5 Real-Life Holiday Miracles
By Gary Sledge
The blizzard began Thursday night, three days after Christmas, last year. In their small adobe ranch house on Route 56, about 40 miles west of Clayton, New Mexico, five miles from the nearest neighbors, the Glover family was prepared.
By Friday morning, there was a total whiteout. Randy Glover, 39, was out in his workshop, talking to his wife, Christine, on a walkie-talkie when they picked up the voice of Clayton Shumaker, a stranger stalled on the highway. An accident had blocked the road, and as cars came to a stop, the snow trapped them, one by one.
At first, the travelers thought the road would be cleared and they could continue on their way. But after three hours, the blizzard still blowing, it was obvious no one was going anywhere.
Still in radio contact, the Glovers invited the Shumaker clan—six in all—to come to their house. They radioed directions because, though the Shumakers were less than 200 yards away, they couldn't see the house through the snow.
Once inside, the Glovers realized the plight of other motorists. People could die out there. So Clayton put his ski goggles back on and went out in the other direction to find cars stalled and snowbound on the road.
One by one, the wayfarers came—young and old, ages 4 to over 70—44 strangers in all. One had a heart condition. They came tired, scared, snow-blown, and were welcomed in.
It didn't take long for the hungry gang to go through Christine's two big bubbling pots of chili. Luckily one of the stranded stragglers was a truck driver who was carrying a load for four grocery stores. Given the situation, he opened his trailer—and there was enough for everyone.
The Glovers parceled out three beds, a recliner, the sofa and the floors. Randy picked a spot on the kitchen linoleum. "People helped in the kitchen, serving and washing dishes. And everyone was polite and considerate about using the one bathroom," Christine says. The crowd stayed two nights, some until New Year's.
Lance Glover, nine, and little sister Linzie, three, thought the blizzard and the night visitors were the "best fun they'd had for Christmas."
"We laughed, told stories, played dominoes and designed Blizzard of 2006 T-shirts," Randy says.
"The mood of the group was loving," Christine adds. "We got to know each other. We met people who will be friends for life."
Christmas came right on time last year. At the Glover house, out on the high northern plains of New Mexico, a series of blessings let it linger on a little longer.