Tag Archives: Neighbors

Carrots and Tomatoes

18 Jun

My Take

DiVoran Lites




“Your garden is wonderful!” I said to the man standing in his side yard tending pots of growing vegetables. His big faded yellow lab came over to say hello.

The neighbor and I introduced ourselves.“Do you like tomatoes?” he asked.

“Sure, we like tomatoes,” I answered.

“I’ll give you some cherry tomatoes then,” he said, pulling them off the vine. He popped one and then another into his mouth. “Somebody’s been eating them.” He said with an innocent grin. “There aren’t many ripe ones.” He handed me six, then went to the vine with baseball-sized almost ripe tomatoes and picked three.” He held one out and ran his finger along a seam. “They split because we’ve had too much rain, but they’re still good.” He put all three into my hand. By this time I had hung my trekking poles from my wrists so I could have my hands free. In case you haven’t seen trekking poles before, they’re like ski poles and they’re supposed to strengthen the muscles in your upper back when you walk or hike. They’re great for stability on uneven sidewalks, too.

“How about carrots?” he asked.

“Yep, we like ‘em.”

He pulled a small but fat carrot from a pot. Then he went to another pot and started pulling on a feathery top. “Whoa, this is a really big one. I got to get my knife.”

I wait, holding my produce in both hands and my poles dangling from my wrists until he comes out with a butcher knife. He digs it into the soil and into the big carrot as well, the sliced places fill with dirt on the way out of the pot.

“You like green beans?” …another question.

“Sure,” doesn’t everybody?

He goes in the house and brings out a large package of frozen green beans—enough for two meals for Bill and me. When he sees that my hands are full he takes the beans with him and goes into the house. He comes back with the frozen bagful in a bigger grocery store bag. He holds it open for the carrots and tomatoes. I drop them in, put the thin handles over my wrist and take the trekking poles in my hands. The plastic bag handles dig a line into my wrist, and I wonder if I can walk the half-mile home with them. I must take it all because of the great pleasure it gave him to share. “We’re from West Virginia,” he says. Families always raised their own food back there. My wife’s an excellent cook, too.

It was like old home week. Mother always had her flowers: sweet peas, roses and nasturtiums, plus she took care of her own chickens. Dad contributed vegetables, fruit from his trees, and whatever fish and seafood he caught wherever they lived. They too shared with everybody who would receive and it gave them the greatest joy in their lives (next to grandchildren, of course.)

When they lived in Vista, California, Mother and Dad would get into their Datsun King Cab and head for a major growing area where big produce trucks lined up to haul tons of produce heading all over America. The trucks, piled high, drove fast and when they turned corners some of the produce rolled off. The law of the land was that if they were off the trucks the gleaners could have them. Mom and Dad filled the bed of their pick-up and brought the veggies home to share. As the Bible says, it is more blessed to give than to receive. I am, however, learning that it is also blessed to receive. A giver must have someone to give to and then everybody is happy.





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.”

Fall is in the Air

3 Nov

My Take

DiVoran Lites

Author, Poet and Artist

Some people call it fall, some say Autumn. It is time for leaves to change and the weather to grow cooler.

This morning as I left the house, I looked forward to my walk on the trail, but one block up I saw many parked cars and a few signs that said, “Garage Sale.” Oops. Oh well, I’d get almost as much exercise going around to greet my neighbors and pursue their histories as I would walking the trail.


The first house was Ester’s, she had an orange sherbet-shirt with sparkling jeweled sea horses on it. It said, “Dixie Crossroads,” and since I eat there fairly frequently and always want one of those tee-shirts, I asked her to hold it for me while I went home to get some money.


Ester started to tell me about being sorry that she had fired our mutual handy-man, Hal. We had heard his side of it too. Ester’s young helper told her to tend to business so I said goodbye and left, my tee-shirt was in good hands. Ester is 80 and has dialysis three times a week, but she still exudes a love of life and a sharp mind.

At the next sale the homeowner had bright eyes and a bowl-type haircut. From her I bought a bed for my cat Jasmine, some pretty Melmac dishes to use for plant saucers, and a brand new timer just like the forty-year-old one I gave away a month ago. I missed it.

Bill was interested in what I was doing home so soon and laughed when I told him about the “garage” sale. Our handy-man, Hal, was with him. We’ve had to do without him once or twice, and I tell you it was hard, just as Ester had started to say.

A few weeks ago, Hal got a, new-to-him car from Car Care. It’s a ministry run by a wonderfully experienced mechanic, Ray, and his wife Alice, (who does the paper work) at the Indian River Methodist Church on howdy fifty called Car-Care. Hal is pretty much destitute even though he works hard much of the time and Car Care was looking for someone to give a refurbished car to (for a small pittance). Hal ended up with a Ford Taurus he needed so he could go to work and go fishing. He loved his old Datsun pick-up, but every time he drove it heated up and wouldn’t start again. The body had patches welded on it. Now he was ga-ga over his Taurus, and couldn’t say enough about its AC, Cruise Control, and great engine. He sounded like a man in love. I think that was why he corrected me when I told him and Bill I’d been to a, “garage sale.” Almost to himself he said, “yard sale,” “flea market.” For a moment he must have hoped there might be something for his beloved car there. I must admit, I haven’t kept up well with the nomenclature, either. Probably everyone is calling them yard sales nowadays. After the two extra trips home, one to get my money and one to take my goodies, I decided to walk the trail after all. I was glad I did. What a gorgeous day!


Another reason I was glad was because I got to see another sight I saw and admired so much yesterday. A teacher in our school here has begun to take school children for bike rides on the trail – all properly helmeted, of course. Yesterday there were eighteen third graders zooming around me. There were fewer today and they were moving a bit more slowly. In fact, after the first one, they all needed to be waved at. It was easy. I raised my hand like an English princess and kept it moving until all had passed. “You’re making a lot of kids happy,” I shouted to the tail-end teacher. She grinned and waved back. Ah fall. Fall in paradise. It couldn’t be better.




The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; Indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me. Psalm 16:6

Behold How Good and Pleasant

9 Jun

My Take

DiVoran Lites

On my way home from my walk I met one of the neighbors, Chuck, who had helped another neighbor remove the tree that fell on our house during Hurricane Charlie. Chuck was walking very slowly

Author, Poet and Artistallowing his ancient dog to saunter and sniff all he wanted. We spoke as we passed. When I got to the curve in the trail where I leave it, I stopped to make a note of something. There I heard a forlorn meowing from the bushes. It had to be a lost domestic cat. It was. Chuck’s cat big male tiger kitty.

“Your cat is here.” I yelled. He started back and I went back on the trail to meet him. He wasn’t going anywhere and I was on my way home so we turned around and sauntered back toward the neighborhood. The cat came out and twined around Chuck’s ankles.

“He follows us out here, but he doesn’t like to go too far.” Chuck said. We started slowly making our way back into the neighborhood. I told him I’d been walking past his house since his kids were small. The first time I ever saw them they had run out of the house with no clothes on—just little kids being free and happy. Chuck now had all the time in the world to talk to me. His major kid rearing days were about over. They’re off to college next year. He and his wife have been excellent parents. I’ve heard swimming parties from behind their privacy fence, I’ve seen the family coming home from camping, and watched as boy scouts gathered for projects.

When we got to Chuck’s house right off the trail. I said goodbye and Chuck took his dog over to greet a weenie dog they knew and his master.

I felt so blessed to walk with him, pet the cat, greet the dog, and hear about the kids. How wonderful to have watched a family rear good, happy kids who will become ordinary fine Americans and hopefully rear theirs kids the same. How great that this young man, who probably is quite busy during the week, had all the time in the world for an old dog, an old lady, and a cat who clearly adores him.

Behold how good and pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in one neighborhood where people get along and kids can grow up in safety and in love. Paraphrase of Psalm 133.1


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