Thursday, April 9, 2015


(Julia writing)

I consider myself to be a pretty steady, even-keeled, not-too-quick-to-lose-my-head sort of person.

Case in point: I've never balked at riding elevators in this country, despite all of these terror-inducing features which most of them share:
  1. They are roughly half the size of an old-fashioned phone booth.
  2. They have broad gaps between door and car, allowing attentive riders like me to see all the way to the bottom of the elevator shaft as they enter the car.
  3. Their cables creak ominously, as if the slightest stress might send the car plunging into the abyss.

On the upside, all of those gaps in the car allow for plenty of ventilation in case of a lesser disaster, such as being trapped in a dark, unmoving car.

Which is what happened to Aaron and me.

Back in the capital last Wednesday, our driver called to say that he was coming to take us from our 6th-floor apartment to the train station. In preparation for his arrival, we carried all six pieces of luggage plus Aaron's wheelchair out to the elevator.

Since the elevator was nowhere near large enough to hold all of that, we would have to go in shifts. Leaving Rob behind, I pushed two bags into the car, climbed in with Aaron and pushed the button for the first floor.

In a functioning elevator, pushing the button usually produces two results: the door closes, and the car starts to move.

This elevator was a bit different. The door closed all right, and the car started to move; but a second later, the car ground to a halt, and the lights went dead. Imagine my delight at being stuck inside a dead, dark elevator with only a cell phone screen for light. Actually, the only reason the cell phone lit up was because our driver chose that very moment to call and say that he was getting close. The perfect timing of his call meant that he, Rob and about half of the capital heard my panicked scream that we were STUCK IN AN ELEVATOR and GET US OUT OF HERE! 

In my panic, I pushed every single button on the panel, which probably only confused the poor contraption even more.  Meanwhile, Aaron progressed from shock to fear to outright terror.  The combination of darkness and large bags between us left me no means of comforting him.

Thankfully, Rob is less prone to panic, especially when he's not personally trapped in an elevator. Thinking quickly, he rushed down one flight of stairs and pushed the call button on the floor below. After a moment's consideration, the wise old elevator decided to obey that signal. The lights came on, and down we went.

The moment the door opened, Aaron flew out of that elevator like a bat from a cave.  I did too, at first.  Now that the door was open, though, my panicked mind was actually more worried about losing our luggage than it was about being trapped.

Rob says that as I rushed back in to get my last bag, it was as if time slowed down: he knew exactly what was about to happen, but was powerless to prevent it. Just as he feared, the door snapped shut, the lights went out, and the car ground to a halt a second time.

Alone in the car this time, I must admit that I came completely came unglued.  I'm not proud of it, okay? I screamed, yelled and cried like a little girl.

Once again, Rob rushed down one flight of stairs to push the call button, which got me going again. This time, I exited even faster than Aaron. The only problem now was that our luggage was scattered over three floors!

As if to demonstrate his masculine mastery of machinery, Rob used that cranky elevator to collect and bring down all of our bags. The smug son of a gun didn't get stuck once.


In other news, we've decided to head home while we wait for our court appointment, which won't arrive for about two weeks. We're leaving region on the night train, and flying out of the capital early Saturday morning.

Aaron and I are both hoping that whatever apartment we find in the capital is NOT on the 6th floor.

I'm not feeling very steady and even-keeled at the thought of riding in another elevator in this country!


  1. Dear ones, Thanking our Lord for your protection. I will be praying Psalm 91 over your family.
    Keep a peaceful heart. Think of the great stories you will share concerning this adventure of love. You and Aaron were very brave! This journey is not easy, but oh so worth it! God has
    such amazing plans for you all! Thank you for sharing this journey on your blog.
    In my prayers, Mrs. Kathy from Ohio

  2. Oh man, I have been in multiple elevator incidents (in the US), and just to rub it in my face God gave me a child with CP. I get to ride the elevator every time...

  3. Oh my goodness. I know this isn't funny, but I can't stop laughing--this sounds like an episode of "I Love Lucy." We will add "good fortune with elevators" to our list of prayers for your family :)

  4. Oh my goodness! I would have lost it too!!! ((((HUGS)))) Poor Aaron, poor you. Thank the Lord Rob was able to save the day!

  5. You know how they say: ONE DAY YOU'LL LAUGH ABOUT THIS"...well, I'm laughing now, pioneering the way for you! See you soon!!!! Kel

  6. One of our great memories from Russia is how our little Anastasia heard a women trapped in the hotel elevator and "saved" her. So, I know where you are coming from.


Loving words from kind people make our hearts glad!