A Return to World War II–Tillamook Air Museum


An aerial photo provided by the museum

 While mini-vacationing on the Oregon coast last weekend, my husband and I visited the Tillamook Air Museum. “Hangar B”, as it is referred to, was commissioned, along with its sister, “Hangar A”, by the Navy in December 1942 and completed in August of 1943. The structure is more than a thousand feet long and almost 200 feet ( fifteen stories) high. It covers an area of seven acres, enough room to play six football games. Doors are one hundred twenty feet high. 

 The Navy constructed seventeen such hangars around the nation in 1942. Hangar A was completed in only twenty seven days which, when considering the size of the building and the era in which it was built, seems like a miracle. No serious injuries were reported on the project—another wonder. Hangar A was destroyed by fire in 1992. 

The hangars were used to house the K-class blimps the Navy was using for anti-submarine coastal patrol and convoy escort. Squadron ZP-33 was stationed at Hangar B with a complement of eight K-ships. Each blimp was 252 feet long and filled with 425,000 cubic feet of helium. They could stay aloft for three days and cover a range of 2000 miles, an ability well-suited to patrolling the coast and escorting ships. 

The hangar, decommissioned in 1948, has been one of the top five privately owned collections in the nation since 1994. Reconditioned planes of every sort imaginable, as well as other WWII regalia, fill its interior. Exhibits include military work stations where a mannequin in navy, army, or marine uniform sits at his post amid equipment used during the war. A theater offers an overview of the hangar and its history, as well as a museum area that hosts letters, medals and pictures from that era. Scattered around the site are classic cars, military vehicles, a helicopter or two, and searchlights.

Well worth the trip, the Tillamook Air Museum is an adventure back in time and comes reasonably priced. Even a replica of a wartime café is open for business and sells everything from burger baskets in red-and-white-checkered containers to latté mochas. The museum is a reminder of the price that has been paid for the freedom we continue to enjoy and of God’s blessing on our nation.

Psalm 33:12 (KJ) “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.”

1040–A Taxing Experience

A three-ring binder works for us

I met with the tax preparer this week. Relatively painless, I anticipate the annual meeting with a sense of expectancy. There’s something about sitting down with a year’s worth of receipts and reliving the past twelve months. Sort of like life flashing before your eyes?

My husband and I, after several years of stuffing our receipts into a bag until tax time, developed a new system with a three-ring binder and plastic sleeves. I know there are lots of methods out there, but this has worked for us over time.

 Each sleeve holds a month’s worth of receipts, plus we have extras at the back for doctor bills, writing expenditures and rental deductions. At year’s end we only have to tally the numbers and slot them into the organizer our tax preparer gives us. What used to take a day or two of our time now requires a couple of hours. Heavenly!

I find it fun looking over the evidence of how we spent (literally) the last twelve months, recalling dinners out, a surprise storm that damaged our trees, and trips we made. Like a video recording, the list of expenses detail the minutes of my life. Some receipts are a pleasure to remember, others not so much.

Recalling our life will be required when we stand before the holy God of heaven at the end of our days. For Christians, those who have placed their trust in the gift of salvation offered them by Jesus at the cross, our deeds will be covered and washed clean by the sacrifice the Savior made for us.

In Romans 14:11-12 (NKJV), Paul writes, “For it is written, ‘As I live, says the Lord, Every knee shall bow to Me, And every tongue shall confess to God.’  So then, each of us shall give account of himself to God.”

To think of giving an account before the Creator of the universe makes me much more aware of how I live each day of my life, seeking time for prayer and direction from the One who wants to give it. Before God, I won’t need a receipt. Jesus will be there, covering the deed for me with his love.

Valentine’s Day–Give the Gift of Romantic Reading

Drawn from a cartoon by Rachel Lee

 February 14 can mean different things for many people. For some, it’s a night out to dinner, flowers, candy and precious moments spent with the love of your life. For others, it can be the loneliest day of the year. Death, divorce and missed opportunities can leave many feeling left out by a holiday that declares love is for all. 

But something I can recommend for anyone who likes to read is the gift of a good book. For a romantic. For a friend. For yourself.

One author I’ve recently discovered is Tamera Alexander, who writes historical romance, much of it with a southern flair. In The Inheritance (Bethany House), McKenna and Wyatt weave a compelling tale of new beginnings. In A Lasting Impression (Bethany House), Claire and Sutton meet while in the employ of Mrs. Adelicia Acklen, who built the famed Belmont Mansion, a stunning antebellum manor in Nashville, Tennessee. 

I rarely remember character names after I’ve read a novel, but  Alexander’s characters leave me wishing the character and I could be friends. Alexander writes in such detail that readers feel as though they’ve been transported into the character’s mind and are living the book through the character’s eyes. A wonderful experience.

If contemporary romance is more your style, try Anita Higman’s latest release from Barbour Publishers, Texas Wildflowers. Higman writes with a refreshing sense of humor and some of her witty asides will leave you giggling your way to the end. 

Both Alexander’s and Higman’s books are available from Christian Book Distributors—CBD.com. 

This Valentine’s day, give yourself the gift of love—God ordained it and put references to it throughout his Old and New Testaments. Who better to recommend love than Him?