A Storm Of Prayers

With storms raging all around us I couldn’t help but think back to another time when a storm was raging.

I was not yet ten.  We were camping out in the big old farm house of my ancestors.  Built in the 1800’s with logs so big I could not wrap my arms around them now as an adult.   It didn’t occur to me that that storm was one of hundreds if not thousands that that old house had seen and weathered.  Sheltering generation after generation of one branch of my family.

By the time we inhabited this old log house on weekends it had fallen in to disrepair.   Years of renters and vandals had stripped it of it’s beauty.  I had been approached once by an “old timer” who told me he used to sneak down the lane when he was a child and peak in the windows and marvel at the riches within.  I could only imagine.  And many a night and day I did.  I pictured the rooms as well as a child could.   I still pretend those rooms exist in my head, and I see dark and rich woods, colors that would be solid and heavy with purpose; to keep the light out, or to keep the warmth in.  But my imagination could not change what was by the time we would make our weekly voyage to the land of the log house. And on that  weekend it was storming.

And it was bad.

Lightening.   Rain lashing.   Thunder booming.  No tv reception could be had.  Back in the day of antenna and rabbit ears.  An old tv stood pretty much useless.   The fire place was roaring.  Dad had picked the best and largest room to rehabilitate.   We had filled it with beds and tables and used it to camp in all weekend.  Over the years we brought down old refrigerators and other items to fill the house with usefulness for our weekends.  For years we used that 150 year old out house on weekends.  How many generations utilized that old building.   One too many as far as I’m concerned.

That night I was pretty much just cowering in the room.  Between chores dad had us do to get ready for the weekend and a tassel of the other siblings running around and causing chaos I was about ready to scream.  I just wanted to hide from the storm.  Finally things started to settle down.

I have no idea what the others were doing.  My memory isn’t that good.  But I do remember, vividly, lying across one of the beds with my arms stretched out far above my head.  My toes pointing in one direction, my folded hands in the opposite direction.   Lying on my stomach.   Wishing to sink further in to the old mattress.

I was terrified of storms.  I thought I was pretty inconspicuous.   I was pretty scared of the storm’s potential.  Tornadoes happen out of storms like this.   I lay there and prayed like mad.  Because as we all know, if a storm is going to hit, and a tornado is going to be spawned and it is going to hit that house once in 200 years …. it’s going to hit it when I’m in it.

That was my thinking.

I thought we were all ignoring one another doing our own thing.   At any other time does one of eight ever think anyone is really paying attention to her?  No.  Of course not.

Dad walks by and laughs and says “what are you doing?  saying your prayers?”

I looked up at him.   And as parents are apt to do, he must have seen something in my face because his smile faded and he did a little bit of a face thing that said “oh”   and “I’m sorry” and he kept walking.  My dad believed in prayer.   So he left me to it.    But I got comfort from that moment.   He was out and about in the storm.   Like it didn’t matter.

But I kept praying anyway.

And with the storms raging tonight….I bet there is some little kid somewhere saying prayers like mad.   Right along with a bunch of big people too.   Stay safe everyone.   Storms are crazy.   Praying like mad with you.

30 thoughts on “A Storm Of Prayers

    • Thank you Mustang. I am sure that many share our beliefs. And those who don’t are pretty respectful to let us have our beliefs. And I bet those who don’t share our beliefs, still hope that good comes from this and people are safe. I like how you said that, that we are praying in that old cabin. Brilliant.

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  1. Wow, great recollection, Colleen. And, at least from what you recount of this memory, it sounds like you remember a good deal. How sweet that you prayed like that during storm. I love the gentleness with which you tell the story and think about other children feeling the same way tonight. I’m praying with you, my friend, for all of our friends on the east coast–those we know and those we don’t. Thought any more about writing a book? You write so well.
    Hugs,
    Kathy

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    • Kathy, you could just about make me cry when you say that about my writing. Truly.

      I hope the prayers being lifted tonight are enough to squash that storm. Can you imagine the little children’s fear? Not to mention the big people’s fear!?

      Hugs returned Kathy. Always.

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  2. I enjoyed reading about the farm house of your ancestors. Such a rich heritage. Prayer is also a legacy that is passed down from generation to generation. Too echo what you said, “I will be praying like mad” for the safety of those in the eye of the storm. Very timely post.

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    • Thank you. The storm certainly prompted this one. I feel so bad for them. For everyone.

      We were blessed to be able to touch that heritage. Literally. I miss that old house. It caught fire, burned and smouldered for a week. 😦 But we had it for awhile.

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  3. My dad use to go out on the front porch at the first sign of a storm and watch until it was gone. . I have never been afraid of them as a result. I hope my children always feel that safe about storms and other storms life may bring. I can’t even imagine thinking of the little ones closer to the east coast ; I feel so helpless!

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    • I know. The parents not only have the worries of the storm, but the worries of keeping the children safe from the storm and the fear of it. I remember once when we were in our basement because a tornado had been spotted. My littlest one was scared witless. And it was so difficult to comfort her.

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  4. I love your stories and your fascination with your past. I can’t imagine camping out in a place like that. It sounds like it was such fun, especially for kids.

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  5. 150 years old house? that’s amazing! I want to see that house, must be a bit creepy 🙂 I’m weird because I use to love storms because it usually means no school the following day 🙂 and i love playing with flash lights with my sisters.

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    • The house was very very old. But, sadly, it burnt down. And all of that glorious history and potential for haunting went with hit. But I loved it when it was there and am very grateful for having had that chance.

      I know so many people who love storms! ANd their sisters! 🙂

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  6. They have showed on the news over here … terrible – and I read a blog the other day and NYC thought it had passed them – the garbage was out on the streets again. The damage – I’m speechless. Was in a tropical storm 2002 i New Orleans – Isidore and that was scary business. My last night too – but I manage to get to my flight the next day – first flight leaving NOLA. Really feel for everybody that has been hit by Sandy and all other storms and hurricanes. So glad I’m where I’m.

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    • It is so very sad to see the damage, every where. To see people dying. Lives being altered. And being powerless to do anything to prevent the damage. No one has that kind of power, to stop a storm or alter it’s course. Thank you for sharing with me Viveka. I always appreciate it.

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      • You just nailed and in a way I’m glad that mankind can’t manipulate with the nature’s forces too. We have done enough of damage to mother earth. Feel so sorry for the people that been hit.
        Then we have those that lives on places that is hit more than once per year … don’t understand how they do it.

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  7. AMEN!

    I survived a tornado in a bathtub with my Nana (grandmother) laying on top of me when I was seven. We cried and screamed out in prayer together. I can still hear her praying (pleading) “Oh Dear God, Please, please save us! Dear God we need you! Take care of this child.” And so He did…

    We were blessed – only the side of the house-trailer (today we call them modular homes) was torn away. The live power lines were resting on the metal exterior. How was there not a fire? The house next door burned to the ground. How were we not electrocuted? The homes on three sides were gone in the aftermath… I am a lucky girl.

    I FEAR storms and seek safety in the mortal sense and especially in the Lord. With every ensuing disaster in the making I pray for people to realize that they are not invincible. Possessions are not a fair trade for a life. There are many prayers yet to be prayed… So far the death toll of Sandy is 96. Pray often and in earnest for Grace and Peace to be showered on our East Coast brethren.

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    • Angie, I cannot imagine your fear !!!!!!!!!!!!

      Thank you for your story. But thank you more for sharing your faith and your convictions. I will mimic your prayer for our affected friends and family. I’ve caught myself numerous times during the days when I see a headline or a picture, praying for comfort and help for them all.

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  8. I know this story well if not the house or the players. I’ve had an up close and personal experience with a tornado and was terrified of storms for many years. If I’m honest, I used to hunker down and try to be inconspicuous even before the tornado encounter. And the home I currently live in was not as old but, “Years of renters and vandals had stripped it of it’s beauty.” It was built in the 60s by a farmer and has good bones, or we wouldn’t have considered it so seriously or ended up buying it no matter how beautiful the land and water that went with it. I’m reading your post after the fact, but want to say I very much appreciate your prayers. My family — dad, brothers, sister, etc. — were in the midst of it (and are now coping with another nor’easter) and everybody came out safe. That’s the important thing. 🙂

    I think I frequently end up telling stories here. I’m not sure if I should apologize or not, since I think it’s a sign of a good storyteller that you make us remember our own stories.

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    • I love you telling your stories. And thank you for the wonderful wonderful compliments!!! Please do not EVER apologize for a comment/response. It’s what “we” live for. 😉

      I’m sorry your family is going through this and I continue to wish them well. I pray for their safety, warmth and needs.

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