Wednesday, December 11, 2013

   A couple of us at the Christmas program, the other night had talks on promises and miracles.
  Have you ever had a miracle in your life? I definitely have. I've had a couple of big ones.
  Back in the early 70's and 80's I was driving truck all over the US. I thought I was doing things right but there just wasn't enough money. Also at the time I was smoking 2 1/2 to 3 cartons of cigarettes per week. They were not real expensive at the time but it did amount to about $ $30.00 per week, PLUS stopping to buy them out on the road. Stopping with any vehicle and going into a store takes just about a half hour if you rush. Truck stops can be notoriously busy and if they're busy you wait. Also I'd been on the road long enough that just about anyplace I stopped there'd be somebody I knew and then a cup of coffee and talk for at least an hour.
 My wife, Sally, said if you stopped smoking you'd be making more money you know. I said I'd think about it. One of my co-workers was Merlin Delo who was taking a sabbatical from preaching. He was driving truck and it was something he'd always wanted to do. Really he's quite a nice person and I'd tease him and say "the church won't want you back after you've been driving truck" and we'd both laugh. Anyways I talked to him a little bit and told him I thought I'd quit smoking. He said "good, I'll pray for you"
 It is easy to quit I'd done it a hundred times before. This time I bought one of those 50 cent corncob pipes they used to sell and every time I got the urge I'd put that in my mouth. Needless to say it was there a lot.  
  I was dispatched to take a load of frozen fruit to one of the Naval bases in Virginia and I had to go around DC. Now if you think our country is in dire straits you should see the drivers in DC. The belt line that encircles the town if I remember right is about 5 or 6 lanes wide and I was in the second one in from the right side. Minding my own business watching the craziness outside. When in my driver's mirror I see a little car behind me. Like most people he did not like being behind a truck so when he had the chance he passed me quite fast ducked in front of me. What he didn't know was I was following a motorcycle. Of course he didn't see it until he ducked in front of me. I was driving KW cab over and I could see that cars hood emblem bend down when he hit the motorcycle. The car of course being driven by a man (probably a politician) swerved to the left and got the hell out of there.
  The motorcyclist of course was knocked off of the bike and the bike went off to the left and the motorcycle rider was rolling and skidding down the road probably at about 50 mph, RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME!  Of course as I hit all of the brakes (I could hear/feel a thump) I had, turned on the four way flashers as fast as I cold. You could smell burning rubber, hot brakes and and hear tires squealing as there were cars almost colliding someplace back and around me. It was almost dark about 5 to 5:30 in late Nov (rush hour). I also grabbed my flashlight as I got out and started looking for the hapless rider. I'd just put in new batteries and it worked real good. I got down and checked underneath at the front axle and there was some leather hanging there. I know I was near panic and as I stood up a large, "very" large black man said, WHAT YOU LOOKING FOR? I told him I might have run over a guy, he grabbed me by the shoulder and said he's over here. I really did not want to look. The rider was sitting up against a guard rail and he was covered with grease from head to toe. His helmet was still on but askew on his head, leather jacket was torn and oily. He looked at me and asked "what happened?" I told him what I knew and the black man said yes sir that is right. It seems he was right beside me on the right, in his car, and saw basically the same as I did. He said he slammed on his brakes as soon as he saw the accident, and he stopped a lot quicker than I could stop the 80,000 # truck. He said the rider "SQUIRTED" (his exact words) out of the side of my truck just in front of the drive wheels, hence that is why he was covered with grease etc. Those old trucks leaked oil and grease and were nasty to work on.
 The cops finally got there, through all of the traffic and took all of the necessary info. One of the things was the motorcycle driver was from MI. His license was on a friends bigger bike with all of his clothing and etc. As I sat in the cruiser everybody was smoking but me. Somebody asked if I wanted a cigarette and I said no I'd just quit.
 I found out right there that I did not need to smoke! I knew that Merlin's prayers had worked. Who knows what would've happened if I'd been reaching for a cigarette?

 A few years later another miracle happened right on I 96 some place west of Brighton on a snowy slippery day. I was westerly bound headed for home after a few days on the road. As usual in MI it was snowing and there was enough traffic to keep the right two lanes clear of snow but icy as the warm tires melted the snow and the cold air turned it to ice. I decided that I'd go way over in the left lane (where there was no traffic) as it was snow covered (snow is traction) and no ice. I was traveling along at about 55 mph which was too fast but, you know how it goes. Several Meijer's truck were crawling along in the right lane (and like me they were empty and headed back to Lansing) and as I passed them a young lady in a Ford Explorer passed me on the right. As she got in front of me she lost it. I immediately let off of the gas and watched as she went in front of me and then way over to the right lane and then shot on back across the road, right in front of me, just like she was on a horizontal yo-yo or a very tight rubber band. I remember seeing  all of the Meijer's truck an trailers doing everything they could to stay clear. As she started back across towards me, I dropped off the left edge of the road, to give her as much room as possible. At the time I was driving a conventional KW and the snow was flying a lot of it up and over the windshield (much like water spraying up from a boat) from my truck as I was hanging on but still moving at a good clip. As she came back in front of me she was looking right at me and her eyes were quite big (she was frozen in place). I was completely off the road then all I could see was white from the snow. Of course I tried to maintain my speed then or jack-knife. I did not have time to pray. I just hung on waiting for the inevitable, which seemed to take forever. I just edged over to the right, the snow was disappearing, I could see again, and then the next thing I knew I was back on the road in the left hand lane. One of the Meijer drivers shouted and said good driving. All I could say was I was just along for the ride on that one, somebody else was driving. From behind another of the Meijer drivers shouted that the woman was OK and just sitting in her car, way out in the median almost all the way across. Of course we all had to stop at the next rest area, so everybody could tell what they did and saw
 That was of course another miracle as it was out of my hands. Because at 50 mph, blinded by snow, off of the road it was out of my hands.
 Yes it was a miracle! A miracle nobody was hurt, no vehicles were damaged at all, as far as I'm concerned because of the Grace of God.
 I have another miracle but it will be in my next blog entry. PROBABLY THE GREATEST MIRACLE that ever happened to me, besides Jesus.

1 comment:

Kitt said...

WOW!!!! Both excellent stories! You have such a gift with words, Dad. I love you! Kitt