Monday, October 22, 2007

The Neighborhood Chronicles: Winds of the Santa Ana's

Dare we tell it once again? It's a harrowing tale, to say the least. The desert sand has shifted, about twenty feet into the air. Visibility is zero and we all should stay in our castles. The local college has much damage and will not re-open till Wednesday.

The fragile roses succumbed to the gales of the Santa Ana's as did the apple tree. Nonetheless, it is the human toll we are worried about as the coastal lands of California burns the inland empire must weather the sand storms.

Here is part, but only part of the story . . .

The winds were extremely volatile this Sunday. Nevertheless the kids and Lady Gatekeeper did not want to miss out on church. We, of course, had no idea what the Santa Ana Winds could do in the desert. Visibility was zero for a few miles here and there, with breaks in between. We pressed on. The worship and the Word was exactly what Princess S., Squire Layne and Mom Gatekeeper needed.

In any case, on any given Sunday the three of us would have remained in the SD area in order for Squire L. to attend D-group at spend more time later with High School group in the evening. This however, would have meant that the journey home would not have been undertaken till around 8:30pm.

A still small voice advised us to go home right after first service. It saved our lives. That same still small voice told us to travel on the 215 instead of continuing on the 60. Again, it saved our lives though we did not know it at the time. On that journey I thought of how small my faith must be. After all, if I had faith like a mustard seed, I could part these winds or even bring them to an abrupt halt. But wait . . . I asked the Lord to lead us home and everywhere we drove the sun lit our path through the sand storm.

In any case, around 5:00pm Father and Mother had not made it back to their castle yet. Lady Gatekeeper called to find out where they were; at a friend's house was the reply. "Stay there for the night," 'twas my opinion. "Do not make the journey home." The winds were critical, so to speak. The back yard was even lost from our sight. Ho did the children of Israel survive in the wilderness/desert for 40 years? I shall never complain again.

Mother and Father decided to make the journey home as SD was not experiencing any winds. Alright then, let us shorten the story. The desert sands were lifted about 20 feet into the air, one might say. No lights to light the darkened streets. Their vehicle was tossed about like a child's toy till they could go no further. Two windows of their mini-van shattered and were carried away by the storm. Some glass shards scattered inside.

Mother found it hard to breathe, even more difficult to speak. Father had already turned into a pillar of sand but he persevered. Mother was crying over the telephone and we began to pray. At times she could only call on His name. What a powerful name.

The left back door buckled beneath the wind's power but somehow stayed attached. One could hear mother screaming over the air waves . . . then, a voice, "Follow me!!!!" A firefighter had found them, put a blanket over them. Again, "Follow me!!!" They did. They followed the light on the fire truck. God??? Lord??? She cried. "I'm here." That's what she heard. Mom started to pray for the people in vehicles behind them. They all followed. 5mph. When they finally came home their young squire was waiting for them in the wind outside the garage doors.

They were two pillars of fine sand, red clay, and shattered glass. The car is totaled, perhaps not, and the engine died when safely parked inside. They prayed that everyone behind them came out of the harrowing storm as best as they could. We shall see.

Why do good people go through bad times? Ah, my friend, to show that God is indeed in the storm with us.

We are cleaning our house from sand and getting ready for more winds and you, my friends, could pray for all those affected by the fires and the storms. Blessings.

California Fires Updates
Red Flag High Wind Warnings


Sharon Lynne said...

I'm so glad you are all safe! What a story. My friend and I were in San Diego on Saturday (viewing Dead Sea Scrolls). It's a good thing we drove home Saturday evening, because fires broke out the next day in the areas that we drove through. We would have been okay, but it might have slowed us getting back.

The Gatekeeper said...

Glad you came back. You're right it's a mess down there. The stadium where the Chargers play is now housing thousands of families. I guess over 300,000 people have been evacuated so far. I can't imagine what that's like. And it's so close.

Next time knock on my door, my friend.

Sharon Lynne said...

I need to get a map...and see where you are. I stayed on the 5 and dropped my friend off in Oceanside. Then I headed north to my parents home near Irvine to spend the night.

I'd love to come visit sometime!

Anonymous said...

Wow, Gatekeeper! The last time I talked with you all was okay...I am thankful that your parents are safe. Isn't it wonderful that they called out to the One who cares the most about them and can gather them in the palm of His hand?

I have family that lives near Irvine and works in Irvine! My cousin Bob would be related to Sharon Lynne the same way I am!!!

I am in the middle of helping a friend start her first blog, I will keep you and your family, Sharon and her family and everyone involved in my prayers...

I need to be signed out of Blogger so that is why this came in anonymous!

Janey Loree

Naomi said...

I'm glad you and your family are all safe Gatekeeper. We heard about the terrible fires. It was all over the news here. Our thoughts and prayers are with all those poor people.