Sunday, January 4, 2009
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.