Tag Archives: Memories

What Was That…?

5 Aug

SUNDAYMEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

Recently, Fred and I had something happen that brought back a memory from 1967.

We were both brushing our teeth in our bathroom (we have two sinks), when we heard a ku-thunk..rumble..rumble sound.  Looking at each other, we wordlessly asked each other…what was that??

We finished brushing our teeth and began searching the house for the source of the sound.  Neither of us could find anything.  Huh.

Later, I was in our second bathroom, when I noticed that the safety bar we had installed in the tub/shower, had fallen off the wall and into the tub!  So THAT was it!  I brought Fred into the bathroom with me and he re-installed it (it’s a suction grip, not installed with screws).

 

 

All that brought back the memory.  We were living in Wiesbaden, Germany in 1967, on the economy (military-speak for non-military housing), in a second-story apartment.

 

Judy in front of our upstairs apartment

 

We had only been there about four months. Karen had been born a few months earlier.  We had her crib set up in the “living room” area of the apartment, as it was closer to our bedroom than the second bedroom, and had more space for the crib.

One night, as we were sleeping, we were awakened by – and kept hearing a funny sound – almost like a tearing or ripping sound. It was recurring throughout the night, and neither of us could figure it out.  All of a sudden, there was a tremendous CRASH!  Fred was up and out of the bedroom before I could hardly lift my head off my pillow!  He raced into the living room to check on Karen.  She was happily sucking on her two fingers, as she usually did, as she slept peacefully on.

We were flummoxed!  What had caused that sound?  Not finding anything out-of-the-ordinary, we went back to bed and to sleep.

When we got up the next morning, I went into the bathroom to take my morning bath (no shower in the German house!).  What to my surprise, but did I see that about six of the wall tiles had ripped away from the wall and fallen into the tub!  So THAT was what had awakened us!  That bathroom wall was on the other side of our bedroom wall, so the sound of the “ripping” would have been quite loud in our bedroom.

We informed the landlord and they had the tile fixed quickly.

It’s a funny memory now.  It’s always amazing to me how something that happens now brings back those memories.  Sometimes it doesn’t take much to find the memory.

 

 

JUDYJudy 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.
Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing.
She was a stay-at-home mom for many years.
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.
She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

Animals at the Train Station Depot

30 Jul

My Take

DiVoran Bowers Lites

 

 

Brownie look alike from Pixabay

 

Animals have been important to our family for as far back as I know.  When we first moved to Westcliffe (the town’s spelling has an e on it, but the school’s does not.) Dad learned by the grapevine that one of the ranchers had some part Border collie pups. He may have offered one to Dad, I don’t know about that.

“Get your money and let’s go, Dad told us.” He believed in paying for what he got and he drove us out to the ranch to pick out a pup. In the barn,we held some soft, wiggly puppies trying to get closer to us. I don’t know how we decided which one to take, but whichever one it was, we ended up calling him Brownie. We’d brought all our earnings from working in the restaurant and around the house. We had killed flies with a swatter to keep the café clean, washed dishes, cleaned off tables, and taken out crates of empty pop bottles to send back to the bottling factory next time the delivery truck came up from Canon City.  We had thirty-five cents. Dad was satisfied and so was the rancher.

 

Clover (Pixabay)

 

A few years later Dad bought each of us a calf so we could get started in the cattle business. My calf’s name was Clover and she was a sweet and pretty little thing. David named his calf, Red,because as a Hereford, that was his color. One morning when I went out to the shed to feed Clover, she was sprawled in the straw not moving or breathing. It was the saddest day of my young life so far. If I ever needed to call up tears for any reason, all I had to do was to remember Clover. Red, however, grew up thinking he was human.

 

Goose (Pixabay)

 

Another time Dad bought a white goose we knew was for Thanksgiving. I suppose Dad meant to take it, all nicely dressed, or undressed, so to speak, so Grandmother could cook it for us. The goose was majestic and tame. We loved her and decided we couldn’t let her become a cooked goose. We opened the shed door and let her out. When Dad noticed that she was gone, he made us go out to look for her. Thinking goose-swan what’s the difference, we ambled down to Grape Creek where the willow bushes grew. We ducked and pushed our way through them until we came to a small woven hut. Inside we saw a pallet, an empty whiskey bottle, and the picture of a lady from another time…but no goose. Dad was cross, but apparently,our misdeed didn’t warrant a spanking.

 

Trail Horses, Pixabay

 

Dad was a restaurateur, a builder, a flyer, and a budding cattleman. He also kept trail horses for the tourists he took up into the mountains to fish in the lakes. We kids also had a horse we kept in the feedlot. I think Dad got him cheap. His name was Yankee and Dad said judging by his teeth he was elderly. Part Shetland pony, he was also small, no match for the quarter horses most people kept. At first, Yankee and I had a hard time getting used to each other. I’d get on and he immediately trotted to the feedlot where he stopped on a dime and looked up to see me sail over his head. Dad only allowed that to happen a couple of times before he taught me to let Yankee know who was boss.

 

Tiger Kitty, Pixabay

 

Mouse (Pixabay)

We had a tiger kitty to keep the mice down, and he mostly lived outside because that was where the mice mostly stayed. Dad seemed like a tough guy, but he hated mice. In a small mining town in Nevada, he worked in Safeway as a meat cutter. For some reason,mice in the back room loved climbing up inside the worker’s pants. Dad shuddered even at the thought of mice. On the other hand, Mother thought they were adorable as long as they stayed out of the restaurant pantry. She told me that when I was a baby, we were delighted to sit and watch a nest full of baby mice romp and play with their mama invisible, but nearby. I like mice, too, but I’ve never been thoroughly tested by them.

Sometimes on the inside, I still feel like the little girl I was decades ago. My peers say they feel that way, too. For a lot of us, good memories like these are silver and gold and unfortunately for our poor families, we tell them a lot.

 

 

 

 

Author, Poet and Artist

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.”

Horseshoe Lake

16 Jul

 

My Take

DiVoran Lites

with

Patricia Franklin

 

 

If you see the video first you will better appreciate the rugged terrain in the story.

 

 

 

 

This is a reply about last week’s blog from my childhood friend: Patricia Franklin.

Dear DiVoran,

Your blog, “Hermit Dam” reminds me of the time when I was a kid and I went to Hermit Lake with three of my brothers to go fishing (what other reason was there?!)  The older ones had done odd jobs to earn money to buy the pickup, and once they had it, they used it for all kinds of work around town, and for going fishing. Since you had to park at the beaver dams and hike to the lake we always started out about daylight to get there in time for plenty of fishing.

But, we never stopped at Hermit really, everybody fished there, and the good fishing was up higher at Horseshoe Lake. The problem was, it was a cool, cloudy morning, and instead of clearing up, it just got worse. By the time we got to Hermit, we were in the clouds.

We started on up to Horseshoe and got to where there was a break in the clouds and you could look down into the valley between the two lakes. There are (or were) three ponds between Hermit and Horseshoe. We got to that point and, looking through the fog, the ponds looked large enough to be a lake. At first,we thought we had reached Horseshoe, but we walked up further, and then back down again to the ponds, and knew we had a ways to go. By then it was raining and I was freezing cold, even though I was wearing a waterproof poncho.  We were above timberline, and there was not much shelter there. I sat down next to a large boulder that gave me a little protection from the rain while the guys decided what to do. We were never worried, just cold and wet. Our parents would only have worried if we had been out after dark.

 

Google search

 

Our eldest brotherBill, a teenager and a Boy Scout decided we would go back down to Hermit where we might find more shelter among the trees and some wood for a fire. We got down by the lake and started looking for some dry wood, and twigs under the bushes.  Bill started a nice little campfire to keep us warm and give us a comfortable spot to eat our bologna sandwiches.

 

 

By the time we finished lunch we were too cold and too wet to go fishing, and as there was no sun to dry us out, we walked back down to the pickup. We were home soon after not disappointed about the fishing, but satisfied with the fun day we’d had trekking into the mountains.

Later, they improved the road and people could drive all the way up to Horseshoe. I do not know if that is a wilderness area now or not, but I too am deeply grateful for adventures like this in another time and place.

Love,

Patricia

 

 

 

Author, Poet and ArtistDiVoran 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.”

Meal Time~Part 1

15 Jul

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

 

I can remember the time of my life when eating out was a special time.  It was just assumed that we would be eating at home, no matter what meal it was.  I really don’t remember eating “out” very often – more as I became a teenager – but still not very often.

I just remember my mother being in the kitchen a lot, cooking.  It’s funny that she never really just sat me down and taught me how to cook anything.

I do remember one of my best friends, Mary, who was an only child.  Her mother had her cooking full meals by the time she was eight years old!  I used to think that was really a hardship for her, but then her mother was a strange person, to begin with.  I guess it was for the best, however, as Mary and her husband had a small restaurant for quite a while.  And she made the best guacamole I’ve ever eaten.  She made it seem simple and easy.

Even in my early years of marriage, I remember coming home from work and make our supper.  There was almost no conversation about going out to eat.  Again, it was just assumed that we would eat at home. Of course, it didn’t help that we were early-marriage-poor and couldn’t afford to eat out very often!  We may not have had fancy meals, but they were home-cooked.  We had a lot of hamburgers, hot dogs, and – yuk – tuna casserole!  I don’t think I’ve made tuna casserole since the 1960’s!  I really over-did that meal.  But it was quick, and inexpensive, and we had it a lot.

Mother’s meals consisted often of pot roast – and she could make a roast that would just melt in your mouth!  It would fall off the bone it was so tender.  I’ve never been able to duplicate that – even when I cooked it in my pressure cooker.

 

Credit Google Search

 

So I gave up on that particular meal, and just enjoy it when we have the opportunity at a good restaurant.  Our favorite is at the Liberty Tree Inn at Magic Kingdom.  Theirs is the very best!

 

Credit Google Search/Walt Disney World – Liberty Tree Tavern lobby

 

I also remember that, if there was any roast left over, mother would grind it up, add mayonnaise and either relish or pickles and a hard boiled egg, and it became a meat salad.  Spread it on bread, and you have a lovely sandwich!  She didn’t waste anything!

 

Credit Google Search and Pleasant Hill Grain website – meat grinder

 

Mother also made really good mashed potatoes. I’ve finally found a way to make good mashed potatoes, without too many lumps in them.  We have one meal that we like with the mashed potatoes – beef tips in gravy.  Yummmm. Except for browning the meat in a skillet first, everything else is done in the Crockpot (except the potatoes, of course).  Fix it up in the morning, and it’s ready for the supper meal.  It goes quite well over good mashed potatoes!  Or egg noodles, or perhaps rice…but the potatoes are the best!

 

 

Mother mashing potatoes, Granny getting something from the cupboard

 

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

 

 

 

JUDYJudy 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.
Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing.
She was a stay-at-home mom for many years.
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.
She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.


Memorial Day-Two Families Remember

28 May

My Take

DiVoran Lites

 

Author, Poet and Artist

 

 

I knew my friend, Patricia had a wonderful family tradition. She grew up in a mountain valley where her great-grandfather had homesteaded. Some of the family has left the valley, some have stayed. Here is Patricia’s story:

 

 

 Memorial Day or Decoration Day as it was first called, was observed by most of the community who had loved ones buried in the cemeteries.  The tradition was started to commemorate those who had died in the wars.  People brought flowers and flags in the spring to place at their graves.  Spring, because the flowers were beginning to bloom, (there were no artificial flowers). Decoration Day officially began in 1868 and was on the last Monday of May.  Traditionally families and church members would celebrate it on that day.  Flowers only lasted a day or two, so we would go out on Sunday or Monday to decorate and visit with other family and friends, many of whom we saw only once a year, as they would come home to decorate the family graves.  It was a time to connect with old acquaintances who had moved away and came back to honor their loved ones and visit with old friends.

 My family still goes out to decorate and acquaint the youngsters with their ancestors.  Many good stories are shared and the children are very interested in learning about the people who are buried there and how they lived their lives back in their day.  They want to know how they are connected.  We have so many ancestors now that the children cannot remember them all.  Fortunately, we have family history documented by family members, to be passed down to the younger ones.  Hopefully, there will always be someone there to take care of the family and the old tradition. 

 We are excited about our visit beginning tomorrow with our children who will all be getting together for the once a year get together.  For three years it has coincided with our granddaughters’graduations.  So we are busily preparing, corresponding, coordinating, etc., which is very hectic, but also very fun and rewarding.  Nothing can be planned in advance, because everything changes, so I do not worry about the planning anymore.  It always works out.  Looking forward to seeing our kids tomorrow.

 

DiVoran

 

 

My grandparents settled in a town fifty-two miles away from where Patricia lived, but I got to live in her community from the time I was 7 until I was 12. It almost broke my heart to leave, but Dad and Mom had sold Min’s Café and Dad had a new job in Los Alamos.

All four of my grandparents and two of my great grandparents along with an aunt and two second cousins are buried in this larger town. Our Mother took us there when we were children to tell stories about her parents and grandparents. Her parents had graves next to each other near the beginning of the cemetery. They were also near their long-time friends and neighbors and each couple has a pine tree, now huge at the site of their grave. Mother’s dad died in 1939 when I was six months old. Dad and Mom came home from Nevada to take over the gas company his father-in-law had run before his death. Mom’s mother passed on when I was seven. I remember Mother crying and serving customers for days.

I was an adult with grown children when my Grandparents died. I didn’t get to attend Granddad’s funeral, but I did fly there for Grandmother’s.

 

Ten years ago I met with my brother, his wife, and her sister to bury our Mother and Dad’s ashes. The aunt who is gone now and two of her daughters came and brought their families. My brother lived in California and we lived in Florida. He kept their ashes until we could meet in the middle. Our son had a combined business trip and vacation so his wife and two children attended. Our daughter and her husband flew with us and our daughter got us a bed and breakfast to stay in that was the same two-storyfloor plan as Grandmother and Granddad’s house and just down the street.

Being together again went a long way in tempering our grief. We did the service ourselves and stayed in the park visiting on a sunny November day. My brother had just picked up a beautiful puppy at the Denver airport, and our grandchildren sat on the grass and took turns holding him while he rested after his strenuous journey. Afterward,our son drove the immediate family to the valley town where Patricia and I had lived as a children.

 

Smoky Never Won

30 Apr

My Take

DiVoran Lites

 

DiVoran on Smoky, , Granddad holding Smoky, Daddy’s legs

 

 

Smoky was Grandad’s Horse
Bought when G. moved to Colorado.
He and grandmother joined
The saddle club and
When they gave up riding
I got Grandmother’s boots.
When Granddad was a guard at the prison
Smoky was a runner
My Daddy was the jockey
Thin and spare
Good rider, but never won.

Warden, Granddad’s boss, Sir!
Had horses too and ran them
He picked the prisoners to ride
Vicious men who had to win.
Warden told Dad to hold Smoky back.
Dad asked if just once
He could get a fair chance.
Warden said, “Not on your life!”
Everybody knew who to bet on.
And Smoky never won.

A Judgement Call

8 Apr

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

 

 

Recently, I was a judge….you know…Judge Judy. You see, our church includes a school/academy. It started out with a daycare and one kindergarten class. It now goes through 8th grade, some with multiple classes for each grade. So some of the children who started in the daycare have been with the school their entire school experience.

 

Regency Christian Academy Knights

 

I was the church secretary for nearly nine years. Fairly early on in my secretarial position, one of the kindergarten teachers told her class, as they were marching down the hallway, to have their “hands behind their back, and bubbles in their mouth.” That way, they couldn’t touch each other or talk. It was quite nice to have this quiet parade of children walking in front of our offices.

But soon, I found I would enjoy standing in my office doorway to watch them pass by, and “pop” their bubbles. I made the “popping” sound myself, but the children thought they had done it. Many smiling faces followed on down the hallway. And even today, if I see some of those children – now in high school – they will approach me with “bubbles” in their mouth! They still remember the “bubble lady” who popped their bubbles!

The school has a really good reputation. Some years ago, there was a man who came to enroll his child in our school. He and his family were fairly new to the area, but he made the statement to me that “we may not worship at this church, but I definitely want my children to go to this school!” That has stayed with me, all these years. The school does its best to BE the best it can be for the students. They get all the usual subjects to study, but the classes are smaller, and the students have more of the teacher’s attention. I’ve been a proctor for some of the testing, and the students usually score quite well on their standardized tests. Our school is not like the public schools where, I’ve been told by other teachers, that they have to “teach the test” rather than teaching the subject. That encourages me.

There are several “contests” that the school holds. Every year they have a science fair. Fred is usually asked to be one of the judges for the science fair, and he’s happy to do just that. He enjoys what the children come up with to show off their “scientific” skills. He’s also a fair judge, which makes him a good candidate for judging. He said that he actually started judging science fairs back in the 1980’s, probably when we were in Heidelberg, Germany. He did some regional judging when we lived in Virginia. And he’s been asked to judge the science fairs at our church school for several years now, and enjoys doing that. He will be judging our school’s science fair in the near future.

Here are some pictures from a recent science fair:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fred and the other judges hearing about a project

 

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

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