What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?

What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?
Remember: "When God closes a door, He always opens a window!" You never know what might be out there waiting for you!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Alarms, Sirens, Whistles, Bells, and “Things That Go Bump in the Night” Revisited 6/22/12 for the RJD Entry

This is my Random Journal Day #13 entry for this week. (Click on the link to learn more about how you can join us...or read what some of my friends are writing).  Again, this is a previous post from my early blogging days, but it comes directly from my journals of the "Saga of the Steiner Family" ...and part of what I had hoped someday would be a real "book"....
But alas, I believe I have come to the realization that the only book I am ever going to write is right here on this blog...you are my readers...and you don't even have to purchase anything to read it!  I guess you could say it is a kind of an "E" book...easily accessible on your computer! So I am definitely up with the times...

To give you a brief history...My husband had been called to Seminary...We had three very young sons...and very little money!  Making this move took what I have termed "A Giant Leap of Faith". The links below will give you the two previous chapters of this part of our history.  If you wish to go back and read them now, click on the links below, and then come back here for what is essentially "Chapter Three".  Now, make yourself a cup of tea, and sit back and enjoy the adventure!


Psalm 91:9-11 “Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge, Even the Most High, your dwelling place, No evil shall befall you, Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling; For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways.”

Our lovely, large, old, interesting house!

The Steiner Family Saga...The Story Continues (Click on these links to get the previous chapters:  Part One: "Trust and Obey",  Part 2: "An Open Door" )

Since my husband was called to serve as the Assistant Pastor of a church out in the country, which was a bit farther out from the Seminary, we felt like it would be wise to live a little closer to the church, or at least halfway between the Seminary and the Church to simplify things. Besides, the two-bedroom apartment we were renting on the Seminary Campus was extremely small, and with three growing boys we were feeling quite cramped. So we found a very interesting large older home to rent in the little community of Nova, Ohio. It was very convenient for us as the school where the boys would attend was literally right in our back yard, so I wouldn’t need a car to get them back and forth while John was at school. It was a crossroads community out in the  middle of farm country, but it had everything we needed within walking distance, including the only phone booth I’ve ever seen where you could make phone calls for 5 cents! Of course, you could only call people right in town for that price, but it was rather quaint and fun.

The Fire Station across the street...and the Halloween Day
parade passing by...I believe one of my boys is waving
at us...that looks like Matthew!
There was also the fire department right across the street from our house. We found out about that the very first night we had moved into our house when the fire alarm started blowing around 2 a.m., and kept blowing until all the volunteers arrived to go to the fire! Talk about a “rude awakening”! You should have seen all five of us jump out of our beds and run to the front windows to see the action going on across the street! Our little boys loved it! We just prayed there wouldn’t be too many fires in that region too often in the middle of the night!

The Fire Station also contained the local tornado siren…I found out about that one evening just as a group of ladies had assembled in my living room for a Women’s Missionary Prayer Meeting, and the tornado siren started blaring! With it right across the street you can imagine how loud that had to have been! But worse yet, what was I going to do with eight or nine women in my house if there was a tornado coming? Our only “basement” was a very small dirt dugout cellar under the house, and it was definitely not a place I wanted to take these women! Not only was it dirty and smelly, but it also appeared to have a small creek running through the middle of it every time it rained! No, we would have to just get blown away in the tornado before I would take them down there! So, we did like any good prayer group should do. We stayed right there in the living room and prayed! There was a great sigh of relief when the siren finally stopped blaring about thirty minutes later. I hollered out the front door to the firemen who had gathered across the street, “Is it safe to come out?” They said that they thought the tornado was a false alarm and we should be ok. Whew! That was a relief! And also an answer to prayer, I might add!

There was also a railroad crossing right in the middle of our little village, and the train whistle could be heard for many a mile as it roared through the countryside. We loved to run out and watch the train fly past as we waved at the conductor and the men in the red caboose! What fun for our boys! (I kind of liked it too).

I guess I never realized how noisy this little town was until I started writing all of this down! There was one more sound that I actually enjoyed, and it gave me a sense of peace and calm each day. It was the sound of church bells ringing everyday at noon, and then hymns would play for half an hour from the little church’s bell tower. I looked forward to that each day! We had truly found a perfect home. Or so we thought…

Psalm 91:5-6 “You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day, Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.”

One night John woke me up out of a sound sleep to tell me that he could hear something scratching in our walls! I listened carefully but didn’t hear anything right away. Just as I was about to drift back off to sleep, he nudged me again and said, “There it is again! Did you hear it that time?” I very groggily but emphatically said “No!” But I knew there would be no more sleeping for me that night. So I lay awake and waited for the “scratching sound” to come back. I guess I drifted back off to sleep because the next time John was almost pushing me out the bed saying, “Get up! There’s something really big in there! It must be a huge rat! Listen, can’t you hear it?” I jumped up and said, “Well, what do you want me to do about it?” He said, “Here, take this flashlight and go see if you can see anything!” “ME?” I cried, “Why me?? What about YOU?” He said, “Well, your eyes are better than mine!”

Now, remember, this was a very big old house, and it had been empty for a while before we moved in, so there’s no telling what could have been “living” in the walls of this old house. I certainly was not too anxious to go exploring in the dark recesses of the attic storage room that was just on the other side of our closet and over the kitchen below. And why was my 6’3” former State Trooper husband asking ME to go look for this monster in the night? Oh well, I figured I might as well go have a look because it was obvious I wasn’t going to get any more sleep until I did! So, armed with the brightest flashlight we could find, and John tip-toeing behind me carrying his police night stick, we crept through the closet, opened the creaky old door to the attic, stepped down into the very spooky, cold, creepy room and started looking about for our huge monster! I did notice an opening in the wall that separated our room from the attic, so we shone the light in there. We couldn’t see anything but some old newspapers stuffed in the wall for insulation, (circa 1920’s we found out later). I told John I wasn’t putting my hand in there and whatever was in there would have to wait until morning when we could see. However, we did get a mousetrap and set it with some cheese on it and slid it in the little opening in the wall. Then we went back to bed and tried to get some sleep.

Sometime around daylight I heard a loud “SNAP!” and ran to see what “huge monster” we had caught in our trap. There lay the tiniest, most pitiful looking little mouse I’d ever seen in my life! I called to John, “Oh John! Come see your monster!” Rather sheepishly he said, “Well, it sure sounded big in the night!”

However, we knew that where there was one baby mouse there had to be more, so that day we set a couple more traps in that same area and one by one we must’ve gotten five or more mice out of that wall! But finally the scratching in the night stopped and we were able to relax and enjoy sleeping again!

Thank you Lord, for taking care of the “monsters” that terrorize us by night. If only all of our “monsters” could be just tiny mice! But Lord, You are always right there, calming our fears, comforting us, and rocking us back to sleep. Thank you, most loving God.

Happy days baking cookies together in the large country kitchen of this old house
Of course, everyone had to lick the batter!

I hope you have enjoyed this chapter in the lives of the Steiner Family.  It was truly a time of testing and faith, with never a dull moment.  Somehow we survived, and my husband eventually received his degree and we moved on to minister for many years in various places....  I can honestly say that the time spent in this big old house gave us many pleasant memories of how God met our needs and set the course of our lives for future "giant leaps of faith" and other interesting moves.


  1. Pamela, I loved every word of this! You paint it so clearly and lovingly, even the hard parts. Thanks for sharing.
    By the way, and this won't surprise you, we have so many things in common, our parsonage when my boys were little was just down the street from our small town volunteer fire dept with..you guessed it, a huge and very loud siren to call everyone in!
    Crazy huh?

    1. Susie, I've told you before that we are soul sisters living in a parallel universe (a.k.a."The Twilight Zone")..LOL! We have lived very similar lives on the opposite ends of our nation...I can't wait to get together someday in person (or in heaven) and continue to compare notes! Thank you for stopping by my big old interesting house! It was fun, huh?

  2. So picturesque, the little village, the way you could walk the boys to school, even the most mice in the lovely old house are innocent and pure, if you know what I mean. I feel a longing for such a life when I read this...you were blessed. You and your family.

    1. Jeskmom...Thank you for your thoughts on this...you are correct in that this was a time of true innocense and purity...I often think back on this time in our lives as the last vestige of that age of innocense. After leaving seminary we were thrust into the battlefield and onto the front lines of ministry...someday I pray that God will give me the freedom to write the whole truth about that...and even though it was a difficult time in our lives, it was always undergirded and overshadowed by the grace and love of our Lord. That has never changed. Thank you for stopping by for a visit at our big old interesting house!!!

  3. Loved this. And the pictures! That was so funny about you not letting the ladies in the basement! I can just picture it all, right down the creek! lol. I will have to post a pic of the Victorian farmhouse my hub had when we first got married- it is similar to your old house!We lived there together for @ 2-3years. Thanks for sharing family memories! But the poor little mice!

    1. Dear Dawn...You are too funny...poor little mice...that is one creature I don't have much sympathy for...that and their big cousins the RATS! No thank you! I'd love to see the pictures of your Victorian Farmhouse! Please do post it! I love old houses, as long as I don't have to pay for all the repairs, etc. We have lived in several, but we rented them each time, thankfully. We now live in a 50 year old house, and that is enough repair work for me! LOL. Glad you enjoyed the story! I may post the remaining chapters in days to come. Thanks for stopping by!


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