Sunday, January 4, 2009

Favorite Christmas Surprise


My Favorite Christmas Gift

Lynette at Lynette's L.A.M. blog posted a wonderful gift she received from her mother and asked everyone what their favorite gift was. This gorgeous photograph by my favorite photographer has to be right up there with my all time special gifts. It's not just the photo, it's the story behind it.
We vacation in Florida every year, and discovered the photography of Richard Bickel in an Apalachicola shop several years ago. I fell in love with his work, and every year we would try to buy at least one piece. He has published two books of his photography and I discovered this work in the second book "Apalachicola River, an American Treasure". I was mesmerized by this photograph. Last summer, we discovered that Mr. Bickel had opened a gallery in Apalachicola. Well, I was like a kid in a candy shop. The rest of the family was tired and hot, but indulged me my time in the gallery. I bought one small piece that I have always loved, but could not purchase the piece that I really wanted. The work in his gallery was very large and more expensive than I could afford. So I purchased my small 5 x 7 and went happily on my way.
Little did I know that my dear husband had been corresponding with the artist over the month of November. He made arrangements for the artist to reproduce this piece in a smaller size for a surprise Christmas gift. Now this is where the "Christmas Miracle" comes into play. The last correspondence indicated that the piece could not be ready in time for Christmas, as the framer that the artist uses had been ill. My husband is a picture framer, but Mr. Bickel signs all of his work on the custom cut mat that surrounds them, so that was the hold up.
On Christmas Eve, we received a note in the mailbox that an express mail package was out for delivery. Of course we were not home, but we just assumed it was something DH had ordered from Ebay. Suddenly our daughter grabbed daddy, ran into the music room with the phone, and 2 minutes later they were both running out the front door. What on earth? It turns out that Caitlin had a suspicion that this photo was what was being delivered. She called the post office to find out the senders name and sure enough, she was right. The postal clerk told her that our carrier was still in the neighborhood and that they could probably catch him (sometimes it pays to live in a small town) So off went dear hubby and dear daughter to chase down the mailman! They finally caught up with him and pulled up next to him frantically waving the delivery notice. I'm happy to report that he gave them the package, they went to my husband's shop and framed this and one other photo that they had purchased. Imagine my total surprise when I opened this on Christmas morning.
I will cherish this always, not just because it is one of my favorite photographs, but more because of the love and thought that went into the gift.

13 comments:

The Muse said...

Gifts, such as these...become more...they become...treasures! :)
Lovely post!

Lynette said...

Wow Kathy - what a gift and the thoughtfulness from your DH and DD make it even more special - just like "the muse" said - a treasure!! Thanks for sharing your special present with us!

tardevil said...

Awwwww- I'm a little teary! What a sweet gift and family to give it to you! They are your real treasures! Now, on a lighter note, I'm leaving you a little award over at my blog.

Happy To Be said...

How special is this gift girl!! the story behind it well last you a life time...great memory..just loved things like this..hugs and smiles Gloria

Kathysue said...

Oh Kat, I love this story and the photograph is wonderful.I have to mention the perfect music to go along with this post.I just love your music choices.I can see you in my mind smiling everytime you look at the gift on your wall.Not smiling at the image but at those that went to such measures to make sure you had the perfect gift.Little did they know they were giving you the perfect gift of LOVE.Hugs to you my friend,Kathysue

lvroftiques said...

Kathy what a beautiful picture! And an even more beautiful expression of love from your DH and daughter!! I can just see them driving all over the neighborhood frantically looking for the postman so that you could receive your gift on time! How wonderful! Vanna

marty39 said...

Oh Kathy, that's the most perfect Christmas story I've heard this year. Gorgeous picture filled with all the love from your DH and Cait. This will always be one of your most treasured memories forever. Thanks for sharing. Hugs, Marty

prof en retraite said...

Oh Kathy! What a wonderful gift and what a wonderful story to go with it! The music was just perfect, too! Beautiful post!...hugs...Debbie

Lynne (lynnesgiftsfromtheheart) said...

Kathy what a romantic thing for him to do. I know you'll chersih this beautiful picture always.. Men sometimes they can come up with the best surprises can't they? It is truly beautiful.
hugs ~lynne~

laurie @ bargain hunting said...

Oh what a great story! I love that they went and found the postman and got it to you in time for Christmas! What a special Christmas gift. laurie

nikkicrumpet said...

What a cool hubby. That he would go to so much trouble and be so thoughtful. He's a keeper! And I can see why it's so precious to you. And it is a beautiful picture!

ann said...

What a precious story.What a sweet family you have.You are one lucky lady...Ann

prairiedog said...

Hi Kathy,I know I'm late in reading this post but sure glad I did.What a story,that is really beautiful.Gifts like that are priceless treasures indeed.hugs,cyndi