Tag Archives: Serendipity

A Wonderful Serendipity

26 May

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

For those of you who have followed my most recent ‘Fishing With Ivan’ blog series, you will be familiar with the major players in my wife, DiVoran’s family.  For those of you who are just joining me, her father is Ivan and her mother is Dora.  Her younger brother, David, rounds out the family members.  I have had the privilege of being a part of this wonderful family (by marriage to DiVoran) for over 60 years and would like to share with you one of the more delightful stories about this family.  

Photo: https://www.gograph.com/vector-clip-art/group-older-adults_4.html

The ‘Fishing with Ivan’ series of blogs described several of the more interesting trips DiVoran and I had taken when visiting Ivan and Dora over the years.  However, the family trips were not all made by us.  Ivan and Dora made several trips to Florida to see us after we moved here for my work in 1965.  By the time this story took place, DiVoran’s brother, David, had become an airline pilot and Ivan and Dora were able to fly to Florida on family passes.  They enjoyed spending time with us and their grandchildren. 

Photo by DiVoran Lites

Photo by DiV

David’s wife, Susan, was a ticket agent for the airline David flew for, and she made all of the flight arrangements (space available) for Ivan and Dora when they flew.  Sometimes they had to make connections as far north as Cincinnati, OH or as far south to San Juan, Puerto Rico in order to make it to Orlando, FL when they wanted to get there.  If I remember right on this particular trip, for some reason, Ivan and Dora had to make connections in Guatemala in order to get to Orlando, FL.  I believe that was the worst hassle they ever had with a trip to Florida to see us.  DiVoran and I were surprised that they agreed to come see us again after that incident, but lucky for us they did.  

Photo: https://www.canstockphoto.com/vector-clipart/ticket-counter.html

We had a wonderful visit with Ivan and Dora on that trip. Our son, Billy, and his family (the grandchildren) live in Orange City, FL which is near the beautiful Blue Springs State Park.  On the weekend, our daughter, Charlene, and her husband, Ron, joined us for a trip to Blue Springs where we met Billy and his family.  Everyone enjoyed a great time visiting and watching the Manatees.  There were many other very enjoyable times with Ivan and Dora before they had to head home.

Photo: https://thatadventurelife.com/2020/01/21/blue-spring-state-park-orange-city-fl/

On the day we took Ivan and Dora to the airport for their flight home, we had no idea David had a surprise for us.  He met us at Security and we were all speechless.  DiVoran couldn’t believe her eyes!  She asked him, “What are you doing here?”  He said, “I’m going to fly Ivan and Dora home.”  DiVoran asked, “How in the world did you manage that?”

His short story was that he had arranged a swap with another pilot.  I’m sure it was a lot more complicated than that.  So now he was going be the Captain of the Boeing 777 flight for their return trip to Los Angeles, CA.


Photo by Bill Lites

Of course DiVoran was concerned about her entire immediate family being on the same flight.  She told me later, “As we rode the tram out to take my parents to the gate for their flight, I prayed that they would have a safe trip all the way home.  Then DiVoran said, “That’s when I saw this angle hovering over my parents and my brother.  That assured me that they would be safe and I felt so much better.”

Photo Credit: https://naturalhealthcourses.com/2015/12/be-someones-incognito-angel-this-christmas/angel-in-the-sky/

DiVoran and I not only had a wonderful visit with Ivan and Dora, but we were wonderfully surprised to see her brother, David, and to be able to visit with him, even if it was only for a short time before their flight left.  What ‘A Wonderful Serendipity’ that was.

Photo: https://www.dreamstime.com/photos-images/woman-goodbye-airport.html

—–The End—-

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 63 years in Titusville, Florida. He was born and raised in the Southwest, did a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy, attended Northrop University in Southern California and ended up working on America’s Manned Space Program for 35 years. He currently is retired and spends most of his time building and flying R/C model airplanes, traveling, writing blogs about his travels for Word Press and supporting his wife’s hobbies with framing, editing and marketing.  He also volunteers with a local church Car Care Ministry and as a tour guide at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum there in Titusville.  Bill has two wonderful children, two outstanding grandchildren, and a loving sister and her husband, all of whom also live in Central Florida, so he and DiVoran are rewarded by having family close to spend lots of quality time with.

One of Bill’s favorite Scriptures is:  John 10:10

Another Amazing Serendipity

1 Jul


Judy Wills



Sometimes these serendipity things just bound out of nowhere, right into our line of sight.  They are such fun, and we enjoy them so much.

Just recently, we had another amazing serendipity happen.  We were heading into the parking lot at the local Cracker Barrel Restaurant and Country Store, when I spied a car with an advertisement on the side of the front door. What caught my eye was the name “Kathy Wills.”  There was a young lady walking away from the car, and toward the eatery.


Credit Google Search


I told Fred about it.  Now one might not think that is too life-changing, and one would be right about that.  However, it is rather unusual to see or meet someone else with the name “Wills.”

We parked and went into the restaurant. After being seated, I began searching the restaurant for the young lady I saw.  Couldn’t find her.  Shucks! So I went back to our table.  When Fred saw the car, I thought I would give another look to trying to find this young lady…and I did this time.  I stopped her and said, “I think you are who I want to talk to.”  She looked curiously at me. Then I asked if she was in the car with the “Kathy Wills” sign on it, and she said “yes.”  Then I told her that our last name is also “Wills.”

Her face lit up and she said, “really?  I’ve never known anyone else with that last name.” She seemed quite excited and delighted to find someone else with “Wills” as their last name.  She proceeded to her table, with me in tow, and she announced to her parents and brother that we were also “Wills.”  Brother seemed dis-interested.  Mom didn’t have anything to say.  But Dad and young lady were quite interested.


Credit Google Search and Cracker Barrel Website


Dad asked where our“Wills” came from.  When I said New Jersey, he said his family came from West Virginia. Probably a connection there somewhere along the line, but don’t know where.

As I left them, Dad said it was nice to meet me, and God bless.  I was most impressed.

After our meal, I took Fred to meet this family. I asked if they were from Orlando or just passing through.  They are just passing through, and live in Panama City, Florida – in the Panhandle. Well! We lived in Panama City for five years! They told us they lived just over the bridge from Tyndall AFB, where we had spent those five years!


Photo credit WJHG.com
 Credit Google search


Young lady asked if we ever get called “Willis” – and I groaned out that it was “all the time!”  Or “Wells” or even “Mills!”  They all agreed. We told them that “Wills” is an English/Scot name, and they were interested.  I told them that both of Fred’s parents were from the same Scot clan – the Gunn clan.




Dad said that he was considering doing a genealogy search.  I told him it was a lot of fun to do so.

It truly is a small world.  What a fun memory for us.  God is good to give us these fun times.





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.


And the Lord Said: Remember

2 Mar


DiVoran Lites

Author, Poet and Artist

My Dear Daughter, Good morning! Welcome to another happy day with all the serendipities you love each day.

The cowboys named this foal, Summer Surprise because they didn’t know she was coming.



Don’t let the enemy of your soul send you any lies or doubts. He tries always, pitifully, to throw you off by getting you onto the negativity track. If you fall for it, he’ll do worse. In reality, he had no real power, no strength. Resist him and he will flee.

Instead, remember me, remember my word, remember my love for you, remember the songs I’ve given you to sing, remember to thank me for deeds done and for promises kept. Remember to thank me for who I am, gentle, gracious and loving.

Another Serendipity

8 Jun


Judy Wills



We’ve had so many “serendipity” times happen in our lives. I’m convinced that they are God’s way of giving us some unexpected joy in our lives. So while I call them serendipity, I really know better.

This one happened some time ago, while we were living in Virginia. There was a Taco Bell where Fred and I liked to eat, about five minutes from our house. We stopped there often. One time, during the summer, we stopped, and noticed that the doors were standing open. Uh-oh – that’s not a good sign! Sure enough, the AC was off. There were no other customers in the store, so we had the place to ourselves.

The manager actually waited on us himself. He had on a long-sleeved white shirt, tie, and his sleeves were rolled up – but rolled under, rather than up. I commented on the AC and on how his sleeves were rolled the way our son-in-law rolled his. Then I asked why he was wearing a long-sleeved shirt in that heat. He said that he wanted to look professional, and that was his work “uniform.” The conversation went on a while, then he asked us for our order. He then “fiddled” with the register a bit, and when he gave me the total – it was at least $1.00 less than usual. When I questioned him about it, he just grinned at me, so I said, “should I just take it and run with it?” and he nodded yes.

Every other time we were in that Taco Bell, if he was at the register, the total would be less. We never asked for nor demanded that we get a discount, but only when he was working, did we get the discount. We always waved, smiled, or spoke to him.

Neat story, however, that’s not the end of it. Some years later – after we had moved to Florida – we were back in Virginia visiting. We had flown into the airport in Norfolk that time, and we were driving back to Norfolk for our return trip. We took a wrong exit and were fussing at each other about how to get back to the right place. We saw a Taco Bell up ahead, and decided to stop for lunch.

I ordered, then took the drink cups over to fill at the machine. When I was done, Fred said, “look who’s here.” I looked up and saw this same man bringing our food on the tray to the counter, with a confused look on his face, as if to say “where have I seen this order before?” (My order was rather unique) Then he looked up and saw us and grinned from ear to ear. Seems he had gotten a lateral transfer and was now working in Norfolk. It was actually a promotion for him, as it was much closer to where he lived, so he saved in time and gas money. We spoke for a short time and renewed acquaintances.

Just think……….if we hadn’t taken the wrong exit, we would never have known that he had transferred and where he was then working.

Just a little thing, but it filled us with joy. It’s been a fun remembrance for us.





A Small Serendipity

13 Apr


Judy Wills



I really love the serendipities that happen in our lives at times. Some are so large they just overwhelm us when they happen. Others are just sort-of average, but just enough different to make us sit up and take notice. And then there are the small ones. Those that just happen in a flash…and then are gone, leaving us to wonder how/why did that happen?

Fred and I experienced that just recently when we went to Disney’s Magic Kingdom. Busy day – lots of high school bands around – lots of Senior Trips around – kids in the same color t-shirts. We usually enjoy seeing these groups. Most of them are not terribly rowdy, and are just having a great time.   Occasionally we see them doing the “flash” thing – breaking into song or the “wave” or something like that.

We had just finished a ride and were on our way to lunch, when a young man caught up with us and said, “would you be my stand-in parents?” We stopped and I asked why? He said his parents had just gone on a ride but he couldn’t get on, so….. I began laughing and ask him what we could/should do. He hesitated a minute then said, “how about a hug?” And so that’s what we did – a group hug for the three of us – all of us laughing at the same time.

And then he was gone.

I told Fred he was probably dared to do that by some of his classmates, but that was okay. It was a fun thing.

MUCH later, I told Fred we should have told this young man that we couldn’t be his stand-in parents, but would stand-in GRANDparents work? Nothing slow about me!







20 Jan


 Judy Wills



I just LOVE the serendipity times that happen in my life!  They provide such fun – even though I really didn’t have anything to do with the event.   I remember when we were living in San Antonio, Texas.  Our church was in downtown San Antonio.  Frequently, when the morning church service was over, we would walk the few blocks down to the famous River Walk, and have lunch at our favorite Mexican restaurant.

English: Casa Rio restaurant along the shores ...

English: Casa Rio restaurant along the shores of the San Antonio River Walk. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One time, while Fred’s parents were visiting us, we took them down to the River Walk, since it is such a tourist attraction for the city.  We usually would walk down one side of the river, then cross over and walk back on the other side, giving us a full view of what was on each side.  While we were walking that one day, we happened upon a small wedding being held across from us, on one of the large flat rocks.  Just the bride, groom, minister, and two witnesses.  But after the “kiss” everyone who had stopped to witness the event clapped and cheered.

Another serendipity happened just recently at Downtown Disney.  Fred and I like to go fairly early, to catch the cool of the day.  We park in the “middle” then walk to the end and back, just to see everything and get some exercise.  This one particular day, as we were about to head over the bridge to West Side, we saw a young man walk quickly to a young lady walking just ahead of us.  In one swift motion – with her saying “what are you doing here?” – he was down on one knee, ring box open, and asking her to marry him!  She was screaming and squealing at the same time.  And then he was placing the ring on her finger, and they were hugging and kissing, and we were all cheering!  Then we realized we were hearing a small plane overhead.  As we looked up, we saw the plane with a banner trailing……”(name) will you marry me?”  The plane with the banner flew around and around for about five minutes, causing quite a stir among the guests.

As we were finishing our “walk,” and approaching the same area on our return trip, we saw about 25 people all lined up for a picture – the couple’s families.  They were all in on the proposal.

As Fred said – there goes the money for the honeymoon!


14 Jan

My Take

DiVoran Lites

DiVoran Lites

When I walked past Jim’s house, yesterday, he was standing in the driveway with his beautiful collie, Maggie, and his son’s pit bull, Ace.

When asked how he was, Jim replied, “Now that I have given up all hope, I feel fine.” He was joking, but the statement had meaning, too.

Jim (somewhere in the 45 to 50 age range) and Maggie are living at the poverty level because, Jim, a tile man, stopped getting contracts after the last national money crash.

He hoped to continue looking after his mother and eking out her social security check for both of them, and Maggie. He was doing a good, loving, job, too, but somehow, someone deemed Jim’s care inadequate, so his old mother was taken to another town and placed in a nursing home, and of course, the check went with her.

Jim’s house is going up for sale this month for back mortgage payments. Someone else got his mother’s house. His plans are dashed and his hope is gone. He gets odd jobs, no job too hard, and sometimes neighbors hire him to remodel their bathrooms. He thinks about trying to get to Texas to find work, but again—he has no money, and no transportation and he’d have to leave Maggie with his elderly aunt, who helps him the best she can.

As we stood in Jim’s front yard, he began to tell me the fascinating history of pit-bulls, then he, Maggie, and Ace gave me a delightful show: football runs, keep away, tug-of-war, and leaping. It was a Sea-World worthy demonstration in my opinion and brought tears to my eyes. He said Ace looks scary, but Maggie is the mean one. Maggie is mean?!?! It wasn’t her that loved footballs so much she ate five of them. (That’s why they have a plush toy now. It doesn’t taste as good as footballs.)

But yes, Maggie is the matriarch and when necessary she takes command. Ace shoved Maggie down once and it made her so mad she bared her teeth and snarled. He was so contrite; he lowered his head and followed her into the house with his tail between his legs.

But now, I was wondering, how could Jim be so carefree as to entertain a passing neighbor and enjoy his dogs so much when hope was gone?

It’s all about hope, actually. You see Jim has apparently decided to give up on his own plans and trust God’s.

That reminds me of something our pastor’s wife said Sunday: When something we hoped for doesn’t turn out as we planned, we can become heartsick, but if it’s God’s plan it works out for Him and for us. Doors close and doors open. Maybe it was God’s plan for Jim to look after his mother for a while and then it was His plan for things to change for both of them. God does surprisingly serendipitous things when we trust Him. I’ll be interested to hear what happens next to Jim and Maggie.

Proverbs 13:12, Romans 8:28, I Thessalonians 5:18


dog 1dog 2



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