Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Surprise Winner

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.


At 19 February 2008 at 06:56, Blogger Sweet Irene said...

I am super glad that that Pastor didn't feel compelled to reach in and draw another name, this time a boy's. I am very happy that you got the bike, it was meant to be yours. Some things are achieved by divine provenance, this was one of them. You must have prayed really hard with your adolescent heart and soul.

At 19 February 2008 at 08:43, Blogger Babaloo said...

Wow, that was so lucky to win that bike! I'm sometimes lucky with minor wins like books or a box of chocolates. I've won a DVD player once. But as soon as there's big money/value involved, that's it. I've never won anything on a scratchcard, so I don't buy them anymore. But I keep my hopes up for the lotto. One day.

At 19 February 2008 at 12:46, Blogger laurie said...

wow. you won a bicycle?

i'm trying to think if i've ever won anything... anything at all....even a card game....

At 19 February 2008 at 14:19, Blogger Kaycie said...

I think I used up my "lucky win" karma before I turned 25. At my first real job, I won a trip to Florida, the top door prize at our picnic. Which I organized. (That was the last time I put my own tickets into the coffer when I had organized the event. I even made my ex-husband, who also worked there, go up to the stage.) Then, at my next employer, we had a big product kick off rally. I was six months pregnant and had worked there, oh, about six months. I won the big prize, a trip to San Diego.

I've never won another solitary thing.

At 21 February 2008 at 14:27, Blogger Sandy said...

How lucky you seem to be right now! Won the header and then passed on your luck to someone else. What a very nice thing to do!

Now, I feel kind of bad about this, but tag! You're it!

At 21 February 2008 at 19:33, Blogger Jack said...

I haven't won anything in a while. Right now I'd be happy to win a nickel.

But as a kid winning a bike would have been very cool. That must have been great.

At 22 February 2008 at 19:31, Blogger The Rotten Correspondent said...

I like your header hugely. It's so much fun.

I don't normally win things either, but it sounds like quite a thrill!

At 23 February 2008 at 05:40, Blogger -Ann said...

SI - It never even occurred to me that the Pastor could have done that. The next year, they had a big sign up saying you could only enter the contest for the bike of your gender.

Babaloo - Our office has a lotto syndicate. We keep hoping. :)

Laurie - Maybe you can win my Irish contest. If I ever have one.

Kaycie - Those are some good winnings. I always tell Peter I used up all the rest of my luck when I met him.

Sandy - Ah, looks like fun, but I think I'm going to politely decline this one.

Jack - It was like all my birthdays came at once.


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