Sunday, January 27, 2008


Julie is driving as the three of us are red-bandanna wearing-travelers to southern Oregon

What G-Nickname are you? "Professional Girlfriend (Pro-GF)"

Jenn was the boldest of the three occupants of room #2. She introduced me to many new things. One of the first things we did together was go to a tanning salon across from campus. It was only five dollars and I thought it was kinda cool, though when I discovered later in the week that my backside looked like a zebra because of a cheap bed, I decided that I was good as-is. She proved to both Julie and I it was possible that when we are late to church and makeup must be delegated to commuting time, driving with the knees could successfully be done at excessive speeds on isolated country roads the whole way. Her car was the "Chevette," and it was old and unpredictable, nearly legendary. One time she came down with pneumonia and many of us in the lodge couldn't tell if it was time to take her into the ER, but eventually some others carried her body down and I drove her car. We stayed with her till her parents arrived. She ended up needing fluids and turned out okay.

She also introduced me to the practice of skinnydipping. An isolated bend to the Calapooia River was the first place I experienced a current while swimming. I found an intriguing rock in the riverbed, which makes me think of going back one day--it is one of the few gemstone-bearing rivers in the valley. One day she proposed to Julie and I from beneath our window. I have a picture of it though it is hard to capture digitally. The lodge was preparing for their winter-retreat to SunRiver's resort across the Cascade Mountains, and her family let her utilize a broke-down 80s Suburban to carpool several girls of the house. Actually, she was merely parked in front of the house while loading, and got tired of not being heard while yelling up, so she climbed up to the roof of the SUV and serenated her love for all the world to hear.

I got her (and many members of the lodge) into watching La Femme Nikita together, and then we practiced dressing up like Nikita and taking pictures of each other. Julie was a little unsure in our choice of role model, to her credit. At least she appreciated the hilarious answering machine greeting we constructed with the opening soundtrack in the background and our best voices in a low-toned Australian accent. We dyed our hair often. One time she and I strategized on which box to pick to produce her as a strawberry blonde, and no kidding it turned out as orange flames of fire. She wore a bandanna because even she thought it was too much.

We also spent some time kind-of-stalking. She had a crush on a coworker at Safeway and she was friends well enough with him to know where he lived. We absolutely knew better but she couldn't help wasting time and neither could I. At least we learned to employ spy techniques from La Femme.

Jenn was misunderstood by her stepmom, and her dad had become distant. During these times she was informally adopted into the Reese family where she saw passion for our Savior. They attended a church in Halsey, Oregon, population 700. It was a very small church that faithfully preached the Word. The elders of the church were intimately involved in the lives of all its members, and I could tell she was grateful to have their Word-based guidance over her life, filling the gap she longed for in those years. She loved this church with all her heart, and she wanted to share it with us. She talked many times about the stories of faith of its members that inspired her own. Mr. Reese, for example, decided to become a pig farmer in Alaska and his wife took faith in Christ and supported his choice. She would shake her head in wonder and say that that's the kind of wife she wanted to be.

Some of my favorite memories are of those when Jenn took me to her church or overnight to her house. Matter-of-factly she played the piano while letting me read the words to some of the first worship songs I learned, some I remember: "It Is Well With My Soul," "Lord I Lift Your Name on High." One year her church practiced a traditional passover seder and she really wanted me to come. On the way there she explained what a passover was.

There were many times when Julie's or Jenn's or my personal circumstances brought us to tears and frustration. Often we had to make choices between continuing unhealthy relationships or severing them. But the tears we cried were not tears of faithlessness. They were tears that said that life was hard but we knew God was in control. She showed me that she trusted God completely in spite of it all. When these things arose she'd say, "Let's get out of here," and the three of us went on drives in the night till we were in the middle of nowhere on the side of the road, and by the light of the dash we would talk about the Word.

Jenn has a special talent to be able to explain in detail the unique physical structure of any person she meets.

Jenn embodies all that is impetuous and romantic. She achieves the goals of her life with zeal in all matters, balanced with a passion for loving sacrifice. She prays like an apostle. And once when we were driving through Klamath Falls, Oregon and stopped into a random baptist church for services on our way back home, we looked in our cooler to see what was left to prepare for lunch. Raw chicken breasts were pretty much it. In true Jenn style she took the the chicken in-hand and approached an older man and asked him if we could borrow their kitchen for ten minutes to fry them up. I think the guy was a little overwhelmed by a tall beautiful blonde carrying raw meat to say no. That's our Jenn.

Living In Baltimore. Recently auditioned for American Idol, Philadelphia. She shares of the experience:

Well, as it tunrs out, its a pretty good sign if the judges ask you to
sing a second song--which my judge did! (yeah! :)) But, in the end, it
was, "You're not what American Idol is looking for, but you sing very
well. Keep singing. Try again next year." --NO THANKS! ;)

Here are some photos from her trip:

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