Today is not only my parents' 52nd wedding anniversary, but it is also the birthday of my wonderful brother-in-law David and dear friend April. (Cannily, April is married to another David! We have a lot of Davids in our lives.)
My sister Nadine met David in the PLU Fitness Center. They were both alums--she was taking a year off before heading to medical school and David had graduated several years before. At the time he was teaching in Eatonville, WA, and living in a little house in Parkland near PLU. I was living in Japan, and I will never forget reading Nadine's letter about the cute redhead she had her eyes on in the gym. She told me, "He seems really nice because he talks to the foreign students." (The "foreign student" was actually a Latin-American friend of his, not foreign at all!) They must have been eyeing each other, because finally they spoke and he asked her out. The beginning of their relationship was marked by the birth of David's niece, Samantha. (Now Samantha is about to have her own baby!)
I remember the first time I met David--it was the day I came home from Japan after living there for three years, announcing that Mike and I were engaged. At that first evening's dinner, between our very excited, talkative family and my brother Stephen's even more talkative girlfriend Yolanda, David could not get a word in edgewise! That's really the story of his life with our family, but it doesn't seem to bother him. He just listens and occasionally chimes in.
|1990, not too long after they started dating |
(David's the redhead on the right, with his beloved Airedale, Lance)
|At Nadine's medical school graduation, 1993 or 1994|
|Nadine and David's weding in 1997--that tiny babe is Chris!|
|Gorgeous bride and groom!|
|At the birth of their first son, Ryan, in 2001|
|At the birth of the twins in 2003|
(Nadine had to be on bedrest for several weeks, and David was wonderful!)
|David wearing the sunglasses we gave him for his birthday one year|
|With Mike and Ryan in Vancouver, BC|
|Fellow music lovers David and Chris|
David loves music, guitars, college sports, working out, virgin pina coladas, eating healthy, stuffed mushrooms, working with learning-disabled and developmentally delayed people, and by far the most, his family. His guilty pleasure is potato chips. (Otherwise he is the healthiest eater I know!) I feel so blessed to have him as part of our family. Happy birthday, David!
|David playing in the Hawaiian ocean last week with his boys|
|Nadine and David in Hawaii last week|
“We do not make friends…we recognize them.” –G. Henrichs
This is the way I feel about April, who I met a few years ago when she started attending our church, Mission of the Atonement. I remember the first conversation I had with her, at an adult forum, when I complimented her on her very stylish skirt, and she told me that she found it at a resale shop. I liked her immediately when I heard that!!
|Making valentines not too long after I first met April|
|At a Valentine's craft party|
I've written before about the gift of women's friendship and how selective I've become over the years. April and I both feel that we've known each other much longer than we have. We are both native Oregonians--she was brought up in Silverton--and she was once a writer/editor like me before answering a call to service and going back to get her master's in education. Now she's a third grade teacher. Like David, she has a true gift with children and I greatly admire both of their commitments to educating our younger generation!
|On the porch with our friend Shelia at Holden Village,|
where we've spent many hours getting ot know each other
April's also extremely compassionate and generous with herself and her time. This summer she is collecting gently used children's books for kids in her school who don't have enough reading material at home. She went in to our church last week to shampoo the carpets in the Sunday School rooms, and she is visiting many in our church community to get to know them better. She also offered to facilitate several brainstorming sessions to come up with ways to raise more revenue for the church.
She is one of the most welcoming people I know. If there's a new person at church, April has met him or her. She goes out of her way to get to know people on a deeper level, and she's the first one to notice if someone is feeling left out or even might be.
|Making more Valentines in 2012, at the beach|
|Beach girls' getaway|
|At a book-making workshop at Holden Village, |
where April made a book for our pastor,
who was battling breast cancer last year
|Once again on the porch at Holden, in 2012|
|April and Mike modeling their matching Holden Village shirts|
|On the ark with April and her husband David, Holden, 2012|
|Helping to celebrate my birthday in 2012|
|Evening out with Sheila, 2013|