Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Happy Birthday to You!

I am blessed to have many friends. I have friends that I have known for years. I have relatives that I consider friends. I have recently acquired friends that I can't imagine life without.

Today, however, I would like to reminisce about my dear friend, Karen. Today is her 43rd birthday.

Karen and I met in the Fall of 1986 - or Spring of 1987. We quickly connected, and realized that it would be fun to live together. So, we became roommates our Junior Year, and were also roommates our Senior Year. Then she got married, and I was lucky enough to be the Maid of Honor in her Wedding. And ALSO lucky enough to have her BACK at ORU for my Second Senior Year.

So many memories. We really loved God. We made a few pacts. One of them was to be as "Iron sharpens iron" (Proverbs 27:17) - we agreed that if one person came in and started speaking of another person in frustration, we would ask each other if they had spoken to THAT person about the situation, already. If they hadn't, we would ask the other to please not speak about it to us until it had been dealt with. We didn't want to fuel each other's fire, nor did we want to create an offense against someone out of "loyalty." It worked. We really did it. I love that about Karen - her passion and commitment to what's right. Her desire to know more of God, and walk out His commands - because she loves Him.

Of course, there was the time we decided that our room (which was the largest on the wing) would be better suited to bunk beds, so we switched our BIG beds with the bunk beds in the smallest room on the wing - well, not on OUR wing, we wouldn't do that to girls we KNEW... it was a very hot, humid day in August, and the AC wasn't on at ORU yet... those beds were HUGE. HEAVY. But we did it, and were so happy. Until the next day when the RA came and told us we needed to move them back... it probably WASN'T a good move for the Chaplain to steal someone else's beds...

At ORU EVERYONE has Hall Meeting EVERY MONDAY NIGHT. Everyone. Boys and Girls. We just thought we'd add some spice to ours. With Sandra Nelson and Shelly Cairns.

Another rule we had was that we wouldn't spend more time getting ready in the morning than we did with the Lord. Therefore, we both can get ready in 20 minutes - and still do, on a regular basis. Oh! And also that once you looked in the mirror in the morning, you didn't look again for the rest of the day. THIS, my friends... could be a clue into why I didn't have many dates in college...She obviously looked a lot better than I did without a lot of help.

Perhaps we shouldn't explain this. Except to say, we weren't REALLY going to the bathroom. It was a game we played... I know, bathroom games are just supposed to be for boys.

With our buddy, Erik Kibler. Hey - mustaches were in.

And Karen would frequently take my camera and take self-portraits which I would receive as a present when I got my film developed...

Like these, for example.

There was a Back-to-College/RA Day at the Lake, and we went boating. But, we couldn't be normal.

Or maybe that IS normal for us.

There was Suzie Stewardess. There was Joe Henry, the Chameleon. There was the Rain Dance. There was Spineless.

On my 21st Birthday she "kidnapped" me.

And drove me around the parking lot at ORU. And when we arrived we were ACROSS the parking lot in "The Depot". With lots of fun and friends and the Spanking Machine. Yes, I went through - Karen's bossy and scary...(in heels, no less)

A week after my Birthday is Mitch's Birthday, and his friends decided to rent a Limo, and have a fancy "Black Tie" event in Fireside. Karen had these dresses, and we thought it would be really funny if we dressed up in them - like Prom Dresses, pretending we didn't know how to really get dressed up... WE thought we were hilarious. No one else got us. Well, Terry did...

At a party. No idea what she was thinking. This picture just makes me laugh, because it is typical Karen. Darling and silly at the same time.

Our dorm room in Frances had a balcony. You weren't allowed to go out on them. $50 fine. Safety and all.


Back in our room, safely. Whew...

Possibly these are our Guilt over breaking the rules faces?

No idea why she wrapped herself in a curtain. I just like her facial expression.

PIDC (Party in Dress Code) was this REALLY fun event - it was over Fall Break, and was for the entire week. About 40 of us would caravan down to Destin, Florida. We played all week long. NO ALCOHOL in those cups - no one drank. We laughed, played Sand Volleyball, had Devotions at night, played Freeze and Improv literally until 3 in the morning.

This particular year we had a Miss PIDC PAgeant. Karen was Miss Mississippi. This was the Talent Portion of the pageant. She was doing a dramatic reading of "To Be or Not to Be." I was Miss Michigan, and one of the Emcees. (Since, I'm doing the posting, there will be no pictures of me as Joyce Reed.)

A trip to the Mall.

This dress is TOO SHORT!

Sporadic roommate pictures. These bunk beds were LEGAL, and we paid good money for them. This was the morning after she got engaged to T, and we were celebrating... (and I dislocated my shoulders?...)

My best bet on this is that she had given me a Steam Roller, and I was getting her back. Notice she looks BEAUTIFUL in every picture. That's why I picked this one - she's so full of life and light and joy.

I think this was Tom Harden's Senior Recital? But that doesn't seem right, because there was a dinner before hand.

At the Church during the Wedding Rehearsal.

Getting ready.

With my lovely friend - over 21 years ago.

throughout our 20's our communication was sporadic. She was having babies. And babies. And babies. And they are all really delightful people now, but this post is about their MAMA! There were a couple of times we saw each other. We wrote a few letters. She was really good at that. I started leading Tours in 1998, and would try to get out to see her and the family if a tour ended in NYC, once a year, if I could.

And then, really, it was in the Fall of 2004 that our friendship re-kindled. We had an ORU Girl's Reunion. It was 15 years since we had seen each other. It was so much FUN! But, even better was re-connecting with Karen. I LOVE those girls, but it seems the Lord knew how much we would love and enjoy each other, after all those years.

It was her 40th Birthday that weekend. She thought the weekend was just for her...

Lovely, lovely friend.

A newer, more improved version of the Rain Dance, possibly entitled the Vine Climb? At 40, particularly impressive that we are still causing a scene wherever we go.

A year later, same girls, another reunion, this time in San Fran. (Good thing I told you, the Bridge in the background would have given you NO indication as to where we were)

And now, if I go more than a week or two without talking to her, I'm sad.

SO many more photos I could share, and so many pictures in my head that only I get to see.

She is wisdom. And laughter. And honesty. And compassion. And patience. And craziness.

She speaks the truth in LOVE. She cares about people - deeply and passionately.

She has taken the time to get to know herself, being willing to go where it could even hurt, because she is a woman of courage and great value. This of course is a benefit not only for her, but for others. As she is her true self more, she is able to help others look for that, as well.

She points others to God, but never pushes them that way.

Dear friend, I love you. You bless me, and I am ever grateful for who you are in my life. Love and hope and joy and peace and grace in abundance to you, today, this year and always.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Which is Better?

Now if only you were coming to my CAbi party TOMORROW, you would be able to potentially partake in your suggestions and comments here, but here's the question:

Which would you prefer?

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
Roasted Garlic Hummus
Caramelized Onion Hummus

or a combination of any of the above?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Advice, please?

I've been thinking that perhaps I should change the name of my blog - simply because I'm not sure I'm a fan of having my name googled and my blog just popping right on up.

I guess I had this thought that someone could take a picture of me from my blog and chop my head off and put it on a picture of a naked lady (who would probably not even look as good as me?!:)) and try to cause trouble for me. Which wouldn't be good. And I don't know why this thought occurred to me, but it has, and for that reason, I want to be sensitive to "privatizing my life" and perhaps being a bit more wise about what I "put out there".

Is it difficult to do, and once I do it, how do I prevent this blog from appearing online? Is there anyway I can do that, and not LOSE all of my old posts? Thoughts?

Thanks, blog-savvy friends!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

More Road Trip

I know, you thought I just put one of Ansel Adams' famous Snake River photos in here. Well...yes, I took that picture... see, when the object of your photo is this amazing, you pretty much can't take a bad picture. It's in the Grand Tetons. Again, something I didn't know. And so begins our journey. It's actually at the end of the drive through, but I thought it was so pretty I wanted to put it first. And since it's my blog and all...

So, from Yellowstone I drove directly into the Grand Tetons National Park. Wow. And I didn't even know it was there...I'm sure it would appear more grand if I had been there when the sun was in a more favorable position, but I was there in the afternoon (3-6) and on the East side of the mountains. Which is really the only way you can go, as far as it looks from the map.

This is basically at the beginning of the drive through the park. Thought it was pretty.

Here they are. Not much more to say, really.

The crazy thing is, I had JUST BEEN BLOWN away at Glacier National Park two days earlier.

If I had a family and I knew about this, I would pack them up and take them for a week. Okay, maybe 5 days - depending on how your children get along. If I were Heidi Jo and I had Adventure packets, it would be NO SWEAT.

I thought the scenery on the way there was really pretty, as well.

From here, I drove to Jasper, spent the night, and then drove to Mount Rushmore. Oh - and Crazy Horse. We took a massive 6 week family vacation the summer of 1977, and we drove through here. It was cool then, and equally cool now. Back then, it was totally encased in fog, and then the fog literally vanished when we stepped out to look at it.

To answer the DECADES OLD QUESTION: No. He is not finished yet.

This whole traveling alone and taking pictures thing...Not good.

Yes, I think all four Presidents on this mountain are great, but honestly, these two...

Seriously... Give. It. Up.

I spent the night with Kelli Portman's mom - in Vivian, South Dakota. The very same house where Kelli grew up. It was then and there that I learned that Kelli kept the Booth tradition of being Homecoming Queen - like her two sisters and brother (King) before her.

This is a picture from the front deck - for some reason I didn't take a picture of her beautiful and vibrant mom...
And the next day I drove to Sioux City, Iowa, where I had the fun privilege of seeing my old college friend, Sue Jensen (Nelson back then). She and her husband are the volunteer Youth Pastors at their church, and are doing a great job, I think. It was Wednesday, so I got to go with them and participate.

We went on a walk through a lovely State Park.

They talked about the Parable of the Seed and the Sower. And what kind of soil we are. And what kind of seed we want to be. Clever.

And then I drove home. And I still haven't written about Brainerd or my Grandma's farm or Bismarck. I will.