Thursday, February 26, 2009


I don't always remember to blog about friends when they have birthdays. But I have this one friend, some of you may know her as "Dow"...

When I first met Christine Dow (she's now Christine Rubino but I have no idea how to ever call her anything but Dow) we were at Kanakuk. She swaggered right up to me and greeted me in her big, booming Alabama accent and proceeded to lift me off my feet in a bear hug. I was slightly horrified. On a long bus ride she also leaned over the seat behind me to loudly gawk on and on, laughing crassly, while I tried to have a private conversation with Katy. Geez. This girl seemed omnipresent that summer.

I tried not to like her. 90% of our campers seemed to pine for her. She had some kind of fame going as the best counselor ever to hit Missouri. She was loud, brassy, often inappropriate (okay, yeah, I liked that about her)...but she was also deep, often outrageously spiritual, calling people, "Beloved." I couldn't decide if I thought she was the cheesiest thing to hit my life or simply precious. The latter finally won me out. To not like Dow is to try to hate a puppy. Even if they crawl all over you and blow you with puppy breath, your heart has to melt at some point.

So, yes, I began to just love Dow. She was a huge source of comfort to me. After a particularly terrible day on my part, she drove me out to the parking lot at Kamp (did I mention there is no candy, coffee, or cursing at Kanakuk?) and we dove into a half melted bundle of Swiss chocolates that had been sitting in her Jeep Cherokee all summer. It was pure delight, mainly because we could have been busted for it.

Katy and I came up with several skit characters for Dow. I won't post photos of them, only because I don't have a scanner. Otherwise you'd see Delores, Gaynelle, and the Fashion Fairy in a heartbeat. I'll never forget one time when I was penciling in her unibrow for the 800th time that summer, she griped, "why do I always have to play the ugly girl?" In so many ways, I was taking childhood trauma out on her - me having had to always play the husband or mother in make-believe. Boy, we did a doozy on Dow.

One time we got in an argument, not a hard thing to do when you sleep on bunks together in an un-airconditioned cabin and basically live on top of each other for a summer. I have no idea what the fight was about, only that I think it occured mid-afternoon and by bedtime we still hadn't really spoken. I could see Dow lying in her bunk, reading her ever-present bible, sniffling and misty-eyed due to the tension. I went over to her and sat down and had barely said, "Dow, I'm-" when she pounced on me in tears hollering, "I'm sorry too!"

Several years later when I was suffering from depression, I called Christine. She was so gracious. She invited me to come to her parent's beachhouse in Perdido Key, Florida and that time was a healing balm for both of us. We are so similar, loving to talk about theology, psychology, ministry, and of course, Chi Omega. Actually that last part is just Dow.

We were both in each other's weddings and though we get very little time to talk to each other these days, Christine is someone with whom I can call out of the blue and we are caught up instantly. The only thing I hate is that due to the fact that in the past she has been a much loved youth minister, she is still bombarded by voicemails from teens who miss her. I went to call her on Monday night to wish her a happy birthday and I got the dreaded, "the mail box you have called...IS FULL." Dammit, Dow! Empty your freakin' phone!

Miss you & Love you!

Comment if you know & love Dowie.


christine rubino said...

you are so beautiful! thank you so much beck for your kind words and stories! love you so!

Lindsey said...

I love and miss Dowie as well!! Delores and Gaynelle, I almost forgot about them!

Lindsey said...

BTW- I might be in Dallas around the end of April/beginning of May for a conference. I will be at the conference all day every day I'm there, but maybe we could meet up for dinner.

Mike and Jess said...

I love Dowie. There is nothing like her in the world, what a sweet heart! I love how she calls everyone Beloved, and I totally miss her crazy laugh. That's a sweet tribute to her, Beck.

Katy said...

Dow, we love you. Thanks for putting up with us giving you uni-brows and making you dress in unflattering clothes. I miss your laugh and I miss you!

dianeroutson said...

I had been thinking about Dow. I remembered instantly liking her when I met her at your wedding and how she took me under her wing due to how busy everyone else was. Congratulations, Dow, on your marriage.
I love, Bec, how you stay close to all your dear friends. It's wonderful.

Here's to all your wonderful friends!

lindsay said...

to know her is to love her (and think she's slightly off her rocker) but moreso to love her!! Happy Birthday