On this #TellAMemoryTuesday, I conclude the stories of our troubles that first week in Plainfield, New Jersey. You can find links to the first three parts at my Tell A Memory Tuesday page. Last week I was still telling about the first day that week. This post tells about how our second daughter, Jamie, got lost at the Turtle Back Zoo in West Orange, New Jersey.
Troubles at the Zoo
This week seemed full of troubles for us. Another day my friends took the girls to the zoo while I spent the day at the hospital with Steve. While at the zoo, Jamie got lost. She was always excited running ahead of everyone, and somehow she got out of their sight. Here I share her memories about that time:
You have to say something about how I wandered off, because I was looking for the turtle. It was the Turtleback zoo, wasn’t it? I’m sure I mentioned it several times but no one paid me any mind, so I decided to find it for myself.
I went and asked an old man who looked really nice like a grandpa if he could help me find my way.
I remember taking his hand and the next thing I remember is waiting in a little office area with off-white/yellow walls.
I remember concrete, a black railing fence, and someone with a balloon which I envied. I remember it from my vantage point as a child. All things were up, above my head.
Jamie had curly hair with one curl right on top of her head. So when my friend started asking people if they had seen her she described her as the littlest child on the comic strip “Family Circus.” (I don’t know if people remember that, but she was a very young girl with one curl on top of her head.)
More Troubles that Day
Later that day, while playing at the house of those same friends, Jamie somehow got hurt and had to go to the emergency room to be checked out, but she was okay.
When the girls and I finally made our way home, we were met with a mess. The toilet overflowed again and the sewer backed up in the basement. At that point, the girls and I went back to stay at our friend’s house until Steve was better.
(Later we found out that the city had damaged the sewer line when they dug things up to put in a storm sewer. They didn’t discover it before, because the lady that lived there never used as much water as a family with a washing machine. The problems with that and getting the city to pay for the damage is another story entirely.)
Hard Things but God Sustains
At that point, the girls and I went back to stay at our friend’s house until Steve was better. As you can see, that was a very hard week for me. Throughout it all, though, God gave me strength, showed kindness through my church friends, and provided for all my needs.
My life has had its ups and downs like everybody else. I’ve not always had the best attitude or understanding. But through it all God has sustained, guided and strengthened me for all He has called me to do.
Psalm 18:30-36 (CSB)
God—his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is pure.
He is a shield to all who take refuge in him.
For who is God besides the Lord? And who is a rock? Only our God.
God—he clothes me with strength and makes my way perfect.
He makes my feet like the feet of a deer and sets me securely on the heights.
He trains my hands for war; my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
You have given me the shield of your salvation; your right hand upholds me,
and your humility exalts me.
You make a spacious place beneath me for my steps, and my ankles do not give way.
Time Goes By
Time passed. We fixed up the house, and Steve built some backyard playground equipment. He put up swings between the two trees at the back of the house. There was a “bridge” with ladder steps leading up one side and down the other. Later he added a seesaw and a very wide sliding board. All the neighborhood kids loved to come to our yard. They called it the park.
These past few weeks about Plainfield have been updates from former posts. There are more stories to come from our time living there, but I will have to start from scratch looking at photos and remembering before I share them. Next week I may share another story from childhood or early adulthood or a summary of a section of my life.
I hope my stories encourage you as they have me as I look back and see how God provided then and is still caring for us now. Does this bring to mind any memories of your own? I’d love to hear about them.
I’m linking up with: #TellHisStory