The summer before I started high school was a weird one. My dad was home, he'd been out of work since February. It was nice having him home during the day, but I was old enough to know that this quality time came at a price.
My birthday is at the end of July and I wanted a sleek 10-speed bike. I don't know what I was using as a bicycle at that time. It seems hard to believe that I would still be riding the blue bike with banana seat, daisy basket, and chopper-esque handle bars that I purchased with my Communion Money in second grade. Maybe I was using an old bike of my dad's. The point was, I wanted a good bike to call my own.
Of course, money was tight but my dad had a plan. A local hardware store was giving away a bike for the fourth of July and my dad filled out loads of application slips. There was no one-entry-per-person rule to stop him. I don't know exactly how many he turned in, but in my mind, it seems like it was hundreds.
I was a little crushed when we didn't win that bike, after he'd filled in so many entry slips. It seemed like it was a Sure Thing, after all.
The weekend before my birthday was the Parish Picnic at our church. Kids were allowed to each put their name in a drawing to win a 10-speed bicycle. They were giving away two: a girl's bike and a boy's bike. When I entered my name, I asked if I could enter for the boy's bike instead because I don't like girl bikes. The kind women at the entry desk didn't see why not, so into the Boys jar went my name.
At the end of Parish Picnic each year, the Pastor would get into the back of a pickup truck and draw the raffle winners. I think the grand prize was something like $5000. But first, the drawing for the bicycles. The Girl's bike was drawn first.
Then the Pastor had his lovely assistant (he always picked a girl to draw out the winners) reach into the Boy jar and hand him the folded up piece of paper. He opened the paper and opened his mouth to announce the winner, when he stopped and muttered "This can't be right." He leaned over the the side of the truck to confer with someone and then came back and announced that I had won the boy's bicycle. (Much to the chagrin of all the boys in my eighth grade class.)
That was probably the last time I won anything more than a couple of dollars on the lottery scratch cards my mom puts in our Christmas stockings. Until yesterday, when Carrie informed me I had won a blog header from her new venture, Sweet Faerie Designs.
I'm thrilled and quite surprised, as I didn't even realise that by commenting on her Valentine's Day post, I would be entering myself in such a contest.
There's only one catch - I'm quite tied to my existing header for many reasons, not least of which that it was a birthday present from the brilliantly talented Middle Brother. Carrie was quite gracious and understanding and I know she'll have no trouble finding an appreciative home for one of her cool blog headers. Thanks again, Carrie.