Tag Archives: storm

Road Trip A – Monday

Showers of Blessings …

I wrote yesterday about driving in the storm and making it to DFW at the deluge of the 1000 year storm (that happens about every 100 years they say – really? than what is the 100 year storm?). Here are a few pics I ripped from Dallas peep’s Twitter feed. they really don’t begin to give someone the feel of the intensity …

Nature has power – an intensity that reminds of of our mere weakness in its presence. Water can kill. Storms are dangerous. Tornadoes, hurricanes, Lightning storms are not to be taken lightly. In The Clash of the Titan, the words “Release the Kraken” brought dread. Nature in here power humbles mer humans. But I started think, should I fear the Kraken or really fear the one who made, who controls, the Kraken.

Know that our God, the One who loves me, who loves you – is more powerful. He moves mountains. He calms storms. He controls the winds. He walks on water. Fear Him … realize He can calm the storms but He can cause them too. Fire that destroys armies. Brimstone that levels cities. Words that blind and bind. In the end days, he return with an army – but the army is just there – His words, just His words, brings victory over the enemy.

Respect the God of Creation. Fear Him.

And at the same time … Love Him. For He also blesses.

This road trip – so far – the real shower of blessing was being with my son, my DIL, and Sammy (the grandkid who just stared at me like I was a stranger. And I am a stranger to him.) Here are some shots of that center of attention …

The only things better about these shots over outdoor shots … like trails, nature, etc… are these little one’s pictures are of someone that I will see so much more of in years to come. And I am sure that there will be lots of more photos of him. Unlike the other events, which do produce glorious pictures of awe standing before the grand Arches, of the breath taking images of bisons near me in Yellowstone, of geysers, canyons, waterfalls, and mountain tops. I love those adventures and I love the pics that bring back those memories. But I often do these spots knowing I will never return to the locations.

This got me thinking …

As wonderful as the pictures are, it is not the pictures that make the moment. Sometimes, we need to put down our cameras, breath in the moment, grasp the preciousness of a natural wonder; or as yesterday offered, grasp the tenderness, the intimacy, the wonderfulness, the very gift of being with someone, holding the child. Looking him in the eyes and not worrying about a ‘good’ shot for instagram but about the fact I am holding a creation of God – a creation with an eternal soul – a creation formed by Him.

Carpe diem – seize the day – live in the moment – take in the times.

Road trips sometimes jar us back to this. They get us from the routine and make us think.

Technology can be distraction from personal interaction. So put down the phone and just talk. Maybe use the phone – to talk, not text. Even better, FaceTime.

I don’t know. maybe the lack of sleep is getting to me. These thoughts seem scattered. But some days are like that.

Side note: I am calling this Road Trip A because I hope to visit The Badlands next month – Road Trip 2022B

Day Two – Road Trip ‘21

Day Two.

A lot more road, a lot of rain, a lot of relationships.

It was a weird night. So tired from the drive and the hike. Yet sleep eluded me. Maybe it was the distance between my love and I — or that there was more driving to do once I woke. I’m used to hotels, but this one seemed to suck out of me the ability to sleep. Finally, I pulled the sheets off the bed, covered the couch and sprawled out on it – sleep came quickly and lasted long.

Morning was great. Who doesn’t like a hotel breakfast that has been adapted for Covid – everything is individually wrapped, microwaveable, and such. It was no Granny Bees (my normal local breakfast spot.) But I count it such a blessing.

Before I headed out, I did one more round to the National Park. I realized yesterday I visited the western mountain portion of the park. While it held beautiful, more primitive trails and the highest point in the ZigZag Mountain range, it wasn’t the most visited section. So I drove back and went to the iconic Mountain Tower. The drive up the mountain was switchbacks galore – right, left, hairpin turns, and keep repeating. The altitude change wasn’t too drastic. I’ve driven the Blue Ridge/Smokies and the Rockies. I’ve visited Zion and Yosemite. But this one was wonderful too. And at the zenith of the drive was the Tower.

This historic landmark isn’t the original tower – nature, fire, wear and tear made that one replaced and updated over the years. I paid my fee, and ascended the spire. Beauty. Majestic. Calming in its grandeur. Seeing the surrounding mountain range makes one feel a spirit of tranquility – even with storm clouds, nothing took away from this moment. It and countless moments of reaching an apex and overseeing the wonder of God’s creation is one of the reasons I continue to hike up hills and bergs.

Once descended and back in the historic town, I stopped to see some actual ‘hot springs.’ I mean, its name came from them. When you read and discover the history, the legends, and the celebrities that had partook in the experience of the hot springs – it draws you into the legacy that embraces the location. It’s like I became part of the history itself. Next time – I will stay at the historic Arlington hotel.

This time, I just walked the historic zone, embracing the moment. Peg Leg was with me. He did his photo shoot and made a few friends. That’s one of the perks of traveling the National Parks – meeting people from all over. I walked for a bit with a young man from Ohio. I gave a water and shared a conversation with an elderly man from Oregon who returned to Hot Springs to visit where he grew up. I took a picture for a Colorado Springs Couple by the hot spring. West Virginia, Florida, Texas … coast to coast, border to border. Americans are not only what you see on the nightly news (riots, protests, etc.) It’s made up of wonderful, friendly, caring people. People exploring sea to shining sea.

So now the 5 hours to Dallas. Interestingly, once I got back not the road, the rain hit. Not too bad (at first), but enough to make one drive more defensively. I made the road south … and every mile, every minute, brought me closer to my destination – to see my son whom I haven’t seen since last autumn. Twice a year is all he can handle.

Once I came close – it was like the forces of nature wanted to make it a battle – torrents of rain, lightning, hail, limited visibility – the way the quick Texas storms can pop up, move around, and shake one up to the bone. At one overpass, a large wave of water came from the truck just ahead and to the left. My steady four wheeled steed was shaken and I hit a water pocket – knuckles white and prayers lifted – I was going school zone speed, but my wheels momentarily were on the top of the water and not cutting through them. With the back side of the 4Runner slipping slightly, swimming the top of the water, I hydroplaned for the briefest and longest few seconds. Maybe it was the heavier weight from carrying the oak, maybe it was my excellent driving skills (ha, not), or maybe the providential protection from our Lord – but the wheels caught and I felt myself breathing again.

I made it through and I made it to their homestead. Reunion, smiles, fist bumps (not a hugging person is genetic for both father-son.) Great conversation, great time just being together – me, son, daughter-in-law (and two dogs who dominated the conversation.) After a quick Krogers run by Calvin & I, she cooked dinner and we enjoyed the shared meal. Then, we watched Godzilla vs Kong. How is Tokyo still in existence after the many times Godzilla has destroyed that city?

The beauty of nature. The danger of nature. Both seen in the same day. And God is there in both and all between.

The legacy of locations draws one in, but in the end, these type of locations remind us there is something we are all searching for, a place to connect, a purpose for being. This existential discussion is way beyond this blog. Yet we all face it, we all yearn for something. From all over, from all walks of life – we search fo that which fulfills. And that fulfillment can only be temporarily met in creation – it is only truly fulfilled in the creator. Look beyond creation something greater.

And finally, day two reminded me we are creatures created for relationships. We need each other. (SPOILER ALERT AHEAD) – Kong realized he needed Godzilla, Godzilla realized he needed Kong. A great line – He is not your enemy. Too often we make enemies of others when they are not our enemies – they are people just like ourselves looking for something. Our enemy is not flesh and blood. We need to wake up to that fact.

Such ends the lesson from Day Two – what will tomorrow hold?

It was a dark and stormy night

The rain fell, not too hard … but solidly and occasionally with a brief exception that was forceful. The wind blew through the trees with a impact that broke through the outer layer of one’s attire and dug into the skin. This was making our few last days of Spring quite the show of nature.

And then … kabloowey … power was out. Darkness filled the house, more than normal in rural Appomattox. The church lights were off too, so no lights were coming through the windows except the occasional headlights on the road less traveled. I looked across to the neighbors houses, and they had at least one light on.

I checked websites for outages in the area … none. I contacted Dominion Power … but they’re app didn’t have a way to report an outage. So I went to their webpage and electronically let them know my little predicament.

All this is normal … but what wasn’t normal was their response. They called within a few minutes. Verifying. And I also informed them of the church outage. They told me a team was out doing another service in the area and I would be next. It was only a couple of hours, but they showed up in the storm and went to work right away. The work on replacing/repairing a transformer was in my front yard, but noise was at a minimal. I watched (from inside) but went back to sleep. On my next shake from slumber … the power had been restored.

Great service, good communication, personal contact, and a relatively swift remedy.

Life doesn’t always go so smoothly. Often, relational or circumstantial storms hit … and the impact and damage are not remedied for years. We don’t seek fixes, we wait and let things fester, and we often expect the issue to just go away – or at least the person to just go away. In church life (my circle of society), we often settle issues by moving churches.

But these Dom Power workers got out there in the storm. They took the tough road to fix the problem. They got as much information as possible and addressed the issue. They showed they cared.

I know power outages and relational issues are not the same. But I also know we could be challenged a little by the way this issue was resolved.

Maybe I am just rambling and thinking weird because I didn’t get much sleep … but maybe not.

Be angry … but don’t let the sun go down on your anger.

Have a blessed day.