Monday, December 22, 2008

Monday's Memories

The wind howled loudly that stormy December night, right before Christmas 1977. I was five months pregnant with our second child and David was 16 months old. Dread filled my heart as my husband headed out to work a graveyard shift at the Humboldt Bay Power Plant 30 miles from the little community of Rio Dell, California where we lived. The wind gusts were reported to be over 100 miles an hour. Would Mike make it safe to work? Would we be safe at home??

It was a long night alone listening to the storm outside. I tried to sleep, but it was difficult. I'm sure I heard when one of the three small redwood trees in our backyard fell. Fortunately, they did no damage to our home.

The morning light and calmer winds were a welcome sight, along with my husband home safe and sound. He said the drive to work was easy, the wind just pushed him along!! The damage in our community was great. The neighborhood store down the street lost part of it's roof. Trees fell every where, killing at least three people who were trapped in cars. We were without electricity for several days.

Christmas was coming, along with family!! Mike's brother Richard, and his wife Laurel along with daughters Elizabeth and Sarah made it up, just in time for our electricity to return. Our life was going to take a dramatic turn. It would be a wondrous change that would help us through the storms of life. That Christmas day in 1977, was the first time we attended church as a family. Laurel invited me to meet with the missionaries and we started taking lessons. We had wonderful, spiritually prepared missionaries who taught us the gospel of Jesus Christ. We were welcomed and loved into the Fortuna Ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. We were "golden" and ready to hear the Word! It is one of my most cherished and life altering Christmas time memories.


Lynne's Somewhat Invented Life said...

Cindy, this is a touching story. I hope you will put this in your personal history. When you do, show us more of your fear. Tell us how your husband got home. Did you have phone service?

Richard and Laurel were already members? Were they converts too? If so how did they find the church.

I'm just full of questions, aren't I?

Loved this. Add to it, if not here then somewhere so your kids and grandkids will have those stories.

Laurel said...

Cindy, your thoughts on that long ago Christmas brought tears and joy as I read them. There is certainly more to the story. We should both collaborate. From our end in southern California that storm almost doomed our ability to come north. It created a severe sandstorm along I-5 and closed the roads. Richard was listening to a weather report when he heard them say that they would start taking caravans through. We left home quickly so we could join in on a caravan. The sandstorm was very bad. Then roads blocked with fallen redwood trees. Sarah got so sick. No electricity until Christmas were just beginning to get dinner out of the oven when we announced that we would be going to church. I think it impressed you that we would sacrifice the first "cooked" meal after the power returned to go to church. You, Mike and David quickly joined us. That was a very happy moment for me. Even though our little ones kept us in the hall, I remember seeing the poster on the wall that said, "Keep the missionaries off the street, give them a referral." I asked you what we should do about said it would okay for them to come by. I was grateful we had some heart-to-heart talks prior to that moment. The Lord really had his hand in that storm tossed visit. We had traveled far, got you to church, got you to meet with the missionaries, then left you in the Lord's hands. I think it all turned out just right. I am grateful for that time together and all the special times we have had since. Love you.

Cindy said...

Thank you, Lynne, I truly appreciate your advice to make this story better. This is one of the reasons I'm blogging to get my life down in paper and improve my writing skills. I know that writing well is definitely one of my weaknesses, but I'm ready to turn it into a strength.

"And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them."

Good friends encourage each other. Even though we have never meet I consider you a good friend.


Cindy said...

Laurel, yes let's collaborate! That would be fun!! I didn't realize how bad it was on your end, I guess because I didn't live that part. I don't really remember the dinner part either!! But, I'm forever grateful that we went to church with you that Christmas day!!
Love ya!!

Laurel said...

I do not consider your writing a weakness. You are very good, clear, concise and show such depth that I am often in awe of what you have expressed.


Sariah said...

Thanks for sharing this story. It's one I've not heard before. I too am grateful that you were invited to church and then accepted the invitation to meet with the missionaries. Otherwise my family would not be. Love you!!

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