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Archive for February, 2007

Love at First Sight?

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In a recent post, I had reiterated the true story of how Mike and I met 32 years ago when we were teenagers.  I ran across these pictures of us above that were taken about a year after we had met in 1975.  Mike still staunchly claims to this day that when he first laid his eyes on me, it was love at first sight.  For me, however, it took awhile before I even admitted that I was in love.  Coming from a broken family (my dad and mom split up when I was 10), I suppose that event affected my views on love.  But eventually I did grow to love Mike very much, and today, next to Jesus, he is the love of my life. 

The question I would like to pose to my dear readers is, do you believe in love at first sight?  I would have to say that to a certain extent, I do believe in it.  When our son Jeremy was born, the minute the doctor placed him on my chest, and he opened just one of his newborn eyes and peered at his new mommy, my heart was totally lost to him.  That was love at first sight for me!  But I carried Jeremy for 9 months, so I think there was already a bond there.   That was more of a maternal love at first sight.  But what I’m referring to by “love at first sight”, is when you first met your future mate.  Was it love at first sight?  Is there such a thing?

I welcome your comments.

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The  following article was taken from the San Francisco Chronicle, dated January 27, 2007. I found it to be quite fascinating.  All the trees in the lower part of the picture grew up under the shadow of a rock.  This provided them with shelter, protection and even more nutrients than if they had grown up alone.  I can see a perfect correlation between this and our walk with God.  Jesus is our ROCK.  And if we stay close to the ROCK, we will grow and flourish, just as these trees have. 

Moss grows on the north sides of trees. Everyone who sets foot beyond a trailhead knows that. But there’s more to that ecological truism than providing two-footed adventurers with an organic compass. There is no place where this north-side microecology is more intriguingly displayed than in Yellowstone’s “buddy” rocks. In the northern part of the park, away from the geysers and bubbling mud pots that gather the big crowds, there is a boulder-strewn bench above the Yellowstone River. Some of the rocks there are the size of the motor homes cruising by, but most are between wolf and bison size and have a Douglas fir tucked up beside them so close that the tree seems to have an embracing branch around the rock. To a geologist, these rocks say the valley was recently, as geologists measure time, visited by a glacier. With all the volcanic action in Yellowstone, the park’s glacial history doesn’t get much notice, but not long ago the area we now call a national park was covered by an ice shield several thousand feet thick. When the ice finally melted and retreated back to the Beartooth Mountains, it left the rocks behind. Technically, the boulders are called glacial erratics. This is debris that fell into the slooow-moving ice in one place, only to be deposited in another place when the ice melted. The ice retreated from this area 13,000 years ago. The trees that grow in the northwest shadows of these rocks know and care nothing of glaciers, though. They “know” only survival, and here survival is chancy at best. The plateau is exposed, windy and dry. Much of Yellowstone’s north country is sage grassland just like it. Were it not for the shelter of the rocks, there would be no trees here at all. The boulder field is above 7,000 feet. At that altitude the atmosphere is less dense and doesn’t filter sunlight well. Exposed tiny tree shoots can be burned and dried easily in summer and torn by wind-rocketed ice crystals in winter before they can spread their limbs. But these trees have big buddies that stand up to the wind and sun for them. Life-giving moisture, precious and spare in the Rockies, is more abundant in the shade of the rocks. Exposed big rocks also tend to absorb and hold heat better than does open ground. This leaves the ground at their bases ice-free longer than open ground. Just as sand accumulates in river eddies, bits of plant and animal matter accumulate in the lee of the rocks and provide vital nutrients to seedlings setting down roots. So seeds have a better chance of germinating and surviving their first vulnerable years if they fall on the northern side of one of the buddy rocks. Douglas fir seeds, smaller than a grain of rice, have sails on them that catch the wind. Wind currents speed up as they rush over the leading edge of a rock but slow again in the rock’s lee. Simple physics, really, but a reality that increases the chances of a fir seed landing in the haven of a buddy rock. The trees here do not grow quickly. Some have been buddied up as you see them for a hundred years or more. In that time they have seen many bison and elk pass. The relationship between the park’s large mammals and trees is far from benign. In some parts of the park, the animals are as dangerous as fire or insects. Elk and bison are tree rubbers. Male elk scrape the velvet from their antlers and sharpen the tines by rubbing them against rocks and trees, most often removing the tree’s bark with the velvet. Bison scratch off their summer and winter fur each season by rubbing against whatever is handy, usually trees. But, for reasons no one has been able to sort out, Yellowstone’s buddy trees show no signs of having been victimized by elk or bison. Somehow, big brother rock has protected them from the beasts as well as the weather. Look closely at the photograph above. Every tree you see there has a buddy. Even the protoforest in the background is sheltered by the hill. Yet as obvious and intriguing as the field of buddy rocks is, millions of park visitors pass it every year without noticing. It’s like the way moss grows on trees. We can know and not notice. Freelance writer “Digger” Jerry George sends his journal “letters” home to the Bay Area from Yellowstone National Park — or wherever he happens to be observing nature. E-mail him at home@sfchronicle.com.   

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karebub-yosemite-june2006.jpgFebruary 2 is a very special day to Mike and me.  No, it’s not because it’s Groundhog Day, and by the way, looks like spring is going to come early this year. Yippee!  No, the reason we deem this a special day is because 32 years ago on this day, we met!  At the tender ages of 14 and 15, our story begins.   This is how it happened: My cousins invited my sister Carol, brother Tom and I to go to the local roller rink to skate.  It was a Sunday night, and the skating session was from 2-5pm.  I had not been skating in a long time, so when I made it out on the rink, I was wobbly at best!  About two hours or so into it, the referees called for all the girls to gather on one end of the rink and all the guys on the other end.  This session was called “multiplying couples”, and the way it worked was that someone would ask someone else to skate.  When the referee blew his whistle, the couple had to break up and each had to go ask someone else to skate; hence the term, multiplying couples.  Unbeknownst to me, Mike had been following me around the rink for the past two hours.  He was smitten, but too chicken to ask me to skate.  When the multiplying couples session started, before he could go ask me to skate, another girl asked him.  He figured this would be his chance to get out there in the rink and hoped that the referee would blow his whistle soon so he could come ask me to skate.  After eons, the whistle blew, and Mike made his move to come ask me.  However, the girl would not let go of his hand.  After several seconds, he made it clear that it was time to split up.  Then he made a beeline for me.  I had no idea any of this was going on at the time.  I was just a shy, skinny girl who did not think any boy would ever take an interest in me.  I was hiding behind a group of girls when Mike skated up and said, “Would you like to skate”?  All of a sudden the crowd parted and there I was facing Mike.  “Who me”, I asked.  “Yes”, he said.  And that was the start of our 32-year relationship.  As he literally dragged me around the rink while I tripped and stumbled, I thought he would never want to skate with or see me again.  I was such a klutz.  But he came back to the rink the next weekend, and amazingly, so did I.  It was a miracle though that I even made it.  I was flat broke.  I had to beg my younger siblings to borrow money to be able to go.   Two days later, my grandparents were over at our home with us celebrating my soon-to-be 15th birthday.  In the midst of the celebration, a knock sounded on the front door.  Mom went to answer it, followed by my 5 other siblings.  Surprise!  It was Mike!  How did he know where I lived?  That in itself, is a miracle.  I had never given Mike my address.  He knew what city I lived in, but that was it.   And it was not a small town either.  There were about 20,000 in population.  Mike lived five miles from me, and in the dead of winter, he rode his 10-speed bike to my city. First he went to my high school, which was about six blocks from my home.  When he couldn’t find me there, he determined that he was going to find me if he had to knock on every door in the town I lived.  And he was going to start with the very next street he passed, which just “happened” to be the street I lived on.   He would ask the first person he saw if they knew a “Karen”.  He didn’t even know my last name.  The first person he encountered happened to be my cousin Lori.  Lori immediately recognized Mike from the roller rink and showed him where I lived.  Now some may call that a coincidence, but I call that Divine intervention.  And here we are 32 years later.  Mike told me the other night that he would do it all over again in a heartbeat.  And you know what, I would too!  Groundhog or no groundhog!

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tulips-012.jpg  About two weeks ago, I received a very lovely gift from my Secret Sister.  It happened on a Sunday morning at church.  For the past three years now, we have had a secret sister program at our church.  Whoever wants to participate draws a name from a group of other names of ladies who want to be secret sisters.  Once you draw that name, that sister is yours to cherish for a year and lavish with gifts, cards and especially prayers and encouragement.  But the catch is that this is to be done anonymously.  You are not to reveal your identity to your secret sister until the revealing banquet at the end of the year. Whatever dear sister drew my name must know that we really like flowers and plants.  For Christmas, she bought me a miniature Christmas tree that is only about 6 or 7 inches tall.  My husband faithfully waters that little tree on a regular basis.  I think he’s hoping it will miraculously grow big enough to use for his decorations next December!  But I digress.  Two weeks ago on Sunday morning, I came to church and discovered that a lovely gift awaited me from my secret sister.  When I gazed at it, I was amazed.  Inside of a glass container about a foot high were 14 tulip bulbs.  The amazing thing was that they were not planted in any dirt, but they were definitely growing. For lots of green shoots had emerged from each bulb and were proudly displaying themselves for all to see. Each bulb rested on a plastic tray with many openings inside the glass container.  Underneath the tray were all the roots from each tulip bulb.  What a sight it was to behold this!  On the container was a label that said “Long Life Tulips” ready to grow indoors. They came from a company called “Bloomaker.com”.   I went to their website, and found that Bloomaker is specialized in indoor flower products and pre-packaged flower bulbs. Tulip bulbs are given a cold treatment before they pin them on a special plastic tray. For two to three weeks the bulbs are chilled in water at their facilities in Virginia. After this chilling period they put the bulbs in the glass containers and they are ready to flower in your house. 

The first week, nothing seemed to happen with the bulbs.  But last weekend, we noticed little buds starting to open up, and on Monday morning, the first white tulip peeked her pure white head out at us.  Now it is Thursday, and in an amazingly short amount of time, all fourteen of the bulbs have bloomed.  Every morning this week, Mike and I have looked forward to checking out our “babies”.  What a thrill to see them bud and bloom, almost right before our eyes!  There’s something about seeing plants grow and bud and bloom that just tickles us inside!

  Do you think God might feel that same way when he sees some growth in us, his crown creation?  I know that God sees the end from the beginning, but I can’t help but wonder if he feels a thrill when he sees us grow spiritually or make progress in our walk with Him.  If I get the buzz I do just from seeing some flowers bloom, how must the Lord feel when he sees Karen Mester learning to exercise patience or overcoming this carnal nature and walking in the Spirit or being a blessing to someone?   May God unfold us and cause us to bloom  just as He does the flowers.

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