Posted by: Kara Luker | December 13, 2010

A satisfying day

For he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things. Psalm 107:9

Image courtesy of my date

Date #2 was one of the best I have had in my long, not particularly illustrious, dating career. Romantic dinners are lovely and I certainly appreciate them, but hiking a big hill on a hot day hit my sweet spot. Well, I probably could have done without the heat, but doing something I enjoy so acutely – with an enjoyable someone else – proved to be novel and pleasing.

The day began with church. He graciously agreed to skip the way-too-early-for-a-weekend 9:00 a.m. service and took me to the 11:00 instead… be still my heart. The sanctuary was twinkling with life, large glittery snowflakes, and Christmas trees wrapped in lights. We sat beside the enthusiastic mom of one of the kids in the Christmas program being performed that day. Her daughter was the one on the far left, I think, when the time machine transported the kids to the 40’s. It was a brilliant performance. We hooted and clapped, then slowly made our way to the exit with a great herd of people. I was tempted to moo, but wisely refrained. As we walked out into the bright sun, we passed the live camel we somehow missed on the way in, and fields of donuts being harvested by plentiful small workers.

We climbed back into the big SUV, which shone more brightly than my car could ever dream of, and headed over to Subway to grab some food and change into our hiking gear. Except I don’t have hiking gear so I put on my green Christmas Carol shirt, some stretchy black leggings, and the shoes I walk in. Yeah, it was quite a look. He looked far more hikerly and donned some outdoorsy shoes I admired.

We stuffed the sandwiches in a backpack and made our way to a trail at Aliso Creek, which was surrounded by trees with colored leaves… and sweaty people with red faces coming off the trail. Did I mention it was hot? I am overly familiar with my walking paths so it felt fresh and adventurous to be on a new trail, with no idea of where it went, how long it would take, or what kind of incline it might be. (Is that just a treadmill term or do they use that on real hills too?)

It took a while to get to the trailhead, but I generally consider extra walking a good thing. And it was. The slight detour we took to get to our picnic spot in dripping cave was also welcome. We continued our conversation while sitting on rocks in the cool echo-y cave, and filled up on turkey sandwiches. I told him about when we’d first moved back East, weren’t familiar with the local foliage, and made a collage out of poison ivy. I told a plethora of other stories too.

Maybe I talked too much, but it came easily, we had time, and he didn’t seem to mind. But I learned about him too – his daughter, his family in Jacksonville, his trips to Half Dome in Yosemite, his love of biking and piano. The time passed quickly. And then we started going up. It wasn’t that steep really, but the sun seemed particularly potent and my breath seemed less than abundant. I felt a sudden gladness that I had remembered to put on the deodorant I almost omitted by accident that morning.

With beet red cheeks and sweat dripping from my face, I rounded the top of the hill, and was overwhelmed by the majestic view of the sparkling sea laid out before me. The sun was sitting right in the middle, casting a bright shadow. Catalina sat alone, surrounded by the glorious water I desperately wanted to dive into. We caught our breath, drank our water, and sat down to take it all in. He pulled out a succulent cupcake topped with the formless shape of a melted flower, lit the candle, and wished me a happy birthday. I blew out the candle and dove in gracefully, as evidenced by the glob of icing he had to wipe from my cheek and the remainder I found later on my own.

There was a young couple lying on a picnic table beside us, taking turns sucking smoke from the giant red hookah between them, discussing the things stoned people find so deep. It was a strange sight and we couldn’t help but smile. You just can’t plan entertainment like that. Or the dark, round shirtless guy in disappearing dolphin shorts with little red weights in his hands who was running up the hill as we headed down.

The trek back to the car seemed fleeting and I felt more energized by the moment. The sun tucked itself behind the hill, the fragrances came alive, and the air became moist. If I could capture a scent to fill my room, it would be just like that.

The drive home was mellow. We sunk into the seats of the shiny SUV, and listened to December by George Winston, which we had discovered as a mutual favorite. The evening ended with a hug, perhaps a little more lingering than the last, and another date set for this week. I dashed inside for a needed shower before heading out to a great Cuban dinner with some favorite friends. A satisfying day if ever there was one.

Once again, all I can say is that I don’t know anything beyond today, but there are times I sure am glad for the journey.


  1. so happy for you… a sweet day!

    • A sweet day indeed… and hopefully more to follow…

  2. kara, this is way too cute! im so glad you had a good time… i hope we get more stories in the future 😉

    • Thanks Morgan! I’ll pass along any stories worth telling… and probably those that aren’t worth telling too. I hope you are having a great week of finals (if such a thing exists)!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: