Fortunate Events: In which I get a sunburn and a husband

I've been brainstorming on how to get myself back into the swing of blogging, because truthfully, I've missed it.

I thought of a whole lot of nothing, but for the last few weeks I've been thinking about different chains of events. Things that could have gone a million different ways, and only after did I see how God had orchestrated everything just so.

With that, I give you the first in a Series of Fortunate Events. (Not to be confused with another series.)

Fortunate Event #1
When I was growing up, I went on a bike camp. It was a compromise with my dad to avoid the canoe camp fate my sister had already been through. It was a fundraiser-turned-camp. We biked 150 miles or something over...I don't know...some days? It's a little hazy, lo these many years later. We collected pledges and raised money for Operation Classroom, which helped build and support schools in Sierra Leone. I think I was maybe in 8th grade. Biking was not my favorite, but it beat the idea of canoeing in the Boundary Waters. Although, I DID have to have my dad along as one of the camp counselor/chaperones. So I'm not sure between my sister and I who won/lost. All I know is, I got the worst sunburn ever on the tops of my legs because it didn't occur to me how much they'd be in the sun. And I'm a burner.

Hold that thought.

Flash forward five or so years.

Every year my family went to the North Shore on Lake Superior over Labor Day weekend. We usually stayed at a cabin at Cascade Lodge. Cascade is the epitome of family vacation to me. Eating pancakes at the restaurant. Hiking in the woods and eating wild raspberries along the way. Waterfalls. Rock throwing. If I think really hard, I can smell the delicious North Shore smells right now.

The weekend before I started my senior year of high school, we went to Cascade as usual. We were eating in the restaurant, and our waiter looked really familiar to me. He looked familiar to Dad, too. I knew his name was Paul, but I didn't know how I knew that. His nametag confirmed it. Hmmm...

After a few minutes it came to me: Paul had been on the bike camp! We all talked and caught up, and sure enough, he remembered all the biking. Paul was currently a student at University of Minnesota-Duluth, which happened to be where I was planning to go the following year. We exchanged information, and I decided in a year, I'd give him a call.

One year later...

I did call Paul. The first day I was at UMD. He was one of the only people I knew there. He invited me to go to a friend's house for movies. When we got there, I sat in a room full of strangers. 18 years old. First days of college. Somebody next to me offered me some Pepsi...you might know him as Captain America...

But that's for another Series of Fortunate Events.