Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Simeon's Cave; Stepping Out in Faith - Past and Present Part 4

When Harry and Helen woke on that cold, 5th day of January, the realization that life might be a little more difficult for awhile set in quickly. The temperature outside hadn’t risen and the inside temperature had dropped at least 30 degrees. With no electricity, the only option for Harry was his old wheelchair. Helen would have to push him for now; an enormous drop in his already diminished freedom. Bundled in coats, they made their way into the “not so cozy” living room. Helen rummaged in the kitchen for something they could eat without cooking. The rest of the day was filled with sitting, mostly in silence because of the cold. They recalled the firewood sitting neatly outside their house that would now be so helpful. At the time that they acquired it, it hadn’t seemed like such a blessing. It was red bud wood from the tree Helen had accidentally backed into a few months before, leading to the chopping down of the tree and the splitting and stacking of wood. Now, it was simple to see that God had provided fuel for the fireplace.
The events of the days of that week ran together for Harry and Helen. They slept, bundled in their clothes, coats, and blankets, and hoped for the electrical lines to be repaired before morning. They waited for lights, warmth and conveniences to return to their lives, along with thousands of other people across the city. The neighbor, next door, made trips each day to stack more of the red bud on the front porch so Helen could bring it in to keep the fire going. Family called them on their old-fashioned rotary telephone that they had held onto for so long, to check on them. Most people had abandoned their freezing homes, for warmer shelter, after the first few days as they waited for the lines to be repaired. That wasn’t an option for Harry because of the thick ice that still coated his wheelchair ramp.
The blizzard raged on for three days and nights and for the next three weeks of that cold January in 1875, the cave was their home. There was dried buffalo meat and a crock of corn mush, that Sarah had prepared the night before the storm, that satisfied their hunger. Simeon and his family ventured out to the sod house several times to search out things that they needed. It meant digging through five feet of snow that had settled into the four walls of their home. Digging out the cook stove allowed them some hot water and warm food cooked under the open sky. They waited for the weather to clear and thanked God for His providential care in urging them to dig the cave months before.

... to be continued ...

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