Kristina, then a nature specialist at a children's camp, invited him to toss around the crocheted Frisbee-like toy she always carried in her purse.
The two liked each other right away, but neither wanted a romantic relationship.
"At the time, I was practicing celibacy," Mark said. He was studying Buddhist teachings and attempting to live a monklike existence.
Kristina, now 24, was taking a break from dating, and also admits the age gap between them landed Mark in the "friends" category at first.
They hung out with friends at a weekly potluck, and on their own at picnics in the park. The more time they spent together, the more their fondness grew.
Kristina felt so comfortable with Mark that age was no longer a barrier. She told herself to quash her romantic thoughts, though - this man was living as a monk!
One August day in Mark's living room, Kristina asked him to meditate with her. "That's when I knew I actually loved her," he said.
About a week later, Kristina and a friend visiting from Pennsylvania hitchhiked to Homer, about four hours away. She asked Mark to keep her bicycle - her only mode of transportation - for safekeeping. When she retrieved her bike, she found in a carrying compartment an Indian skirt and a poem - a confession of Mark's feelings.
She hugged him, thanked him, and had to rush off to work.
After work, they talked - and kissed.
How does forever sound?
By September, Mark and Kristina agreed they were a family. They wanted to have the same last name and searched the meanings of Sanskrit words until they found sunyata, which means "emptiness."
Buddhist philosophy teaches, "within emptiness, everything is possible," Mark said. "What makes a cup useful is its emptiness."
The two had been discussing their dream pilgrimage to India and agreed they would change their names before embarking.
"Well, we could just get married if we are going to change our names anyway," Kristina said.
In October, Mark and Kristina were on the way to Seward when he took an unexpected turn. A waiting helicopter took them to the top of Colony Glacier. They soaked up nature for awhile. Then Mark took her hand, knelt before her, and gave Kristina a handcrafted sapphire ring.
It was so them
The couple married before 80 guests on Kristina's parent's patio on the winter solstice - which was also the end of the Maya calendar.
Officiant Diane Smith-Hoban spoke of the solstice and the date as a time of new beginnings.
With an inscription in their rings, the couple gave a nod to the belief that their wedding day was the apocalypse: "12/21/12, doomsday and beyond."
Before the ceremony began, Kristina's father lit a fire in the family's outdoor pit. The best man and maid of honor lit candles from that fire and used their candles to light those of the guests sitting in the back row. Guests passed the light, candle to candle, up to the front. Kristina and Mark lit their candles from their mothers', then lit a third candle together.
The couple read their vows in unison. They included promises to love and respect each other and the earth.
The moment Kristina and her father appeared at the end of the aisle, Mark's eyes filled with tears. "She looked so beautiful, like the most beautiful winter goddess you could ever imagine," he said.
Once she was next to Mark, Kristina took his hand. "I looked in his eyes, and I looked out at the crowd, and thought, 'This is really happening,' " she said.
A bargain: As a gift, a friend of Kristina's mother turned white and silver ribbons into bows that decorated the arch the couple were married under, and many other spots.
The splurge: They could have played CDs for free or hired a DJ, but Kristina and Mark had to have the energy of a live band - particularly one that plays classic rock and the Grateful Dead.
The couple plans to buy a home with land in Alaska to raise their own food later this year, and are expecting their first child this summer. They won't make it to India before 2014, they said, but are in the process of changing their names to Sunyata.
BEHIND THE SCENES
Diane Smith-Hoban of Journeys of the Heart, Jenkintown
Robinson family patio and home
High Street Caffe, Limoncello Ristorante & Caterers, Spice Indian Thai Bistro, Capriotti's Sandwich Shop, Arianna's Gourmet Cafe, Yori's Church Street Bakery, and Cakes and Candies by Maryellen, all of West Chester
Hake and Jarema, www.facebook.com/
Morgan Cottle of M. Cottle Photos, www.facebook.com/mcottlephotos
Sage Perisse, www.facebook.com/pages/
Matlack Florist, West Chester
David's Bridal, Anchorage, Alaska
The Knot, www.theknot.com