The Pancake Chronicles

The Pancake Chronicles: in a nutshell - third installment

The Pancake Chronicles

Friday, January 12, 2007

in a nutshell - third installment

Over the next year I had crushes and dated a little and had a lot of fun. It was fun. Did I mention that? And during that time Mark continued to live in the North but made frequent trips back to Alberta. I crushed on him a bit but kept it to myself as I never took any crush I had very seriously.
Half way through the year he started to call me. At first it was just a couple times a month or so but after about two months of him calling me every week and us talking for a couple of hours at a time I thought to myself one day maybe Mark likes me. I know. I'm ... well nevermind. Thick, shall we say.
Oh dear. How to condense? Mark was coming down for another holiday but it appeared that I would miss seeing him as I would be back in Vernon visiting my parents. He said, "That's okay. I can change my holidays." Girls, I still didn't get it. I'm serious! To be fair the reason I didn't get it is that there'd been a guy that year that I thought for SURE had liked me but I discovered he hadn't at all and so I really didn't trust the "signs". So! I went home to Vernon and Mark came and visited me there for a couple of days. Then when I was back in Calgary we hung out again and it was only after the second time he took me out that I was certain he liked me. Slow, that's me.
At the end of his trip to Vernon and Calgary we had The Talk. The Talk shall remain private between a certain husband and myself
but I will say though that I was incredibly impressed by the fact that he said what he thought and didn't play games with me. He was straightforward and honest. He had thought about The Talk for awhile but it was all news to me so I told him I'd think about what he said. He wanted me to. What I mean is, he wasn't anxious for me to commit to anything before I'd thought about it. That also impressed me. We continued to talk on the phone often and six weeks after him asking me to think about "us" I finally decided I would like to go out with him.
I'm skipping over a lot of stuff! I've always been a 'fraidy cat despite my adventures. My first response to most things new is fe
ar. So it followed that I was very afraid about dating officially. I really liked being single although I hoped to be married someday. Actually that was one of the things I liked about Mark. He enjoyed being single, too. I'd always wanted someone who was okay with being on their own. Anyhoo. I deliberated and deliberated over whether I should date him or not and God was not forthcoming with any answer and I truly agonised. Finally it came down to this: I didn't want to not get to know Mark more. I really liked him in my life and at that point I couldn't imagine life without him. I knew that dating him was the next step. It was a big learning experience for me to go ahead with something only having a small piece of the puzzle. I've always liked to know everything ahead of time before I advance. Of course that's almost always impossible but hey ... that's never stopped me from trying.
So our dating relationship began over the phone in November 1999 and continued over the phone. Although it was hard to be apart it turned out to be the perfect scenario for me. Because I hadn't dated in a few years it was nice to "warm up" to dating via the telly. It helped calm my 'fraidy cat heart which, by the way, didn't stop being 'fraidy for about three months into dating. That's a story for a different time and place. But I will tell you that it's something I gave to God in a very raw, very tangible "heart hits the concrete" kind of way. In other words I had to trust God in a way I had never had to do before and He really answered. He met my needs and spoke peace to my fear. How else can I say it? It was Him, not me. I wrote it all out for myself so that I would never forget that God was kind to my heart and gave me peace.
Once I moved past the fear (which Mark was aware of and patient with - amazing) things just kind of took off! :) We knew rather quickly that this was "it". On May 7, 2000 I picked up Mark from the Calgary airport. We drove to a beautiful lookout over the city. He asked if I would give him the honour of being his wife. Mais oui! The funny part is that he pulled this little multi-folded piece of paper out of his wallet. This I was not expecting. This did not look like a black box yea high and yea wide. He proceeded to unfold and unfold (followed by more unfolding) the aforementioned multi-folded paper until it lay open and bare in the dim light and there, lying in one of the creases, was a beautiful diamond. I don't think I'd ever seen a diamond all on it's own before. It was (is) a Canadian diamond - perfect, lovely, mine. YAY! I could choose my own setting. But man was I nervous with that stone just sitting in my hand like that. I was so worried I would drop it into the gravel and that would be that. It was like - "Oh! It's beautiful, Mark! Now put it back."

Photo #1 - me whilst I had a crush on You Know Who
Photo #2 - taken by capsicina on Flickr
Photo #3 - Mark whilst dating me. Yup. I'm on the phone.


Blogger Rachel said...

I am all smiley! I love your love has warmed the cockles of my heart!!!! I sure hope there is a bit more :)

13 January 2007 at 09:30  
Blogger Kori said...

What a great love story!!
I am with Rach, hope there is more, I don't want the story to end :)

13 January 2007 at 15:37  
Blogger Ace said...

"The Secret Life of Colleen". Certainly interesting and enjoyable to read. =)

I'm putting myself into an over the phone/internet relationship myself for the next 11 months. Did I mention letters too? Written with a fountain pen even!


13 January 2007 at 20:30  
Blogger villagegirl said...

Oh Colleen! What a beautiful love story you have and it isn't even finished yet! I have the warm fuzzies. :)
Can't wait to hear more!

13 January 2007 at 23:18  
Blogger Scrapnqueen said...

Wow. That explains why we hadn't heard a whole lot about you when you came to our wedding, and BOOM, you were Mark's fiancée! We were like, "Who is this chick?" And Mark is all like, "Well, she went to Capernwray, and we met up at our friends' in Calgary, and we've talked on the phone a lot..."

But you were so nice. It didn't take us long to see why Mark was smitten.

Once again, glad he was.

I miss you, friend! Are you guys headed southward anytime this spring?

13 January 2007 at 23:53  
Blogger Colleen said...

Yes, there's more to come. I'm glad to know I'm doing my job - giving Warm Fuzzies to one and all. :) The story feels like a treasure to me. It is a treasure to me. But it sounds so ordinary on paper. I don't know how that happens. I'm okay with that though because I know it isn't ordinary. Love is extraordinary every time, don't you think?

14 January 2007 at 10:11  
Blogger Colleen said...

Ace - I feel for you ... the whole long distance thing. It's hard. But there are some very lovely things that come out of it. A lot of talking, a lot of sharing. It's a good thing. And hi!

T - thank you. I'm glad he was, too. I don't know when we're headed down next. I think it might be April-ish. I think we may be driving. It's been awhile, hasn't it?

14 January 2007 at 10:14  
Blogger Sonya said...

I just never get tired of hearing about people's love stories and yours is perfectly romantic.

Personally, I could never have been trusted with just a diamond. I would have dropped/lost/damaged it for sure! I'd love to see a picture of your ring to see what kind of setting you chose.

14 January 2007 at 15:13  
Blogger Koala Bear said...

I love reading the story of your life, Colleen! I'm looking forward to reading more...oh and that is neat that Mark gave you just the diamond and let you pick your own setting, boy that must have been nerve-racking hanging on to it till you got your setting.

14 January 2007 at 15:55  
Blogger Kandace Groenewegen said...

I love the idea of just getting a loose stone. What a fantastic idea!

Also, I haven't been able to read your blog for a while... very interesting knowing the full story!

14 January 2007 at 16:53  
Anonymous Betsy said...

How romantic:)

15 January 2007 at 21:22  
Anonymous Susan H said...

"Warm fuzzies" here too. :-)
I absolutely love hearing couples stories.
Beautiful love story you are living, Colleen.
Cute photo representing 'fraidy cat'. Glad the Lord helped you overcome your fear.... I'm sure Mark is too! :-)

4 February 2007 at 12:08  

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