Misty Garrison » Gathered Fragments

My original intention was to write a letter to my husband’s best friend on his birthday. But the more I mulled it over in my mind what I would actually write, I realized that it would be much easier and safer to write “about him” instead of “to him.” And so, I decided to have Steven help me make a list (big surprise) of the favorite memories that, for us, paint a picture of the quintessential Charlie Brown (look it up Cha Cha, but please don’t actually try to say it).

1. the ever looming back spasm (not sure how to spell the sound he makes, but we can imitate it rather nicely – geh gjk)
2. attempting to hum “Somewhere over the Rainbow” while playing Cranium – not pretty, folks, not pretty – unrecognizable even
3. having him come behind you to put coasters under your drink glasses when you forget (although the twins have loosened him up a bit, I hear)
4. countless hours playing Tiger Woods ’04 in the recliner and big screen we put in his formal dining room while we lived with his family for a while
5. listening to Steven giggle like a little girl while he plays poker online with Charlie “at the table with him making comments”
6. the shared obsession with playing and purchasing board games
7. having our own personal “W” who we can count on to either misspell or more frequently misuse words in a sentence
8. the annual Vegas trip with the boys (don’t forget rule #1)
9. the unsettling feeling that a grown man who struggles to make a comment on a blog is actually packing a gun
10. years of making personal jibes at one another so that we never take ourselves to seriously

And although I give Steven all kinds of grief for the countless hours these two grown men spend talking on the telephone, and I lovingly refer to Charlie as Steven’s “Brown Bear” because their relationship reminds me so much of J.D. and Turk from Scrubs, it is really because I am jealous that I have never had a girlfriend like Charlie Brown.

But seriously, thank you, Charlie, for the awesome friend you have been to my Steven all these years. I truly think that because of your friendship he is an even better man than when I married him. I sleep better at night knowing that Steven has someone like you to share the burden of manhood with and that you understand all the pressures that go along with being a husband, a Daddy, and a Christian in the workplace. It means so much to me to know that you are holding him up – with your prayers, your love, your companionship, your sense of humor, and even your harassment at times.

Thank you that no matter where God takes us in life, we are certain that we can always count on you to go along with us. Thank you that when our final medical hope to have another child of our own was lost, you sent an email message with no subject line or words – because truly sometimes “there are no words.” Thanks for getting our pain and sharing it with us.

On your special day, may God return to you some of the blessing you and your precious family have been to us.

Good grief, Charlie Brown, have a HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

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I know you have heard of Christmas in July when churches gather items to send overseas, but why on earth are the Garrison’s celebrating Easter in July? Am I just catching up on all events of the year that happened prior to the existence of the family blog? Yes and no. Yes, I am using posts to share some of the highlights of Emmylou’s life so far. But no, in this particular case these pictures were actually taken this past weekend. There are a few reasons why we took “Easter” photos in the middle of July. They are as follows:

1. Easter in Owasso, OK this year was dreary and rainy limiting the outdoor photo opportunities.
2. My camera was set on some crazy settings and therefore took incredibly wonky photos.
3. My mom spent countless hours laboring over the sewing of Emmylou’s dress, and the weather, wonky camera settings, along with all the food, fun and festivities at Grandma’s house, prevented us from getting a good shot of said outfit.

So, there you have it. Easter in July. Albeit, a much more casual rendition – but Easter none the less. Who knows, maybe we will make it a tradition around our house. Truth be told, any day of the week is appropriate for celebrating the resurrection of our Lord. He is risen. His risen indeed!

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Today’s lesson.



Explanation from Jessica Sprague:

To get a worn, faded look, photographers will actually take photographs (often using a macro lens and a light blocking device) through the viewfinder of an old camera. The result is a photo with blackened edges, distortion, scuffs and scratches and marks – pretty much what we’ve been looking for all our lives, right?:)

Through the Viewfinder, or TTV is growing in popularity, and you can see some of the work on the TTV Flickr Group. It’s wonderful inspiration as well! You can check out the blog on the group’s home page.

While the TTV flickr group is specifically for photographers actually putting the technique to practice, there’s good news from this movement for the rest of us, too! Lots of folks are offering “Fake TTV” textures, especially at Flickr. So it’s easy to fake without having to own your own old camera or rig up the light-blocking “tube” that connects your digital camera to the viewfinder of the old one.


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From today’s lesson. I guess I should start giving credit to my photographer. Steven snapped the picture, and I worked the Photoshop magic. What a team! These shots taken of Grandpa’s boat resting on the shore of the Thoendel Pond.



Oo la la! Kinda makes ya feel all nostalgic and like sitting on the front porch drinking a tall glass of sweet tea (preferrably made by Aunt Barbara). Or maybe even curious as to where you might end up if you started walking down that intriguing little road. Definitely has a “road less traveled” feel, “and that has made all the difference.”

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AKA Nicholas Alan Thoendel, Toon (as in cartoon), Alfred E. Newman, Bear, etc.

I was a little worried when the critter started calling him “Nicky” that this teenage boy (my sister’s oldest child) might be too cool for that. But instead, I think he kinda likes it. It could be that he understands it is some kind of payback for years of putting up with his orneriness. On the other hand, he loves my Emmylou. You know, the kind of love that would answer to anything as long as she says his name.

Of course, he has a funny way of showing it. Considering that he antagonizes her to no end causing her to fuss and complain. But then again, she gives as much as she gets and loves it. After our visit over the 4th of July I was thinking that he might have gone too far in picking on her. She is just a baby after all, and that sort of thing can backfire on you. But what did I hear from her bedroom when she awoke the next morning, my precious Emmylou singing songs and telling stories about her Nicky. I kept hearing her say his name over and over again. Like maybe he had gotten under her skin the way only a teenage boy can do.

Man, I love that kid.(referring to Nicholas)

Have you heard the story about when Steven and I graduated from college and moved to Farmington, NM after living just a mile away from Nicholas when he was 2 ½ years old? After driving who knows how many miles from Norman to Farmington, we began unpacking our things with the help of my parents. As I was putting away the clothes that went into our chest of drawers, I stumbled upon a pair of his big boy tighty whities. For the first time in my life, I actually thought I might die of heartache. It physically hurt my heart. I am actually surprised that I lived to tell about it.

Or the story of when we were deciding what to name our critter? We had shared the name Emmylou and the story behind it with just a few people and received mixed reviews. But when I said the name to Nicholas, his entire countenance lit up. Later, he was talking to my sister (his mom) and he emphatically said, “Mom, it just has to be Emmylou. They must name her Emmylou. I can just see her!”

Me too, Nicky, me too.

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  • EGG's Dad - I won’t mention my story of little nicky and the trip to the hospital to meet his brother for the first time…ReplyCancel

  • nicholas - Aw shucks. (for the first half) GRR to the second halfReplyCancel