Saturday, June 1, 2013

Miracle In The Desert: The Story Of Andrew And Thelma

Miracle In The Desert:  The Andrew and Thelma Story
   
We lived in Colorado Spring for 7 months...while Billy was finishing up his 2 years in the army....then came back home and lived in town for 7 years...then we decided to build in the country...and Billy found us this beautiful rolling hills 'field' that we call Round Knob Canyon...with no road or anything else that connected to civilization and we broke ground in the spring of 1974. 



One of our first visitors to our field  :-) was an old man on a tractor...wielding some fence building equipment...and his name was Andrew Reineking.  Billy was here working on this particular day....early on...before we had hardly done anything...and he was putting up fence to surround our property....and here came good old Mr Andrew with an outstretched hand and hours to spare...and he was ready and wanting to help....from that day on...Billy and Andrew were thick as mud....

The kids always loved going over to visit the Reinekings...because they were so different from most folks...even way back then.  They did absolutely everything the old fashioned way and from scratch.....they believed in spending lots of time just setting talking....alone/together and with visitors....and they had NO TV....
Family had given them one or two over the years and along the way....but it was Andrews theory that TV takes away from family time and relationships....so he would never allow one to stay.

I can remember going over to their home to visit...and their hardwood floors and their very old fashioned furnishings and way of life..and Thelma's kitchen...oh my goodness...I loved that old kitchen....it was so relaxing just to drop in for a minute....it was like dropping into another world...even for just a bit...and the kids adored Andrew and Thelma.
When we'd pull up...whether we were going to visit inside...or set under the big old tree in the front yard.....Thelma would get out the checker board and a few other old fashioned games..which always fascinated our kids to no end...and then she'd head to the kitchen for a big old glass pitcher and enough 'glass glasses' for us all to have plenty of fresh brewed ice tea....

They were the classic 'old timey couple'....and you just couldn't help but love every thing about them....Andrew was a very tall and slender man and was always in overalls and often a big hat...and Thelma always had on a long print dress...with a big old apron.  She was a very tiny woman...very plain...but pretty as a picture and she always had her hair in a little bun.  :-)  Her voice was so quiet and meek...they just both....talked and acted so different.  They were strong christians...and belonged to the Church Of God in Metropolis......and their faith just couldn't be measured.

One day...we were setting out under the big old tree in the front yard and Andrew was talking about faith and the power of prayer....and he said, "I'm gonna tell you a story...you are not going to believe...but I can promise you...this happened."  He said, "We were on our way to California (I think it was California)...with the kids...and we were going across the desert and the old car broke down."  He said, "We were miles and miles from no where and there was no traffic at all...so I got out...checked over several things on the car and found the radiator to be out of water.  Of course we had no water with us...and there was no place to get any...so I stood there and thought about what I was going to do...and I got Thelma and the kids out of the car...we made a circle beside the car and I said, "Now family...the radiator on this old car is dry...and no telling how long it's gonna be before someone may come along and help us...so we're going to pray as sincerely as we know how and ask God to help us with this situation."  He said they all prayed for a little bit....he put his family back in the car and turned the car on....and it started up......they were able to get to the next town with no problem.  He said...now I know that you know...that's just not possible....but I can promise you...that it happened just that way.

Andrew was the type of person....that if he said the sky is falling....the first thing you'd think to do...is grab a big board and hold it over your head....because Andrew would have taken a bullet...before he would have told an untruth....

Decades later....I thought I wanted to work at the Nursing Home....I did several things...trying to find my place...after our youngest married....Billy was working long hours...and I just wanted something extra to do...to help fill my time......so I went to Good Samaritan...applied for assistant activity director and was hired....On my first day...I saw Andrew and Thelma...and ran to talk to them...but one of the nurses told me they just rarely responded to anything...and "I" got absolutely no response from them at all....they just stared straight ahead.....but later that day...one of the workers came to me and said, "You play piano...don't you...why don't you go in and play for the folks in the big lounging room......"  I said, "Well all I can play are church songs"...she said, 'That will be fine...just play whatever you want for as long as you want."  So I went to the piano and I could see Thelma...right out in the middle of that big room....just staring off in a distance......I thought 'my goodness...how sad....she's there...but she's 'not' there'........so I just started playing "What A Friend We Have In Jesus" ....and right out of nowhere...Thelma just started singing....'What A Friend we have in Jesus...all our sins and griefs to bear...what a privilege to carry...Everything to God in prayer'...without missing a lick....I chimed in with her....and watched her as we sang together...a few others sang a little hit and miss....she never changed her expression or looked in any other direction...just looked straight ahead...but sang the whole song through without any hesitation of the words at all.....I thought...My GOODNESS....she can't communicate....but she has never forgotten the words to her old church songs.....we did several songs that day.....and what a joy that was for 'me'...to know I was able to kind of 'open a brief window' for Thelma that day.....

I only lasted 3 days at Good Sam.....because old people were setting around with their coats on...waiting for the 'cab' to pick them up and take them home....or so they thought....and old ladies of 80 and 90 were crying for their moms.....some would try to get out and scream when you'd stop them........I just couldn't believe the things I saw...and I'm so soft hearted I just couldn't handle it.....so I quit after only 3 days...It takes a certain kind of person to work in a nursing home.  They have to be loving and compassionate but also have to have a little cement in their blood and I didn't have what it took.

But I'm telling you...I believe in prayer and I believe in Miracles and I've prayed up more than one miracle....
We had the first huge ice storm in 2007 I think...and we were literally trapped in here for 2 days....we could have walked out...but our lane was totally blocked with fallen trees...we had a tree canopy over our lane coming in...I called it my tunnel of love...SURPRISE  :-)  and it fell in with that ice storm...Billy wouldn't let me go out that first year....because electrical lines were down and still falling...so I sat in the storm door with our big wooden door open...wrapped in a quilt...and watched him all day for 2 days....on the 2nd day...I was getting really antsy...because even our cell phones had died...and I hadn't been able to connect with any of our kids since the ice storm hit and I was desperate to know they were all ok.....I had tried and tried our phones...but they were dead......so I was setting in the door watching Billy and I thought...."You know...I'm gonna pray over my phone and ask God to make it work."  So I said, "God...You know I'm not a fancy person....and I'm not a complainer....I don't need heat...or electricity....I'm ok without the tv and with cooking in the fireplace....nothing really matters God...but I'm desperate to know our kids are ok...and our phones are dead...so if you could just see your way clear to help us in any way...to know they're ok....I would really be grateful"....I'm telling you...I no more than got that prayer out of my mouth...and I heard this little 'ding'.....at first I didn't know what it was...and then it dawned on me....THAT WAS MY CELL PHONE!   So I ran to it...and picked it up and it had a signal...and I immediately called Kim....my hands shaking like little leaves..........Kim answered and I said, "KIM...Shut up and listen!!!!!   We're fine...our phones have been dead for 2 days...and dad is having to dig us out because our tree canopy fell in from the weight of the ice.....Have you had contact with your brothers and the rest of the family?"  She said yes and that everybody was fine...we jabbered frantically back and forth with each other for a bit and the phone went dead again..........I ran up the hill on ice...as fast as I could...to tell Billy what had happened and the kids were ok......we were absolutely over joyed to have that connection for 2 minutes... ...he sent me back to the house...and I was setting in the door watching him again and about 2 hours later...I saw Kim and Kev peek their little heads around the corner at the top of the hill....they had brought us a car charger for our phones and parked at Normans to come and check on us and bring it to us.....I was never so glad to see those two aggrevating rascals in my life....hahaha

And most of you know the story of how I literally prayed Billy into my life...I just saw him my Junior Year in high school....I thought he was the most adorable little rascal God ever put on the face of the earth...and when Jill pointed him out to me that day...it felt funny....like we already had a connection...but I couldn't explain the feeling I had when I saw him that day and I couldn't do anything about it at the time...because I was a squirrely little preachers kid...and the preacher wouldn't let me date...hahaha
So I just decided....'no big deal...I'll pray him into my life for 'later...when I'll be ready for him'....hahaha   So I went to J.C. Penny's and got a mustard seed necklace....(and I'm hoping against all hope...that I find that little necklace in our old home place some day).....and I just started praying that God would 'give me Billy'  ....  Many of you know Billy was kind of the Romeo of Massac County...and I knew being the little wall flower I was....I had my work cut out for me....but I just kept praying and having faith...and one day...about 2 years later...he just stopped and asked me out....we had never spoken...never made eye contact....nothing.....he just stopped and asked me out....and we just 'clicked'....in spite of being from 2 different worlds...and we put our heads together and just made our own little world...a storybook life in LaLa Land..............Billy HATES this story....hahaha....he likes to think everything he says and does....is totally his idea....with no greater power involved.........ooooooooooooook...whatever...
"With this ring....I thee wed"......hahahahahahahahaha DO NOT MESS WITH ME AND GOD....YOU WILL NOT WIN!!!!!!!   hahaha

And of course I've just prayed Evan into Kims life.....one of my greatest feats of all time.  I was praying for not just a soul mate but for a very special forever after person and they just don't come any more special than Evan.   He has smiley eyes that smile at you no matter what he's saying....And people with smiley eyes...ooooooooooh my...

Ok...I've been long.....but I just wanted to talk again about the power of prayer...it's real folks....and if you don't have that kind of faith in prayer...you need to be wondering why......I've probably lost many of you by now...some of you may have quit reading because you were feeling that little 'tinge' and you were afraid the blog was going to save your soul or something, so you ran scared....but let me assure you...That little tinge..is God talking to you...that uncomfortable feeling you get in church that makes you not want to go to church...that's God talking to you...God is real...Heaven and the devils hometown are real....and if you don't start giving YOUR eternity some serious thought...there will come a day when you will wish you had...shall we pray

This has been a birdseye view from Round Knob Canyon and the world of the Katydid...until next time...you are loved....



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