Almost 20 years ago, we made a life-changing decision: we moved to Santa Barbara, CA, and put our house in Los Angeles up for sale. And as we packed up all our worldly possessions, we told our children, "As soon as we sell the house in LA, we'll take you on a wonderful, magical trip to Walt Disney World in Florida!"
Little did we know at the time that we were on the verge of a SERIOUS housing slump!
For two years, we kept cutting the asking price of our lovely little home in LA, only to watch the housing market spiral down even further. In the end, we were fortunate to sell at all, just a few days short of the 2-year deadline for capital gains taxes.
Needless to say, there was NO money for a Disney World vacation!
So, I began trying to save up, but for three years every penny I set aside was needed for one emergency after another. It soon became apparent that our dreams were likely to never see reality.
And then, one day, I got a catalog from Annie's Attic, announcing an INCREDIBLE contest, with a Grand Prize of $10,000!!! And I felt like I had been handed the answer to my prayers.
I sat down, and spoke with the Lord about what I could *possibly* make that would be both beautiful enough AND unique enough to win. And into my mind came the image of the Notre Dame Stained Glass Rose Window that I had given a presentation on at church several years before. I knew, if I could reproduce THAT window, I could win the contest.
It took me three months searching every yarn store and catalog I could get my hands on to find exactly the right colors of yarn to accurately catch the impression of sunlight streaming through ancient stained glass; it took my son's recent architecture and geometry class to help me figure out precisely the right dimensions so the finished afghan would be only about 6 feet in diameter; it took 6 months of trial-and-error, unpicking and trying something else to get a pattern that worked. But the end result was everything I had hoped it would be, and Annie Potter agreed. My Cathedral Window Afghan won the $10,000 Grand Prize, and my children got their never-to-be-forgotten trip to Walt Disney World.