Christmas 1994. The five of us were living in a small town on the edge of the Amazon jungle. It seems odd to write that now, from 20 years distance. Pine trees grew in the mountains and we would bring one down from the capital city, Quito, to fill the house with its lovely scent. The photos here are taken from an album, snapped in situ. Isn't it a pretty tree?
The tree had enough of standing up in the night and decided to lie down on the couch. We set it back up. The next morning, same thing - the tree needed a nap. We set it back up and there it stayed. But wait...there's more!
That year, we enjoyed Christmas dinner in the guest house just across the driveway. While the adults cleaned up the dinner and prepared for dessert, our children and some of their friends went back to our house to play. A huge wind came up and I walked over to check on the kids.
I looked up and saw debris floating in the air. Debris - like two by fours and big pieces of things. I thought it odd at the time, but was rather clueless about taking shelter. In the house, the children in Cristal's room were oohing and aahing about the tree hitting the transformer creating an enormous shower of sparks just outside her bedroom window. More cluelessness.
Our neighbours' house is shown in the photo above. We watched the wind lift the roof right off the rafters and carry it across the street before dropping it. Then the rain began. I ran to the door to tell Claudia that her roof was missing.
"Oh, it's okay," she said, "it's just a little rain. We've put some buckets under the leaks."
"No, no," I said, "your roof is gone."
Claudia and her husband are German doctors who speak very good English, but communication was clearly missing. I finally took her by the hand and drew her out into the yard to look at her roof, a sight which galvanized her into action, marshaling her family to rescue belongings before the ceiling collapsed from the rain.
We spent the rest of Christmas day cleaning up, moving stuff, mopping up. Our conclusion is that the wind was a tornado with a very narrow swath. The wind blew across the road into a hangar and drove one small plane into another, then blew across the runway and caused a small amount of damage to two military personnel homes.
We are all very thankful to God for protecting life and limb. That Christmas goes down in our family archives as one of the most memorable.
Back to 2014. I saw these origami folded stars on a German blog and followed the links to create a few of my own. I have more pentagons cut and waiting for folding in odd moments.
I printed French postal stamps from Just Something I Made onto photocopy paper, and followed the tutorial from Homemade Gifts Made Easy for the folding. The way the stars suddenly crumple into a five-pointed shape is amazing. If you have people around looking for something to do, have them fold a few.
Wishing you Christmas joy throughout your day!