Friday, October 15, 2010

A Van Wagon and a Wedding Dress

I have the greatest father in the world.

While other children in 1986 were unwrapping brand new cabbage patch dolls and toy lawn mowers at Christmas, I was taking a ride in the "van wagon" Dad made ESPECIALLY for me. I have so many fun memories of Dad taking us on rides in that thing. And even though he knew I wouldn't appreciate it as a one year old, he went all out--with shiny wheels, a license tag on the rear, reflectors (that worked!) and a steering wheel (who was going to be in control of the direction?)

My childhood is FULL of memories of Mom and Dad using their artistic talents and pure creativity for everything. I don't think I've ever seen Dad without a pad and pencil in his shirt pocket...just in case he came up with a good idea for a painting...or in case he saw something or someone interesting to draw while waiting in line. But it wasn't just painting, drawing, sculpture, and pottery that interested Dad. He created many more meaningful things out of that Right-brained mind of his--from our own 2 story tree house, to a decked out train track that filled the entire living room, rocking cribs for our baby dolls...and not to mention his knack for fixing the most colorful snacks (I'm talking complimentary colors, variety in texture and shape, and still yummy AND healthy).

And Mom was just as amazing...Not only for her ability to cook, organize, and decorate the house with pottery and sculptures. She is the most incredible seamstress I will ever know. Not an Easter went by without her making Kristin and me beautiful dresses. I never had to buy a dress for Homecoming, Beauty and Beau, Junior Miss, OR Prom. Mom did it all. EVEN my wedding. And not just the dress--the cake, the cake-stand, the pottery for the food, the table cloths, the bows, and the decoration, and Kristin's bridesmaid dress.

Mom and Dad moved to Virginia this summer...after 20 years teaching at MC and living in Clinton (my home). The Lord has called them to use their gifts in a different place for this season...I know they will inspire countless others to make a difference with their talents. And as hard as it is to not have them here, I know they are being obedient to God's calling.
My desire is to follow in their develop my skills as an artist and use my gifts to help others, to serve Christ, and to make a difference in this world. To give back to the Lord for all the ways He has blessed me...and they are too many to count. I hope to spend the rest of my life giving of myself--through the gifts I've been given.

A couple of Christmases ago, Dad gave me and Buster the "van wagon" for his grandchildren to have one day (was that a hint?) And one day we will pass it on to our children...and their children's children. A symbol of heritage and faith...taken from one generation to the next. And even though it was a gift that had already been given, somehow it had more meaning than ever before.

Thank you Mom and Dad.