Categories
My Home Weather/Nature

Alone in the Snowstorm

We have only one car, so when Jerry left on that Thursday for San Diego, the plan was that Rebecca would pick me up here and I would go down with her for the party. On Friday, the massive snow storm moved in…and I was alone here in Crestline until Sunday evening, when Jerry finally made it back. We knew there was a chance of snow, for it had been forecast, but its intensity was unknown.The storm was fierce; on highway 18, they were checking identification, and only local residents could travel into the mountains. Rebecca wouldn't be allowed to come for me. She couldn't have made it anyway, for she has a small non four-wheel drive car and no chains.

Alone for the snow storm. What was that like?

Let me say right away that I was not scared. I am blessed with a calm nature, and I don't commonly experience fearfulness. I certainly am not afraid to be alone, for Jerry's plan and mine was that I would be here by myself from Thursday to Saturday morning.

I was desperately trying to finish my book, so my being here for a couple of days while Jerry visited with his sisters appealed to me in that regard. My overwhelming reaction, though, when the massive snow started falling, was that I wanted Jerry here so we could enjoy it together. Our phone lines buzzed as I tried to describe to my family the beauty of the storm, and my excitement.

We people are made in such a way that we want to connect to others, especially in times of joy and when overwhelming beauty surrounds us. We have the need to talk about it and to share the wonder. I wanted Jerry here and my children and the grandchildren, so we could be awed together.

Numerous icicles began forming outside our kitchen window, lace curtains, whose points of ice shimmered at dawn. Visible from our bedroom window, alongside the chimney, a massive icicle grew; its final length measuring over 7 feet long, width exceeding 12 inches. A monster. As is common with mountain houses, we have many windows. As the storm mounted, I wandered from room to room and gazed on the incredible beauty–beauty that changed by the hour. The wide branches of our trees were garbed with blue-white dazzle. The snow was powder, and from the front window, I watched as wind from the lake dipped and lifted,sculpting ridged mounds as though to replicate Glamis sand dunes. The patio table on the deck off the study became a meringue pie, ever increasing until, several days later when the snow finally ceased, the pie's depth was three or more feet. Twenty feet high drifts on highway 18 were reported, so that at times, they had to block the highway and plow away more snow. I slept little, rising often to turn on the yard lights to gauge the storm's progress.

"Swirling snow in the air in San Diego", Steve reported.

"Hail in our yard, Mom," said Rebecca from San Bernardino.

"Cold in Lake Havasu," reported Mike.

"Are you alright?" phoned Nancy.

Ken came over, took the co-owned snow plow from our garage and cleared enough driveway for Jerry to drive into the garage.

"I'll be home on Sunday evening," Jerry said. And so he was, pulling safely into the garage at twilight.

In the evening, we turned on the globed outside lights, and against their beams, we could see that snow had begun to fall again. I had stood at that same spot for days, and it had been spectacular–but now it was better. Jerry was here. I grinned at him as I turned from the window to share my joy. "It's snowing, Jerry!"

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Uncategorized

The Manuscript Is Mailed!

Yes! Glory to God, hallelujah, thank you Jesus. On Thursday, with a mere computer click I sent the completed manuscript of Link to Excellence to Matt, my graphic artist!  He will make it camera ready, finish the covers, and then do the liaison work with New York where the books will be printed.

YES!! iT IS FINISHED.

Categories
My Home Travel

Of Travel and Arizona

It is been too many days since I wrote for this site, for I have been extremely busy preparing my book–Link to Excellence–to send to the printer. That had to be my priority, and it was, along with preparation for the marriage seminars Jerry and I would be teaching in Phoenix, Arizona. We are in Phoenix now in the Crown Plaza Hotel and the seminars are behind us. We each taught two sessions on Friday evening, and one each on Saturday. Jerry will preach in both services today at Christ Temple pastored by Gary Hogan, tomorrow morning we will drive to Lake Havasu to visit Mike, then home on Tuesday.

At my last post, I had promised to write the next day concerning emotional reactions to being alone at our house in Crestline during that massive snowstorm. I will write about that today, although this is a strange place to be writing about snow, I will assure you. The exterior of this hotel is painted with what are commonly referred to as "southwest" colors, cactus plants anchor the landscaping theme, and our thermomenter in our car registered 80 degrees on our arrival date.

Sunday, March 26th
I can't seem to stay up with this blog as there are so many other things vying for my attention.

In Phoenix last Sunday, a weather system moved in and when we left the hotel to go to our car, the temperature was 44 degrees. I was freezing as I had not taken warm clothes to Phoenix.

Services were great on Sunday; as usual, we enjoyed being with our friends the Hogans tremendously.

On Monday, we drove to Lake Havasu to visit with Mike and Mel. They cooked a memorable meal, a prime rib cooked for an hour, then the oven turned off, and just before meal time, cooked another hour or so, I believe. It was scrumptious. I think it is accurate to refer to Melina as a gourmet cook, and she is always trying new things. Not me, I stick with the (probably tired) "tried and true". It's always fascinating to see what we will eat when we are at Mike and Mel's. They both cook; Mike does lots of grilling–in fact, he cooked the vegetables to go with the prime rib on a cooker outside.

Early Tuesday, we headed for home, for more challenging weather was predicted and we wanted to be there before dark. Again, massive snow faced us as we approached our driveway–probably 6 to 8 inches fell while we were in Arizona. Jerry reved up the faithful Jeep Cherokee, we slipped around a little bit as the tires dug into our upward sloping driveway, then we were at the top…and into the garage.

Home…again.

Categories
My Home Uncategorized

Snowbound!

It’s been a wild few days here in Crestline, unlike any I have ever before experienced. I have been snowbound! Started like this.

Yesterday, down in San Diego was to have been a birthday party for Sophia, Jerry’s sister who turned 80. We were excited about it–all our children would be there, and Jerry’s sister Rete flew out from Louisiana for the shindig. However, last Sunday, Sophia became ill, and when the paramedics arrived, they whisked her off to the hospital. Turned out to be a medication interaction problem, and she stayed in the hospital for several days to adjust the dosage of various meds. By Tuesday evening, her son had called off the birthday party.

Our immediate family consulted and decided to throw a BBQ on Saturday at Steve’s house–since the children had already adjusted their calendars for Sophia’s party, and we hadn’t been together since Christmas, and we needed to do some work on our 50th anniversary reception, and anyway Jerry’s birthday was today, March 12th. A BBQ on Saturday, the 11th, at Steve’s house in San Diego would work just fine.

Jerry drove to San Diego on Thursday morning to visit with his two sisters, leaving me here to work on the final edit of my book, Link to Excellence.Since we only have one car, Rebecca would come for me on Saturday morning and she, Nathaniel and I would drive down for the weekend activities.

On Friday, a fierce Alaskan storm moved in, and we are covered with snow, I mean covered. The internet news service has reported 20 feet high drifts on Highway 18, which at times had to be closed to clear away the snow before any more vehicles could pass through. Rebecca’s car is small, not a 4-wheel drive and she has no chains. There was no way for her to get up here…so until a few hours ago, since Thursday, I have been alone. Snowbound!

I’m not of a fearful nature and have no trouble spending nights alone when it is necessary, but still, it is unusual for me to spend several days by myself. Jerry and I typically travel together, so I am rarely here alone. My snowbound days have been an interesting emotional mix.

Tell you more about them tomorrow.

At the back of the house, is the study where I work. It’s far wall is of sliding glass that opens to a deck with steps down to the back yard. A minute ago, I walked to the glass, turned on the flood light and watched again as silent snow yet falls in Crestline, California.

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My Home Uncategorized

Pentecostal Road Warriors

It was after dark when we drove into our garage Monday night, completing nearly three weeks of travel time which included Jerry and me speaking at two marriage seminars and Jerry’s preaching at three churches. We also attended the ladies conference at the Doubletree which I have already mentioned, and another conference at the Rock Church in Sacramento. It has been a busy, but delightful few days.

 It was cold, and I was hoping for snow as we drove up the mountain, but the only strong elements that presented themselves were heavy rain and milkshake thick fog. Winter is my favorite season, with fall running a close second, summer next and then spring. One thing I enjoy about mountain living are the distinct seasons, each season coming with its own particular beauty, admittedly though, presenting a challenge or two on occasion. None that night though, at least after we had maneuvered through the fog. Near the sun visor in our Jeep Cherokee, Jerry’s finger pushed a button, the garage door opened, lights flashed on and we were home.

 As is advised by the water company here in Crestline, Jerry had turned off the water when we left. Before we unloaded the car, he went into the basement part of the house, turned on the water and adjusted upward the water heater.We each carried a load of stuff as we went into the cold house, luggage, shopping bags, books and such. We turned up the thermostat, and shortly thereafter warm air filled our home. It was great to be here. I love traveling–and I love coming home.

There are 13 steps coming out of the garage into our house, and after we had each made a couple of trips up, we elected to leave the remainder in the car until the morning. We pawed through the mail we had picked up at Rebecca’s, wandered around a bit, cherishing our home, took baths and plopped ourselves into bed.

Hospitality has been a highlight of this trip, and I want to write about that later, but for this night, the best place to be was home.

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Uncategorized

Of the Spirit and the Bay Area

It has been an exciting few days up here in Sacramento and in the San Francisco Bay area. The northern ladies conference was powerful, and Michael’s speaking had the same profound impact on mothers whose children are wayward as it did in the south. On Friday night, Mike’s daughter, Jessica, drove up from Hanford to be with us. In the Saturday morning service as Ron Mullings preached, the Holy Ghost fell on Jessica and on her sister-in-law, Elizabeth, who had come with her. It was the first time Elizabeth had ever been in a Pentecostal service and she had never seen anyone receive the Holy Ghost. As she stood by me, I felt her begin to tremble until she was shaking all over as does an aspen tree in an autumn breeze. Within minutes, she too, was speaking in tongues. I thought Mike would die from happiness.

 On Saturday afternoon, Jerry and I traveled to Hayward and checked into our motel which is conveniently located just across the street from the church. The services on Sunday were wonderful. Ron and Ericka Hall who pastor here have done a tremendous job; the church is packed with people, vibrant worship and a great anointing. Jerry preached on Sunday morning, no one preached on Sunday night, and at 7:00 yesterday, we held the first session of our family conference here. They are calling it Give Relationships a Break. Jerry taught two sessions, I presented an “icebreaker” and one session on Scars. My lesson on Scars is rather a heavy lesson, but a timely and helpful one, I pray. The evening was concluded with a combined session of men and women where Jerry taught a beautiful lesson on Vows.

After teaching a final marriage session on Tuesday in Hayward, we packed up our things and drove to Fairfield which was an hour or so away.

All persons are born searching and some blessed persons learn before they die that it is only God–it is only Jesus Christ–who is the object of their striving and grasping. It is a soulish thing–one that cannot be fully explained.

Walk in the Spirit today and always. 

Categories
Children

Of Michael and Me

…or is it Michael and I? Never can get those two things straight, but for today it will be Michael and Me. Like the way the two Ms sound and look.

Michael is my second born son. Steve was first and when he was 22 months old, Michael was born. Steve has lovely olive skin and matching dark eyes and hair. He has always been precocious and was quite the little man when his brother was born. Probably my favorite picture of Steve is the one where he is wearing a derby hat; his eyes sparkle and his grin is of the "catch me if you can" variety". I recall well his clowning that day and playing to the photographer. They loved him and snapped a large number of frames. Smart people, the photographers, for they know when the mamas and daddies see their sweethearts in such charming poses, money will exchange hands and many picture packets will be clutched by the parents as they leave the studio.

Michael was fair skinned with blue eyes and a bald head when he was born, which a few months later sprouted blond curls. Those boys of mine were so charming, but with such different coloring, people more than once asked me if they were indeed brothers.

For the benefit of the readers of these pages who do not know me, I need to tell you that I am a Christian, of the Pentecostal variety; that I was born to a preacher, and that I married a preacher. God, His people and the work of the church are at the core of my existence. God is of utmost importance and significance, for He shapes my earthly life and prepares me for the next. I plan to spend it in Heaven with Him and with all who have prepared themselves to go there.

Michael grew into adulthood and strayed from the teachings of the Bible. Always a good person, he did not reject the Bible and his childhood training, just didn't live it out. He built a very large business and became quite successful. Last August, through a series of incidents that I will write about some day, he "came to his senses," changed his direction and is now walking with God.

Last Friday, I spoke a lesson to the women in a ladies conference–a lesson of faith and hope concerning their children. Michael concluded the session with the testimony of recovery from his stumbling steps. His words "brought the house down" because of his deep-felt passion and his obvious sincerity. It ministered to many mothers whose sons and daughters also need new direction.

Today, Michael and I fly to Sacramento. Tomorrow we address another group of ladies with the same beautiful and thrilling story. He flies out of Las Vegas, I from Ontario, CA.

"Kill the fatted calf," cried the father when he saw the prodigal. "My son has come home!"

Categories
My Home Weather/Nature

Maybe, just maybe, we’ll have winter

It's cold this morning, and when I look toward the lake through the front window, I see whipping trees; through the blowing fog, I can barely see Ken and Nancy's house and the thermometer hanging just outside our kitchen says 34 degrees. We probably won't walk our laps today. When we're home we're pretty consistent about walking–two laps nearly every morning, and we try to get in two in the late afternoon. That gives us around 3 miles for the day. When we travel we are lax about our walking schedule, though. Not sure why, because we easily could do our walking/exercise almost anywhere we are.

It's snug and cozy inside our house, although Jerry hasn't built a fire yet. Actually he got up before I did today, so when I came down the three steps from our bedroom, the aroma of coffee pleasantly assaulted my nostrils. We're in the study which is at the back of the house; he's checking out the news on his laptop. A sliding door leads from this room to a deck outside, so we have great views from this room also.

Although there are a few nubbins of discomfort, God has blessed me with a remarkable and wonderful life. Our four children and their spouses and children are such blessings and joy to us. God-fearing people, these four of ours, they not only are making an impact in the kingdom of God, but they are just decent people–good neighbors and upstanding citizens who pay their bills and treat folks right.

When I'm home, my days are filled with writing and doing the chores which demand my attention that day. I work long hours for I am blessed with stamina and energy and I love my work–most of it. 🙂 I also look forward to going to bed. Our bed is very comfortable; years ago I bought knit sheets and now will have nothing else. Although I have two other sets of sheets for our bed, I almost never put them on–just leave the bed bare until those knit sheets have gone through the laundry. We turn off all heat at night and cover ourselves with one down comforter and press our heads into the down pillows. Often, if I'm really tired, and it feels so good to be there, I thank God for such a comfortable snuggy den in which Jerry and I sleep. I doze off thinking of the wonderful morning I will have. Usually I am alone for an hour or so every morning, thinking, praying, and reading. It's a blessed life I lead.

Hope yours is too.

Categories
Holidays Uncategorized

Happy Valentine’s Day

Jerry bought me a dozen beautiful red roses yesterday and a funny card. In June we will have been married 50 years! Quite an accomplishment, I would say.

Jerry is not the typical husband. He doesn’t forget special days and often buys me presents. He also does it with a sense of love and of not being forced to do something special because it is a certain day. He is a sweetheart.

Jesus Christ is the greatest lover of all. He loved each of us so much that He left the splendors of glory, robed Himself in humanity and came to earth. The ones He came to save, crucified and reviled Him. Nevertheless, He shed His sinless blood for you and for me–for all of us.

 Quite a valentine story. The love of this Saviour of ours.

Blessings.

Categories
My Home

Welcome…to myself

Hello to all my family and friends and to visitors who have come this way. This is my first blog and although I have thought about doing it for some time, I have not until now. I’m really excited about it.

 Jerry and I travel extensively and through the years, I have often kept journals of our travels. Now I will do it on this blog and share it with all of you.

 As most of you know, we live in Crestline, CA. Our home is at 5000 feet in the San Bernardino Mountains. We have lived here five years, and I absolutely love it here. This year, though, we are having Spring instead of winter. There are blooming daffodils in our front yard, the roses and fruit trees are budding. We receive around 40 inches of rain annually, but so far we have had only one heavy rain and our total is less than eight inches.  Although we have had some cold weather, we have enjoyed very warm weather at times. It is probably close to 60 degrees right now. Whether cold or warm, these mountains are splendid. I look out our large windows and feel so grateful that I live here. We are only fifteen miles from the valley where is San Bernardino and Riverside. Travel up the mountains those few miles and it is as though one enters into a new world.

I’m flying up to Sacramento Thursday for our northern ladies conference and we won’t be home until the 6th of March.

Blessings to all of you, whether covered by the massive snow in the east, or reveling in the balmy weather of southern California.