Today marks the 30th anniversary of a dramatic enlightenment in my life. Until Dec. 20, 1984, I had not yet fully realized that we have so many angels walking around on this Earth performing the kind of work that God would like us humans to do.
Let's just say that day was one of my lifetime epiphanies and that every day since, I have continued to appreciate the many angels we have in our midst.
They do not always announce their presence, but their presence can be noted through the multitude of kind, caring and thoughtful acts they bestow upon other living beings in our world.
Heck, we may even find some angelic bones in our own bodies from time to time whenever we are driven by some unknown force to perform our own random or planned acts of kindness.
Well, the angels showed up for us in big numbers on that wintry Thursday 30 years ago.
I've told the story 29 times before, but I'll keep it short this time.
Cold winter day. Bill is in Louisiana for his father's funeral. It's the last full day before school lets out before vacation.
Willie, Annie and I are happily driving down Boyer. We turn on to Baldy Road. Suddenly, I see the giant flames.
Almost instantly, I realize those flames are coming from our home. Seemingly, an eternity passes while I try to direct that red Ford pickup down icy Baldy Road and then north to Great Northern Road.
The flames reach higher to the sky as we approach the driveway. People are there in the late afternoon darkness, doing whatever they can to save what's left of our house.
A sheriff's deputy asks me questions. Tears roll down my face, and something comes out of my mouth to satisfy the deputy's concerns.
With Annie standing with me, I turn around, looking for Willie. He sits in his tree house in the big willow tree, staring at that fire with big brown, troubled and fearful eyes.
Our home is gone and almost everything in it, except the freezer. To this day, I don't know how Eddie Nordgaarden and other neighbors removed it from the house.
These helpful neighbors are the first angels.
Throughout the next couple of days, the angels come in droves or do their work in our behalf behind the scenes.
From that day forth, a singular, horrific event has changed us forever, as we witness destructive flames followed by the light of love, generosity and thoughtfulness like we have never experienced before.
Yes, angels do exist all around us, every day, reminding us, often in small but significant ways and in a world that seems so overrun with evil, that goodness is alive and well.
These giving acts just doesn't always make the headlines, yet they do find a permanent residence in one's heart, never to be forgotten.
On this day, we Love family members always remember, and we also take extra care in hopes that another Dec. 20th will end without any incidents like that day 30 years ago.
And, this day always reminds me of how much I appreciate the many angels who have come into my life, both on Earth and on High.
Thank you, Angels.
Happy Saturday . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . and GO ZAGS! and Sandpoint Bulldogs. What a victory for the girls last night in that triple overtime!