Thursday, May 10, 2007

This flight up the coast

Sunday, May 6, 2007. We woke up in the morning to an unusually bright and warm Sunday morning. Bob had told me that he had plans for us in the afternoon, and I anticipated that he might propose, but had no idea what he had planned. After church, at around 2 in the afternoon, we left Pasadena and headed east (inland). After a few miles, he turned to me and says “Just in case you want to know where we’re going, we’re headed up the coast.” This of course confused me, since we are not headed to the coast, so I wondered what route or plan he had. We got off the freeway, and then he said we were headed to an airport—the El Monte airport. Bob’s friend Evan, a student at Fuller who hopes to be a missionary pilot someday, flies out of this airport regularly and had agreed to fly us up to Santa Barbara for the day.

We found Evan and he introduced us to his Cessna plane and to his friend Kristen who accompanied us. This was the first time I had ever been in a plane this small, so wondered what this would be like! We were given headsets with microphones to wear, so that we could talk to each other over the noise of the plane and hear Evan’s interactions with air traffic control.

We flew west toward the coast, over downtown LA and Hollywood, and got a good look at the famous Hollywood sign. We got to the coast and turned north, and Evan flew at about 500 feet most of the way, so that we had some great views of the ocean, the boats, the mountains, and the beach. The views were incredible, and it was fun to be able to look out from any side of the plane.

Evan, the fearless pilot

After perhaps an hour ride, we landed at the Golita airport, outside Santa Barbara. We walked the ¼ mile to the beach, and I commented that Bob seemed to know exactly where he wanted to go—he had mapped this out well. We walked down the beach for about ½ a mile, enjoying the views of the ocean and watching the people playing on the beach.

About ½ mile down the beach, there were some rocks that formed a natural wall from the land to the ocean, and we put down a blanket and sat down near them on this ‘corner’ of the beach. Bob pulled out a poem he had written, and said that he wanted to read it to me. The poem, titled “This Flight up the Coast” described the literal journey we had just taken, as well as the journey of our relationship and this moment of decision to commit our lives to each other. I’ll include just one stanza here:

“A plunge, an adventure, and a quest,
Mighty is, our Great God of Rest.
Beckoning, asking, watching, waiting –
Let us walk together, this great lifelong test.”

He then pulled out the ring, and asked the question directly, “will you marry me?” I won’t pretend that I deliberated. “yes, absolutely!” We savored the moment and reflected on what we were committing to, then took a few pictures of ourselves on the beach in our ‘private spot’:

We walked back down the beach, and had some excellent seafood at a restaurant on the beach. Bob had picked out a few scriptures related to marriage, so we read some of them over dinner, reflecting on God’s design for this relationship. We then called our parents to share the news and walked back down to the airport to meet Evan and fly home. As we were leaving the beach area, we looked back at the sign for the beach, and noticed a smaller sign, pointing to the beach we had come from. Ironic, given what we had just done:

The sun had just gone down when we took off, so there were beautiful streaks of orange and red in the sky, and we had some great views of the sky on the way home. We also got to watch other planes in the sky, and hear how they manage the air traffic over the radios.

When we got back to Pasadena, Bob had arranged for a few of his close friends at Fuller to meet at his apartment to celebrate. Each person gave some words of affirmation and reflection on our relationship as we toasted with sparkling cider. We had cake and told the story of the day, then everyone prayed for us and this new phase of our adventure. Truly, a memorable day, and we are very excited!

Augustine, Bob, Willard, and Paul, with cake and cider


sara said...

Hooray! So happy for you. Love, Mags

Colette said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kristy said...

YAY!!!!!!!! Oh yeah baby - Kristy & Leanne - the greatest matchmakers in the world ! :)

Bring it on baby! ;-P

Stephen Williams said...

Praise God my brother! Sarah and I are praying for you and Kristi and we look forward to meeting her as well. In fact we'll be in the bay area around Sept 22nd, so we'll look forward to catching up then.

Blessings to you both as you prepare to spend the rest of your lives together. May you both be filled with the amazing joy of the Lord in this time of anticipation, knowing that it is also a foreshadowing of the ultimate marriage with our Lord Jesus Christ. In Him,
Stephen, Sarah, Maggie & Elizabeth

Lisa Nelson said...

Congratulations!! Chris and I are so excited to hear about your great news! I think you guys are so wonderful together and I'm so happy you are venturing into a new phase in your relationship. May God continue to pour His blessings upon you.

Blessings to you both,
Lisa and Chris

Anonymous said...

Been expecting this announcement ever since Lance and I met Kristi with Bob in Menlo Park last year :-) You two are made for each other. Congratulations!

Jim said...

Grandpa Bertolet (Born 1913)..called to say "I have been wrong about men before...but I would wager Bob is a keeper." e.g. Baseball fans tend to be decent folks.

Joanne Greenwald said...

Hurray, my early congratulations were verified!! This affirms what many of us knew from the very beginning! God brought you together and has every intention of bringing glory to Himself through this union!
Blessings, Joanne

Todd said...

Happy wouldn't even begin to describe my emotions! Since the first time you described Kristi (and I said, "You're going to marry her.") to the first time I met her, I somehow knew what God had in store.

Lil and I just shared our 20th year married, and we can only hope and pray that you first 20 years will be as blessed as ours!

Much love to you both!!

-- todd <><

Todd said...

"Happy" doesn't even begin to describe my emotions. Since the first time you described Kristi to me at breakfast at Stacks (and I replied, "You're going to marry her!") to the first time I met her, I've somehow known what God had in store for the two of you.

As Lil and I celebrate our 20th year of marraige, I can only hope and pray that God will bless your first 20 years as he has ours.

Much loves and continued prayers!

-- todd <><

Linda said...

So good to receive your news! Wow, and I was in Santa Barbara that same weekend. You were just feet from where my son Daniel proposed to Corrie a couple of years ago. Goleta Beach is a special place.
I am so happy for you both!
Linda Conrad

Doreen said...

wow Kristy, so happy for you my friend...and i am sure he is a great man too!!

Sophie Marian said...

CONGRATULATIONS! I loved seeing the pictures! What a great idea to start a blog.

Kikora said...

Congratulations, Bob and Kristi! You already know how thrilled I am for both of you!

Love you both!

P.S. KLB, 2 of 3 so far...Did we have a 'prize' if the "I predict" went either way? Ha! :-)

Leanne said...

While I am very excited and happy for you both, and Hunter and I are very glad to be the ones to have set you up, this is just a subtle reminder that as pay back we get naming rights to your first born, so Krisanne or Huntesco it is... really hope its a boy 'cos Huntesco is just a cool sounding name!
Love you both and can't wait to see you!

Naphy said...

That is AWESOME!!!! I am very impressed by Bob's planning skills =) I am soooooooo excited for you both still and I hope that you are enjoying your new life together!