The calendar page on the wall said November, 1980. The crisp, colorful leaves had long carpeted the ground. The autumn tang had permeated the air for some time. As the days on the calendar were marked off, I was excited about the coming holiday of Thanksgiving. We planned to spend it at our rented cabin in Woodland Park, Colorado. We would go for a few days before the holiday and take our daughter Judy and our seven month old grandson, Ryan. Stan, our son in law would fly into Springs and we would all enjoy Thanksgiving dinner in the mountains. Our son, John and his family couldn’t come.
It always took our breath away to view the range of mountains, especially Pikes Peak, from the large glassed in side of the A-frame cabin. We watched the clouds come over the mountains in a continuous panorama of color. The squirrels had come out for their morning repast of unsalted peanuts, squinted at us through the glass and scampered away.
Ryan was getting around superbly well in his walker as always, checking everything out. Judy and I sat on the couch in the great room, planning our Thanksgiving menu. As we talked, my eyes idly watched Ryan in the kitchen area, scooting around and checking out everything he could find. I noticed him reach for the cord of the coffee maker…it took a moment for that fact to register in my mind.
It was one of those moments that seem to go in slow motion and you are powerless to respond immediately. The coffee pot fell down, scalding one of his arms. Judy and I ran over and pulled off his shirt before he even realized that it hurt. He looked at us and gradually his face squinted up in tears.
I think we put ice on it, called the care taker, and raced down the hill to the local medical center. By the end of the day, we had driven down to the hospital’s burn unit at Colorado Springs, where they laboriously took off the burnt skin. John and I kept cringing and we wished we could take the pain for him. Our daughter, Judy, always stayed calm in emergencies, did what needed to be done as we drove him back and forth to the hospital each day.
Stan flew in the day before Thanksgiving but when the day arrived, we put the turkey with all the trimmings on the table but none of us were very hungry. Along with our sense of well being, the dark clouds began to gather in the sky, threatening a certain change in the weather. Eventually it began to snow, just a few flakes at first, but it kept increasing.
With one accord, we knew it was time to go home. We quickly cleaned the cabin, packed out the van and started for home. Stan drove and the rest of us took turns holding Ryan.
By the time we reached Dodge City, the snow was really coming down and we debated our position…should we try for home or spend the night in Dodge?
Knowing Ryan needed daily medical attention, we decided to go for home. By now, it was almost a complete white out and we strained our eyes to keep on the road. Inwardly, we prayed that God would help us through even though we could hardly see ten feet ahead.
Humanly speaking, it seemed that we could never make it, but God had plans. He helped Stan (who never gives up) keep his eye on the road and brought us all home safely. We were all so thankful that Thanksgiving for the way God helps us in the emergencies of life.
And Ryan? He is now a handsome young man, a college graduate and married to Melissa. also a graduate of K-State . They live in Topeka with their two sons and we will all be together on this Thanksgiving Day at Judy and Stan’s house in Hutchinson which makes our story come completely around only thirty seven years later.
As time has gone by, God has wonderfully watched over us through all kinds
of weather and situations. No matter what situations our country find s itself, He will help us through if we have accepted Him into our lives and allowed Him to lead.
Then when God calls us home, we will. like our daughter-in-law Carol’s father, Pete Siebert, who went to heaven a few days ago. enjoy our Thanksgiving Banquet with our wonderful Savior and Lord! Wishing you God’s best!