Tag Archives: Life during Covid19

Life During Covid-19 Part 24

1 Oct

Road Trip West Day 5

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

Heading home.

I am blessed to almost instantly fall back to sleep if I am awakened in the night and I woke often during our final night on the road to check on my husband. He must have been exhausted. He barely moved.

I arose early and went downstairs eager for my usual 2 cups of coffee. While I was there I checked out the breakfast buffet. This morning instead of the eggs being scrambled, they were cooked in round circles with small yellow centers, kind of like an Egg McMuffin gone wrong. I put one on a plate to try in our room. It was not good. As we planned the road trip we were not sure what type of breakfast the hotels would offer due to Covid, so we were prepared for breakfast in our room. In the stress fog, I had forgotten that I had premade pancakes in the room fridge. I popped 2 in the microwave for a minute or so and they were delicious. 

After arising and drinking some tea, hubby had one too. He was a bit shaky but ready to go home. It took us a while to get our stuff organized and repacked in the truck but finally we were on our way. Well, that is except for a stop at the gas station. The station was directly across from the hotel even though I had known the truck was almost on the big E, I had not felt brave enough to try to line up the truck at the pumps.

Surprisingly, Mike felt well enough to drive. In fact driving seemed to take his mind off of his discomfort. I felt a bit anxious as heavy rains were predicted along our route. I prayed and asked God to create a rain free corridor for us to travel in and he did! It rained before and behind us but not not over us.

As on our trip north, we stopped at the Kentucky Cumberland Gap Visitor Center for a comfort break and had the final picnic of our very short road trip. Unlike our tailgate picnic of s few days ago, we ate in the car.

Our drive home was uneventful. Hallelujah! We were glad to be home but sad that our trip ended so soon. We are settling in to wait for the follow up visit with the specialist.

I look wistfully at my Trip-Tik and the travel information I spent weeks putting together. I think I am mourning what could have been but having a healthy husband is more important. On a positive note, all the work for the trip has been done and if we decide to do the trip next year, I simply need to make reservations, pack the truck and hit the road.

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  where we frequently host the best in up and coming authors.

My 2020 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.

Life During Covid 19-Part 21

3 Sep

Road Trip West Day 2

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

Our perfect ending of day 1, rapidly slid into a nightmare once we returned to our hotel. My husband had been experiencing intermittent pain during our day one drive but it blossomed into full agony as evening approached. Our first thought was his chronic back pain was flaring and we tried the usual remedies, tens unit and medicated patches. By evening we were sure he was experiencing a kidney stone on the move. He had a stone once before and ironically it was during a vacation. 

I spent a large portion of the night praying over my husband and thanking my Lord that in Him, we were not alone in this distant city. Just as I prayed in the months before the trip, I prayed now and thanked God for the peace and the provision He would make for us.

By mid-morning day 2 the pain deescalated to a manageable level. We knew we would need to stay put an extra day and thankfully the hotel was able to give us the room for another night and we settled in to heal.

Mid afternoon my husband’s pain spiked again. He had experienced nausea and vomiting during the night and was barely drinking. We made the decision an emergency room visit at the local hospital was indicated. I am so thankful if this had to happen, that it happened in Georegtown, Kentucky. Unlike other hospitals, at Georgetown Community Hospital, I was allowed to be with my husband in the Emergency room.

The ER doctor was certain my husband was experiencing a kidney stone and ordered labs as well as a CT scan. After the scan, he came to the room with the results. He said there is bad news and worse news and unfortunately you have the worse news. My husband not only had a kidney stone, but multiple stones and each kidney was partially obstructed . We were not expecting that. He was admitted and would be having stents put in the following day.

By now we were both hungry. I tried ordering delivery from Panera but was informed I was five minutes past their last delivery time. I asked the staff for directions to nearby fast food. I was terrified to drive my husband’s large truck and the idea of trying to find food and drive sent shivers through me.

Photo credit Pixabay

With trepidation I took possession of my husband’s keys and walked to the parking lot. “Lord, I prayed, I am scared. You know I don’t drive this truck but with you I can be confident and skillful.”

I backed the truck without incident or crash. To my delight, directly across the street from the entrance was a Bojangles Fried Chicken. My husband loves fried chicken, so the choice of food was made.

Photo credit Bing.com

I made it through the drive-through, albeit the poor cashier had to lean way out to take my money. All good…except I became confused about where the hospital was and managed to get totally turned around. Thank you Lord for phone GPS.

The chicken wasn’t fresh but it came with two biscuits and I kicked low carb to the curb and ate both of them.

Photo credit Bing.com

The pain medicine the ER had given my husband had taken effect. He was ready to settle down for the night and it was time for me to leave before darkness fell. Except, when I walked outside, it already had. The hotel was less than 5 miles from the hospital, but in the dark, it was daunting. At one point, I had the GPS so confused it was instructing, turn right, turn left, turn right. I had turned at the wrong traffic signal and was turning around in a parking lot.

Back at the hotel ( I parked the truck in a space I am sure my husband would not have approved of, but at least I parked it without hitting anything.) Stephanie at the front desk asked how my husband was. I had told her about my husband being unwell when I asked for another night. After a stressful day, feeling a little lost and alone, her concern comforted me.

Alone in our room, I felt the emptiness as I prepared for sleep. Our five week road trip had definitely hit a pause and possibly come to a sudden stop.

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  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.

Life During Covid 19 Part 19

7 Aug

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

After last weeks adventure in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, this week was taken up with routine chores and doctor visits.(ugh) The highlight was a short visit with friends in Anderson, SC.

The mornings on the porch continue to be a delight, especially when a cool breeze adds a hint of chill to the air. So different from a Florida August morning. Tomorrow a friend from Florida will be arriving and I look forward to sharing my porch time with her.

Life during Covid here in the North Carolina mountains is easier on my nerves, than when we were in Florida. We are close enough to Georgia to do the majority of our shopping there and for the most part, the state is open. Fortunately, north east Georgia is a good distance from hot spots like Atlanta. It’s nice to see people going on with their lives.

Bummer, I seem to have misplaced my more comfortable mask. (I hate them) I hope I didn’t drop it somewhere and become one of those people I complain about who throw their mask on the ground.

I made a discovery, quite by accident, this week that I am tickled with. I read on my iPad using the Kindle app. Out of curiosity I highlighted a passage and tapped the share option. To my delight, the app created a graphic of the passage complete with sourcing information.

This is one I “clipped” from a book by my former pastor, Peter Lord in Titusville, Fl

I think this is going to be an outstanding tool for sharing on social media. For my author friends, you can choose a favorite passage from one of your works and instantly create a sharable graphic.

By the way, Peter’s book, Hearing God: An Easy -to-Follow, Step-by-Step Guide for Two-Way Communication with God is available on Amazon. I recommend it.

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.

Life During Covid-19 Part 18

30 Jul

He leads me beside still waters.

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

We finally made it to our home in Western North Carolina last Wednesday. It was a struggle to escape the clutch of doctors who feel entitled to dictate our life with endless rechecks.

The struggle is totally worth it. Saturday morning I settled into my comfy teak lounger on my porch, contentment oozing from my soul. I wrote this:

I declared today a day of reading and refreshment.  74 degrees on the porch. Birds chirping and cheeping and a good romance, mystery book by Colleen Coble on my tablet.  Mike tinkering in the garage. Thunder sounding beyond the mountains, possibly heralding an afternoon shower. A gentle breeze creates joyful melodies on the wind chimes Mike made.

After two days of unpacking and restocking the kitchen, we decided a day trip was in order. I packed a light picnic lunch of meat and cheese and we headed for the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. With all the Covid closures, I wasn’t sure if the visitor center (restrooms) would be open and that can be a problem. I was relieved to see the car park was a hive of activity.

The park was busy but not at the usual summer level and we took advantage of empty parking spots to stop and enjoy old favorites. When our children were young they enjoyed playing in this stream. One day an “older”(like maybe she was 40) woman was walking across some rocks and she fell into the water. The stream and bridge has evermore been named, Woman Falling In Water.

US Highway 441, a winding, two land road runs through the park without a lot of opportunities to pass. We were driving behind an SUV that was struggling to pull a sizable RV trailer. Their speed varied from 25-35 miles per hour. The RV had a Florida license plate and we were reminded of our first time hauling our pop-up camper along the same road. Young and inexperienced at mountain driving, I’m sure we crept along too. As we patiently followed the RV up the mountain, we reminisced and laughed at our youthful confidence.

If we followed US 441 all the way through the park, we would have ended up in Gatlinburg, Tennessee but we had decided to only go as far as Newfound Gap.

North Carolina is a mandatory mask state, Tennessee is not. This park straddles the state lines and the restrooms are on the Tennessee side! Mast freedom! I wore a mask anyway. It’s nice to have the choice.

Our family made many memories here. Lingering snow thrilled our Florida hearts and frost laden trees, a winter wonderland left us awe struck. It’s a place where children could run off some energy, exploring the woods behind a monument or as the Appalachian Trail runs through there, you might encounter a Through Hiker.

The elevation of 5,040 feet offers an ever changing vista of the the surrounding mountains.

The National park has a webcam here and I treat myself to a visit as part of my morning quiet time. It snaps a photo every 15 minutes. I thought it would be fun to be “captured” in a photo, an “I was there” kind of moment. I told my daughter in Florida of our plan and she monitored the webcam. I was thrilled when she texted the picture to me. Silly, yes but fun.

We are in the far right circle

We decided to take the short drive to Clingman’s Dome.

At 6,643 feet, Clingmans Dome is the highest point in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It is the highest point in Tennessee, and the third highest mountain east of the Mississippi.

We were surprised at the amount of cars trying to get into the parking lot and decided to not take up a parking space as we could come back anytime. Families were everywhere, even picnicking in their parking space. I am thinking that caused the slow down, but I am also happy to see families enjoying being together in nature.

My husband suggested I hop out of the car to get some pictures while he drove the circle of the parking area. Clouds were moving in so not much of a view, but it was only 69 degrees. Lovely.

By now, we were hungry! We headed back down the mountain to a large picnic area. Normally in the summer this popular picnic area is crowded but this was not the case. I speculated that the crowd at Clingman’s Dome, may have been first time visitors, not familiar with all the park had to offer. We finished our lunch just as a light rain began.

Several years ago, the Great Smoky Mountain National Park began to reintroduce Elk to the park and they can often be seen in late afternoon near the visitor center. This day they were out early, maybe because of the rain and many were next to the road. We pulled over to snap some pictures.

We made it back home around 3:30 pm. In time for my husband to get in a nap. Covid is taking a sub conscience toll on us. We aren’t afraid but we are weary, especially me. Nature soothes me and brings to mind Psalm 23:2-3

He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name.

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.

Life During Covid 19-Part 17

3 Jul

I am Weary

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

I’ve been in a bit of a slump. I checked past posts and saw that I haven’t written anything since June 16, when we were back home in the mountains.

In a normal time, we would be firmly ensconced for the summer and fall and welcoming houseguests. But these aren’t normal times. Two weeks was not enough! We returned to Florida for my husband to have a scheduled surgery.

It’s really hot here. I think I have had trouble adjusting from open windows and cool mornings on the porch to sweltering heat and non-stop air-conditioning. (Having spent my entire life in Florida, one would think I would be accustomed to it.) Or maybe I am simply Covid weary.

I am weary of people being angry and the great mask debate. I am weary of worrying about the people who are out of work. I am weary of wondering how our economy can possibly survive this massive shut down. I am weary of the isolation which draws me deeper into my usual introvert state.

And I am weary of trying to decide if our planned road trip needs to be cancelled. That sounds trite. I know. We had a health scare with my husband last week. He is fine now, but we really wanted to do this trip while he is able.

Yet in the midst of the weariness, I am thankful and blessed.

I am thankful for my friend, Pam, whose indomitable spirit and gift for chatter lifted my spirits this week. I am thankful for my friend and mentor, DiVoran, who understands my unsociable state and loves me still.

I am thankful my husband is doing well, his surgery is rescheduled and we may be able to return to the mountains in a few weeks. And I am thankful our daughter, who works from home has time off to visit with a friend for the weekend. She badly needed the break.

Most of all I am thankful for my faith in God that sustains me when I walk through shadows and teaches my heart to trust in Him. I read Psalm 57:1 this week, written by David when he fled from Saul into the cave. I especially related to the last two lines.

Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me!

For my soul trusts in You;

And in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge,

Until these calamities have passed by.

In a morning meditation I remembered an old hymn my Depression era parents would sing. I looked it up on You Tube and found this one by a group called Grace Thrillers from 6 years ago. Beautiful and I like that the video showcases scripture rather than images of the singers.

Wishing our American readers a happy, healthy and blessed 4th of July. It’s a special day for our family, my mother’s birthday. She loved her dog Max, and Krispy Kreme doughnuts!

Life During Covid-19 Part 16

5 Jun

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

As I said in my last post, plans are made to be changed. We planned to have lunch on Tuesday with friends we had not seen in 4 months. Well, Monday morning my husband woke up with a sniffleszx and sneezing. Of course, my first concern was is he coming down with the virus? I let our friends know we wouldn’t be meeting for lunch, because and I am not sure how this happened, but we are all in THAT age group.

He spent a lot of time outdoors over the weekend, tidying up the yard and installing a backup camera on the truck. It took three mowings to get the grass down. I decided to treat his sniffles as allergy and after two days he began to clear up.

Our lawn a combination of grass and weeds looks much better!

Sunday we attended church. North Carolina ordered churches to shut down (Unlike Florida which suggested it and the churches willingly complied) so our church began to hold drive-in services in March. I was looking forward to seeing friends and curious how it would be done.

Our sanctuary sits on a hill with parking on a lower level. A tent was erected with a pulpit. The congregation tuned their radios to a specific Fm station .

One of our members brought a visitor, and I must say the visitor was very well behaved.

Overall it has been a good first week back. My husband’s health and energy, aside from sniffles, has been great and he has enjoyed getting resettling chores done. Thursday he replaced the front brakes on the truck and still felt well enough to join friends for a night of card playing. I treasure the good days.

In a matter of three weeks, the county has gone from less than five cases of Covid to over 80. I sense a level of anxiety and resentment in their social media posts. The first case in the county was a visitor from New York and now the summer people and part-time residents (Like us) are invading .

I understand how they feel. South Florida’s Covid cases soared as residents from New York fled there to escape the virus and its consequences. I rarely see a New York license plate in our Florida community but I saw two within a week. I admit to feeling a moment of resentment. Our area had been doing well without these “infectors”. Awful, right? I confessed my unkindness to God and asked forgiveness and for my heart to change.

And then Sunday arrived our church was finally allowed to gather. As we waited for service to start, one of the greeters escorted a woman inside and introduced her to the pastor. I made note of where she chose a seat. It was on the other side of the sanctuary.

I felt compelled to speak words of welcome to the visitor and as this was to be our last Sunday before returning to the mountains, it was now or never. I made my way across the room, being mindful of social distancing and began a conversation. I felt a connection and hoped she would choose to attend our church She shared that she had only been living in the area a year. Of course, I asked where she was from…New York. And not just New York, but NYC.

God definitely has a sense of humor as he works on teaching me to love as He loves.

This is from one of the albums I played with my children. I think I am going to re-listen to them. Simple truths.

Ok, the trip down memory lane with the kid’s praise album made my heart ache a little for bygone days. My son was my instant gratification child. I not only played this song, I would sing the chorus to him as well. I think the message remains relevant and it is fun!

We rescheduled our lunch plans with our friends for today. Both my husband and myself have been checking our temperatures just in case our supposition that allergies caused the sniffles is wrong.

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.

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?

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