Sunday, January 27, 2013

Established in 1968

Today is my parents' 45th wedding anniversary. We celebrated at The Stables Restaurant in Blissfield, Michigan.  My Dad told me this evening it was the best dinner party of his entire life.  And I told him it was the best cake I've ever eaten in my entire life.  (I'm not joking; it was amazing!)   

The other couples who joined us are a bit ahead of my parents - celebrating their 47th, 49th, and 50th anniversaries in the year ahead.  We all took our turns sharing memories and stories.  After the Best Man's toast, my Aunt Mary (a bridesmaid) shared a lovely piece she had written about my parents' initial meeting.

Happy Anniversary by Mary Tober

It was a beautiful fall day on Sand Lake

Oh, what a picture to take!

Along came a sail boat with a beautiful woman aboard

“Who is that?” my brother asked and quietly thank the Lord

I think Bettina, I said, as she brought the boat upon land

I don’t think we have ever met, he said to her

She reminded him they had but it had been years before

When she left, my brother turned to me and said, “I think she is the one”

Little did they know then that there would be so much more

Only six months later the marriage was done

Three children and three grandchildren later was what was in store

45 years later memories galore!
My dad expressing my love to my mom, Bettina by writing her name in the snow.  It's the little things over the years that make all the difference!  (Pic taken in 2009 - Sand Lake)

My brother Mike and I with our fabulous parents!  Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!!! 

Saturday, January 26, 2013


 As much as I'd like a diamond ring (see yesterday’s post), I’d also like to take up smoking.  I bought six packs of Camel Blues at the corner store just today actually.  I’ve never purchased cigarettes before.  I was so nervous when I stepped up to the gas station counter that I asked for 6 packs of Caramel Blues.  The cashier was confused by my request, so he clarified.  “You want what?” Thankfully his coworker at the next cash register over came to my rescue.  “She wants Camel Blues.” 

“Yes.  6 packs of Camel Blues, please.  I’m buying them for a friend.”  I threw in the friend part so the workers wouldn’t think I was some sort of chain smoker.  After all, I was probably their substitute teacher years ago and I wouldn’t want them to think I’ve gone off the “deep end” since moving to New York.
And the friend statement is true.  Sometime before noon I got an SOS facebook message from the guy down the shore explaining his nicotine emergency.  He had run out of cigarettes earlier in the AM and his car was snowed in.  He mentioned something about a bike and a flat tire, and then begged me to make a trip to the corner store on his behalf.
After some back and forth banter, I finally agreed to do his bidding, and then on my afternoon run, I dropped by his place to make the delivery.  I had the packs zipped into my Columbia fleece.  But as he  welcomed me, I told him they were all out.  A mix of terror and disappointment swept over his face.   After all, it had been nearly 4 hours since his last nicotine intake.  He looked at my empty hands and questioned, “You didn’t pick up anything else?” 
I quickly came clean, “Just kidding.” I unzipped my coat pockets and handed over all 6 packs – wishing it was me, not him, that would be smoking the boxes’ contents.  But as much as I would love to take up smoking, I never would.  Granted, I’ve had a least a dozen cigarettes in my life, but I keep my nicotine intake to special occasions – like tonight. 
Along with my reimbursement, the guy from down the shore gave me an $8 dollar tip for my delivery services. (Okay, so the cigarettes were on sale, and he only had two $20s.)   After getting in from moonlight snowboarding this evening, I explained to him, that now I was having a cigarette craving.  I asked if I could purchase one cigarette back – for $1, around 1 AM. 
He agreed, and now I’m off to make my first ever, for me, cigarette purchase.  After all, I made $8 today.  That's worth celebrating! 

Friday, January 25, 2013


"Hey, I'm about to take off, but I wanted to say goodbye, and also, I found this.”  My acquaintance friend Desiree who had attended Charity: Water’s Ball handed me a diamond ring so beautiful and sparkly I could only imagine its dollar amount.  She continued on, “I wanted to give it to you because I know you’ll get it to where ever it needs to go.” 

I appreciated Desiree’s confidence in me.  After all, we don’t know each other all that well.  I’m glad she views me as someone who can be trusted.  And I also appreciated the opportunity to marvel at such a gorgeous piece of jewelry.  Aside from trying on my Grandmother’s engagement ring once, I’ve never worn an expensive piece of jewelry in my life.  This was my moment - heck yeah, I tried it on.
I reveled in delight for the brief moment I got to wear the ring as I sought out Charity: Water’s volunteer coordinator.  I found her and passed the ring off to one of her fingers.  As I headed out the Amory’s door and to the subway, I wished that I too would someday have a diamond ring.

Katrina Blank * Volunteering at Charity: Ball 2012 * Armory NYC
To be honest, I’ve never really cared much about jewelry – I own about $30 worth.  And for the longest time I thought expensive engagement rings were a foolish waste of money - especially when the money for such a ring could be used to help those living in poverty.  But then there was a shift in my thinking one day, when I began to think of an engagement ring as symbol of sacrifice – a man being willing to lay down his life for his wife.  Because for most men, purchasing an expensive ring entails hard work and sacrifice.  And as a woman, to have a physical reminder of his love for you that you can look at every day, seems like a wondrous thing.  And then more recently it occurred to me, such a ring is also a great reminder for a woman that she is valued and of great worth.
This past fall I realized I struggle in feeling valued - I think because I’ve had so many people and more than one employer take me for granted and treat me poorly.  Even with God I was tempted to facebook status the other day.  “I feel so used by God.  I could only wish prosperity theology was true.  I’m beginning to question if he is as committed to me as I have been to him.”  A spouse seems like such a simple request for God to honor me with after all these years of serving Him.  And I wouldn’t be in such a rush, except HE set up this stupid thing called the biological clock.  I didn’t have this fear at 30, but as I near 35, I begin to fear I may never be able to have children of my own.  As the guy from down the shore reminded me last summer, I only have 8 years left – perhaps less.    
A week or so after the Charity: Ball I got an e-mail from the volunteer coordinator (Stephanie), stating they had found the ring’s owner and that she was so grateful for its return she had sent me a large gift basket.  Stephanie told me the gift basket was waiting for me at Charity: Water’s offices.  I was back in Michigan at the time so I informed Desiree and she picked it up instead.  But the gift basket got me thinking, not everyone in this type of situation would have done what is right.  For Desiree and I, along with Stephanie, it was a given that we would attempt to reconnect the ring with its rightful owner.  But there are many in this world, who side step the pursuit of what is good because it doesn’t occur to them that they should. 

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Friday, January 18, 2013

Trains and Microphones

I'll pretend this past week didn't exist.  Because for the most part, I didn't.  Instead of living, I hid in my bed with this less than glamorous sickness we call the flu.  As my facebook status reads, "I like the 101 far more as a freeway than I do as a body temperature." 

Already under the weather, I boarded a train at Penn Station mid-Monday afternoon.  What initially seemed like a romantic undertaking wound up being 14 hours of torture.  Yet, I'm still glad I opted to stick around the city for a few more days.  As I noted on FB:

"it's better to lie in bed with a smile on your face than to lie with regret."  ~ cb and kb poetry.  #ChoosingToMissMyFlight #TrainNextWeekInstead

It was the guy from down the shore who convinced me to stay.  Even though I wanted to stay, I needed someone to give me the go ahead to be irresponsible.  I've missed a flight before (only 1, and because of LA traffic), but I've never chosen to miss a flight just because I wanted to stick around a few extra days.  But in knowing my return to the city could be months, I wanted to be around for last weekend's parties and church on Sunday.

And on Sunday I had been asked to speak briefly.  And so I got up and shared some prior to reading the teaching text.  I almost started my mini-talk, "I'm Katrina Blank, and I like microphones."  I didn't, but the statement is true.  I loooove public speaking and Sunday was a reminder that I need to be doing more of it.  

I'm a bit out of practice, a bit rusty, and on Sunday I was also drugged up on Day Quil meds.  But I think it went relatively well, after all, a guy I know who doesn't agree with women speakers came up to me following the service and thanked me for sharing.

I've known for quite some time that writing and speaking is in the future God has for me.  But I think it won't be long now before that future is a present reality.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013


Today I finished rereading The Alchemist.  I didn't actually finish the book with my first attempt.  Some hot guy I was somewhat dating some time ago would occasionally read a chapter aloud when we'd hang out.  However, I found it difficult to pay attention to the text, when his hotness was beside me.  Distracted by him, I couldn't follow the story.

I intended to eventually reread the book on my own but then my copy of The Alchemist got drowned by Hurricane Sandy.  But I picked up another copy a week ago, and I'm so glad I did.  Because this time in reading EVERYTHING about the text made sense and applies to right where I am.

More tomorrow on The Alchemist, but today my facebook status reads:

since i couldn't go to the pyramids today, i ventured to the egyptian section in the MET. and there i finished reading The Alchemist. if my name was fatima, my oasis would be new york city. however, like santiago i ALSO have a personal legend worth the living.

Monday, January 7, 2013

My Choice?

Today on facebook I posted:

breakfast w/an 84 yr old man. his advice on getting married: it's better to make the wrong choice than to not choose at all. (perhaps, but as a friend of mine once stated, "we may be single, but at least we're not married to a** holes.) my question is, why do men always think it's my choice i'm still single?

The likes and comments started rolling in rather quickly - some humorous, some serious.  But the comment I appreciate the most, is the one from a crush of long ago.

Somewhere out there is your soul mate...and he is feeling the same as you do. When it is the right time for you to meet, God will arrange it. Never settle because you are worth it my dear! Whoever does finally sweep you off your feet will be the luckiest man alive!

I crushed well when I was young.  This man, now married with 2 children, is a speaker, a writer, and a chiropractor.  I replied to him with the following response:

thanks for believing in me and for me. i think "he" and i may have already met. but he's afraid. perhaps similar to what you explained to me many years ago. and, i know, no one likes to feel exposed. regardless, i hold onto hope.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The D Drop

This year I celebrated New Years in the motor city.  Detroit isn't one of my choice cities, but it's a quicker drive to there than to all the other New Year's Eve invites I had receieved.  LA, New York, Chicago, and Brazil are a bit far away for my Corolla's liking. 

One of my guy friends from college is back in the states after a 3 month stint working for the UN in Italy.  His mission in life is to combat poverty and has decided to make to Detroit his starting place.  I met up with him and a bunch of his friends at Fountain Bistro, located adjacent to the downtown's skating rink.

Just before midnight we headed outside to watch the D (for Detroit) drop.  It was anticlimatic - as New Years typically is...however, we had been given some great noise makers, and took full advantage of the opportunity to be obnoxious with them, given the occassion.  It was great.

We warmed back up at the Fountain Bistro, celebrating the beginning of 2013 with cheers and a drink.  Then a little later on we headed over to Lafayette Coney Island to give our stomachs a fill.  It was packed, like Katz's Deli in New York is at 4 in the morning. 

(*Many in this group are a part of a church called Woodside. I'm amazed at the hearts they have for this city.)

Following the coney dogs, I drove Matt back to his loft a couple miles yonder from where we had watched the D drop.  Apparently the film The 5 Year Engagement shot many of its scenes in the loft the floor below him.  I still need to watch that movie just to see and to say, yes, I was there too once.

I wrap this New Year's entry up with my yesterday's tweet:
today someone told me, "the odds are against you." inside my heart replied, "yes, but my God is for me." nothing is too far-fetched for Him

Bring it 2013!!!  Let the year begin!