Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Columbus Day Storm of 1962

Tis' getting cloudy and windy outside, herald of a storm moving in tonight. It won't be near as bad as the storm which hit the Pacific Coast Columbus Day, October 12, 1962.

I was only four, but I remember the sky overhead bubbling like a pot of stew. The clouds were an odd yellowish green color, and the trees swished with a peculiar swinging motion.

Then Mom whisked my baby sister, little brother and me, with Zat the Canary, into the house to stand in a corner next to our big oak China buffet. 

As the wind began to howl, Mom remembers she said, "Let's pray." My little brother and I instantly dropped to our knees.  I don't remember praying, but I do remember feeling totally safe--as though we were in a place where harm could not stray.  

In the living room, we watched the wind bend the glass of the wall-sized window inward, until it shattered into a million pieces. All that glass flew past us, crashing out through the big kitchen window. Miraculously we weren't touched.   

Thinking back on my memories from my child's eye view, I strongly remember the sense we were inside a warm bubble of protection. I wasn't afraid one bit.

Then there was a lull in the storm. We crawled out the back window of the bedroom and walked to the middle of the field between our house and my grandparent's home.  The wind must have began again, but I don't remember feeling it against my face.  From my child's perspective, though I could see the wind bending the trees so their tops nearly touched the earth, we were still standing inside a bubble of still air.

We remained in the middle of the field for a long time.  Poor Mumsie was afraid to go inside my grandparents' place, because of what had just happened inside our house.  Then we watched as Grandpa's two-story barn sagged to its knees. Tons of hay blew out of the peak to hang in a giant hay ball in the sky--it looked just like a huge bristling baseball. Then the top of our house peeled back like a can of sardines and flew away.

It is amazing that everyone, including Zat the Canary came through that storm in one piece.  As a kid, standing inside that warm bubble, I loved it all.

After the storm, Mom and Grandma cooked dinner on the old wood stove.  They had found meat in the freezer and had pulled fresh vegetables from the garden.  The stew was hot and good.

In the days after the storm, I have memories of sleeping in the living room listening to the music of rain dripping into cans everywhere on the floor. We didn't get our electricity back for quite awhile as I recall.

I hope we never have another storm like that one--I think I would have more sense to be afraid now that I'm an adult!!  Thinking back, I am grateful for that wonderful sense of protection.  I am convinced God's mighty power kept us from harm that stormy day.

Funny thing, I've loved storms every since.  I suppose my heart still remembers how I felt as a child during that wild storm.

Here's a link to a great website with some extraordinary stories of survival during the great Columbus Day Storm:  Memories of the Storm of 1962.

Friday, September 26, 2014

One Last Goodbye -Feline Art Friday

This is one of my cloud paintings.  I think this kitty cloud looks so much like our little friend Crickette'.

We were late for church that morning--so we were in a hurry to get out the door.  As we left, I noticed our sweet small cat sitting beside the back door, all fluffed with a shine of love in her eyes.  I had a fleeting thought of tires and thought to myself, I should put her inside before we leave.  But I didn't, because we were already pulling away from the house.  She seemed to be saying goodbye and I smiled.

Arriving home that afternoon, we didn't notice she was gone at first.  Then we realized our Crickette' was nowhere to be found.  She was usually close at hand, interested in everything we would do.

As the hours passed, and she didn't come to our calls, our heartache grew.  All through the night, every few hours, I would awaken to go out and call her name.

Monday morning, I called the police to see if they'd picked up a small grey cat.  We live near downtown, so when there is an animal fatality, the police are called.  The lady I spoke with said the police had indeed picked up a small grey cat near our home--Saturday night.  I said with such relief, "My husband and I saw her Sunday morning, so it couldn't be our cat."

But our little Crickette' still didn't come home.  When I called back, the police were doubly firm they'd found our kitty on the road Saturday evening.  

I can't explain it.  Our sweet furry friend came back to say goodbye.

When I talked to my husband about it, he said he'd seen her too that Sunday morning--all bright eyed and fluffy--and he'd also felt as though she were saying goodbye.  He just didn't realize what kind of a goodbye it would be.

I'm grateful Crickette' came back to say goodbye--if she hadn't I would have always blamed myself for not letting her into the house before we left.

I don't know how to explain what happened.  I'm just grateful to God, that it did.


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Hometown Miracle -Beating the Odds

This morning, I read about a miracle in our own hometown. It was in our local weekly newspaper, The Polk County Itemizer-Observer.  The article was written by Jolene Guzman.

In January of 2008, Tim visited his family doctor for routine physical.  Seemingly healthy, as a last minute thought, he asked the doctor to check his lungs because he'd recently developed a small persistent cough.  

Tim says, "He put his stethoscope on my chest, on my back, on my chest and on my back again.  And then he told me, 'You need to go to the hospital.'"

Tests and Cat scans revealed more than 20 tumors in his lungs.  Most were the size of dimes, nickels and quarters, but others were much larger. One tumor was even decomposing and was poisoning his body with toxins.

His diagnosis was illusive.  Because the doctors couldn't pinpoint the actual cause for the tumors, there was no treatment for Tim.  His wife remembers thinking that her husband was a dead man walking. 

"Right at the beginning we began to pray and ask God for healing."  For months, Tim, a tall athletic man who doesn't like to sit still, rested and waited upon God.

Tim called his doctor again in June.  He felt just fine.  A few days earlier he'd even stopped taking the pain medications he'd been forced to take to control his intense pain. 

Baffled, the doctor sent him in for another CAT scan.  The couple didn't get a phone call with the outcome for several days.  

The incredible reason for the delay?  Tim's doctor couldn't believe what he was seeing and had the entire case reviewed to make sure the results were real.  "The tumors have resolved," his Pulmonologist told him over the phone.  "You are getting better."

"God in His mercy reached down and touched my life and healed me," Tim says.

Miracles are happening all around us.  This dear couple's prayers and faith, resulted in God's mighty intervention.  Tim was healed.

What would happen if we sincerely prayed over the impossible things in our lives?  What if we prayed about what we see happening overseas, in our own country and communities?  Sometimes I forget to do that.  Reading this miraculous story in today's newspaper, I felt new inspiration to bring everything to God in prayer as I walk through each day.  

Then I shall look up and watch what He will do.  

Have a lovely day, sweet Friends!  Don't forget to bring all things--even seemingly impossible things--to God in prayer.  He is listening.

(Original News story, Miracle Man Keeps Beating Odds, was published in the August 20, 2014 issue of the Polk County Itemizer-Observer.  The article was written by Jolene Guzman.) 

Friday, April 4, 2014

Lights out! -SkyWatch Friday

Time for another angel story! This one comes from Charlotte, who gave me permission to tell her story.
One very dark night, Charlotte and her husband Bill were driving home through a mountainous region in California known as Malibu Canyon. In those days the road was extremely dangerous, sporting only two lanes, no guard rails or lights, with a sheer drop to the canyon floor below.
They had just driven into the most dangerous area of the road, when suddenly their car lights went out! It was a moonless, wet, wintry night, and they could not see the road ahead. With their vehicle's lights off, the oncoming cars would not be able to see them coming. It was a situation which could end in the worst kind of disaster.
Charlotte must have been terrified. She wrote, "...so I prayed for the lights to come on, and they did." Inexplicably the car's lights stayed on until they drove out of danger. When they were safely through the canyon, the lights went out again--forever.
The next day, an astonished mechanic told Charlotte's husband Bill, there was no way the lights could have come back on again--the electrical was cut clear through.
Charlotte believes there were angels holding those wires together, and writes, "...just hope they didn't singe their wings!"
Angels are indeed watching over us!

If you love clouds as much as I do--join Skywatch Friday to see all the amazing things to be found by looking up.  Have a lovely day and Happy Skywatch Friday!


Friday, March 28, 2014

Freeway Angel -SkyWatch Friday

Time for another Angel Story.  A few years ago, our good friend Ken was driving a truckload of pipe  down highway 16, Washington State.

A man pulled alongside, signaling something was wrong with his load, so Ken slowed and stopped on the shoulder of the highway.  The man also stopped and together they tightened down the ropes holding the pipes in place.  Suddenly Ken didn't feel very well and he had to sit down.

Then he lost consciousness.  Ken was having a major heart attack.  His helpful new friend called 911 and began to administer CPR.  Later the paramedics couldn't recall what the man looked like, or where he went once they took over.  He and his vehicle simply vanished.

Ken's family was heartbroken when the doctors told them tests revealed that there was no brain activity.  Ken was moved to hospice where they expected him to die. But my husband and I and hundreds of people all over the world were praying for a miracle.

He was in a coma without any brain activity for quite a long time.  Then came the day the family was approached about organ donation.  The doctors told them Ken would never recover because he was brain dead.  But the family decided to wait.  Weeks went by, we were all afraid he was going to die.

Meanwhile, his youngest daughter had been feeding him ice chips.  When she would place the ice in his mouth, he would swallow the water.  The nurses discouraged her from doing so, they said she was prolonging the inevitable.  But that dear girl kept on giving her Dad the ice.

I'm not sure how much more time passed, but one day when the family came to visit they found an empty bed.  They feared the worst.

Imagine their astonishment when they found Ken alive and well in the small hospice cafeteria, eating mashed potatoes, gravy and turkey.  He could walk and talk--he knew his family and he was hungry.

He actually had to stay in Hospice a few extra days because there was no paperwork in existence to check someone OUT of hospice!  We all had a pretty good laugh over that.

We still see him from time to time--he is healthy, hale and hearty.

If that man hadn't signaled something was wrong with the load of pipes, Ken wouldn't have pulled over.  He could have had a heart attack while he was driving.  Others could have been hurt.  If the man hadn't been there to call 911 and administer CPR, our friend might not have made it.

An angel?  I believe it is possible.

To be called brain dead one day and yet awaken with one's brain intact is miraculous.  God is still in the business of miracles! 

If you love clouds as much as I do--join Skywatch Friday to see all the amazing things to be found by looking up.  Have a lovely day and Happy Skywatch Friday!


Thursday, March 20, 2014

Angels in the Sky -SkyWatch Friday

Two weeks ago yesterday, I was working on the computer when the smoke alarm went off.  At first I thought it was something in the kitchen, but then I realized it was our wood stove and there was a chimney fire.

I yelled for my husband to call 911.  Then I grabbed a bucket, filled it with water and doused the fire in the wood stove.  As I shut it up tight, a plume of steam raced up the chimney.  This was the best thing I could have done, I'm told, as the steam likely slowed the fire down until the fire trucks could get there.

In fact, the fireman told us the wall was minutes away from bursting into flame.  A miracle indeed.

A couple nights after the fire, I could not sleep.  I wandered the house, not knowing why I did.  I noticed an awful aroma in the back of the house--it smelled like rotten beetles.  It took me a bit to discover the aroma came from closet under the stairway, and when I opened the door there was smoke.  Apparently one of the breakers in the breaker box there had overheated and melted.  It was likely on fire, but contained by the metal box.  My husband was able to contain it and we were safe.  This was totally unrelated to the chimney fire.  Again, we were protected.

The next morning as the cleaning crew arrived, I saw some amazing clouds in the sky, so I ran outside to take a few pictures.  Later as I looked at the photos on my computer I was astonished to see what looked like two angels hovering over the trees.

Here is a closeup of them.  Astonishing, isn't it?  With the events of the past three weeks, I am just sure they are our guardian angels.

If you love clouds as much as I do--join Skywatch Friday to see all the amazing things to be found by looking up.  Have a lovely day and Happy Skywatch Friday!