Under Angel Wings


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Happy 60th Birthday, David

Today is the big day, the big 6-0, for my hubby. I asked him what he wanted to do for his birthday (a safe question for which I already knew the answer :D), and he said, "Go to Maui!"

Since it's low season in Maui for us, with corresponding low plane fares, and high season for humpback whales, on their annual vacation trek from the frigid waters of Alaska...it was pretty much a no-brainer, and fly off to Maui we did, today.

It's also a business trip as we need to do a lot of little jobs getting ready for our realtors to sell two of our condo units. So we have our work cut out for us!

We weren't within view of the ocean for five minutes after arriving when we saw our first whale breaching. Dave was itching to get his hands on his new camera and lens and start hunting for the perfect whale shot! That's the best way to take your mind off turning 60 that I can think of...

Tonight I took him to Merriman's for dinner, up on the point by Kapalua Bay. The restaurant is situated on a cliff with the bar overlooking Kapalua, one of the most beautiful beaches on earth. The other side of the restaurant overlooks the ocean towards the islands of Lana'i and Moloka'i.  You can sit at tables up above for dinner, or sit in lounge chairs down on the rocky point with a drink and await the sunset. That gave Dave an opportunity to work on his Maui sunset photos...

The dinner was fabulous, featuring the finest Mauka (mountain side) and Makai (ocean side), freshest foods that Maui has to offer. It was topped off with a gooey, melted chocolate confection served with homemade vanilla bean ice cream, just enough to share.

What a way to bring in the next decade!! Happy birthday, Hubby.

And thank you so much for the surprise lei presentation at the airport!!

Aloha wau ia' oe, ku'u ipo.


Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy St. Valentine's Day

          Valentine Smile
On Valentine's Day we think of those
    Who make our lives worthwhile
Those gracious, friendly people who
    We think of with a smile.

I am fortunate to know you,
    That's why I want to say,
To a rare and special person:
    Happy Valentine's Day!

 Antique Valentine, Circa 1900
 Poem by Joanna Fuchs, Poem Source

Monday, February 9, 2009

Happy 35th Anniversary

This is the happy couple, my husband, David, and I, who are celebrating their 35th wedding anniversary today. There is an amusing story of our meeting which has become part of the family lore, and I would like to share it with you.

One day, in the fall of 1972, my mom, Mary, was happily playing golf with three friends: Bette, Dorothy and Peggy. As mothers are wont to do, Mary and Bette found themselves discussing their grown children who were as yet unmarried. They were walking toward the clubhouse where they planned to have lunch together. Mom pulled out a photo of me and showed Bette. As they enjoyed lunch, phone numbers of their children were exchanged, and a plot was hatched to get us together.

The idea was to get David to come up to the ranch and pick some persimmons for his mom, Bette, and I would just happen to be there. That didn't work out because by the time David got there, I had already returned to Sacramento where I was working on getting my teaching credential.

During the winter David called me and we had a date, which wasn't all that successful. He talked about his old girlfriends, and I was dating someone else at the time... However, when June rolled around, I was out of school for the summer and no longer involved dating anyone. SO...a voice whispered in my ear, "What about Dave? You never really gave him a chance..." I wrote him a little note and invited him to come down for dinner. He called, we set a date, and he arrived with a bottle of wine in hand on June 9, 1973.

I served a scrumptious dinner of Beef Stroganoff over noodles, steamed broccoli, salad, and for dessert, chocolate fondue. That was a stroke of brillance! I don't know if it was me, tanned and glowing with my long, blond hair, in my long, halter-neck dress, or the chocolate fondue, but it was a magical dinner and I think it was a done deal from that evening on.

We had a wonderful summer, dating and meeting each others' families and friends. One memorable Saturday afternoon we took a large tractor tire inner tube up the river a ways from my parents' ranch, and put in just above a small rock dam. We had a t-shirt for me in case of sunburn, and a six-pack of cold drinks for the river float which should have taken an hour or two to get down to our sandbar. I was seated across from Dave, balancing on the tube, hanging on to my t-shirt, as we started to go over the dam.

Somehow disaster struck and I was flipped right over Dave's head and we both ended up in the river, the t-shirt and drinks sank to the bottom and the inner tube quickly deflated. There we were, in the middle of the river, treading water and trying to figure out what happened. I still remember the man sitting in his boat about twenty feet away with his fishing pole in his hand. He glanced at us once, with the most remarkably unconcerned look upon his face, then he turned back to his line in the water and completely ignored us. I've often wondered, if we had started floundering and flailing, as if we might actually be drowning, what he might have done?

There was no where to climb out as the banks were covered with blackberry vines, so we just floated in the river all the way down to our sandbar. It wasn't a problem because we were both strong swimmers, but we were very cold by the time we got there!

One night in September, Dave took me to see the movie, The Sound of Music. To this day, it is one of my favorite films. When he drove me home, we were talking out in the car in the driveway, and he asked me to marry him. There wasn't a moment's hesitation! The answer was "Yes."

I couldn't wait to tell my mom the next morning that Dave had asked me to marry him. She was just as happy and excited as I thought she would be!  My dad, known for his reserved ways, was very pleased. It was decided that Dave should come a little early for our date that night so that he could "speak" to my dad~ you know, ask his permission to marry his daughter. Dave arrived, and mom, dad and I were duly assembled in the living room. Small talk ensued, about anything and everything as Dave no doubt searched his mind for an opening on the subject at hand.

My dad must have thought the subject would never come up, so he got up off the sofa and went in to the kitchen where he started opening the mail. We three followed, Dave finally broached the subject and the congratulations were given. What joy!!

We chose a date in the middle of October to have our engagement party in my parents' home on the ranch, and picked out our engagement and wedding rings at the local jeweler's. I was so excited, I had a hard time at first paying attention to my student teaching which had just begun! I remember looking down at my engagement ring often during each day, and feeling SO happy...

My mom wrote a poem called Persimmon Time for the engagement party. She typed it on the old typewriter and put each copy in handmade persimmon-shaped folders. On the outside it said, 'David and Sylvia will wed on February 9, 1974.' Here is the poem my mother wrote...

Persimmon Time

'Twas persimmon time in seventy-two
When Dave and Syl began to woo,
Introduced by the mothers, (the plot was well hatched),
As is often the case with two people well matched.

Slow off the mark, the pace became hurried,
To and fro from Sacto the innocents scurried.
There were river floats and barbeques, and picnics on the bar,
With sand in the hair, and eyes on a star.

The mothers were ecstatic, the fathers content,
A beautiful thing, this romance heaven sent!
Though great confidence in this couple was centered,
Into the mind odd thoughts sometimes entered.

Could he with his skiing, bank-building, shop-talking,
Get used to lawnmower, garden hoe and dog-walking?
Would she with her photos, music and trunk-gilding,
Take to stove, mop, and humdrum nest-building?

Yes! The two decided they could pull together,
In double harness, through every weather,
For love conquers all and Mother Nature's so smart,
She knows all the answers in affairs of the heart!

When Persimmon Time once more rolled around,
And Fall's gay carpet lay on the ground,
Syl's father and mother were proud to say,
"The lovers will wed near Valentine's Day."

When the date was set, and the news was out,
While joyous sounds rang round about,
The dads shook hands, and the moms agreed,
"It's been a long, long year indeed!"

By Mary H. Jenkins

I love you, Hubby.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Angels All Around Us


I have always been interested in angels. As a child, decked out in white gown and cardboard glittery wings in the church Christmas Pageant, my understanding was quite elementary and had most to do with the Christmas story: the angel Gabriel announcing to Mary that she would give birth to Jesus, the Son of God.

Further on in the book of Luke the angel of the Lord and a great company of the heavenly host appeared to the shepherds in the field nearby where Jesus lay in the manger, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."

At Christmastime we see angels represented everywhere~ on top of the tree, in ornaments, cookies, dolls, music boxes and figurines, stories and movies, cards, hymns and songs. It seems natural and easy to feel an affinity for angels at Christmastime. But are angels always with us?

As an adult, I have heard and read many accounts of peoples' encounters with angels. I read somewhere that most of the world's major religions believe in angels. My own interest has increased since I have read the Bible through twice in the last two years. The scripture is full of dramatic accounts of angels appearing before people here on earth.

Briefly, the word "angel" means "messenger." God created the angels to praise Him in heaven, and to help guide and minister to and protect us here on earth. Angels were created as spirit beings, we are created as human beings. Angels can appear to us here in human form, however.

Contrary to popular thought, our mother, grandmother, or loved one does not become our guardian angel in heaven. That concept is not Biblical. In the Bible God teaches us that when we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, and confess our sins, we will go to heaven when we die to live with Him, and all the other saints and all the angels.

When praying for other people, and for myself, I often ask God to send the angels to minister to, to guide, and to protect us. I do have an angel story to recount myself! When our mother lay slowly dying, my sister and I were staying with her day after day in the residence where she lived. We were told by the hospice nurses that she was likely to live for a few more days, so they suggested we go home and get some rest. We were with her until late in the evening, then we went home to our own homes. As I got into bed and turned out the light at about 10 minutes before midnight, I immediately began praying that the angels would come down and take my mother to heaven so that she would not suffer any more. I felt it was her time, whenever God was ready to take her. About 5 minutes later, the phone rang and my heart nearly leapt out of my chest. I knew what had happened before I even picked up the phone: it was the nurse calling~ our mother had just passed away...

Initially, as well as being heartbroken at having lost my mother, even though it was expected, I was saddened because I had not been with my mom when she passed away. But hadn't I just asked God to send down the angels to take her to heaven? And knowing that that is just what happened, makes me very happy.

The subject of angels is vast. If you would like to learn more about angels, the best source is the Bible. There are some other sources that I would like to recommend to you as well. There is a very good website, I Believe In Angels, where the content is from a Biblical perspective. There are some wonderful stories on the site written by individuals about their personal angel encounters. One in particular, 'Heaven's Lessons' by Traci Lambert, is really powerful and I think you will enjoy reading it.

I have read several good books on the subject, including: Angels by Billy Graham; Angels on Assignment by Roland Buck; Angelic Encounters by James W. and Michal Ann Goll; and The Angel Book by Charles and Frances Hunter. When selecting a book, look through it briefly and make sure the content is based on the Bible, the Word of God.

On Christmas Day, I saw a video on Fox News. I'm posting it here for your enjoyment.