A Memorable Trip Across The Desert~ Part 1

23 Apr

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites




Our last day in San Diego was December 30, 1957. DiVoran and I were in our shorts and tee shirts loading a 4’x 6’ trailer and our 1950 Mercury Sedan with everything we owned. As usual, I had waited until the last minute to finish the last of the packing and we were working up a sweat trying to get on the road before dark. A thick fog rolled in around 5:00 PM, which made for eerie working conditions. As it turned out, it was almost midnight before we left San Diego, headed for “Route 66” and Albuquerque, New Mexico. The U.S. Navy had given me ten days leave before I was to ship out for Japan, and I was taking DiVoran to live with her parents, and attend beauty school while I was gone.1                                               

The first few hours passed without a hitch, but as we got into the Arizona Mountains, the outside temperature became frigid and the temperature gage in the car crept over toward the “Cold” peg. Evidently, the previous owner of our Mercury had removed the thermostats from the cooling system, and I didn’t know it. Guess what?   No heater. We started covering up with everything we could lay our hands on, but were still freezing cold. As we entered the desert, on the eastern side of the mountains, I noticed the temperature gage had started moving off the “Cold” peg, and was slowly climbing toward “Normal”. That was not a good indication. That’s when I started looking for one of the many “Trading Post/Filling Stations” that were spaced at intervals along Route 66 back in those days.



Lucky for us, we came upon a “Filling Station” just before the needle reached the “Hot” peg. We stopped to see what the problem was, but the station was closed. We were on our own. Here we were out in the middle of the desert; it was pitch dark, and we hadn’t seen a car on the road (going either way) for miles, and now, no mechanic to help diagnose the problem. Did I mention it was freezing cold?   Well, once I lifted the hood, it didn’t take long to figure

out what was wrong. One of the two water pumps had sprung a leak. What could we do?

The station had a water hose that we used to fill the radiator, and we always carried two full “emergency” water bags slung over the front bumper.




—–To Be Continued—–


100 Years and Counting….

22 Apr
Today we are pleased to have our friend Patricia Franklin on Old Things R New. It is so good to have her back for the day~Onisha
Patricia Franklin
A Few Thoughts 

Easter Morning!  I’m sitting here in my backyard contemplating and marveling at the meaning of Easter and realizing He really does make all things new! 
There is new growth on my rose bushes. The new blossoms are out on the tree and a brand new baby squirrel explores the branches and discovers the delicate new growth and enjoys the sweet taste for the very first time. There are new blossoms on the strawberries in the garden and plenty of new weeds and dandelions that popped out since our much needed wet spring snow of two days ago. 
But I have been impatiently waiting  to see if our 100 + year old plant will grow this year in our garden. We brought this plant several years ago from the old family home and transplanted it here.  It was very sparse last year, and we were not sure it would make it another year.  Yesterday, I spotted little dark green leaves coming up in the garden spot. Was that the beginning of this special plant, or just another weed taking over the area?
This morning after greeting the newly risen Christ at church, I hurried home and ran to the garden spot to search again for the new life of the plant.  Lo and behold, three strong green leaves were open and reaching for the sun (Son) !!  It is not a weed, it is the 100 year old plant…. alive and well!  I realize again, He really does make all things new on this Day of Days!  Praise God!

Asparagus and the Cat

21 Apr

My Take

DiVoran Lites


Author, Poet and ArtistI just got home from the grocery store. Even though Bill’s not here, I just had to buy some asparagus. Have you seen the email that says asparagus cures cancer? The smell you get jn the bathroom after eating it is actually its detoxification properties. Bill knows a man who was at death’s door and had all kinds of chemotherapies who was healed by it. I haven’t believed it before, but now for some unfathomable reason I do. I got the email again this week and printed it out for a friend.

Miracle foods abound. Some, like coconut oil, we may not have thought about. But now it too, is the talk of the town. Our internist who was a locally famous doctor told us to start using coconut oil, but I didn’t know how to use it. I bought a book by a woman who used it to slow her husband’s Alzheimer’s. She was a doc and she documented the whole thing. She could tell by his memory when she had given it to him and when she hadn’t. But she fed him large amounts I didn’t think I could handle. Lately I’ve been scrambling an egg in about a teaspoon of it every morning, which is, I understand, is not nearly enough coconut oil.

So anyhow, on his trip, Bill likes to go to Marie Callender’s for breakfast. He’s been telling me over the phone about their Eggs Benedict and how much he loves to order the dish for breakfast. They have soft buns that don’t get soggy, tomatoes, avocados, eggs, and of course hollandaise sauce. I’ve heard about hollandaise sauce for years, but I’ve never known what was in it.

Well, here are some synchronicities. Today I got an email about over a hundred things coconut oil can do for you and what you can do with it. It’s good for skin and for healing on the inside. The site has delicious sounding recipes, like chocolate coconut clusters that are actually good for you. So here’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to make for my cat, Jasmine, some soup. I’ll call it allergy soup because she suffers from terrible skin problems. The soup will have asparagus, coconut oil, and beef broth. I’ll use canned asparagus for her, which is perfectly acceptable. I’ll put in her arnica Montana (that’s a homeopathic for pain) and her skin irritation homeopathic, and her animal probiotic. I think she’ll love it and it will have a healing effect on her. For me, it’s hollandaise on asparagus and dark cocoa coconut clusters. You can find those and a whole lot of other good things on www.wellnessmama.com. I get my homeopathics from www.1800homeopathic. That’s good stuff!


“Dear Friend-I hope all is well with you and that you are as healthy in body as you are strong in spirit.” 3 John 1-2 (New Living Translation)

Easter 2014

20 Apr


 Judy Wills

I really love Christmas!  All the brisk weather (in the colder climes), the Christmas trees and wreaths.  The decorations.  But especially the music.  It’s so much fun to hear and sing – both sacred and secular.  It’s such a special time of year.

But for me – and all of Christianity – Easter is the very, VERY best!  Of course, Christmas had to come first – to bring the Christ Child into this world.  But Easter brings us eternal life…and that beats the socks off a fun, cute song any day!

The songs associated with Easter are so exciting – and uplifting – and inspiring – and so full of hope and promise.  They tell of Christ’s death, yes, but also of that glorious moment when HE AROSE!  Can you imagine it?  God’s power is so tremendously great that He actually raised Jesus from death back into life!  Amazing!!  It’s so easy to just say…He arose.  But just think of it – He actually rose FROM THE DEAD BACK TO LIFE!  That never happened to anyone else, that didn’t physically die again.  Our Savior lives again and still, and forever.

There’s a lot of anti-Christian stuff going on right now, that borders on persecution.  Yes, I know – I really haven’t a clue what true persecution is like.  But this is the most anti-Christian attitude in this country that I’ve ever felt.  And it doesn’t feel good.

Seems like every Easter there is something that happens to a church here or there that actually backfires on the perpetrators.  For instance, when we lived in Panama City, Florida back in the 1970′s, there was a Lutheran church who put up a “tomb/cave” on their front lawn every Easter.  They would have a “stone” rolled across the front, that on Easter morning was “rolled away” to reveal the open/empty tomb.  One year, the whole thing disappeared!  Turns out, some teenagers, on a dare, took it away.  So, instead of harming the message – the newspaper got ahold of the story – took pictures and all – and it made the front page news!  Backfire, see?

And then when we lived in a small town in Virginia, our church had put up some sort of display on our front lawn – and some of the “soldiers” disappeared.  Same thing – the city newspaper (and possibly the TV stations in town) got wind of the disappearance, and interviewed the Pastor about it.  Again, it made the headlines and news stories.  The culprits were found and the soldiers returned.  Another backfire.

All that to say that I am convinced that there is still a remnant of believers in this country, and that God will honor those who still trust Him.  What is done in the dark will be brought to light – and God’s name will be glorified.




Happy Easter!






Teodor Flonta~Memories of Easter in Transylvania

19 Apr

On Facebook today my friend, Teodor Flonta shared  his childhood Easter traditions growing up in Romania during a Communist regime. With his gracious permission, I am sharing them with you~Onisha Ellis

From Teodor


to all my friends from around the world with #Tasmanian eggs coloured with onion skin, just as my Mama used to do long time ago when I was a little boy in #Transylvania! You can read an excerpt from ‘A Luminous Future’ about my Easter there.

Mama borrowed an old Bible from Piţurca, the only one in the whole village, and started reading to me in the evening. On Thursday night, we would creep into the church, terrified that we would be seen and reported to Comrade Petroi. The church was dimly lit. We would sit on the cold and hard floor in front of the altar, jumping at any slight flicker of the shadows. Father Iordan said that we were like the early Christians, who had to practise their religion in secret. At the end, we would leave only after checking that nobody was on the road. This went on until Easter Thursday, when we were allowed to hammer on the toaca until sunset, to announce the death of Christ. The toaca was a 20cm wide board on a 2m pole in the church courtyard. After sunset, neither hammering on the toaca nor the ringing of bells was allowed until Sunday, the day of the Resurrection.

On Easter Sunday women placed little baskets full of coloured hard-boiled eggs and cross-shaped loaves of white bread in front of the altar for the blessing. The children, dressed in white shirts, took the first Communion in front of the congregation. However, the spectacle we were waiting for was to come later in the church courtyard during the frenzied egg-cracking competition. We wrapped one hand across our egg, exposing only the pointy end, and hit each other’s eggs hard. If your egg cracked, you lost your egg.

“Mircea, I bet I can take away your eggs,” I challenged him outside the church.

He gave me a push and responded, “Try this, smarty.”

I tried and lost.

“You want to try another one?” he asked.

I suspected he was so confident because there was something fishy about his egg. So I accepted the challenge, pulling out from my pocket my special egg. I hit hard and a funny, thick sound, not at all like the sound of an egg cracking, was the result.

What did you do, stupid? You have a wooden egg,” said Mircea.

I ran away laughing.

“And yours is filled with pitch. I could hear it,” I said.


Transylvanian born Teodor Flonta is a retired academic, author of ‘A Luminous Future’ – a memoir about life under Communism in the 1950s and 60s – and of multilingual proverb dictionaries and apps (available on iTunes and Google). He lives in Tasmania, Australia, with his wife, Ariella, surrounded by beautiful grandchildren.


You can find Teodor’s books on:  AMAZON   BARNES AND NOBLE


  Even Nature Worships

18 Apr

From My Heart

Louise Gibson

author of Window Wonders



I look through my kitchen window each day,
seeking, as I always do-
All the signs of God’s presence
in the soul-stirring scene that I view.


It never ceases to amaze me
that His presence is everywhere.
The Easter Lilies are radiant-
postural, as though in prayer.


They are programmed to bloom at Easter,
then close for another year.
Their role is to glorify the Savior-
then silently disappear.


Springtime is a season
of new life with a goal.
New leaves are forming, flowers are budding-
there is a stirring in my soul.



I read an interesting quote this week by Max Lucado that I would like to share with you.

 “Next time a sunrise steals your breath, or a meadow of flower leaves you speechless, remain that way and say nothing, and listenas Heaven whispers, “Do you like it?  I did it just for You,”


Do You Like Books or Love Books

14 Apr

My Take

DiVoran Lites

Author, Poet and ArtistAbout a year ago, I started taking a family consisting of Mother, Laura, two-year-old Sunny, teen-aged cousin, Rita, and fifth grader, Clarisse, to the library every three weeks. I did it because Rita is an avid reader, but lost a book from the high school library and couldn’t check out any more until it was found or paid for (which eventually happened). I understood what it might be like not to have anything to read because I too am an incurable reader, though until recently I’ve only been able to read LP books.

The first time we went, Rita selected so many books that when she stacked them she had to hold them at arm’s length. She placed her chin on the top one to steady the stack. That was an endearing sight.

We went again this last Sunday, but this time I was the greedy one. I checked out six novels and three non-fiction books from the NEW bookshelves. Books are almost as important as shelter or clothing to a writer.


  1. The Fever Tree, Jennifer McVeigh
  2. Lookaway, Lookaway, by Wilton Barnhardt.
  3. The Cleaner of Chartres, by Salley Vickers
  4. Tapestry of Fortunes, by Elizabeth Berg
  5. A Nearly Perfect Copy, by Allison Amend
  6. One Glorious Ambition, by Jane Kirkpatrick.


  1. Smart Chefs Stay Slim: Lessons in eating and living from America’s best chefs, by Allison Adato.
  2. This is the Story of A Happy Marriage, by Ann Patchett
  3. To the Moon and Timbuktu, by Nina Sovich,

So that’s the list of what I have to look forward to. I feel rich. I teased Rita a bit when I showed her I had more books this time than she did. She was proud to announce that she left a few she wanted, knowing they would be there the next time she came back. Oh, yes? I’m not so sure about that, I wasn’t taking any chances this time.

Do you have your books in the public library? We have ours in two libraries in our county and in the Orlando Public Library as well. Bill just asked and they took them. You never lose by giving things away. God always gives more than we do, and some people read so many books they can’t possibly afford to buy them all. I understand Amazon Kindle has a lending policy, as well. There are a lot of benefits to being open-handed. “Do to others as you would have them do to you.”



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!






How to Overcome Insecurities

12 Apr

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight
Janet Perez Eckles

As a teenager, I wish I had known how to overcome not only insecurities, but self-doubt and timidity, too. Like my monogrammed purse, I carried them everywhere. You would expect that at my age, I would have conquered them. Not so.

“It’s upside down, hanging on the pole,” hubby said as he stood looking out the patio door. “It ate all the bird seed.”

“What did?” Curiosity sparked in me.

When he told me it was a possum, I cringed. Although they’re God’s creatures, I dislike them more than a little. They rip our garbage bags, eat the eggs cute ducks lay, and ruin our yard. And to make it more disgusting, the bird seed we prepared for the birdies were now feeding the very creatures I so dislike. Yuck!

But sadly, that wasn’t the only time I fed something I disliked. I had been a pro at feeding my insecurities with lies—my friends won’t accept me if I say something wrong. Why try something new, I’ll surely fail.

- See more at: http://www.janetperezeckles.com/how-to-overcome-insecurities/#sthash.s4DLVaLv.dpuf

His Way







Grateful for the privilege of inspiring you…

My website in English

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My story (video)

Inspirational video  just for you

Stop That Thief

11 Apr

From My Heart

Louise Gibson

author of Window Wonders




His name is “Procrastination”-
a robber of the worst kind.
He will steal precious possessions,
Such as your coveted “peace of mind”.

He whispers lies so subtly
You may be totally unaware
“You can put that off ’till tomorrow-,
Who will know?, “Who will care?”

Opportunities to be successful
are often few and far between!
Be alert to the possibility
that today is the day to be seen.

No successful person is a ” procrastinator”.
Time is of the essence, don’t you see-
“Today is the Day of Salvation”
Proclaims the Lord of Eternity.

If you pile up enough “tomorrows”,
You end up with a lot of empty yesterdays.
Turn your eyes upon Jesus-
He will help you change your ways.

“Tomorrow” is the most deadly word in the Bible.
It is presumptuous, it is reckless-
The word God prefers is “Today”-
Turn your eyes to Jesus, dear friend-
” He is the Truth, the Light, the Way”.

Hebrews 3:13 warns us to exhort one another
“while it is called “Today”


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