View From The Ridge

View From The Ridge

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

God's daily protection - again!

Proverbs 30:5  "Every word of God has proven to be true. He is a shield to those who come to him for protection.
Gen 39:21,22  While Joseph was in prison, the LORD was with him. The LORD reached out to him with his unchanging love and gave him protection

 Proverbs 30:5  "Every word of God has proven to be true. He is a shield to those who come to him for protection. 
 Psa 91:10-11  No harm will come to you. No sickness will come near your house.
  He will put his angels in charge of you to protect you in all your ways.

Yes, F0lks, it has been another adventurous day in the day time drama, The Query's in Hawaii.   Do you notice anything that stands out in the attached photo of the left front wheel of our Volvo SUV?  Yes, you are correct, two brand new lug bolts!  Why, you say, would you put in only two new bolts?  Because that is all that was missing.   And that brings us to the story, because, as you know, there is always a story.

It seems for the last two or three weeks I have noticed a faint rhythmic hum type noise that was in time with the rotation of the tires.  There were no handling issues and it did not track or pull one direction of the other.  And with all the company we have had the past month it was easy to forget about the noise.  Plus I don't drive the Volvo very often since the Camaro arrived, surprise surprise.  

So this morning we were taking the Patterson's to the airport, who spent a couple of nights with us on their vacation to Oahu and The Big Island, when this faint hum becomes a much more perceptible rhythmic metallic sound.  Les comments that it sounds like a bearing going out, but all I see is Dollar signs involving overhauling the front wheel drive axle assembly.  After dropping the Pattersons off at the airport and saying our goodbyes, I decide that it is only 10 minutes to Cotta, the Master Volvo Technician, and have him listen to this and give me an estimate on what it is going to cost to make it go away.  

Cotta is an interesting story in himself.  He has been a Volvo technician most of his life, worked for the Honolulu Volvo dealer until he decided he wanted to open his own shop on the Big Island.  He has more work than he knows what to do with, had three of the vehicles inside his small shop, and no less than 6 outside waiting for parts or to be serviced, and is constantly being interrupted by people like me wanting to know what is causing this noise or why is this not working.  

When we arrive, Cotta is busy waiting on a lady.  After about 5 minutes he comes over, I relate what is going on, he asks me if I have had any tire work done, (NO, he last serviced it a month ago) he jumps in the back seat and I head down the alley to the highway to see if he could hear it.  As we are pulling away from his shop, he asks  "Is that the noise you hear" and I replied "yes".  He tells me to stop, jumps out of the car and looks at the left front wheel, tells me to back up, and then motions all the way back to the shop.  Mind you we are still in the alley, haven't gone more that 50 or 60 yards.  I stop in front of the shop as he walks into his office.  I then notice that two of the five lug bolts are gone, two are about 50% backed out and only one appears to be maybe tight.   Cotta comes out with two new lug bolts, tightens and torques those five and then checks the other three wheels with the torque wrench.  Those were all OK.  

He then relates to me how disturbed he is over this because HE was the last one to work on the car when I brought it in for service and his 100,000 mile check where he checks everything, brakes, rotates and balances the wheels, etc.   About this time I notice he looks whiter than when I first arrived, my stomach is churning, because we both realize that Jeri and I came very close to a major incident.  Only God knows how much longer that wheel would have stayed on if I had ignored the warning signs. 

What scares me even more is that Andy and Leslie had used the car several times while they were here the week before and then Tom and Judie had used it the week before that.   So God's protection extended to all of us.  

The weird thing is that I have had this happen three other times with cars and a pick-up after having tire work done, and know what it sounds and feels like, and this did not feel like or sound like a loose wheel.  I had also washed the car two or three weeks ago and I know the lug bolts were there then.  I had to scrub brake dust off of both front wheels and I dried the rims, so I know they were there.  And that was after Cotta had worked on it.

I view this as another feeble attempt by Satan to derail us from what ever God has planned for our remaining days.   It also gives me fodder for another story of how God fulfills his promises to guard and protect his children.  It allows me to give testimony of the legion of guardian angels that work overtime protecting Jeri and me.   And it, hopefully, gives hope to those that read this that God is working in their lives also when they trust in Jesus for protection and guidance.  I think we will be amazed in Heaven when it is revealed how many times angels interceded for us and protected us when we were unaware of anything happening.   Today, Jeri an I dodged another bullet because God was faithful in fulfilling his promise to guard and protect us until that time when he decides that it is time to come home to Him. 

And Yes, we had a wonderfull visit with Les and Cathy.  Wish it could have been longer.  Les played his first 18 holes of golf, didn't do too bad,  we found more balls than he lost, almost had his first birdie (missed a peacock by inches with a drive).   He taught me how to fly a kite (one of those canopy type that you can control) and I was able to fly it reasonably well and managed not to hit anyone with it. 

Cathy and Les heading for the ocean with wave board and kite
 We were experiencing some strong winds that afternoon on the A beach and saw a wind surfer take off across the bay and went way out in the ocean.   Les then gets this idea of taking one of my wave boards and seeing if his kite will pull him across the water.  The wind is blowing about 20-25 knots so Cathy takes the board down to the water, Les attempts to get on it while trying to control the kite and, well, the wind does sorta pull him and the half sumerged wave board a little ways in the water.  I think if we
Preparing for boarding
Obviously over weight.  
had had a surf board or a paddle board, the venture would have been successful.  As it was there was just too much drag.  Probably too much lead in Les' hind quarters.   

But we had a great time and then went to the Hilton and watched the free dolphin show.  

Despite the over loaded conditions some progress was made.


But the end result was crash and burn. 


Friday, November 2, 2012

Visting a live volcano

Steam plume from  Kilauea Volcano
Last week it was doing the Zip line, this week it was standing on the edge of a live volcano.  Yes, folks, it is never dull living on the Big Island of Hawai'i.  There is always something going on every weekend and this week it has been the Kona Coffee festival and the Big Island Farm Show, what ever that is.  We will have to check that out.

We were first privileged to view this phenomena of nature, a live erupting volcano,  back in 1989 and were able to walk on top of week old lava flows and had access to fresh flows virtually within feet of us, the limits being determined by how much heat you could stand.  It is something that was the most exciting thing we have ever seen and is only topped by being able to walk on the temple steps in Jerusalem where Jesus walked.  

A group of fishermen narrowly escape in their vehicle as lava covers a section of Highway 130 in Kalapana, on 17 July 2010
 group of fishermen narrowly escape in their vehicle as lava covers a section of Highway 130 in Kalapana, on 17 July 2010 (picture from volcano web site)
Lava enters Gary Sleik's back garden, burning trees and shrubbery

erupting since 1983

Lava enters Gary Sleik's back garden, burning trees and shrubbery(picture from Volcano web site)
    The current eruption of Kilauea (known as the Pu`u `O`o Eruption) started in Jan. 1983 and as of January 2000, had produced 1.9 km3of lava, had covered 102 km2, and had added 205 hectares to Kilauea's southern shore. In the process, lava flows unfortunately destroyed 181 houses and resurfaced 13 km of highway with as much as 25 m of lava. It has also destroyed the National Park visitor center and a 700 year-old Hawaiian temple ("Waha'ula heiau"). There are no signs that the current eruption is slowing or will come to an end anytime soon.  Hawaii, nicknamed BIG ISLAND because of it's 8 major volcanoes, is currently 4038 square miles (approx. 6 500 square km ) and grows around 42 acres every year thanks to all of mount Kilauea's eruptions.  Since 1983 it has grown approximately 1290 acres.

While all of this is going on, just off the coast of Hawaii there is a new island being formed 

The island of Hawaii, showing Loihi's position southeast of the main landmassʻihi Seamount is an active submarine volcano located around 35 km (22 mi) off the southeast coast of the island of Hawaiʻi[6] about 975 m (3,000 ft) below sea level. This seamount lies on the flank of Mauna Loa, the largest shield volcano on Earth. Lōʻihi means "long" in Hawaiian.[4]
ʻihi Seamount is the newest volcano in the Hawaiian-Emperor seamount chain, a string of volcanoes that stretches over 5,800 km (3,600 mi) northwest of Lōʻihi and the island of Hawaiʻi. Unlike most active volcanoes in the Pacific Ocean that make up the active plate margins on the Pacific Ring of Fire, Lōʻihi and the other volcanoes of the Hawaiian-Emperor seamount chain are hotspot volcanoes and formed well away from the nearest plate boundary. Volcanoes in the Hawaiian Islands arise from the Hawaiʻi hotspot, and as the youngest volcano in the chain, Lōʻihi is the only Hawaiian volcano in the deep submarine preshield stage of development.

ʻihi Seamount
Yellow rocks underwater with a few red and green regions
Yellow iron oxide-covered lava rock on the flank of Lōʻihi

Last house standing, Jack Thompson's place in 2010
I took this picture of Jack Thompson's place while on a helicopter tour of the volcano in 2010.  The following year the Lava finally took out his place.

There are consequences for living on a live volcano.  Ask Jack Thompson and he will give you testimony of thirty years of watching lava trying to burn him and his house alive.  For those thirty years he watched the lava flow on either side of him, but in 2011 the lava had built up so that it finally flowed right over his house. 

Lave flow encroaching on Jack Thompson's place. (2011 News Photo)
taken in 2010 from helicopter tour

The amazing thing is that people who lost their homes in a previous lava flow have had their property resurveyed and rebuilt homes on top of the lava covering their original property. 

Hiker on trail of Kilauea Caldera with steam vents


 We took in the walk through a lava tube. 

Light at the end of the tunnel

We hung around until dusk hoping to get pictures of the lava glow in the steam plume.  Unfortunately it was also raining which provide some really neat rainbows but not so good for the glow.  Maybe next time.  

Double rainbow over Kilauea Calder

Turtles of Hawaii Lizards of Hawaii Snakes of Hawaii Frogs of Hawaii

In 1972, the Jackson's Chameleon (Chamaeloeo jacksonii) was introduced to the Hawaiian Islands from its native land of Kenya and Tanzania. In the last 30 + years, these species have multiplied and formed a large breeding population on Oahu, Maui, Kauai, and Hawaii. In particular they can be found on the Koolau range, Oahu. Their abundance may be underestimated based on the fact that these chameleon's are difficult to see unless you happen to look right at one.

Judie and Jeri caught sight of this one walking on the neighbors power line and I went out and took several photos of it.   
 The longer I live the more amazed I am with this planet we occupy.  I am a died in the wool creationist because of the evidence that surrounds me no matter what part of this earth I happen to be on.  There is such a diversity of plant, animal, insect, fish and bird life that I find it very difficult to entertain the idea that all this happened by chance by evolution.  The colors in the landscape, the sunsets, rainbows, the vast number of animals that make me laugh, all of this created by a God who loves us and provided a world that stimulates creativity and wild emotions.  He could have just as easily provide a boring world that lacked the colors and variety of plants and animals.  I believe it would be a world much like that if it were left to chance.   Since returning to the Island we have been continually entertained by the environment through just being alive everyday and  observing what is happening all around us.  We have been a witness to the creativity of God on a daily basis and daily we thank him.  We were privileged to have lived on the ranch on Pumpkin Ridge for 37 years and saw the beauty he created in Eastern Oregon, and now we are privilege to see and enjoy a totally different part of his world.  What an awesome God we serve!