The Story of an Old Order Mennonite Girl

Circle Letters: The Story of an Old Order Mennonite Girl - A Memoir by Aleta M. Schrock

Monday, January 9, 2012

TODAY: A Favorite Memory of 2011

During the summer of 2011 my husband, Daniel, and I celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary in Anchorage, Alaska.

Prior to this trip Daniel had visited every state in the union except for Alaska and one of his desires was to experience this final frontier. Me? I still had about a dozen states on my to-do list, including Alaska. This amazing God of ours who hears the desires of our hearts and blesses us far beyond what we can even think or imagine (my paraphrase of Eph. 3:20), answered that prayer last June. Daniel’s job sent him up to Alaska to work for three weeks. I missed him here at home, but was simultaneously excited for the opportunity it afforded him. In our way of thinking, adventures such as these are blessings not to be turned down.
Our anniversary is on July 15 and we had originally planned to return to Maui, Hawaii, the place of our initial honeymoon to celebrate our tenth; but when the Alaska opportunity presented itself, we changed plans. I joined Daniel at the end of the three weeks and after our glacial adventures, we flew home together.

We drove down into the Kenai Peninsula where Daniel wanted to show me a glacial lake with beautiful blue water. We stood there drinking in the blueness: as blue as the Caribbean, as blue as the Pacific around Maui, as blue as my husband’s eyes.

After enjoying the visitor’s center we hiked up to Byron Glacier.

Snow in summer.
White against granite mountains.
Peaks towering into the blue sky.
The grandeur of God.
Yet the greatest of His creations
is the heart pounding beside me as we walk together in His glory.

We commemorated this tenth anniversary by buying a memento native to Alaska. Gold Quartz. We discovered a small family owned shop where the owner designed and created most of his own jewelry. I was choosing a ring- cute and simple, but my husband’s eyes lighted on a necklace, milky white quartz encased in a gold heart. A tiny diamond embedded in the left loop of the heart. Elegant gold veins flowed through the white quartz with an almost three dimensional effect. We both smiled. The perfect memento. After finding matching earrings, Daniel chose a polar bear shaped tie pin for himself.
The following day was when we hiked out onto Byron Glacier. Between the trail and the glacier lay an expanse of rocks. On the return of our snowy adventure, we explored that rocky area. Suddenly I heard Daniel exclaim, “Gold Quartz!” I looked and there he was, kneeling on a large rock, pointing. There were gold veins running through a yellow-white quartz. Foolz Quartz. We laughed and searched until we found several smaller chunks with thick gold veins. The perfect souvenir. Daniel held out his hand and I snapped the picture.

Do not let the appearance of this setting sun fool you. It was near the summer solstice. Up beyond Fairbanks where my husband had spent a week, the sun merely made a circle in the night sky. Here in Anchorage it set briefly, but it never really became dark. One three o’clock early morning I awakened and peered out between the thick sunscreen of drapes covering our hotel window. The lightened sky tried to confuse my sleepy brain. It felt like it was time to get up.  
On our return from the glacier we stopped at a little restaurant. At ten o’clock PM entire families were out enjoying the night, creating an ambiance of early evening.

During our excursion through the Kenai Peninsula, I would cry out, “Look at the flowers! I want to take pictures!” So my loving husband would pull to the side of the highway and wait while I wandered about taking multiple shots, close-ups and far aways. God’s floral museum on display.

Wishes to blow.
The beauty of God’s Dandelion on display.
The cycle of life.
Seeds developing into flower.
Puffing into wishes that blow, then flower once again.
Beauty is in the eye of the one who beholds.
I choose to behold.

Then on the final return from my beauty hunt along the highway, I discovered this. It was time to go.

          Thankfully I did not notice the danger behind me.

Magnificence Extraordinaire. God the artist at work.

A creation that speaks of who He Is.

And the power that created the beauty within this universe resides within me.
Humbling thought.

May my life resonate His extravagant beauty.

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