Sunday, January 22, 2017


Dad, Jay, Evy 1954

To continue on with the record of the cars my dad bought, and the miles he drove, here the details get a little fuzzy for me.  I do recall my older brother, Jay, purchasing a Nash Rambler at some point.  He was still in high school I think.  Somehow, when my youngest brother, Wayne, was about one year old, that would be in about 1957, my mom, Jay, me, Evy, Davy, and Wayne decided to drive the Nash to Spokane from Alexandria.  My mom refused to drive into Washington D.C. but she would drive 3000 miles across the country.  Jay helped with the driving and I sat in the back seat between Davy and Wayne while they stood on their heads and kicked their feet.  I was charged with holding their legs and feet away from kicking anybody sitting in the front seat in the back of the head. Evy must have sat in front also.  All I remember about that trip was that I never babysat again.  (That might have been related to why I allowed Davy and Wayne to take apart the Baby Ben alarm clock.  My mom asked me if I had been watching them.  I said, “Yes, I watched them take apart the clock.”) I had posttraumatic babysitting stress after that.  Evy took over and was in charge of the boys from then on. 

Dick and Wayne in Virginia 1961

So because we took Jay’s car to Washington, my dad must have kept the VW Microbus in Virginia.  

A few years later in 1961, that bus was to take an epic trip from Virginia to Washington, with eight people aboard. Not only did we have my dad, mom, me, Evy, Davy, and Wayne but my grandfather Edson.  He had been staying with us since December.  We decided to visit his relatives and old hometowns on our trip across country for his sake and to gather some genealogy of the family.  My cousin, Dick, had flown down from Alaska for some sightseeing and band camp.  He arrived about the first part of June and we left on our journey for out west about the 26th of July.  He recalls being soaked one night as he slept outside the Microbus under a tarp, which blew off during a storm. (I notice the storm was on July 29, my birthday. We had all forgotten it. The storm topped it off as a good day to forget!) Dick also remembered that the bus had a difficult time chugging up the continental divide with 8 people aboard.  My footlocker for college was strapped on top. 

Edson relatives in about 1961

Grandma and Grandpa Stowell with the grandchildren 1961

Valentine, Dodge truck, Dad, and Heather in about 1982

My dad was to purchase about three or four more cars in his lifetime. His last vehicle was a Dodge truck. 

Below is the report written by Mom about our trip that summer of 1961. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2017


I particularly enjoyed this story by Corrie Ten Boom from her book “Tramp for the Lord.” These verses from Mark 12 could be applied.

Mark 12: 42 And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny.[f] 43 And he called his disciples to him and said to them, “Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. 44 For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”

 One Finger For His Glory
We arrived at her apartment by night in order to escape detection.  We were in Russia(in the region of Lithuania on the Baltic Sea).  Ellen and I had climbed the steep stairs, coming through a small back door into the one room apartment.  It was jammed with furniture, evidence that the old couple had once lived in a much larger and much finer house.
The old woman was lying on a small sofa, propped up by pillows.  Her body was bent and twisted almost beyond recognition by the dread disease of multiple sclerosis.  Her aged husband spent all his time caring for her since she was unable to move off the sofa.
I walked across the room and kissed her wrinkled cheek.  She tried to look up but the muscles in her neck were atrophied so she could only roll her eyes upward and smile.  She raised her right hand, slowly, in jerks.  It was the only part of her body she could control and with her gnarled and deformed knuckles she caressed my face.  I reached over and kissed her index finger, for it was with this one finger that she so long glorified God.
Beside her couch was a vintage typewriter.  Each morning her faithful husband would rise, praising the Lord.  After caring for his wife’s needs and feeding her a simple breakfast, he would prop her into a sitting position on the couch, placing pillows all around her she would not topple over.  Then he would move that ancient black typewriter in front of her on a small table.  From an old cupboard he would remove a stack of cheap yellow paper.  Then, with that blessed one finger, she would begin to type.
All day and far into the night she would type.  She translated Christian books into Russian, Latvian and the language of her people.  Always using that one finger….peck…peck….peck, she typed out the pages.  Portions of the Bible, the books of Billy Graham, Watchman Nee and Corrie ten Boom.  All came from that typewriter…that was why I was there, to thank her.
She was hungry to hear news about these men of God she never met, yet whose books she had so faithfully translated.  We talked about Watchman Nee, who was then in prison in China, and I told her all I knew of his life and ministry.  I also told her of the wonderful ministry of Billy Graham and of the many people who were giving their lives to the Lord.
“Not only does she translater their books”, her husband said as he hovered close by during our conversations, “but she prays for these men everyday while she types.  Sometimes it takes a long time for her finger to hit the key, or for her to get the paper in the machine, but the time she is praying for those whose books she is working on”.
I looked at her wasted form on the sofa, her head pulled down and her feet curled back under her body.  ”Oh Lord, why don’t you heal her?”, I cried inwardly. Her husband sensing my anguish of soul, gave the answer.  ”God has a purpose in her sickness.  Every other Christian in the city is being watched by the secret police. But because she has been sick so long, no one ever looks in on her.  They leave us alone and she is the only person in all the city who can type quietly, undetected by the police”.
I looked around the tiny room, so jammed full of furniture from better days.  In one corner was the kitchen.  Beside the cupboard was her husbands “office”, a battered desk where he sorted out the pages that came from her typewriter, to pass then on to the Christians.  I thought of Jesus sitting over against the treasury, and my heart leaped for joy as I heard Jesus bless this old woman, who like the widow, had given all she had.

I Thessalonians 4:16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.

Saturday, January 14, 2017


Grace and Dave in backyard of the Burbank house 1947

My dad was an excellent driver.  As far as I know he never had one accident while driving up and down the coasts of the United States, and through all states in between.  I don’t remember our first car, which we probably owned in California before we moved to Alaska.  In Alaska we used the government van, which belonged to the Weather bureau.  I don’t remember ever riding in the van though.   I recollect walking everywhere in Fairbanks, as the school, church, and our aunt, uncle, and cousin’s house were near by.  We did ride in our riverboat down the Chena River several times during break up, which was in about July.  When one or the other of us needed to go to the rest room we would stop on one of the islands that had emerged as the river lowered, and use the outdoors.  My sister refused to use the outdoors as a rest room so we brought along a wooden potty chair for her to use on the island which we dubbed “Potty Chair” Island.

River boat on the right.  We would sing cruising down the river on a Sunday afternoon.

My dad’s first car purchase when he arrived in Virginia, after our move from Alaska, while my mom, my 3 siblings, and I stopped to visit our grandparents near Spokane, WA, was a 1949 or 1950 two door, black Ford, with a front seat only.  The back had room for a seat but I believe my dad was of the opinion that you stack kids in the back just as you would the groceries.  Sometimes this plan didn’t work so well as they left me at church, one time, when they failed to count heads.  After that I stuck very close to my mother so I wasn’t forgotten.  We drove the Ford for several years until my next to the youngest brother, at 2 or 3 years of age, figured out how to climb into the car, release the emergency brake, and coast into the nearest tree.  My oldest brother, who was about fourteen, was furious as he had wanted to drive the car, but was forbidden to. 
Evy, Roberta, Jay, Davy in front.  Black 1949 or 1950 Ford in back.

It must have been sometime after my youngest brother was born in 1956 that we purchased a  VW Microbus.  We think it was either a 1955, 1956, or 1957 model.  My brother thinks he was about 4 years old at the time.

One October, Dad drove his, bald tired, Microbus up Belleview Blvd hill in Alexandria, Virginia on his way home from work.  He passed all the tract housing surrounded by freshly cut and edged smooth golf course emerald lawns sprinkled with the first snow of the season.  The street had barely an inch of snow. But many others could not ascend the steep road because of slipping and sliding back down to the bottom not being able to maneuver on the slushy street.  Dad had no trouble maneuvering around those who had failed to make the assent.  He had grown up in Spokane, Washington, and knew how to drive in adverse conditions. 

This must have been owned by my brother Jay or it could have been purchased after the last one was sold.  We tended to use Jay's cars as a second car as long as he got to drive it

The lawn at our house was the only lawn, which was brown at that time.  Although the snow did start greening it a bit. We conserved water even then in the 50’s by not watering. We didn’t have to mow our grass as a result. 

More later.

Sunday, January 8, 2017


What makes a Christmas gift a GREAT gift?  It’s often not something we even put on our wish list.  But it’s usually a gift we really need.   An unnamed source said the following was the very best sermon that he had ever heard.  Click here to go to the link and then click on the arrow to listen. 

Saturday, January 7, 2017


Years ago Chris and I were involved in a battle in the culture war with the Lakewood School District school board.  Lakewood is a very small district located between Arlington and Marysville, Washington.  The problem was that the school board was about to approve an AIDS/HIV curriculum written by the state of Washington in which the students were instructed, not only how to have safe sex with a person of the opposite sex, but also how to have safe homosexual sex.  The Evangelical parents and the Mormon parents banded together as cobelligerents to convince the school board not to adopt the curriculum. The two faiths may not have the same theology but we were in agreement on the damage that such a curriculum could do to our children.  

Now we have faiths of different theologies who have become cobelligerents to fight the heresy of the "prosperity gospel." Paula White is about to pray at Donald Trump's presidential inauguration.  Below you will find a link to a Breakpoint commentary where John Stonestreet  and Ed Stetzer  explain why this is harmful.  Click on the link to listen.

By the way--the parents did not win.  We moved to another school district.