Traveling to Paradise Despite the Blizzard

In the belly of the whale... Jonas“In the belly of Jonas!” Cars buried under snow on Jan. 24, 2016 NYC blizzardLast week, from January 22-24, 2016, a category 4 “crippling” Blizzard Jonas was predicted to strike northeastern U.S. with a force that could impact 33 million people and paralyze traffic from Boston to Washington D.C. NYC Snow storm 01.24.16 This time, the weather prognosticators were spot on
(except the storm passed south of Boston, where my son Joel lives). Jonas sure was a whale of a stormJonas was a blizzard of epic proportions,
and as some of our friends demonstrated, “Jonas was a whale of a storm!” Flooding on east coast during Jan. 2016 stormAt least 55 people were killed due to storm-related incidents and flooding,
and economic losses have been estimated at up to $3 billion. Roof vents covered by stormThe storm broke many historic records and has been unofficially considered a “top 10” snowstorm, earning such nicknames as “Snowzilla” Trying to dig out after Storm Jonas & “Snowmageddon” for its mountainous snowfalls (high of 42″ in West Virginia) and horrendous winds (85mph on Assateague Island, MD). Biggest Snowstorm in NYC historyOn January 23 the storm was truly a show stopper in Manhattan
where my brother lives: Cars were buried, traffic banned,
and even all the Broadway shows were cancelled.Newsanchor Tom Costello reporting from LaGuardia. 01.23.16 There were record-breaking snows at both JFK and LaGuardia Airports in NYC, Flights cancelled in NYC due to Blizzard Jonasand more than 13,000 flights were cancelled. Washington D.C. SnowIn Washington D.C., where my little sister lives, Washington D.C. during Jan 2016 stormsnow at the BWI airport broke their historic record, which dated back to 1892! Streets of Philly from USA TodayJonas dumped 22.4″ on Philadelphia (my daughter-in-law Grace’s hometown), which equaled Philly’s average snowfall for an entire year! 25.5 inches of snow in MD 14 states reported more than a foot of snow, and 6 states had more than two feet. Aerial View of Grand Rapids MI in WinterJanuary 23 was also the day Alan and I flew from Grand Rapids to Hawaii.Jet dealing with snowy runwayHaving heard the predictions, we were concerned, particularly when we learned that a plane slid off the runway at O’Hare the night before we were to fly there.US Airways Jet leaving O'Hare Airport However, our flights were bought and paid for, Conference Center at Hilton's Waikola Village Resortas was Alan’s tuition for Mayo Clinic’s Annual Internal Medicine Update,Forecast for Hawaii Jan. 26.16 and the forecast was pretty fabulous if we could just get there, Hawaiin Palmsso we thought we’d take our chances and try to make it safely to Hawaii. Chicago Skyline from the airDespite our anxieties about the weather in Chicago, O'Hare Airportwe made it in and out of O’Hare Airport without a hitch, Phoenix, AZ Aerial Viewand by the time we got to Phoenix…our spirits were risin’…   🙂Pacific Islandby the time we flew over the Pacific, the sky was clearing…Arriving on Big Island. Hawaii from the airand by the time we reached Hawaii, we knew it’d been okay to leave home to go.  Saltwater Lagoon at Hilton's Waikola Village ResortI believe that leaving this earth to go to heaven will be very similar. Hawaiian Sunset on Big Island near HawiThere will be many things to make us feel afraid that we might not make it
safely through the storms of life to reach that “happy, golden shore.” Hawaiian Sunset from the airBut, if you have accepted Christ as your Lord and Savior,
then your tickets are already paid for, Sunrise in Hawaii Jan. 24. 2016and a safe arrival to your destination is assured. Hilton's Waikola Village ResortYou have a room reserved for you and people expecting your arrival!  Picture through mirror at Hilton's Waikola Village ResortIt will be worth it all. I sure hope you’ll come with us! Cloudy Flight to LAX“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God:
I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee;
yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness” (Isaiah 41:10).Hawaiian sunset from Waikaloa

(Special thanks to my brother John, sister Liz, friends [especially Laura and her kids in their “whale”], NBC News and USA Today [for picture of Philly]. The rest are photographs I took last week on our trip to Hawaii.)