Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Ho Ho Ho Harlequin Holiday Extravaganza - A Tribute to my Dad - **Giveaway**


Welcome everyone to my annual holiday blog bash dedicated to all the wonderful Harlequin authors I review in RT Magazine. I'm doing things a little different this year instead of interviews I've asked each author who has a holiday tale coming out to write a guest post about a favorite Christmas tradition or memory. I'm starting things with a special memory of my own,  a tribute to my dad.
Enjoy the post and then enter for a chance to win a copy of Mrs. Miracle by Debbie Macomber!




In October of 1995 the bank I was working for sold their branches and left town to go back to California, I wasn’t planning on taking the other bank’s offer of employment so I stayed until the bitter end. My dad loved going to Branson, and this was well before it became the vacation destination of today and his birthday was December 1st. I suggested that I take him to Branson, just the two of us for a few days to celebrate both his birthday and my unemployment. And so began the best vacation of my life, where I wasn't a wife or a mother and all I had to do was have a good time. It was, in fact, the first vacation anyone ever asked me “what do you want to do today”.

When you first arrived in Branson in ‘99 there was only one road into and out of Branson and that was highway 76. After a while it became such a nightmare/joke that they actually sold souvenirs about it. We stayed at Roy Clark’s Lodge of the Ozarks, which was one of the first places in Branson that sold timeshares, and of course my dad had to have a membership so we had great accommodations and a wonderful indoor/outdoor pool.
The first night we celebrated his birthday by going to one of Branson’s iconic restaurants, Candlestick’s which tragically was lost to a freak tornado in 2012.

The weather was perfect for southern Missouri in early December with highs in the upper 50s which made going to all the outside touristy attractions like Silver Dollar City (which we ate our way from one end to the other) even more enjoyable. 

That night we saw Andy Williams perform in his Christmas show.


The rest of the days we leisurely toured the outlet malls and made our way to quaint downtown Branson where I got to shop in the famous Dick’s five and dime. 


My dad was the smartest man I knew and yet he never made it past the 10th grade. He never trained to be a counselor, yet his was the first advice I sought out when I had a problem. He wasn’t a teacher and yet the most important life lessons I learned from him. He was an intimidating bear of a man and he’s the only man my husband ever said “sir” to, yet he was the kindest, gentlest person I knew. He was my daddy and I miss him today as much as ever.
I lost my dad tragically in a car accident in April of 2001. Whenever his birthday rolls around it’s this trip that I think of most and how much fun we had for those few precious days together.

My dad was an avid camper and loved his Airstream travel trailer; this is a picture from when my daughter and nieces decorated his gravestone with little lighted airstreams.

I hope that you and yours have a blessed and merry holiday season whatever holiday you celebrate and remember never put off telling someone you love them never miss an opportunity to spend time with someone you cherish because you never know what tomorrow will bring and life is too short to waste one minute.

Happy Holidays to your and yours!!!

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34 comments:

  1. What a wonderful memory, Deb - I think I'll remember it every December 1st as well. I hope you and your family have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year....Anne

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    1. Anne, HI! How's sunny Florida? I think of you often. Thanks for the comment :) xo

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    2. Florida was 83 today - gorgeous 😍🌴

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  2. I love this!! And all those pictures were fabulous! Thanks so much for sharing this you two!

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    1. thanks Ali it was a very special memory!

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  3. Beautiful story, Deb. A memory to treasure forever. Thanks for sharing it with us. Merry Christmas and much love...

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  4. What a wonderful and memorable post and memory which warmed my heart. Your father certainly was so special. Wishing you a Merry Christmas. We get together and tell stories from the old days, light the menorah and eat latkes. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

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  5. I miss my dad a lot this time of year and always use the tree skirt he gave us as a housewarming gift.

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    1. its a double edged sword isn't it holdenj? Thanks for sharing

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  6. Lovely way to remember your Dad Debbie, and loved the recount of that holiday in Branson. (Not quite sure where Branson is though in the US!). Must watch out for your reviews in RT. I've been getting the digital version for about 2 years now and enjoy browsing it!

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    1. I review all The HQN Special Edition and quite a lot more too. I used to review HQN presents too!
      Thanks for stopping by Kathryn

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  7. Your dad sounds like an exceptional human being. I can see how much he's loved and it's no wonder he's sorely missed. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful story :)

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    1. Thanks Braine for stopping by to read it!

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  8. Thank you for sharing Debbie..what a lovely memory and I liked getting to know a little about you, the town and your Dad.

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  9. What an amazing memory to have. It sounds like a wonderful time and what a great man your daddy sounded like. Thanks for sharing him with us <3

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    1. Your welcome Anna. It was a very special memory!

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  10. What an absolutely beautiful story, Debbie. My dad was one of those guys, too--no formal education but worlds of knowledge and our relationship was and is precious to me. My dad will celebrate his 84th birthday tomorrow but, as a result of Alzheimer's, doesn't really know it. We continue to celebrate each and every day that we have with him, because one never does know which day will be the last. xo

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    1. Hi Brenda, thanks for sharing that with us, and how true. I can't wait until I post your memory next week!!
      xo

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  11. We all go to GranGran's house and celebrate together as one, big, happy family.

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    1. Hi Misty, thanks for sharing and Good Luck!

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  12. My favorite holiday tradition is casino night with my friends around Christmas time. Thanks for the chance to win.

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    1. Oh Karen that sounds like fun, Good Luck!

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  13. I started a tradition of having a tree trimming party every year - lots of food, friend, family and fun! And my tree gets decorated lol.

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  14. I love the tradition that we have of driving around looking at Christmas lights. We also started the tradition of making gifts with our daughter that she can give to family. One of my favorite things to do is sit in the living room with just the Christmas tree lights on :)

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  15. We decorate the tree to Christmas music. We follow that by making my M-I-L's spritz cookie recipe.

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    1. I love decorating the tree to music Laurie and thanks for the cookie recipe!

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