Tag Archives: Veterans Day

2021 Road Tripping to Arkansas-Little River

11 Nov

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

We follow a low carb Keto diet and hotel breakfasts can be iffy, especially in the era of Covid. Before the trip I baked some low carb muffins for my breakfasts. My husband is an eggs and bacon kind of guy, so I practiced cooking a scrambled like egg in my Dash griddle. He approved the taste and texture, and I had a plan, except maybe I forgot to test one thing…

As I made his first on the road breakfast, I added a bit of butter to the griddle to give him some extra flavor. Mistake. Butter on a griddle smokes and my practical husband pointed out that I was going to set off the fire alarm. No more butter on the griddle, lesson learned.

Our destination for this day was Little River Canyon National Preserve near Fort Payne, Alabama. From their website:

Little River is unique because it flows for most of its length atop Lookout Mountain in northeast Alabama. Forested uplands, waterfalls, canyon rims and bluffs, pools, boulders, and sandstone cliffs offer settings for a variety of recreational activities. Natural resources and cultural heritage come together to tell the story of the Preserve, a special place in the Southern Appalachians.


What a gem! I learned of it from a short blurb in a magazine touting the waterfalls of north east Georgia and was pleased to see that it would fit nicely into our road trip. At the information center we learned the details of the scenic drive and were given a very helpful brochure. Our first stop was a beautiful, handicap accessible waterfall.

I regret not taking more pictures on the 11 mile drive. I really think I did. I have a sneaking suspicion that my compulsive need to delete photos from my camera, after downloading may have come into play. Or, I can go all conspiracy theory and blame their absence on the C.I.A.

The canyon was pretty amazing, not Grand Canyon amazing, but awesome. There were some kayakers but they were so far down, my camera did pick them up.

One stop was an area where eagles were known to soar, but sadly, we didn’t see any.

After we left the Preserve, we made our way to the next stop on our trip, Tuscumbria, Alabama. We chose backroads over interstate highway and we definitely wandered. Bathroom facilities seemed to be non-existent. When we finally arrived in a community with a fast food restaurant, Burger Kind, we exited the car and made a dash for the facilities. Burger King restrooms are not always well maintained but thankfully, this one was. We decided to combine the stop with lunch and were pleasantly surprised with their efficiency.

Back on the road we congratulated ourselves for our stop as we didn’t see any other places or businesses for several miles. Then we began to see large warehouses and an assortment of carpet and flooring manufacturing. Wow, who would have thought so many businesses would be in the middle of nowhere. Then we saw signs for an interstate and it made sense. Perfect access for trucking their goods. On the other side of the interstate was a Bus-ees, a mega gas station with almost anything you can think of to eat, drink or buy just for fun. It was packed with drivers from the interstate! I can testify that But-ees has THE nicest restrooms I have ever had the opportunity to visit. LOL

Photo credit:Flickr

Eventually, we did leave the back roads for the interstate. My ears were weary from the GPS directing us to turn left at the next stop sign then continue on…blah, blah blah. Fortunately, the interstate traffic was minimal and it was a pleasant drive to our nights lodging in Tuscumbria.

Veteran’s Day

I’ve been thinking a lot about veterans this week. I realized how many stories and memories are being lost. I was fortunate that my dad spoke of his WWII service, but as I age, I have so many more questions for him. I only knew one person who served in Korea and I wish I had asked him more about his experiences. Of course, he wasn’t very happy about being called up after being discharged, so while his story wouldn’t necessarily have been positive, it was his story and I wish I knew it. As we honor our Veterans this week, if the opportunity arises, ask them to tell their story.

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  

My 2021 goal is continue 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.

Does History Matter

10 Nov

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

I wrote this post during the mid-afternoon on election day. At this point, I have no idea who the winner will be.

I grew up thinking everyone’s family listened to the week day six o’clock news and discussed the world and local events of the day. I assumed everyone’s parents knew the history of political candidates. Take for instance Mitt Romney and Al Gore’s fathers. George W.Romney was the Governor of Michigan and ran for the Republican nomination for President in 1968 and lost to Richard Nixon. Al Gore’s father, Albert Gore Sr. was a Democratic Senator from Tennessee. I can’t remember exactly why my parents were not fans of these men, but I do remember they had doubts about them.

My parents, especially my dad, had one habit that I found maddening. Growing up in the rock and roll generation I was sure “my” music was brand new, not that old stuff he listened to. He often burst my bubble by naming the individual or group who had first recorded a song.  He knew the songs history and he shared it with me.  That may have scarred my psyche, as for the life of me, I can’t tell you who the recording artists are for most songs. I DO know that my obscure favorite, Little Black Egg was a one hit wonder by the Nightcrawlers! (Should you click the link, don’t judge me. I was a 13 yr old whose brother had a band. I am sure there was some subliminal sibling angst going on.)

Over the course of the election season, I came to realize my childhood was not necessarily typical, although for the time it may have been. I read posts and comments that indicated some people who were voting  had no idea of  history and worse yet, no interest in it. I’m not talking about memorizing dates, but learning who did what and why. For instance, Al Gore’s father was on the board of Occidental Petroleum. Did that affect his stance on the environment?   Whether we like it or not, we have a political class and they have history. It is not enough to listen to sound bites and political videos to  make a good decision. A catchy slogan does not make a good leader.

I spent a lot of time praying over this election and regardless of who won, I intend to continue praying. Our new President will need wisdom to navigate the pitfalls awaiting our country and I know the one who gives it freely. Do you?


.November 11, 2016 is Veteran’s day. Thank you to all who served and protected our freedom.  A special thanks to a veteran I have never met, Forrest J. Sterling. He is the author of Wake of the Wahoo, The Heroic Story of America’s Most Daring WWII Submarine, USS Wahoo. The Wahoo disappeared during the war and it’s remains were not discovered until 2006 in La Perouse Straight. Sterling served on the ship until its final mission. Because of his book, I know what life was like on the fighting submarine my uncle, Howell Holmes served and died on. It fills in a missing piece of family history. My regret is that my dad was not alive to finally know what happened to his baby brother.

Honoring the Veterans of the Old Things R New Family

11 Nov

I would be surprised if any family did not have at least one veteran in their family tree. The Old Things R New family is proud to have served both in the military and as millitary spouses. I don’t have any flowery words, just thank you, with a heart filled with gratitude-Onisha


I found a war bracelt of my father’s while going through my mother’s papers. I have never seen a picture of one. Does anyone recognize it?


WWII Bracelet

WWII Bracelet


10 Nov
A Few Thoughts

Patricia Franklin
I’m sitting on the deck at my son’s house on the prairie near the air force base.  I am enthralled watching the “air show,” as I call it, when I am with my grandchildren.  The four air force jets are doing their “touch-and-go routine” and flying in loops above and around us as I thrill at the sight of their take-offs, landings and spiraling into the sky, a sight I never tire of every time I visit.  My grandchildren just shake their heads and try to figure out why I am so excited. It is commonplace to them and they are so used to it that they do not even notice or hear the sound of the thunderbirds above them as they play below in the safety and security of their back yard.
I have always loved, appreciated and felt very humbled by our military.  I lived through World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm, Iraq and Afghanistan. I remember when I was young and watched newsreels at the movie theater before there was TV,  and saw our troops fighting under unbelievable conditions. I remember when I was young sitting on the porch for hours and watching a huge convoy of military vehicles passing by on their way to practice maneuvers for defense of our country, protecting our freedoms and making us safe. Even now when I am home sitting in my own backyard, and when the wind is right, I can occasionally hear the sound of guns firing on the army base 20 miles away and I feel safe.
One of my greatest thrills was right after 9-11 when my daughter and I were driving up past the air force base to visit my son. As we drove past the runway, we could see one of the jets coming in for a landing. As it approached the end of the runway for the landing, it was very low and we were right underneath it.  My daughter looked up and she said “Mom, the plane is loaded!”  She could see that it was loaded with bombs underneath and ready to fire if necessary (whether they were live or not we did not know), but it was a very thrilling and impressive sight. Neither one of us felt at all threatened, but very secure and safe with the military on the job. 
I do not understand those who complain about the noise of the jets over their homes or land, or the traffic congestion when following a convoy along a busy road, or the NIMBY mentality that you hear about today.  All I can think of is that I am very grateful, appreciative and feel almost a reverence for these wonderful men and women who are willing to sacrifice their lives for our safety. I can sometimes feel tears in my eyes as my knees buckle at the sight of a military parade or uniform. I am  proud and yet humbled thinking of the hard work, discipline, commitment, and their willingness to brave anything for their love of country that leads these men and women to make the selfless decision to join the military and be prepared to fight and die for us and our freedoms.
May God Always Bless Our Military and the United States of America!

Air Show...

Air Show… (Photo credit: naathas)

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