Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Venice~To Be Or Not To Be~This Is The Question!

When we finally finished a fabulous lunch at a pizzeria in Nove and headed for home in Aviano, we began to notice a big change in our lovely weather pattern. The more north we traveled the grayer and blacker the sky became. Gray had become the new blue at that point in our travels, but the blackness was a little disconcerting. As you may remember we had arrived the preceding night after dark and hadn't noticed the base is nestled next to a mountain range. As we approached "home" we began see this.

We didn't give it much thought at this point
and were just awed by the beauty of the background.

Right about here it started to snow but we
were just a few minutes from the hotel by then.

The last spot of sunshine going far far away!

We first time visitors were surprised to see
these pretty mountains in the background and we
and no idea what was new snow or had been there awhile.

All we knew for sure, it was mighty COLD!

Once we got in and settled we started to plan the evening...dinner, movies, the usual. The next day we were going to Venice about an hour away, and the day after that we would head home. We looked on the Internet and saw the weather report and beheld this massive weather front over all of Europe with the prediction of several days of unusually cold temps and precipitation, which being interpreted is SNOW and ICE.

After much discussion and prayer we decided that maybe we would skip Venice. We have all been there and have beautiful memories of it. We were not sure we wanted to go with temperatures expected to be about 26 degrees, flooding, and the wind chill factor not figured into the mix at that point.

Visions of this were dancing in my head

And this photo from an article from
a 2008 December day
came to mind!

At first we thought we'd make it an optional outing if anyone wanted to go and the rest could just relax and have a much needed day of doing absolutely nothing. But as we studied the weather patterns that were coming for the areas we needed to pass by to get home we decided that even though all three days looked bad...the mountain passes would be most friendly the next day. We started to figure out what time we wanted to be in the mountains so there would be less chance of ice and determined we should leave the base about 8:30 am the following morning. We are a family that is big on prayer so we all prayed about it, pondered it and knew it was the right thing to do.

So no formal dinner, no movies, no Venice...

We have wonderful memories of our last visit...
in the Square with the pigeons...

And Burano the Beautiful....

The memories are enough....more than enough!

So we started packing and preparing for the next morning. Some of us were a little nervous about it all but we went forward in faith. You have to remember we are Californians...we do not take snow and ice lightly. (Especially when Italy's solution to snow and ice is a bag of salt every 300 feet on the freeway flung over the guard railings.) Do they even had snow equipment... went through my mind for sure. Believe me, I was praying for a miracle and I know Laura was too.

I was determined not to even look out the window (head in the sander, in serious denial and definitely moving forward in faith) I just got up and got dressed and went outside. We found it was still very brisk, but not as gray as the night before. So far no rain/snow. Robert drove the first leg and did a fantastic job. We had about two hours to go before the mountain passes. We figured it would be about ten hours of driving before we clicked on the gate remote at their complex at home.

As we approached the dreaded mountains, Jim took over the driving and this is what we saw out our windows.

Not one drop of rain...just a freezing cold but, beautiful day. The temperature was 26 when we left and two hours later was approaching 40. Even the sun was exactly in the right place shining fully on the roadway over the mountains which meant, no ice at all. Even in the shady spots and numerous bridges and tunnels it was dry. Do you see the miracles in your daily life or would you see this as pure luck or merely a coincidence?

For us, a family of believers, this was a big testimony builder of God's love for us and how He answers the prayers of even our little family. I know there are some that would argue, but what of those who were praying for rain and snow? Well, I am sure He simply said, "No, not today!" (Haven't they had enough already?)

Several hours later Laura was driving and we still had not had one drop of rain, in fact, we never did. We looked out the window and saw this. Every cloud has its silver lining and on this day, in this place, we knew that we had been richly blessed. We can plan, organize and do the things we want to on our trips through life, but God is in charge of our journey. When the spirit warns us of dangers ahead and we listen and obey, we find that faith precedes the miracle. And there is no vista in Venice more beautiful than that to a weary earth traveler!

And by the way, the day we had originally planned to travel was a snow-filled, hazardous day up north, as were several days after that. Not that we were surprised....just filled with gratitude that we had listened to the prompting and for a safe journey home....When God is at the helm...there is nothing to fear. This is our secret to La Dolce Vita!


LA Adams said...

Great example of the tender mercies of the Lord