Tag Archives: Titusville Florida

A Love Story

18 Sep

A Time to Live

Melody Hendrix

Hello. I want to share with you something that has overwhelmed my heart all my life. It is about my love and connection to the natural world. 

As young as I can remember, I’ve been drawn to explore the woods. To me, it was like a treasure hunt. That mystery of life fascinated me, and I was full of wonder. 

I am a native Floridian. Most of my growing up was in the city of Orlando. It quickly grew into a full-blown major city. I didn’t have access to explore nature easily, so as time passed, I would have to go farther and farther to be in real nature. As soon as I was mobile, I would travel to Titusville and go fishing or go to the beach. I longed to live there.

And though I thought my dream life was unreachable, eighteen years ago, I got my wish. Not only did I get to live where there is an endless exploration in woods and water, but I also met the man of my dreams. 

I admit, we met on Match.com, Internet dating. On the second date, I fell so hard when he took me kayaking, caught a fish, and sweetly asked if he could kiss me.

His way of romancing was driving me around the dike roads at the Merrit Island Wildlife Refuge and showing me his secret places. We would look for wildlife, and I, being an avid, passionate photographer, would get fantastic shots out the window of the van. I can’t describe the overwhelming joy of life I was having, and I am still blessed with great riches.

The video lets you experience Titusville and MINWR a little, enjoy its beauty and see some wildlife. I thank God for bringing me closer to Him through His gifts of nature. I feel His gospel in His creations. I pray for protection for all of us in these challenging days. 


MelodyWelcome! I’m so glad you stopped in to visit. I am retired and enjoying life. My hobbies are my 5 grandchildren, son and daughter, and my loving husband. I am a photographer and extreme nature lover. I love spending time in my garden or in the wilderness connected to God my Creator.
What a beautiful world we live in. We all have that in common. Natural beauty is everywhere, but sometimes we are not connected until we see a picture, taken just right, that makes it really come into focus and be admired. My passion is to make a connection between the lens and your soul. Photography is my passion.
My photography passion began when my Father handed me his old Ricohflex box camera when I was 12.  It was love at first sight. I still have it. My hand was never empty of a camera since.
I am a native Floridian. I am so lucky to call it home. I was born in Orlando BF (before Disney). My family moved to the Winter Park area when I was very young. Central Florida was so simple and quaint at that time. I wandered the streets barefoot with my friends, never worrying that something bad could ever happen. My Mom used to pick the sand-spurs out of my feet. I still go barefoot. It grounds me to earth and connects me to nature.
I have extensively explored Florida and its diverse beauty. So much to see and so little time. I would love for you to join me in my travels through the images I have taken. I wish you could hear the sounds, smell the fragrance and feel the breath of it. But for now we must be content with exploring with our eyes and only imagine the rest.
Thank you for your interest.

Life During Covid-19 Part 15

28 May

Waiting on the SpaceX Demo-2

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

I wrote last week about my disappointment that our return to the North Carolina mountains was delayed. Within frustration comes positives, especially if we are open to accept them and one of them was being in Florida for the historic launch of the SpaceX Demo-2 launch.

Foto: NASA clipset.20minutos.es

Our town is on the banks of the Indian River which is directly across from Kennedy Space Center and the launch pads. Due to Covid-19 the local media advised the locals to stay home and watch the launch from their yards. I was good with that idea. Our area has a low virus rate and the thought of mingling with people from all over the country kind of freaked me out. But…our daughter writes novels about the space program and she has followed the progress of SpaceX from its infancy and was determined to be at the river.

Our usual viewing involves parking at a church near the river, then walking to a good viewing spot. Once the launch is over, we quickly move to our car and beat the traffic.

We left home around 1 pm for the 4:33 pm launch. We had packed lunches, water and chairs. We drove past the park we love (photo on left) and it was packed with cars.

We continued driving north and ended up at large park. We easily found a parking place and backed into it.

HINT if you ever have the opportunity to view a crewed launch, back into your space.

And then we sat in the car for three hours. With no internet on our phones. And it rained.

I don’t know if you have noticed but there is a huge societal battle going on. To mask or not mask. Sitting in our vehicle my first thoughts when I saw people walking past with masks, were give me a break, people. You are outside with way more than 6 ft distancing.

After thinking on the masks for a time, I reverted to my usual wear or not wear attitude. People were here from all over the country and may be following guidelines to which they are accustomed to.

An extremely heavy line of storms moved in on us. The trees were whipping and the rain was coming down in sheets. Our cell phones were not able to access data so we didn’t have any idea what was going on. Once we were back home, I saw this on Facebook.

Mims is about 5 miles from where we parked. It was a small tornado

Finally around 3 pm the rain ended although the skies remained dark, although there were patches of blue. My daughter and I decided to venture out to the river bank and stake out our viewing space. My husband stayed in the car. He’s not rain tolerant. I was impressed that few people had left during the rain. There were a lot of soggy clothes but many had come prepared with rain gear.

A brave group of kayakers paddled past. A boat is an ideal viewing spot but the hassle of getting ones boat to a dock and out of the water afterwards is not worthwhile for us. Been there, did it once. Now the kayakers are brilliant. No boat dock needed!

In Titusville we have “The Bridge” It is a lovely bridge that crosses the Indian River and connects Titusville to Merritt Island on which the space center is located. “The Bridge” replaced an ancient structure that used a bridge keeper to open and close the draw and each side of the bridge has a generous walking lane. It is a thing to walk “The Bridge” ( Yes, a local boutique sells T-shirts bragging about walking the bridge)

For the launch, the bridge is closed to traffic and is a prime viewing area.

The rain held off and patches of blue peaked through and around the clouds. As the time of launch drew close, my husband joined us. We were ready for the rumble! Then, without warning, people around us began gathering their belongings. People began streaming off the bridge. The dreaded word, scrubbed, could be heard. We couldn’t believe it. The sky was almost clear. But not clear enough. Less than 15 minutes from life off and it was over.

I was outraged! Pre smart phones we would have been listening to transistor radios, then later, boom boxes, getting updates from mission control. All I can assume is the crowd overwhelmed the cell tower capacity.

The launch is rescheduled for Saturday. Hopefully we will finally be back in the mountains. It was fun being a part of launch day, even if it didn’t launch. One thing was missing though…conversation. Usually there is an atmosphere of camaraderie, sharing stories and launch experiences. I missed that. I hope social distancing does not become the permanent normal.

Our daughter is on her own for Saturday. I wonder if she might rent a bicycle. Post launch traffic is a bear!

I love this picture Rebekah took of children enjoying the rain puddles.

Hopefully, next week I will be writing from the mountains!

Florida Travel Series~Titusville, Florida

6 Jun

A Time to Live

Melody Hendrix


I am a native of Florida. I love this state and have explored most of it. Florida is so diverse in landscapes and things to do and see. Many have not been discovered.

My next series will reveal some of the unknown beauty of my favorite places in Florida seen through  my camera lens.

I will start in my own back yard in Titusville Florida. There is so much to do here especially for nature lovers.

Follow this link to all the things this area has to offer http://nbbd.com/godo/

Titusville is a sleepy, quaint town, but is in the process of growth from the commercial space programs in development now at the Kennedy Space Center.

The Titusville community was originally called Sand Point.



Henry T. Titus arrived in 1867 with the intention to build a town on land owned by his wife, Mary Hopkins Titus, daughter of a prominent planter from Darien, Georgia.


A promenient feature of the area is the A. Max Brewer Bridge, a 65 feet fixed high-level span on SR-406 connecting Titusville to Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge and Canaveral National Seashore, opened on February 5, 2011 to replace the former swing bridge built in 1949.

Underneath the north side of the bridge is a catwalk, the Veterans Memorial Fishing Pier, for fishing and enjoyment of the Indian River Lagoon. It is known locally as the “World’s Longest Free Fishing Pier. Many a fish or shrimp dinner was caught here.



It is the gateway to the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge.



The land was acquired by NASA in the early 1960s for the development of the Space Center and its non-operational purposes.




The refuge is a natural buffer for NASA and provides a range of habitats, from saltwater estuaries and freshwater impoundments and marshes, to dunes, hardwood hammocks, and scrub. It contains over 1000 species of plants, 117 species of fish, 68 amphibians and reptiles, 330 birds, and 31 mammal species. It is a haven for birders, photographers, fishermen and nature lovers.


The refuge provides hiking and driving trails for visitors, with opportunities for observing wildlife without causing disturbance. Some popular driving trails are Black Point Dr, Bio Lab Rd and Gator Rd.


Also within the Refuge is Playalinda Beach. A quiet beach loved by fisherman.


Stop by the visitors information center for maps, regulations and info. Located east on SR406 (Garden Street) just over Max Brewer Causeway Bridge on the right.

Next week we will explore Ponce Inlet.


This will be one of several stops along A1A north to St Augustine and beyond.





I am retired and enjoying life. My hobbies are my 5 grandchildren, son and daughter, and my loving husband. I am a photographer and extreme nature lover. I love spending time in my garden or in the wilderness connected to God my Creator.

My Beloved – Part 2

9 Jan

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

DiVoran & I became good friends, and when the foursome broke up, Bud went on to girls of another persuasion and the next thing I knew DiVoran & I were going steady.


We went the movies, went to church, went roller skating , and cruised Albuquerque’s Central Avenue my restored 1940 Chevy coupe.  This evolved into our getting engaged.


I joined the U.S. Navy when I was 18 and went on a 6-month cruise of the Mediterranean on the aircraft carrier USS Coral Sea.  We wrote letters to each other every day and signed them “All my love…”   After I returned to the U.S. I was transferred to the Fleet Repair ship USS Hector that was stationed at the San Diego Naval Base.


When family friends from San Diego stopped in Albuquerque during their vacation to visit my parents, they offered to take DiVoran home with them to see me.  That was when we decided to get married.  Our fathers were both on trips for their jobs, so our mothers came to San Diego for the wedding.  DiVoran was 18 and I was 19.


The car I owned at that time was a highly modified ’32 Ford coupe, and DiVoran hated riding in it because there was only one bucket seat for the driver and the rest of the interior floor was a sheet of plywood that she had to sit on.   Not long after we were married, I traded my “Pride & Joy” wheels for a nice ’50 Mercury sedan that DiVoran could drive.





We lived in San Diego for 6 months until I left on the USS Hector for 8 months duty in Japan.  DiVoran went back to Albuquerque to wait for me and complete beauty school.

beauty school

By the time I was discharged from the U.S. Navy, I had finally seen the need for more than a high school diploma to make a decent living.  We moved to Los Angeles for me to attend Northrop University.  DiVoran worked full time with the Magic Mirror chain of beauty salons, and I worked part time servicing airplanes at LAX to help pay for my education.  DiVoran said it was the best investment she ever made.


We lived and worked in L.A. for 8 years where our two children, Renie and Billy,  were born.  We moved to Titusville, Florida in 1965 with the Apollo Manned Space Program.  I worked that program and various other missile programs, through the years, as an Ordnance Engineer until my retirement.



DiVoran and I live in the same house we bought new in 1965 and plan to live here together forever.  We are both happy as clams with our favorite past times, R/C model airplanes for me and novel writing and painting for DiVoran.  Our children and their families both live in Central Florida, which makes it great for us to be able to see them and our Grandchildren often.










As a side note, DiVoran and I both learned to type in that high school typing class, and that is one of the things that is helping us write these weekly blogs.


The story of “My Beloved” and me will never end.  However, that’s all for now folks.

Proverbs 5:18


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