Tuesday, December 6

One Minute After Midnight

When I was a kid, my parents had a dude horse business. We had a small stable in Ouray, Colorado for summer riders, and then in October, we would take the horses to Phoenix, Arizona, for the winter season at a resort.

We hauled the horses in a two-ton truck, nose to tail, ten at a time. To get to Phoenix, we had to travel over a treacherous two-lane mountain pass. I always sat by the passenger window, my mom and two sisters to my left. Dad driving, of course.

I was, and still am, terrified of heights, and the drop off to my right, inches from the highway always gave me the shakes. That part of the road seemed endless back then, and even today is about forty minutes of terror. A sheer drop-off with nothing but air between a vehicle and the bottom of the canyon.

We didn't celebrate Christmas when I was a kid. We didn't have tree. Or turkey. Or stockings. We were poor, and my parents just don't spend a lot of time worrying about holidays. For three little girls growing surrounded by a very affluent neighborhood, this was sometimes tough.

This year, for some reason I can't remember, we had to take some horses to Colorado from Arizona. My dad decided on Christmas Eve for the trip. We set out from Phoenix, hitting the Lizard Head pass late, close to Midnight.

As we neared the dreaded pass, I began to sweat, to breathe heavily. My dad can do anything, and I knew he could drive that pass in his sleep, but it still scared me. As we began to inch over the highway, I realized we were on a sheet of glassy ice.

And the truck, filled with ten heavy horses, began to slide. Toward the edge, for the cliff's edge. To certain death for my mom and dad and my two little sisters. And me, too.

Dad tapped the brakes, guided the truck away from the danger. That big truck spun sideways, my door and the racks screaming against the side of the red cliffs. The tire fell into the ditch on the safe side of the road, tipping the horses. We slid for what seemed forever.

But we stopped. Alive. Scared to death.

We all piled out on shaky legs. Praised God to be alive.

For some reason, my mom asked the time.

One minute after midnight. Christmas.

I have no writing analogy here, other than Christmas miracles occur all the time.

Merry Christmas!







27 comments:

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  2. D'Ann,

    Very nice post. Christmas miracles do happen.

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  3. I'm terrified of heights now. As a kid I thought nothin g of climbing the ladder to the top of our silos. Were the horses okay?

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  4. Yes, Christmas miracles do happen, Ella!

    Shaken up, but fine, Jerri. I've always been afraid of heights. Still am.

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  5. I'm terrified of heights. I can only imagine your fear. Ugh! What a Christmas miracle

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  6. Wow--so glad you guys made it okay! Yes, you're right. Miracles happen every day.

    My BIL has been hit by a car twice in his life. He's a prime example of a walking miracle:)

    Merry Christmas.

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  7. Yipe! I got chills reading that, D'Ann. I pictured it so clearly and that was scary as all get out! I'm really glad you guys made it through that okay so that now we get to know you!

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  8. I'm afraid of heights! Especially driving through the mountians!!!
    I'm so happy everyone including the horses were okay! I believe in miracles.
    This is a great post!
    Neecy

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  9. Awesome story, D'Ann! Gave me goosebumps! I, too, am afraid of heights so I can relate to your fear. Definitely a Christmas miracle :)

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  10. What a beautiful story. Sometimes there are so many miracles around us that seem so little we don't recognize them. I'm so glad your miracle occurred because it means you are here with us.

    Happy Holidays.

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  11. I love Christmas miracle stories! I don't have any myself but I know they're out there. Hauling livestock over icy roads would give me the willies. But driving next to cliffs...not so much. Maybe it's from traveling Hwy 1 (California) along Big Sur all these years that desensitized me to it. Thank you for sharing your Miracle story.

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  12. D'Ann, that's a really amazing and powerful story. Heights make me dizzy as well. Have a wonderful holiday season!

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  13. what a great story/even, D'Ann! Thanks for sharing - I've always believed in Christmas miracles...now I have another reason to believe.

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  14. Oh, my gosh, I'm with Allison. I'm cold chills all over. Also with Kristi: another reason to believe. Terrific post.

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  15. I'm afraid of heights too...can't even begin to describe what I go through. Reading your story, all those feelings rose to the surface. What a scary ride, but what a beautiful story at the end about your Christmas miracle.

    And isn't is wonderful how amazing dad's can be! I miss my dad everyday...treasure yours :)

    Happy Holidays D'Ann :)

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  16. Wow, that gave me chills! Great story and I'm so glad that night a miracle happened and not a tragedy, my friend....

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  17. I got chills reading your account, D'Ann! I have been in the Colorado mountains, pulling a U-Haul trailer in a snowstorm, looking out over the edge and seeing nothing but trees. It is a beautiful sight, but quite terrifying also! Thank you for sharing your experience with us.

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  18. Wow! What a testimony, D'Ann! Praise God and your Dad. Skill of two very strong men.
    Lovely post!
    Tereasa

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  19. Wow! Now that is a real miracle!

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  20. Love this story, D'Ann..
    I'm afraid of heights too, but bridges do me in. LOL
    And miracles, especially christmas miracles, are true blessings!!!

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  21. What a miracle! I too am afraid of heights so that story brought out chills as well. Such a blessing that you're with us. :) Great post too.

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  22. Wow. Great blog. I had a few of those moments when I was young, going camping with my dad...but not one minute after midnight on Christmas, and not with ten horses. I would've peed my pants. I love miracles and glad you're around to share yours!

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  23. I'm afraid of heights too. Beautiful story! So glad you all were okay.

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  24. Thank you, All, for coming by. Don't forget to come by and see what Kristi's post is tomorrow!

    Merry Christmas!

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  25. Wow, what a great Christmas miracle!

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  26. Great Christmas miracle story. Loved it and got chills reading.

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