Twenty Year Anniversary of 9-11

On 9-11-2001 We were living in Kenmore, Washington. We lived in this house until 2018. Never Forget!

I found a photo I took on September 11, 2001 and wanted to share it here, too. We can never take for granted the freedoms we are afforded here in our country and we can never forget that there are those who would love to destroy those freedoms. So thankful to God for his protection over us and that no matter what, we have a hope in our future that cannot be taken away!

This flag that I unfurled out the window of our daughter’s room in 2001 is the flag that was presented to my mother-in-law, Verna, at Dear’s father Rex’s funeral in 1985. He served in the U.S. Army during WWII. This window is on the street side of our home. Things have changed on this side of the house but the memories are the same. This flag is folded and in a special flag case now.

My thoughts and prayers over these past 20 years.

Fourteen years since that day that I will never forget. On that day I found the flag my mother-in-law was presented with at my father-in-law’s funeral at the Riverside National Cemetery in 1985. It was the only thing I could think of doing on that day where we all sat glued to the television. At the first attack I was awake alone watching T.V. in unbelief and horror. Dear was at work. Josh and Laura were at their apartment having just been married at the end of August. Dan and Katie were still at home and I woke them up to watch the news. My niece was working in Manhattan and we were all very concerned for her safety.

I Called my SIL to find out if she’d heard anything from my niece who works in Manhattan. My niece was in route to Manhattan, no one at work had seen her yet. She wasn’t a casualty that day. She made it. She had to turn around and try to get home again. It took her over 6 hours to get home. Small price to pay compared to so many…

Praying that God will continue to lead and direct our leaders in how best to protect the people they are called to serve. Praying that God will protect us from evil. Also praying that God will build us up to be able to persevere and endure whatever suffering comes our way.

Psalm 20:7 ~ “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.”

The Patriot’s Prayer

God of our sires that joyful sang,
While forest shades triumphant rang,
When on the wild New England shore,
Their sails were furled, their voyage o’er.
O Lord, defend Thy children yet,
Nor let our hearts Thy name forget;
O Lord, defend Thy children yet,
Nor let our hearts Thy name forget.

God of the brave that sought Thy aid,
And in Thy robe of strength arrayed,
They won for us beneath Thy care,
The flag we prize, the peace we share,
O Lord, defend our nation yet,
Nor let our hearts Thy name forget;
O Lord, defend our nation yet,
Nor let our hearts Thy name forget.

And when the call to arms again
Was heard afar o’er hill and plain,
Thy mighty hand upheld the right,
Thy love restored Thy banner bright,
O Lord, defend our nation yet,
Nor let our hearts Thy name forget;
O Lord, defend our nation yet,
Nor let our hearts Thy name forget.

God of our land, Thy gift so free,
O hear the prayer we breathe to Thee;
Let union’s bond our souls entwine,
And guard alike the palm and pine.
O Lord, defend our nation yet,
Nor let our hearts Thy name forget;
O Lord, defend our nation yet,
Nor let our hearts Thy name forget.

Words: Fanny Crosby, 1905

Psalm 27:3-4 (ESV)

 Though an army encamp against me,
   my heart shall not fear;
though war arise against me,
   yet I will be confident.

 One thing have I asked of the LORD,
   that will I seek after:
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD
   all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD
   and to inquire in his temple.

This photo was taken 9-11-11. Whoever was alive that day in 2001 will never forget that day and all the evil that unfolded. The collage below was also from the 10 year anniversary. All the little flags in the collage came from the Sounders game we attended during the 10 year anniversary. A flag had been placed at every seat in the stadium. Josh and I gathered up a 100 little flags that were left behind when the game ended. I displayed them all on our chain link fence at the 10 year anniversary.

We’ll also never forget the people aboard flight 93 that defended us and after reciting this Psalm stopped that plane’s flight and lost their lives rallying around the cry, “Let’s Roll”.

A Psalm of David. Psalm 23 (ESV)

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
 He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
 He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
   for hisname’s sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
   I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
   your rod and your staff,
   they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
   in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
   my cup overflows.
 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
   all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD
   forever.

And now 18 years have passed since that day in 2001.

September 11th of 2018 was the day we closed on our country bungalow. It’s been a full year that we’ve owned this home.

We recorded on September 11, 2018 and received our keys at 6pm. It was getting dark when we headed over to take a quick walk-thru to drop off a small load of stuff. We (myself, son, DIL and grandgirlie). Dear remained on the west side of the mountains with responsibilities to wrap up.

Here’s my post on September 11, 2020 about a wonderful memorial we visited in Cashmere, Washington.

Allistair Begg has a blog post he posted on 9-9-11 on The Day That Changed the Modern World. Here’s his blog post.

“Twenty years ago, the smoke and ash eventually began to clear. Blue skies prevailed again. But a heaviness went with us. Today, we may face different causes, but we see the same effects and ought to learn the same lesson: we needed God then, and we need Him now. Instead of turning away from Him in grief, walking further into hopelessness, may we come to the only one who offers refuge from every kind of turmoil.”

I’ll close with a previous prayer from another 9/11 remembrance from a few years ago with more additions.

Dear God and Father, lead and direct our leaders in how best to protect the people they are called to serve. Lord, cause them to take this responsibility seriously. Help them to deny themselves and serve this country better.  Protect us from evil and the schemes of the evil one.  Build us up to be able to persevere and endure whatever suffering comes our way. Help us to be students of your Word so we know Your Truth. Expose false teachers. Thank you for encouragement from your servants on this earth like Alistair Begg, John MacArthur and our current pastor Dennis. Help us to always turn to you, the God who made us and loves us and calls us to reconciliation with Him through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. May your peace rule in our hearts. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

Never Forget!

Don’t Forget Hodgepodge

It’s time for Wednesday Hodgepodge where Jo asks the questions for us to answer. Thank you Jo.

1. Something you’ve done recently that required you giving 110% ?

Supervising these two. They spent a couple hours at our house and they went on a marble hunt outside and then released them inside. The marbles went rolling everywhere and under everything. JJ was intent on filling his pockets with them. Addy moved too fast for me to get a clear photo of her while she chased the marbles.

2. What task-sport-chore-hobby-activity have you participated in or completed, that if judged, would land you a perfect 10?  

The Russian Sacred Singers of Los Angeles are a group of California young people of Russian background. They sing in English and Russian under the inspiring leadership of director Leonard Wozniuk. The unique bi-lingual choir responded to our challenge to record their selections for radio use. Today, their joyful singing is heard world-wide over several short-wave radio stations and over local broadcasts in North and South America.

Hymns of Praise was recorded in stereo in the Lorin Whitney Studios with the creative accompaniment of organist Bill Fasig and pianist John Innes of the Billy Graham Association. Tom Keene on guitar and Paul Stilwell on bass add their distinctive sound to several selections. ~ Andrew Semenchuk, Producer.

One of my sisters, a few cousins, and my best friend were part of this Russian Youth Choir and in the world of Russian Sacred Hymns during the 70’s this was a 10. The recording was used to spread the gospel behind the Iron Curtain. Through the recording of this album and the exposure to the other professional musicians in the studio I eventually met Dear. One of the musicians, a director of a Christian singing group recruited my best friend to sing in his group. I tagged along with her to the concerts. Dear was in this group. I ended up auditioning for the group and was selected. This Christian music group would sing at different churches in the Southern California area on Sunday evenings and toured England in the summers. Dear and I started dating while in this group and later got married. One 10 led to another 10!

3. What are ten of your favorite things right now? 

  1. Our children and their spouses.
  2. Our two grandchildren
  3. Our Church
  4. Sermons by John MacArthur while I mow. I have a 2 sermon lawn.
  5. Podcasts by Costi Hinn, The Sword and The Trowel, Justin Peters.
  6. Fall like mornings. It’s coming y’all. I love Fall!
  7. The Bible
  8. Writings by Charles Spurgeon
  9. Coffee in the morning
  10. My hard working husband (he’s painting our bedroom right now), he makes my coffee in the morning, tomorrow is his birthday.

4. Nine times out of ten I _________________________.

Nine times out of ten I choose joy!

5. Where were you when the world stopped turning, twenty years ago this week? 

I will never forget this day. Where I was, what I did, who I talked to. My TV was still in my living room in Kenmore, Washington in 2001. I sat on the edge of an ottoman in shock. I started dialing, first my husband, then my married son and his wife, (they were married 2 weeks before 9/11).  I woke up Dan and Katie who were still at home. That day seemed like it would never end. Called my SIL to find out if she’d heard anything from our niece who was working in Manhattan. Our niece was in route to Manhattan on that day, no one at work had seen her yet. She wasn’t a casualty that day. She made it. She had to turn around and try to get home again. It took her over 6 hours to get home. Small price to pay compared to so many…

This flag that I unfurled out the window of our daughter’s room in 2001 is the flag that was presented to my mother-in-law, Verna, at Dear’s father Rex’s funeral in 1985. He served in the U.S. Army during WWII. This window is on the street side of this home. Things have changed on this side of the house but the memories are the same. This flag is folded and in a special flag case now.

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

Thank you to all who serve and protect including our Military, Border Patrol, Police, Firemen, and Coast Guard!

St Paul’s Mission Kettle Falls

When our friends from the coast, Bob and Jan, came to visit last week we took an outing to see this historical site and to walk through the museum.

You can find some history of this area here.

History of Fort Colville can be found here.

“This grooved boulder was a favorite whetstone used by generations of Indians who camped at the south end of the fishery. Left there by the last glacier, it is made of amphibolite, more fine-grained than the local bedrock. The stone has been placed here in the same position in which it was used to sharpen the spear points, knives and other implements used to harvest the salmon.”

We stopped in to the museum and I only took a few photos.

While our friends were here we enjoyed a couple meals out and some meals in. By far the favorite meal was at El Ranchito where we were treated like royalty…again. We had lots of good conversation and relaxed time together. We said goodbye on Friday morning and after they left our little grandson was dropped off for a play date with Baba and Gramps while big sister went to a Preschool/homeschool co-op for a few hours.

More to come from our time with JJ.

From the Past…

1970ish

Memorial Day 2009

2010

2011

2013

In 2014 Andrew returned from Afghanistan on Memorial Day Weekend.

Memorial Day 2016 we remembered these fallen Marines…so young.

It was a busy week leading up to Memorial Day weekend and we still have some responsibilities through Saturday. I have a few of my Red/White/Blue decor sprinkled around the house but the majority of my ‘stuff’ will have to wait for the 4th of July to don our property. Our flag is flying. We will have a low key Monday. I have a Memorial Day tribute scheduled for Monday the 31st. And just like that May is gone…

For those of you in the U. S. of A. we hope you have a good long weekend with a time of reflection on what it meant to many for our country to be free.

Colville Historical Museum

Before too much time slipped away I wanted to go back to our time at the Colville Historical Museum and document what we saw here.

In 1975 the City of Colville entered into an agreement for the Historical Society to manage a piece of property and buildings it had received a decade earlier as a gift from the Keller Family. The terms of the gift is that the house and grounds were to be used as a park and museum. That had not been possible for the City prior to 1975 so the partnership turned out to be a good one.

We made a last minute decision to visit the Museum the last Friday of September and we were pleasantly surprised at the great indoor and outdoor displays and history. The Stevens County Historical Society has done an exceptional job! We had the grounds to ourselves on this afternoon and the museum volunteer treated us to a nice tour of the Keller House while we were there.

We hope to return to the museum next year (they are open from May-September) to take more photos of the Keller Home on the property. You can read about it here. During the Christmas season they decorate the home and have Christmas tours. This year because of COVID they are only decorating the outside of the home and will have live Christmas music drive by tours available.

This is the music room inside the house.

One of the views from the Keller Home.

The history of mining in Stevens County is great and was the lifeblood of the area in the early 20th century.

The exhibit that the Historical Society has developed comes from several of the important mines of the area. It has a 16 foot gallows for lowering a “bucket” into a vertical mine shaft complete with steel bucket. This was powered by a gas engine but the Society will have on display a horse—powered winch too.

This Trapper’s Cabin was moved from the John Lockner property on Gold Creek by members of the Stevens County Historical Society. The main cabin of a trapper was known as the “home cabin”. All of the furs trapped were brought back to the home cabin for stretching and fleshing the skins. A marten or a bear line could easily cover 12 miles. The trapper would cover these lines daily, packing his traps and about 20 lbs. of bait. Bear, marten, lynx, fox, coyote, beaver and other small meat eaters were plentiful for the trappers.

You can read about the farm equipment housed on the grounds here.

The first public schoolhouse built in the city of Colville was originally located on the south side of town, close to the city park. It was later moved to First Avenue and Elm Street, eventually making it’s way to the Keller Heritage Park. It was built in 1874 by local labor, including that of John U. Hofstetter, a leader in civic and educational endeavors.

You can read about the Heritage Park Schoolhouse here.

HOMESTEAD CABIN

Throughout the last half of the nineteenth century and during the early part of this century, small farmstead cabins dotted the countryside in all areas of Stevens County. Attracted by the availability of land, fine climate, a rich volcanic soil and scenic beauty, the early settlers cleared their land to build small hand-hewn log cabins. The farmstead cabin was donated to the Stevens County Historical Society from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

A closeup of the construction of the cabins.

You can read about the Hixson Castles here.

So much history preserved in our little town of Colville. We were impressed with all the well managed and documented information housed on these grounds.

As we drove away from the museum I had to jump out of the car to capture these turkeys sitting on the fence.

Number Your Days Hodgepodge

1. In a single sentence tell us something about your 40’s. If you haven’t reached that milestone yet tell us (in a single sentence) something about whatever decade you’re in now.

The decade in my 40’s (1991-2001) was the most tumultuous of my life.

(Photo above taken at 2nd rental home 1998ish)

2. Life begins at forty. Agree or disagree? Tell us why. And if not at forty, when?

I don’t agree. I’m too black and white. Life began for me in my mother’s womb. From birth on life has been shaping who I am now. I was born again in 1963 so I’ve been in the sanctification process for 57 years. I wish I had been more obedient in this process.

Sanctification: When you were justified, you were declared righteous by God. Now that you are justified, there is a process of growth and transformation in which you are enabled more and more to grasp the reality that you are dead to your old sinful life and that you actually become more and more like Christ. There are three aspects to our sanctification: definitive sanctification, progressive sanctification, and ultimate sanctification.

3. Share a favorite book, song, or quote with a number featured in it somewhere.

I didn’t remember this great song with a number in the title but Theresa posted it on her post and it really has meant a lot to me over the past several years so I’m adding it in here. Thank you, Theresa!

This quote from the Bible is one I wrote down after reading it.
Jeremiah 32:39 ~I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear me forever for their own good and the good of their children after them.
~
And this quote that I forget who said it…maybe Steve Lawson: “Don’t let your feelings get captured. Your feelings can suffocate your understanding of God. Gaze on the Lord 10x more than you concentrate on your feelings.”

4. A picture’s worth a thousand words, a stitch in time saves nine, back to square one, catch-22, on cloud nine, my two cents…pick a number phrase and tell us how it applies to your life currently.

I will pick “A picture’s worth a thousand words” or 1,000 pieces and 500 pieces. One of our COVID-19 stay at home activities has been putting together jigsaw puzzles. Some of these puzzles we’ve had for years and others were acquired before COVID at garage sales. The Fireside Embroidery one was a purchase during COVID-19. I was happy to see our local grocery store had a rack of puzzles a couple weeks ago and I grabbed this one.

 

Buying a threefold poster board has really aided our puzzling endeavors. We can move it off the dining room table easily if we are having the kids over for a meal. It also gives a nice flat surface.

5. Last time you drove more than 40 miles from home? More than 400 miles from home? Where were you going? Was it before or after this current season of social distancing?

Today bright and early we are driving to Spokane for a follow-up eye appointment. My surgery was last August. This will be a 70 mile drive from home. This one is during social distancing and Dear will have to wait in the car when I go in for my appointment.

The last time we drove closer to 400 miles from home was December 2019 when we drove to the Seattle area to stay overnight with our “Coast Kids” and then continue on to Chilliwack, British Columbia for our annual MGCC Christmas Party. This was before we knew about this Pandemic.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

I’m going to go deeper into that decade in my forties. Dear’s mother was living with us in a Mother-in-law apartment in our basement. In that decade Dear completed his Pharmacy degree at the University of Washington, had a year of residency, got a job at Immunex Corporation in Seattle Washington. While he was in school I started a house cleaning business and added a medical clinic and dental clinic at night as part of the job. Dear and I worked together in the evenings at those clinics. Because Dear’s mother was living with us we could leave at night after the kids were in bed. I was the skinniest I had ever been with all that aerobic scrubbing.

When Dear’s new career was going well I retired my cleaning business just in time to pull our daughter out of public school and home school her for 4th, 5th and 6th grade. She was experiencing heart wrenching persecution at school. During those homeschooling years with our sons in high school we had a major landslide on our back slope and long story short we walked away from our dream home and started the very new to us need to rent homes while still having all of Dear’s mother’s stuff in our possession. When the major slide forced us to walk away from our home, Dear’s mother moved out of our home to Yuba City, California to live close to her younger sister.

In May before our oldest son graduated from high school, Dear’s mother passed away and we were in Yuba City for the funeral and then having to divide up her stuff between Dear and his older brother and haul it back to our place. In August I drove Josh to Westmont College in Montecito , Califonia. (Santa Barbara), on my own. An emotional time for this mom. We were in our 2nd rental home at this time.

In Dan’s senior year we moved to our third rental home in October of 1998. In November of 1998 just one month after moving all our stuff to this third rental home the owner of the home told us he had to sell the home. We were devastated with this news not knowing where we could move next. We decided to try to buy this rental and were amazed to find out that there was nothing on our record showing we had defaulted on our landslide house loan! We bought our home in Kenmore not because we chose it but because we couldn’t face moving again. We enjoyed 20 years in that home and made some amazing upgrades to the property. Dan graduated from high school in 1999. We had Josh and Laura’s rehearsal dinner at this home in August of 2001 and then in September of 200l life changed for all of us because of 9-11. And that my friends was my decade in my forties.

That’s just a little of the story of my 40’s! I’m happy to say my fifties and sixties have been less tumultuous and filled with some wonderful adventures and travel. In my late fifties I was connected to the Mennonite Girls. In my sixties we enjoyed the weddings of our daughter Katie and our son Dan. We made a major move again this time to the country from the city. Blessed with two grandchildren in our sixties. And now Dear is officially retired.

But…we press on to the upward call…

Philippians 3:13-14 (ESV)

13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Thank you to Joyce for coming up with the questions for Hodgepodge!

Pandemic Journal ~ My Memories Part 1

My friend Judy at My Front Porch wrote a post about her story during this Pandemic to document this time in history and it inspired me to do the same.

The first note in my journal is a prayer request on Wednesday March 11th during our weekly Prayer meeting at church. Item #9 ~ Corona virus. It wasn’t at the top of the list…yet.

On February 27th I flew to Southern California for our sister’s Leap Year birthday and there was no one on the flights with masks on. I had my disinfecting wipes with me because even prior to the COVID-19 scare I always wipe off the fold down tray and arm rests. The gal next to me asked to use one of my wipes and I gladly obliged.

While in Southern California there still were no restrictions in place so we enjoyed eating out and my sister’s birthday party with about 30 or so guests. The first out of the ordinary thing we saw were hoards of people at Costco over stocking. On my flight home on March 3rd the conversation stemmed around people not being able to find toilet paper. More people around me asked to use a wipe.

Now we are back to the week of March 8th. We went to church without suspecting it would be our last time in the congregation for many weeks. On Thursday March 12th we heard that President Trump halted all travel to and from Europe excluding the UK as of Friday the 13th of March. We were heading to Spokane Valley on this day to use reservations at the Hampton Inn that friends could not cancel. Little did we know when we said we’d use the 2 rooms that were paid for already that we would be there with just a handful of other people.

Our kids were out of toilet paper and we got to the Costco on Sprague in Spokane a little before they opened. We noticed right away that the parking lot was full already and it was 30 minutes before opening. Yikes. There was a line up and we got in line with less than 6 feet between us. When the doors opened everyone made a beeline to the paper goods section. Costco figured out some ways to alleviate bottle necks in the paper section and they stacked the TP in the frozen aisle with an attendant that handed each member their package. Our kids wanted baby wipes, which was another premium item and we were able to put two boxes in our cart. Two boxes of diapers added to the cart and we were home free. We made it into a line and out the door before the lines were reported to be to the middle of the store. Yikes.

Costco was so strapped that they couldn’t cash our Executive earnings check so they had to write us a check that we could cash at our bank. On the way to the hotel we stopped at a branch of our bank and cashed the check. The folks at the hotel were very welcoming and we were able to check in early. I had brought my own jug of Clorox disinfecting wipes and I set about to disinfect both of our adjoining rooms to our satisfaction.

After lunch at a Mexican Restaurant close to the hotel, we spent the rest of the afternoon doing some shopping at the Cabella’s in Idaho (Spokane Valley is just a few miles from the Washington/Idaho border) and then TJMaxx, Nordstrom Rack, Barnes and Noble and last a stop at Krispy Kreme for a little snack to take back to the hotel.

On Friday the thirteenth we started hearing about more closures due to the Virus threat. The hoarding of disinfectant, hand sanitizer, TP and other paper products was at a fever pitch. We shopped at Fred Meyer, Hobby Lobby, Total Wine, and Party City. We were still hoping Addy’s Daniel the Tiger 3rd birthday party would happen.

For my early birthday meal out we chose The Clover in Spokane near Gonzaga University. What a gem of a restaurant it is and we hope to return when things get back to semi-normal.

The Dungeness Crab and Artichoke Dip was so delicious! Because it was my birthday they added this dessert for free. Yum! The biscotti was made in their own bakery.

While at the restaurant we heard that all schools in Washington State would be closed through April.

Saturday the fourteenth of March (my 69th birthday) our kids made the journey from Colville to Spokane Valley to join us at the hotel. We got had some lunch and then got them settled into their room.

We had the hotel pool all to ourselves and it was a fun time with Jaymison and Addy. We all got cleaned up and headed to a couple shops (still no restrictions) and then out to dinner for my birthday. This was a snow blowing freezing day.

On this day we heard about the Disneyland closure, all hotels around Disneyland closed. All public gatherings over 250 people prohibited. No flights to and from Europe.

Sunday was a leisurely morning before we checked out to go home. We stopped at Costco on our way home for gasoline and to pick up a few more things. (Gluttons for Punishment) We stopped at Super 1 once we were in Colville to get what we’d need for our Corned Beef and Cabbage meal on Tuesday the 17th of March, St. Patrick’s day. Hints of what was to come…no carrots or potatoes.

Now we were hearing no meetings over 50 people, no sports, no restaurants except take out, and then no meetings over 10 people.

Everyone was scrambling to put plans in place on how to proceed with church services. Non-essential services were shut down. Interesting what the powers that be deem essential. Non essential included hair salons, many retail shops, golf courses, bowling alleys, gyms, elective surgeries, dental services except for emergencies, optometrist, etc. My eye surgery 6 month follow-up was cancelled.

The kids came over for St. Patrick’s Day meal and we talked about Addy’s birthday having to be cancelled. Our kids from the Coast would not be coming over for the weekend. This is the point where the Pandemic really hit home.

The Pandemic Part 2 coming in the future.

Tuesdays With Moisi

This is a post from the past that I’m adding to my Tuesdays With Moisi for cataloging purposes.

The following story was transcribed by my sister-in-law Kelly as she listened to my parents tell some of their story on immigrating to the U.S.A. in September of 1947. My parents were visiting my brother Steve and SIL Kelly on Labor Day September 5, 2011. I believe the anniversary of them coming to the USA was September 6, 1947.

“Spent the afternoon with  Mom and Pop and wanted to share some of what they had to say.  This is the unedited copy filled in as Pop was talking…so excuse the grammatical errors, if I wait to edit you may never see it.”

(This photo is taken after my parents and sister Kathy settled in Los Angeles. This was sometime in late 1947 or early 1948. My mom is pregnant with my sister Vera in this photo and Vera was born in February of 1948.)

“Pop said he’s never shared all these details because…no one asked.  What started the retelling is that tomorrow marks the anniversary of their first arriving in NewYork…Sept. 6, 1947.  They arrived in Los Angeles on the 12th.

When Mom and Pop left Iran they got a flight on a Red Cross cargo plane..the propeller variety, that had dropped off supplies and was heading back to New York.   It was very loud he said…no seats, just benches along the sides.  Due to refueling and frequent stops it took 4 days to fly from Tehran to New York.  At  most of the stops they got out and ate…and in four places spent the night. He said they had 27 people on the plane and it was full.”

“This is the basic itinerary.  (Pop had made a detailed journal of the trip, but lost it in the last few moves.)  From Tehran to Cairo…spent the night.  From Cairo to Rome..spent the night, got to drive by St. Peters.  From Rome to England, where they were not allowed off the plane so they had to head to Ireland to a US military base.  They spent the night there.  From Ireland they went to Iceland, then to Greenland…where they again spent the night.  From Greenland they went to New York.

Upon arrival in New York they were taken directly to the train station.  Unfortunately, the ‘coupons’ that one of pop’s brother’s, my Uncle John, secured for them weren’t signed, so they couldn’t be used. They were suppose to be vouchers for travel purchased in Iran from an agent.  So since the coupons didn’t work they were stuck in the train station with no money, no food, with a one year old. Mom and Pop were 23 and 24 at this time.

Some nice people helped them and Pop had a card with the name of a Russian church on it.  They took them on the subway to the church and arrived in the evening just as the minister was locking up.  There was no time to find a home for them to spend the night so they took them to a hotel.  Mom said, ‘They put us on the 9th floor, I was so scared..”  And the other couple they were with were on the 14th floor.  The next morning was a Sunday so the streets were empty and Mom said she looked out the window and down and there was trash blowing along the street.  Very frightening to look that far down.

The minister showed up with milk and bread, they hadn’t eaten the day before, and they remember that delivery making them feel like orphans.  They had no money, no food, and Pop only spoke a little English.  (Which he had learned working on an American Military Base in Tehran…I’ll get to that.)

The pastor took them to church and that night they stayed with a family.  On Monday they put them on a train to Chicago.

Two vivid memories of their time in New York…  It was the first time Mom had seen toast, and she couldn’t figure out how they got it perfect on both sides.  She also got stuck in a revolving door and couldn’t get out.  She said, they weren’t educated enough to be in New York.

In Chicago another group from a church met them, fed them, gave them a place to stay, and then put them on a train to Los Angeles.  It should be noted that Kathy was very good during all of this, only cried a little.  At some point in this US leg of the journey they were able to contact people in LA to wire them money for the train tickets.  Pop figured it took them about 2 years to pay back all of the costs of their trip to the States.”

(This is a photo of my sister Kathy in a park in Los Angeles, California. Love how the older folk sitting on the benches in the background all have hats on.)

My parents were the first of their families to arrive in the U.S.A.

“In the course of telling this story Pop mentioned other jobs he’d had so I made him list them in order…here is roughly the job history.

His first job was driving horses plowing the fields in Russia.  There were four horses hooked to the plow.  He worked plowning.  (Think clowning)  He also worked threshing the wheat.

Then he worked as a shepherd.  A group of families had cows, sheep, and goats and it sounds like the kids from each family took turns watching the animals.

When they moved to Tehran he worked as a babysitter/houseboy doing whatever the woman of the house wanted him to do.

Later, in Iran he had a job feeding cows.  Then after they were milked he would walk around town to the customers they had and sell milk from a bucket by the cup.

After that he went to work on some of the Shah’s land doing farming.  When it wasn’t farming season he would deliver sand and bricks to road crews.

Then he had jobs on Military bases…he worked on the American base in the kitchens washing out the pans. They would feed him while he was there, and give him food to hide on his body to take out to his family.  (Not technically allowed to take the food, but the cook was nice.)  It’s also where he learned to speak some English.

He also worked on the Russian military base as a mechanic.  He said he ‘fix em’ Chevy’s and Studebaker’s, when they had been in accidents, we fix em up.

His last job in Tehran was in a brick factory.  It was far away so he needed to have transportation.  He said, he and Mom lived in an apartment with 4 other families above a sauna house owned by a Turkish man.  He sold Pop a bike that he had stolen…  When I asked, ‘he stole the bike?”  He said,’Yes, but he sold it to me real cheap, and nobody would recognize it because they changed the color.”  He rode the bike to work every day.”

Ellen’s thoughts…

When I think of what my parents went through to get to the United States I’m so grateful. Grateful to God for giving them the courage and faith to face the unknown. Just the language barrier had to be scary. They had a little toddler and my mom was pregnant with my sister Vera during this journey. Sitting on a bench in a loud cargo plane with 24 other people with a little one in diapers, amazing. They had no idea what kind of life they were going to have in the United States. They had only lived in villages where maybe there were a few 2 story structures and here they were in New York City with tall buildings. When they arrived in Los Angeles my dad worked odd jobs in carpentry and construction. They helped the rest of their extended family immigrate to the U.S. over a number of years. Each of these family units lived with my parents until they could get into a place of their own. My mother’s father was killed in Iran after my parents came to the U.S. My mother’s mom immigrated to the U.S.A. with my Uncle and Aunt as a widow. So much hardship endured and they persevered over the years and have always expressed their thankfulness to God for bringing them to the U.S.A. They had 9 children total. Their first daughter died in Iran when she was a toddler. Here are the 8 of us in age order…this is an old photo taken in 2003 at the 40th birthday party of Leonard and Lana, our youngest siblings (twins).

Kathy, Vera, Fred, Ellen, Tim, Steve, Lana, Leonard

My mom and pop in 2006 in Dallas, Texas.

IMGP9771

My mom and pop at my niece’s wedding in April of 2013.

We had a 90th birthday party and early 70th wedding anniversary party for my parents at the end of April in 2013. We were so happy to have had this celebration as my mom took ill later that summer and never recovered. My mom went to be with her Savior on September 13, 2013 on my parents’ 70th wedding anniversary. Our pop joined our mom in heaven in June of 2018.

Happy Reformation Day!

Martin Luther’s nailing of his ninety-five theses to the church door on October 31, 1517, provoked a debate that culminated finally in what we now call the Protestant Reformation. An important day in history.

“We are saved by faith alone, but the faith that saves is never alone” ~Martin Luther

Halloween happens to be on October 31st, also. For us Halloween is all about handing out candy to any little trick or treater who comes to our door.

Now that we live in the country the only little ones who come to our door are driven here by their parents. Addy and JJ will come by tonight to get a treat. They carved pumpkins last night and I borrowed this collage from Addy and JJ’s parents. Thank you!

It’s going to be a cold night to be out. Our Trick or Treeters better dress warmly.

I’ve got my red cape to keep me warm.

In other news we are very excited that on November 10th the MLS Cup final is going to be played on our home field for the first time! Our kids have traveled to Toronto in the past for other finals. Our kids get 4 tickets for the game and they have offered their soccer loving mother one of those tickets. Now I just have to figure out whether to drive (dependent on pass conditions) or fly to Seattle. Thanks for indulging me in my excitement and enjoyment of the game of soccer. Hmm, indulgences were a big part of the conversation in the talks that led to the Reformation so maybe my post is more cohesive than I thought.

Ice on my windshield on Wednesday morning. It will be nice when Dear’s shop has a roof on it so we can get my car back in the garage. The materials for building the shop are being stored in the garage where my car usually rests. We are still waiting on the company on some materials so that Dear can move ahead and raise the trusses and clear enough stuff out of the garage for my car to fit.

I’ll leave this random hodgepodge of a post with good true words from Martin Luther:

“Feelings come and feelings go,
And feelings are deceiving;
My warrant is the Word of God–
Naught else is worth believing.

Though all my heart should feel condemned
For want of some sweet token,
There is One greater than my heart
Whose Word cannot be broken.

I’ll trust in God’s unchanging Word
Till soul and body sever,
For, though all things shall pass away,
HIS WORD SHALL STAND FOREVER!”
― Martin Luther

George Washington’s Prayer Journal

“O eternal and everlasting God, I presume to present myself this morning before thy Divine majesty, beseeching thee to accept of my humble and hearty thanks, that it hath pleased thy great goodness to keep and preserve me the night past from all the dangers poor mortals are subject to, and has given me sweet and pleasant sleep, whereby I find my body refreshed and comforted for performing the duties of this day, in which I beseech thee to defend me from all perils of body and soul.

Direct my thoughts, words and work. Wash away my sins in the immaculate blood of the lamb, and purge my heart by thy Holy Spirit, from the dross of my natural corruption, that I may with more freedom of mind and liberty of will serve thee, the ever lasting God, in righteousness and holiness this day, and all the days of my life.

Increase my faith in the sweet promises of the Gospel. Give me repentance from dead works. Pardon my wanderings, & direct my thoughts unto thyself, the God of my salvation. Teach me how to live in thy fear, labor in thy service, and ever to run in the ways of thy commandments. Make me always watchful over my heart, that neither the terrors of conscience, the loathing of holy duties, the love of sin, nor an unwillingness to depart this life, may cast me into a spiritual slumber. But daily frame me more and more into the likeness of thy son Jesus Christ, that living in thy fear, and dying in thy favor, I may in thy appointed time attain the resurrection of the just unto eternal life. Bless my family, friends & kindred unite us all in praising & glorifying thee in all our works begun, continued, and ended, when we shall come to make our last account before thee blessed Saviour, who hath taught us thus to pray, our Father.”

I’m humbled by this prayer from the first president of the United States. I pray along with it as I ready this post.

The stained glass window with the sun streaming through casting it’s light and color onto the statue of George Washington was taken at the National Cathedral in Washington D.C. in May of 2011. Dear had a conference in D.C. and I was able to tag along. The National Cathedral is a must see if you ever travel to D.C.

It is folly to say our nation was not founded on Christian principles. Some would like to blot out this part of our history and remove all evidence of our Founding Father’s faith in the one true God.

Have you ever seen or read the third verse of “The Star Spangled Banner”, our National Anthem?

 O thus be it ever when free men shall stand
Between their loved homes and the war’s desolation!
Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the heav’n rescued land
Praise the Pow’r that hath made and preserved us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto, “In God is our trust.”
And the Star-Spangled Banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Praising God this morning for preserving our nation to this point in history.

Give me this day almighty God the Spirit filled mind to serve thee in the righteousness of your dear Son, Jesus my Lord, who’s sacrifice covers my sin repented of and gives me the strength to live in your holiness.  God bless America and keep our land free to worship you in righteousness and truth.