Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Way Back When-sday: 1978


The night air was cold, humid. It was going to be perfect duck hunting weather. My dad, 40 at the time, my little brother, 9, and a black Labrador named Sugar were heading down the bayou in the bass boat at 8:30 pm on November the 10th, 1978 - heading for the hunting camp. My older brother and uncles were to meet them early the next morning. My dad had been complaining to my brother that evening about a headache. It must have been a bad one, because Daddy rarely complained of pain. Suddenly, in the middle of the bayou, Dad convulsed, vomited, collapsed. He said to David that he was having a stroke...Dave didn't know what that meant - but he knew it was bad. Dad stirred, tried to move, slumped his entire upper body over the side of the boat, headfirst into the water. Dave pulled him out. laid him back down in the boat...and waited.

From 8:30 PM to 4:30 AM they floated...surrounded by nutria rats and alligators. Dave called out for help (there were no cell phones). He cried out in the night to anyone who might hear. Only the lonely cry of geese overhead was heard in return. He tried to keep the swarms of mosquitoes off Daddy. He was glad to see Dad breathing, but he didn't know how long he would...

At 6:00 AM on Saturday morning, November 11th, the phone rings, waking me out of a deep sleep. It was the Fall of my senior year in High School. It's my uncle on the line, "your Dad's had an accident" he said. "He's been taken to the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston - come as soon as you can". My Mom and I drove down there in tears, praying.

It was a massive cerebral hemorrhage - that's what the doctors told us. They told my Mom to gather the family - Daddy wasn't going to make it through the night...

Well, he did make it...one night, then a week, then a month, then a year...and he is still with us 30 years later this month... I can hardly believe it has been that long...

Daddy would never return to his job as a programmer at NASA. He had to learn everything over again - how to talk, walk, eat, read, everything... Here's his badge photo from the late 60s when he began his career at NASA - he was brilliant...

Yet, lurking in his brain was, we later found out, a birth defect - a tangled mass of veins that grew larger and larger. A time bomb they said. I love this photo of my Dad goofing off when he and Mom were dating. The image was a bit of foreshadowing it seems...

Months and months of experimental procedures ensued through the end of 1978 an on into 1979 - this was uncharted territory - no one survives this - how do we treat it? Traction, steel pellets inserted in the brain to shrink the mass, endless tests, some improvement...

Finally, 14 hours of brain surgery were required to remove the mass. The chief neurosurgeon was just 28 years old...but he too was brilliant. And God's hand was on him - no doubt. 2 weeks later, with his shaved head and big smile, my Dad attended my High School graduation ceremony. It was a miracle in every way...

Though never able to return to programming, Daddy eventually worked again. My Mom had gotten a job with some family friends who had begun a business creating Christian giftware and selling wholesale to Christian bookstores. Dad tagged along with her and took out the trash - cleaned up - anything to feel productive. He ended up as the production supervisor there for 5 years. By this time, my older brother, his new wife, and I all worked there as well. I was the product designer. I love this sweet, funny photo of Daddy and me in my office at Christian Enterprises during those years. He was snoozing, but even so, he was behind me...supporting me...praying for me...proud of me...

He always has been...he still is...

So, on this, the eve of Thanksgiving 2008, I want to say Thank You to my heavenly Father for giving me my earthly father - and for giving him back to all of us 30 years ago when we were sure he was gone. I don't know why he stayed with us and others with similar medical issues don't make it... I guess at 70, Daddy still has things yet to do...

In future posts, I will share photos of some of the awesome birdhouses and other woodworking projects my Dad makes now. Hopefully, in the coming months, we will be launching a website where he and my Mom can sell his creations. I'll definitely keep you posted...

I wish you all a blessed Thanksgiving Holiday. Give your loves ones and extra hug and tell them you love them - this life is so fragile... I know I have someone to give an extra big hug to - thank you Lord for my Daddy...


"Therefore I will look to the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation; My God will hear me. When I fall, I will arise; When I sit in darkness, the LORD will be a light to me."
(Micah 7:7,8)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

And we have a winner...!

Please say hello and congratulations to...

Suzanne of Sugarloaf Cottage!!

Suzanne, thank you SO MUCH for participating in my little giveaway! I'm happy to say that you were the giveaway winner!! - I have had a lovely time reading all through your blog an getting acquainted with you and your new hubby and your charming small town life! So fun!!

Here's what Suzanne said she was thankful for:

"I am so thankful for the blessings of this past year, my husband and having a place for all my things. For the first time in many years, all of my things are unpacked and God is restoring all that I had lost. I have so much to be thankful for this year!"

So sweet Suzanne - I am very happy for you and the blessings in this special time of your life!!

Well friends, as you can tell, I never posted the photos of the other goodies in the giveaway- sorry about that! It'll have to be a surprise until Suzanne receives them, then I will share photos. Meanwhile it'll be a Thanksgiving surprise that I hope will be a fun blessing!!

Thanks to ALL of you sweet gals for participating in the giveaway and for sharing what you were thankful for - it really touched me!! I am THANKFUL for all of you, and for the friendships we are fostering and joys and struggles we are sharing - it's wonderful to be able to touch one another's lives in this unique way!!
Hugs to you all - we'll talk again soon!

"Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God."
(Philippians 1:3)

Friday, November 07, 2008

I'm Thankful for Thanksgiving Giveaway!!

I'm Thankful for Thanksgiving Giveaway!!

Hi friends!! Well, in true Becky-style, I do not have the photos for the giveaway ready and we are leaving town shortly for the weekend - BUT - I am still officially kicking off the giveaway today and you are all welcome to participate!! (I just did not want to promise a date and not follow through again...ugh). I promise the prize package will be a great one!!

So here's how it works - between now and Thursday November 13th at 5:00 PM Central Standard time, simply leave a comment on this post AND list at least one thing you are thankful for, and you will be entered to win!! Easy-peasy!

Here's a little preview of the prize package:

A Siesta Fiesta Cookbook - just in time for Thanksgiving meal planning!

A set of notecards featuring the November artwork from the Calendar.

My 2009 "My Cup Runneth Over" Calendar (same images as the 2008 - just placed in a 2009 template - these are available now from my CafePress store)

In addition, I will be including some cute glassware and china serving pieces, vintage embroidered linen pieces and other cuties for your holiday table...and much more!! (I will share photos of all the giveaway goodies when we return from out of town late this weekend)

I hope you'll participate in the giveaway, invite your friends, and even post about it on your blog if you'd like! I can't wait to celebrate God's many blessings with all of you!!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Welcome November! (just a tad bit late)

(click any image/photo to enlarge)

Actually November came right on time, but I'm the one that's late :o) I know I say this every month, but I can scarcely believe that we are so close to the end of 2008 - it has flown by so incredibly fast!
I am actually really happy to see November here already - I have always loved November... In Texas, that's when we typically have more cool days than warm ones , yay!! It's when college football gets really exciting, leaves are steadily falling, craft fairs abound, and maybe, just maybe, you can have a fire in the fireplace without having to run the air conditioner extra cold!

It is also, of course, the month where we celebrate the beloved holiday of Thanksgiving. I really can't stand it when we tend to skip over Thanksgiving in our headlong rush to Christmas...don't get me wrong...I LOVE Christmas. I just think that poor Thanksgiving gets shorted sometimes as Christmas decorations go up in the mall now right after Halloween (when did THAT happen?) and snowmen and candy canes outnumber turkeys and pilgrims at every turn. I think Thanksgiving needs a new PR person :o)

Well, I for one, will attempt to do my part to slow down and give Thanksgiving the full attention that it is due. I will be hosting an "I'm Thankful for Thanksgiving" Giveaway!!! Please check back on Friday as I officially kickoff the giveaway...it's gonna be fun. The prize package will be a great one - you don't want to miss out!!! (rumor has it that a calendar and cookbook may be included!)


Meanwhile, here are a few photos of a teeny touch of fall decorating in my entryway as well as some recent garage sale goodies on further down. (plus you'll want to read further to finally hear the story of what happened to the cute space we had in the Antique shop)

I've had this little fall vignette up for a few weeks but am just now getting around to posting... This is mostly simple fall floral decor from our local home decor discount store plus a thrifted vintage "God Bless our Home" framed needlepoint, some super sweet birdies from a Hallmark store I think, and a beribboned apothecary jar with a vintage earring touch of bling for fun...


Finally, here's the story of what happened with the Antique shop... During Hurricane Ike, the Antique shop sustained water damage (my stuff was OK though) but the owner decided to close down the shop and move on to another building in a better location nearby. However, instead of moving over with the new shop, Hubby and I decided that we were temporarily going to leave the antique arena...it was taking way too much time with too little return on investment. We decided for now that concentrating my extra time away from work at my day job on illustration was the much better plan, and ultimately has been (and hopefully will be) the better return on investment for the long run.
However - this has NOT stopped us from Junkin' ...oh no...that's too much in our blood....though we have significantly slowed our pace :o) Here's a collection of things from a recent weekend of treasure hunting - be sure and click the photos for a better look...

Quilt, lampshades, vintage apron, framed art, painted wooden shelves, covered cake plate, candlesticks, etc, etc...

Loved this poem called "To My Husband"...so sweet and SO TRUE...plus I am a sucker for anything with sunflowers...

Love the glass birdie...and those tiny vintage crocheted cherry earrings are precious...

This pink rose lamp went perfectly with one of the off-white lampshades I found separately...

I can hardly ever pass up a good cheap cutter quilt ...but this $2 full size beauty is all feedsack so there was no way to walk away from it!

We DO have plans for all these vintage lovelies that we have accumulated -we just don't have all the pieces of the puzzle together just yet as to timing and venue...but the Lord knows and we are trusting Him for direction...and He is faithful!!!
"In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps."
(Proverbs 16:9)
Please stop back by tomorrow to sign up for the giveaway and hopefully tell your blog buddies too!! I'm looking forward to visiting with you again!!