The 10th Miracle

Grandpa and Grandma welcoming us home. Returning home on the last leg of our Florida journey, we made one last stop at our grandparents’ house in Salem, West Virginia. After all, there’s no place like home – except Grandma’s. Robert, Esther, James, and Daniel especially relished the visit before heading off to the mid west once again. The thick blanket of snow outside made our supper and conversation in the warm house all the more delightful.

Finally we bundled up and re-entered the white night for the short drive home, two miles down Buffalo Calf Road. As we made our way over the packed snow, we were all thinking about the last obstacle to overcome: “the hill”. Our van was not four wheel drive, and this hill, with  Off through the snow! its sharp curve at the bottom to prevent a running start, was just steep and long enough to make it a major obstacle at certain times of the year. It had been the scene of a couple hair-raising events in the past.

We were all praying as we approached the hill. Dad got as much speed up as he could at the base of the hill, and we spun and slid just a tad at the curve, causing us to fishtail as we started the ascent. We could tell we were losing momentum. Now we were really praying. Our tires started spinning and we were about to come to a stop. “Jump out and push!” Dad yelled. I was buried in baggage, but Donald and Robert, who were by the doors, bailed out. “O no!” I thought, “What if we start sliding with them back there!” I burst out of the bundles and climbed to the door to warn them. But we were still going forward! Dad said later that he looked down and when he looked up we were cresting the hill. Donald said he hadn’t really even pushed the van because the van was going forward while they were slipping in the snow. We all cheered in relief and amazement as we stopped at the top of the hill to let Donald Plowing snow for the third time already this year - Jan. 8and Robert back in.

But we were not home yet. We came to our driveway to find that someone had plowed it for us! What a blessing!

How fitting to conclude our journey with one more reminder that God is the One Who preserves our going out and our coming in “from this time forth and even forevermore.”

Traveling through beautiful Appalachia! Curvy mountain roads "Goin' South" for Christmas :)


  1. Brittany January 11, 2010 at 4:14 pm #

    Michael, you had me on the edge of my seat the whole time I read it. I know I’m grateful that God didn’t allow ya’ll to slide over Donald and Robert, but probably not nearly as much as Donald and Robert are! One of my favorite verses puts it well, Proverbs 21:31 ‘The horse is prepared against the day of battle: but safety is of the Lord.’

    What an exciting (and I’m sure an adrenaline rush as well)for the end of ya’ll’s trip!

  2. Daniel January 11, 2010 at 9:28 pm #

    A wonderful conclusion to a wonderful trip! I don’t think I’d mind “going south” for Christmas every year!

  3. Donald January 12, 2010 at 2:54 pm #

    You’re right on the details there Michael. I remember very well fumbling with my seat belt as I tried to get out and now I know exactly what it means to have a few seconds feel like an eternity. It was an adrenaline rush for sure and I was starting to realize that we had growing chances of the van going backwards. When I did get out I could hardly wait because it was just Robert and I on the ground crew and it was our chance to save the day! Well, on my initial “try” my feet simply flew out from underneath me and it was all I could do to regain my own footing. When I talked to Robert later he said he was able to get a push in somewhere but he felt he was going further backwards than the van was going forward. Anyway I regained traction a yard or two behind the bumper, thankfully in a standing position. Then to look up and see that the van was past that steepest part. What a relief! It was moving, but how I don’t know. Anyway, there’s not a logical explanation for why we made it exept that the Lord wanted us to have one more testimony to share. He is the beginning and the ending and a very present help in trouble!

  4. Barbara January 13, 2010 at 4:06 pm #

    Esther shared this story with me… and it definitely kept me on the edge of my chair. -I can sort-of relate. Sometimes it is God and God alone who keeps us on the road. What a great reminder that “I could not do without Thee”. So glad God kept you all safe!

  5. Michael January 14, 2010 at 7:13 am #

    Another interesting thing is how cold it was that night (down to 6 degrees F) and soon after we got inside we discovered that the main house furnace had recently stopped working! We got the wood stove going right away but the main part of the house was still chilly for a couple days. If we had been gone longer, we would have come home to a very frozen house. The heat in the garage building was working fine, so the garage was warmer than the house! Couldn’t you just see us all sleeping in the garage – we were better off on vacation! 🙂 (Thanks so much to all of you!) It has been neat to see God’s love prevail in all circumstances.
    By the way, it hasn’t been above freezing since that time. This has been a colder and snowier winter than usual – so far.

  6. Esther Staddon January 17, 2010 at 12:21 am #

    The boy’s were singing a song about how “God still answers prayer in the same old wonderful way” as we were driving home that night and the whole thing was a living example that HE DOES ANSWER PRAYER.

  7. Kathryn January 17, 2010 at 2:22 pm #

    Wow! Another amazing reminder that God DOES indeed hear and answer prayer! What an exciting way to end your vacation!
    And, on behalf of the Team, I would like to say that if you are able to go south for Christmas next year, know that the Sheridan Hills Bed and Breakfast would be willing and ready to house you for as long as you can stay!

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