Can you remember your first kiss? Good for you, but I sure can’t! However, I do remember the kiss that changed my life. It was at a very beautiful place, Fountain Hills Park (Arizona) in a wonderfully romantic setting. 

Fountain Park first kiss

It was a bright sunny afternoon and I had just met a man by the name of Ken, the evening before.  I’ll never forget that first kiss; little did I know that it would seal my fate for the next 36 years! We had a very short courtship, we were wiser and older and insanely attracted to each other. 

Many of you who have been reading my blog know that I went back to visit the Phoenix and Fountain Hills area after many, many years. I had a wonderful trip down memory lane and one of those places was Fountain Hills Park. Now the “big moment” was over 25 years ago, so the park was pretty rudimentary and undeveloped, just grass and a fountain.

But during my last visit in December, I was overwhelmed by the beautiful sculptures surrounding the walkways of the park. Take a look at this dynamic duo, dancing among the cactus, aptly named Fred and Ginger for Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.


Surely your heart has to be stirred by seeing this marvelous bronze by Dave Lamure Jr, installed in 2014.



Fountain Hills has the world’s fourth-tallest fountain. It was built in 1970, by Robert P. McCulloch. The fountain sprays water for about 15 minutes every hour between 9am and 9pm. The plume rises from a concrete water-lily sculpture in the center of a large man-made lake. When built it was the world’s tallest fountain, a record it held for over a decade.

On of the most enchanting sculptures is Emma’s Garden by Scott Streadbeck. Scott remarks that this is  “A sculpture modeled after my own daughter. A pose I witnessed as she played in our home. I wanted to capture her young, innocent beauty. Here, she plays with butterflies, chosen likewise for their delicate splendor. My wife’s favorite flowers, gerbera daises, lay next to my daughter. This sculpture contains elements of both reality and fantasy.”

Emma's garden, first kiss

Lastly I’ve chosen a picture of a coyote howling that I myself took. The bronze is by Deon Duncan and is titled “Coyote and Key.” This wonderful sculpture really describes how I feel sometimes in my grief over my husband’s death. 

coyote and key, first kiss

Yet during this past year I have experienced great comfort from both God and my family and friends. I have experienced so much more of the scripture in 2 Corinthians: 3”Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.”

I have found that good memories can be of great comfort as well. Even memories of that first kiss.

1 Comment

Mary B Valdes · June 22, 2019 at 10:44 am

You are such an inspiration to so many of us. Your resilience and strength…your beauty both inside and out…your spirituality is unwavering. You are amazing!

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