Friday, December 19, 2014

Christmas Mishaps II

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!




  1. That is so scary! Glad no one was injured.


  2. That really is crazy! You definitely have different memories than most of us. What an adventure to live there and it's great that you have photos, too. Merry Christmas sweet friend! Hope this year is....uneventful! Hugs, Diane

  3. Oh my that would be quite memorable for sure. Your resting tree made me smile. Glad you are having some good moments of Christmas joy this year.

  4. I guess the oddest part is that you weren't clueing in to how dangerous the situation was. Glad it finally registered and that no one was hurt - just a whole roof missing.
    The tree that needed a nap was funny!
    Pretty neat stars you created and I hope there are no mishaps this Christmas for you Lorrie.

  5. I have heard of people being disconnected from events...psychologists say that it is a result of watching television and movies...not sure there. I can certainly see why it was a memorable Christmas. The origami star is darling...a bit too fiddly for me, but sweet for those with patience and dexterity.

  6. Oh the stories! Seems for us some of the most memorable are the ones when we were living overseas and making do with what we had. I would imagine this would be one of your most memorable! Thanks for the star link, I would hope to have some time to sit and enjoy making one!

  7. Hi Lorrie, Oh my goodness, what a Christmas! I laughed out loud when I saw your tree "taking a nap" on the sofa. :-D Too funny! I can't believe you had a tornado on Christmas day -- so thankful for you and your neighbors that no one was hurt. We had a tornado come through our neighborhood back in 1998, as in right through our backyard. It took out every tree in our backyard (about a dozen 100-ft. poplars) and did about $30,000 worth of damage to our house. Believe me, I sit up and take notice now when our weather forecast is calling for tornadoes.

    Your origami stars are just lovely, Lorrie! Thank you for sharing the links with us. I'm sorry I've been remiss in visiting; we've been extra busy around here. Have a great weekend.


    Denise at Forest Manor

  8. What a 'sleepy' tree. And what an eventful Christmas that year was for you! Hopefully it will be much calmer this year.

    Those origami stars are quite lovely. Thanks for the links.

    Enjoy your weekend,

  9. Oh my goodness, what a mishap!! Isn't it marvelous how God's hand is always over us, protecting us from the unseen?

    I must show my girls your stars. They love paper crafts!

  10. Anonymous7:51 PM

    That is quite an adventure story - a skinny tornado! Those stars are very attractive and festive.

  11. Wow! That's a memorable story -- scary to live through, I'm sure!

  12. That is quite a story! Stay safe and warm this year please.

  13. Oh My! I hope your Christmas is wonderful and without mishap this year. Merry Christmas! Bonnie

  14. Merry Christmas. May your home be filled with joy and peace. Thank you so much visiting the Garden Spot and leaving such sweet comments. We will have lots to write about next week, won't we. Hopefully our celebrations will be great without mishaps and wind.

  15. You have had several very memorable Christmas's! Wishing you a peaceful and meaningful Christmas that is mishap free!

  16. My goodness, Lorrie, that certainly was a memorable Christmas! Thanks for sharing those photos; they really do illustrate your story so fittingly, as do your beautiful stars, signs that Christmas 2014 will soon be shining throughout the world.

    Happy Christmas, my friend!


  17. Oh my! Pretty scary! Thankfully everyone was okay. Happy holidays, Tammy

  18. I laughed at your tree story. One year our tree laid down 3 times. The last time we had presents under it that very mostly books. What a disaster! We dried books for days. Never the same. Needless to say that was our last year for a live tree much to the chagrin of our grown kids.

  19. I can see why that Christmas went down in history! You remember the details so well, it must have been quite something to process! May you home be filled with joy and peace this Christmas! It's looking beautiful there!

  20. Love the paper stars, but your past Christmas made both smile and cringe.
    Memories are what make like so special.


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