Dear Sister-in-law Cindy,
Thank you for your comments on the latest blog posting. It is a good question. Why was our car so miraculously saved the first time? To be blunt as well as corny, I think I needed the point “driven” home. I didn’t get it well enough the first time. And so, without further ado, here is the second incident of the angels in the roadway.
My birthday was one week after we had moved into our new home. I’d had a busy last month cleaning, moving, and volunteering time for a Youth Conference, so Jon decided to surprise me with an Alaskan getaway birthday present. We were to go camping on my birthday in a beautiful little town called Valdez. It takes 5-6 hours to get to Valdez from Anchorage, traveling up into the interior a bit to get back down to the coast. Alaska is huge, and I have yet to see much of it. Getting out of Anchorage for a real road trip in a state without interstates to go see Valdez’s fjord-like valleys seemed like a wonderful birthday present. Jon was miraculously granted leave from work. Also, miraculous was the fact that at the last minute we decided to leave our bikes and bike trailer home because we had too much stuff. When Dahle men camp, they camp in style, so we were naturally overburdened. Thus, we did not destroy our expensive new investment in biking.
Yes, I did indeed use the word destroy. I have included pictures here, for the first time on my blog just to hammer the point in. (Yay! Finally pictures, you’re all thinking). You’ll see here the crushed-in roof as well as some shattered glass, battered wheels, bent axels, and pummeled body work if you look closely. You’ll also notice for future reference the two poles arranged just wide enough for us to fit/flip through.
Some small ‘towns’ are really stopping places to fuel up or use the facilities. This is the town of Glenn-Allen, the half-way point of our journey. It was just 8 miles south of there that we hydroplaned in the midst of a freak rainstorm. I recall Jon saying under his breath, “We can do this…” (slide, slide, fishtale, fishtale) “we can still pull out of this...” (crank, crank) “oh no, we’re not going to make it!” We hit the edge of the pavement with a spine-shattering jolt and we were off like a rocket run out of fuel, bouncing from high spot to high point, sailing smoothly between two large poles. We crunched downward and (I believe) onto the top back of the car into a low spot, and then began tumbling through the brush at a different angle. Bottom, side, top, side—it was the most awful amusement park ride you’ve ever seen. Only a few things, like my glasses, even moved out of their places, because as our car rolled twice, the whole thing acted like water in a bucket being swung carelessly around through the air. We landed upright with another spine-shattering jerk.
You’ve just heard the dry details, but from my end, here’s the really interesting stuff: While still in Glenn-Allen, I felt the strangest sense of foreboding—enough that I remember hesitating before I grasped the door handle to get in the car. I knew something was coming. Nevertheless, I still felt completely shocked, “This is what you had in mind!? You’ve got to be kidding me.” This last was said in my mind very quietly, and not necessarily directed straight, but zigzag-like to heaven. However, right after we hit the edge of the road, I believe I screamed my first prayer ever. It was a mental shout, “Father, please protect my family!!!” Somehow, shouting in prayer seems okay given the circumstances.
I felt calmed immediately, and felt as though my car was being guided by the angels of heaven. Even as we were flipping around through the air, rolling in the mud, I knew we would be fine because of my previous experience with angelic powers. We were, and finally this time I began to get the hint that forgetting these kinds of experiences is not usually the best plan. Eva was silent until her window shattered above her, then finally screamed, but she was in the end was safe. In fact, her mosquito bites looked worse than the cuts. Jon and I had whiplash. That is all. It is miraculous that we came out of it so well, that we hurt no one else, and that we didn’t hit the two poles, but went right between them. Actually, nothing but a baby backpack and the car was destroyed. Just a note, this backpack was repaired and worn to Hatcher’s Pass sometime in August when I foolishly decided to go blueberry picking. It is possible that the thing is cursed.
P.S. Cindy, another reason why wrecking our car the second time instead of the first was better for us was because we had better car insurance the second time. The first company was preparing to pull out of the state soon, and I think they would have fought our claim. It turned out that Geico (company 2) paid up and even paid a little extra.