Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Cold Facts

I got to thinking. . .would there be any way to verify just how cold it was the night the van burned up? I always estimate it was 20 degrees below zero Fahrenheit and Paul always says 15 below. So I got on the computer and in about 5 minutes had found a detailed weather chart for January 16, 1994. The accident happened about 20 miles south of Dryden, which wasn't on the chart, but Kenora, about 80 miles west, and Sioux Lookout, maybe 50 miles northeast, were both listed.

At 10:00 that night in Kenora the temperature was -15.88 degrees Fahrenheit and the wind chill was -38.2.
In Sioux Lookout the temperature was -13.9 F and the wind chill was -32.8.

So Paul obviously was closer to the technical mark but any way you look at it, it was cold.

And I think it's cool how you can look up stuff like this on the internet.

My friend Ilva suggested I tell about how we went back to the accident site four years later. We were living in Oregon then and visited our old haunts on a long road trip. As we headed up that same isolated road on a summer evening we tried to look for landmarks to figure out just where the van had been. Finally Paul thought he had found the spot and we got out and looked around. And there in the grass we found charred coins that had come from my purse and a blackened key chain with the faint "I (heart) Paul" still visible. So with our very alive and healthy children we held hands and thanked God for sparing our lives at that place.

Three years later we went up there again and on that same road we saw, but didn't hit, 11 moose, one of them standing majestically in the middle of the road not far from our accident site. It all gave us a strange feeling that that dark, cold night we had been part of a bigger story going on, perhaps caught in the crossfire of a battle in the heavenlies, that we only saw the immediate, visible results of, and what was meant to happen, happened, and what wasn't meant to, did not.

The story of the key chain was that after Paul and I had started dating and I had very mixed emotions about it all, my wise friend Marilyn bought me this key chain that stated blatantly that I loved Paul. Shocking. My blunt friend Mary said, Well, is it true? And I said, "I don't know." After a while, though, I did know. And I was happy to find that key chain again.

Quote of the Day:
I started getting excited when I saw the ketchup!"
--Ben, telling me how he came home from work and first realized we were having hot dogs for lunch, as opposed to something boring like roast beef and potatoes.


  1. loved reading these stories again been thinking alot about "unto the least of these" and what that means for me right now. Also remembering how COLD Canada winter nights are and how it trully was the mercy of God that another vehicle was actually on that road that night!

  2. I've recently started reading your blog & love it! Having lived in Sioux Lookout for 2 years, I drove that long, lonely road north from Fort Francis many times. One time at night in the dead of winter, my sister & I had a flat tire along that road. So I can relate to your feelings when you hit that moose. Will anyone show up to help before we freeze to death?? But I don't know the horror of having your vehicle burn. I'm so grateful for a God who sees & cares & takes care of his children! Thank you for sharing your stories with us!

  3. I love that you found you the keychain again! It adds such a romantic touch to the story! ~ribbit98