Divine Rescue at the Motel Pool-by Pam Patterson

My 70-year-old father-in-law jumped in the water first. But he couldn’t get to my daughter. His arms flailed, tangled in the camera strap around his neck.

“Mommy!” three-year-old Jinny cried, her eyes wide with panic. She’d started swim lessons at 18 months and did fine in shallow water, but she’d drifted into the deep end of the motel pool.

Jinny reached frantically for me. She was in the middle of the pool, too far for me to pull her to safety from the deck. Before I could do a thing, she went under.

I looked around, desperate. My husband, Bob, had gone back to our room to get something. No lifeguard on duty. No one else was close to the pool. Just me. And I couldn’t swim. I was terrified of the water.

Some college boys were horsing around on the far side of the deck. “Help us! Please!” I shouted. They didn’t even look my way. They were laughing too loud to hear me.

I couldn’t wait any longer. I wasn’t going to watch my daughter drown. I leaped into the pool. All I could get out before the water went over my head and swallowed me was one word: “God!”

I couldn’t see a thing with water in my eyes. I stretched out my arms. I felt a tiny foot against my palm. Jinny! I got my hands on her back to try to push her to the surface. At that second, I sensed something pushing against my own back. The pressure of two large, strong hands propelling us to the edge of the pool.

The next instant, I was standing on the deck by the deep end, with Jinny in my arms. We didn’t climb any steps or ladder to get out. It was as if we were lifted right out of the water and gently set on dry ground, safe.

A blur flew by me. Bob. He dove in the deep end and pulled his dad out of the pool. My father-in-law coughed and sputtered. Then he caught sight of Jinny and me.

“You’re okay,” he said, wonderingly. “Was there a lifeguard?”

“Yes,” I said, catching my breath. One we never saw and never will see on this earth.

The Window Through Which We Look

~~A young couple moved into a new neighborhoodThe next morning while they were eating breakfast,The young woman saw her neighbor hanging the wash outside. “That laundry is not very clean,” she said. “She doesn’t know how to wash correctly.Perhaps she needs better laundry soap.”Her husband looked on, but remained silent.Every time her neighbor would hang her wash to dry,The young woman would make the same comments.About one month later, the woman was surprised to see a nice clean wash on the line and said to her husband, “Look, she has learned how to wash correctly. I wonder who taught her this.”The husband said, “I got up early this morning andcleaned our windows.”And so it is with life. What we see when watching others depends on the purity of the window through which we look.

IN PURSUIT OF GLORY

I’m not sure when I first discovered Morning Glories. If pressed toRecall, I believe it was in a silk flower store. I’d never seen naturalMorning Glories, but I instantly fell in love with the traditional variety– radiant blue with butter yellow centers.This year, my love was tested. You see, I’m a self-professed vineFanatic. As a child, I drew meandering vines in my notebook when I wasSupposed to be learning geometry. I decorated countless homemade cardsWith flowing vines and wondered about a career as a vine artist. (TurnsOut, there’s not much call for that.)As a novice gardener, I’ve planted moon vines, cardinal red vines andClematis of varying colors. I’ve even allowed a beautiful “weed vine” toWind around the posts of my back porch, just because it looks so graceful.Now its trunk is two-inches in diameter.Last year, I planted my first Morning Glory. It also happened to beThe same year I discovered the beauty of ordering plants over the Internet.While flicking through the pages of one gardening site, I saw MorningGlories and was smitten once again. I clicked, paid and waited. A fewDays later, my precious six-inch seedling arrived unharmed. For the restOf that summer, part of my fence disappeared each morning under dozens ofBrilliant blue Morning Glories.This year I had bigger dreams. I wanted to cover my entire fence withThese gracious vines, but no! The garden site was gone! Three nurseriesIn our area had no seedlings! It was up to me and two packets of seeds.In early April, I made my hands raw nicking over thirty rock hard,Morning Glory seeds. I carefully soaked them for the prescribed amount ofTime, and tucked them into starter pots. Every day my daughter and IChecked under the plastic domes for sprouts. We couldn’t wait for theFirst green head to poke through. So we waited, and waited some more.Finally, two seedlings arrived.Two.My daughter lost interest.I put the seedlings on the window sill and kept them safe until theDanger of a rogue northeast frost had passed. When they seemed strongEnough, I picked a safe spot along the fence (sunny but not one of theDog’s’ favorite spots), mulched, watered and waited.Then I waited some more.One seedling died.The final seedling seemed dazed. Although it didn’t grow, it didn’tWhither either. The next six weeks were some of the hottest and driest onRecord. The seedling held its ground with the help of persistent wateringAnd whispered encouragement, but it stayed the same size as the day IPlanted it.In August, the seedling woke up and remembered it wasn’t meant to be a3-inch plant — it was a vine! Slowly, it made its way up the chain linkFence. There were no flowers, but I was content watching it grow about anInch a day.One morning, over four months after I began this odyssey, I walkedInto the kitchen. My heart sank at the site of a mountain of dirty dishes.I stood absentmindedly in front of the sink, staring out the window,Trying to decide what to tackle first. I was so taken by what I saw that IAudibly sucked in my breath and uttered a soft, “Ohhh!”At the top of the fence was a crown of three luminescent blue MorningGlories. I left the dishes, walked into my backyard and stood next to theVine, grinning from ear to ear.What a triumph! This vine had beaten thirty to one odds by feelingIts way up the fence an inch at a time. Once it woke from its daze, itKept reaching out, believing there’d be a place to take hold. And, as ifTo trumpet its arrival at the summit, the vine splurged with a grandOpening display of three flowers.Silly with pride, I knew this plant had taught me a lesson in gracefulPersistence and relentless faith. Four months, thirty seeds, two seedlingsAnd one resilient vine later, it was well worth it!Believe. Grow. Reach. Trust. Never doubt the pursuit of Glory.– Teri Goggin