We have had quite an end to Advent and a start to the Christmas season by ‘returning to Bethlehem’. While we were spared any truly life threatening issues from the great arctic blast that devastated parts of the U.S., we did enjoy circumstances that were both occasions of humor and trial. There were multiple opportunities to thank God ‘for everything’; his Incarnation, creation (and very cold weather), Christmas amid difficulties, and other tangibles of our existence, like crawl spaces, septic tanks and pipes.
With the arrival of single digit temperatures (about 40 degrees below our normal December temperatures) and wind chills in the negative teens and twenties, we had several rolling blackouts while we prayed for the utility workers doing their best, and risking their lives, to keep the grid up as much as possible. We adapted our schedule to save heat and use less electricity while checking that our emergency plan for a full, prolonged outage would work. We dripped our sinks, closed off the crawl spaces, and lowered the thermostats and bundled up. All the while we cleaned and decorated for Christmas. And, when power was present, we baked and cooked.
Christmas Eve dawned with a low of about 4 degrees. And in a span of less than six hours we enjoyed the loss of power, possibly burst pipes (something smelled really bad), and a dead car. The car was somewhat urgent as we were afraid the pipes in question, ahem, were to the septic tank. So rather than visit mother nature amid winter, driving to a building on the property with the necessary facilities became rather an urgent need. That led to the instant discovery that the car was dead. We were starting to laugh out loud at this point as the kitchen crew immediately set to work on manufacturing some potpourri in a pot to help keep Christmas season smells in the air, rather than that offered by what we feared were the broken pipes.
Help swiftly arrived and ascertained that the smell wasn’t busted septic lines (Praise the Lord!) but a dead animal stuck either in the wall chinking or perhaps between the floor and the crawl space. The car was jumped, the battery checked, numerous other items fixed and improved and we continued our vigil of grateful prayer. Thankful for all who helped near and far with prayer, assistance, as well as hard work and concrete hands-on rescues.
Jesus came as a helpless Babe who grew to be a common laborer. He wasn’t afraid to get his hands dirty. We are blessed by the many who assist us who aren’t afraid to do the same. God bless you all!
The idea of a septic nightmare on Christmas Eve made for a great cartoon, which we share with you this week. But it also fits right in with some of our gems out of the archives. This week’s Archive Treasures feature is a photo album page from our Priory in Spokane WA.