Mar

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

It’s been over a week since I’ve found eggs in the grocery store. We use a lot of eggs in a week between breakfasts, baking and making ice cream. (Keto of course.)

This morning my husband and I went to Aldi, thinking maybe we had been shopping too late in the day. The store wasn’t crowded but there was not a single egg to be found.

From Aldi we went to Target, then Publix. Still no eggs. Did the hens get the virus? Or are they hoarding?

Mentally I began strategizing how to convince my husband that life would go on without a breakfast of eggs and bacon. I threw out a couple of ideas, but he wasn’t receptive, well except when I mentioned pizza for breakfast. I sent up a prayer that God would send us eggs.

On the way back home, My husband asked if I wanted to check the Dollar General, but I was feeling discouraged and wanted to go home. Just before we turned off the main highway I felt compelled to stop at Save A Lot, a small grocery store.

As I approached the egg section, it appeared bare. I went and stood in front of it, just empty boxes where the eggs should be. Then I looked down at an empty box on the right side of the cooler. In the very back, almost unseen lay two cartons of eggs. I pulled them out sure that they were the cracked rejects but willing to buy them anyway. They all looked fine!

As I thanked God for the eggs a woman, older than me, stood in front of the eggs running her eyes over the empty boxes. She was taller than me and able to see into the top box. Her fingers scrabbled to draw forward a lone carton. As she looked them over, she seemed hesitant. I told her that if they were cracked, I would give her one of my dozen. She brought hers over to me and opened it. They were brown eggs and she wasn’t sure they would be good. I was happy to assure her they were. I decided to tell her about my prayer for eggs. She didn’t smile, but she hesitantly said she had prayed for eggs as well! I love how God cares about the little things in our lives. 

Being home all the time is making me a bit crazy. 

When my husband suggested a drive to his favorite tool store (yes, they are considered essential but libraries aren’t) I said YES! I plan to put together a picnic lunch complete with sanitizer spray to eat at a waterside park. Hopefully one will be open. If not, we will picnic in the car!

UPDATE:

No outing today, husband not feeling his best. I decided to use 11 eggs to make Mango ice cream and pumpkin bread. I think ice cream for breakfast sounds better than pizza! Popping the pumpkin bread in to oven. Shhhhh… I haven’t told family that I put two teaspoons of rum flavoring instead of vanilla in the bread. I wonder if they will notice.

Here is a photo of my husband and daughter keeping busy. Daughter is working on edits for her new novel.

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.

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