Thursday, September 22, 2016

Quilt Through It.

I left the mountains yesterday with fingers crossed.

I had less than 1/4 tank of gas.

There was a gas shortage going on that I really hadn’t paid attention to because of other things going on within my family.

I mean, how bad could it be?  Surely there was gas SOMEWHERE?

And then I got worried.

The cabin is about 20 minutes from town, pretty much on the outskirts of nowhere.  There is not a mini-mart or ANYTHING for a 20 minute drive.

And the first station gave me THIS:



I was in the east-bound lane headed toward Wilkesboro.  In the west-bound  side, I passed an OLD station with really vintage pumps, as in NO PAY AT THE PUMP option.  I had always driven past this place on the way UP to the cabin, wondering how this little place even stays in business.  Bad judgement, Bonnie.  Very bad judgement!

The little station also has a car repair, so it stays in business and I pulled up to the pump.  The ONLY vehicle pulling up to the pump in this little throw-back-in-time station.  The only available gas was Extra Supreme at $3.09 a gallon and I didn’t care.  I filled up.  My 1/4 tank had already been driven on another 20 minutes from cabin to station and I needed gas.

I went inside the dark little mini-mart to find a spry older gentleman in crisp, white uniform shirt complete with the embroidered name badge letting me know his name was Ralph.


Not quite this far back!  But close!

I think I have stepped WAY back in time by now!  When was the last time you saw an automotive guy in a uniform shirt (White none the less, and spotless!) with his name embroidered on it?

We had a nice little chat.  This station also provides FULL SERVICE fill ups, and I will be stopping there in the dead of winter when I don’t want to have to get out of my car to pump in the cold.  Come to think of it, I may just do it on a regular basis just to help keep this place open. Shop local.  And bring a smile to an old-timer who should have been retired long ago, but loves what he does.

I want to know his story.  How long has he had this station?  This little chance encounter during a crazy gas shortage made me smile.

Especially once Ralph told me that I was the LAST customer of the day.  They were officially closing shop until they could get more shipments of fuel in.  “No point in keeping us open now” he said.

He told me the only reason they had ANY gas at all is because they are closed Sundays, which gave them an extra day of fuel that other stations in the area didn’t have.  Many sold OUT on Sunday.

Goodness.  Thank heavens for small favors in the bible belt.

As I neared Winston Salem and home, some stations had gas, others did not.  According to the news, things will be returning to normal in the next couple days if not sooner, and I should be fine to drive to Delaware on Sunday.


This got worked on a bit last night.

And so did this:


I got the next neutral round on!

Next up…GREEN!


These units piled up while working on this year’s mystery.

Are you playing along with this year’s Hourglass Leader & Ender challenge?  These simple units work up really quickly in between the lines of chain piecing other things.  My goal is to get the green/neutral units cut and baggied so they are ready to go.


Tumbler on the guestroom bed!


So much scrap happiness!

I really love our Leader & Ender challenges and hope that you do too!

This morning Moby has his first maintenance appointment at the dealer.  I can’t believe I’ve put on 5,000 miles already.  But it needs to be ready for Delaware on Sunday.

After that, I’m driving down to Charlotte to meet Jason and spend some time together.  We feel the need to see each other. We’ve both got Chinese food on the brain and then we’ll spend the afternoon wandering around and visiting.

There may be an antique mall run.  And a vintage machine check-out.  I’ve already emailed a guy about something really cool.

**UPDATE**  Jason just called and said that we should avoid Charlotte with all that is going on right now with the riots. Our lunch date out for copious amounts of yummy Chinese food has been given a rain-check. As sad as I am about not seeing my son, I'm even sadder with the state of things in North Carolina.

More details to follow.


Quiltville Quote of the Day!

Every single day.

Scrappy nine patch quilt made many years ago as a table topper.

Happy Thursday, everyone!

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Nancy Heffner Jacobson said...

God bless Ralph.

Julie Vernon said...

"Someone" was looking out for you.... isn't it wonderful to realize there are places like that still, and Ralph too. I would go back many times to this little place. :)

Now kick back, and enjoy your time...especially with Sadie Jane. Dogs KNOW when we are upset or in need to TLC...hug her tight.....

Hugs from me

Sherrill said...

WHAT?!!! Gas shortage?!! Haven't heard anything about gas shortages..no problems encountered in N. TX. Hopefully it will come to an end quickly! Lots of beauty there, Bonnie!

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

Stay safe in Charlotte. Riots there. Just too many bad things going on. I'm sorry about your cousin. The youngest ones are always the hardest to lose. So much potential lost. Hang in there. Glad your mother can attend the funeral. You'll be with them in thought. Enjoy your cruise.

Mary said...

Looking forward to your visit to Dover Delaware! I am spending the next 2 days prepping my fabrics for BOTH classes! I might remember to pack my sewing pj's from Target! So glad you found gas. We have NO problem in Delaware with any kind of shortage, but it is always wise to fill up when you get to 1/2 tank, just to avoid any stress. My heart breaks for the situation in Charlotte. Safe travels as you "head North" on Sunday! Mary/www.stitchinggrandma.wordpress.com

Robby H. said...

Good to see you already got the word about Charlotte, I was trying to think of a tactful way to express caution. OTOH, what a delightful surprise in your personal gas dilemma! And after this post, i'm going to have to reconsider thinking on hourglass blocks. Yours are coming together beautifully.


What a great story about the gas station and Ralph. I enjoy your blog so much. Have a great day.

Lori said...

How cool was it that you found Ralph?! What's with the gas shortage? That seems strange.

Sally Langston Warren said...

Bonnie, check out Randy's blog post at Barrister Block. She's in Barcelona. Awesome pictures! Don't think you saw this when you were there.

Bee Fearless said...

Bonnie, yesterday I stopped at our local Helena Industries thrift shop, for our developmentally disabled community, and bought 10 men's shirts. Then happily cut them up while binge watching Longmire on Netflix. You have created another addict! Bring on the scrappy!

Mary said...

Yea for a guy that knows what FULL Service means! I'm sad to read and see all the troubles in your State. How far is Charlotte? I remember gas shortages in the 70's. Be safe as you travel. I'll go eat some Chinese for you, lol. I could just make some but I like the Fortune cookie I get when I go out.

Kathy Freels said...

My husband said Ralph would get his business too! Love that. Sorry you don't get to see Jason soon. But best to stay safe. And I am only a neutral round behind you on the leader ender. I need to cut more also. Love this fun project.

cityquilter grace said...

hmmm empty guest room? well i'm free all next week...LOL...beautiful finish and love those hourglasses!

isew do u said...

I really love to find those "old-timey" places off the beaten track like your gas station. We have a handmade, homemade ice cream store nearby. Their ice cream is natural, probably really fattening, and heavenly! It is sold from an old store where the old wooden floor appears and smells saturated with kerosene, gasoline, or whatever that is. I always feel like I'm walking back in time when I go there. They don't have a gazillion flavors, maybe 2 or 3. Sometimes the ice cream has been flavored with the fruit of summer, peach, or strawberry, but always extraordinary. Just love these old places!

Susie Hoover said...

Love the Leader & Ender Challenges. May we never run out of ideas for it!!!

lalaluu said...

Funny how a small pipeline leak in Birmingham impacts so many people. I guess they had to shut it completely off for a day or two in order to make repairs. Just goes to show how dependent we are on modern infrastructures. Back to QUILTING...that is a BEAUTY currently wrapped up on your longarm! What a lovely peek! Hourglass blocks are fun; definitely on my bucket list. I'll just move it closer to the top!

Susie Q said...

Hourglass leader ender on hold for the new ruler... but soon, right?

Jo said...

Love the old stations. It is sad when you can't freely go out in your own town. Why can't we all get along.

Cheri Dawn said...

Sometimes it seems we go through a chunk of time where bad things - big and small - happen. And then there is a Ralph to remind us that the world is a good place, and we are in good hands. You are in my thoughts.

kdduncan said...

I miss full service gas stations so much. Oh, those were the good old days. Someone to check the air in the tires and air them back up, to check the oil and coolant - and top them off. The last time I was at full service station, over 20 years ago, my son freaked out because I let a stranger put gas in my car!!

farmhousequilter8 said...

Bonnie, I am doing the Leader Ender and I really like this one. I had a box of these left from some quilts and I am mixing them all up. I love the pattern you are doing. Also, I paid $1.94 day before yesterday for gas. I wonder why it is in some areas and not others. You were meant to stop at the station and chat with that man.....you never know he might have sewing machines in the back room. Paula in KY

Darlene Hayden said...

Bonnie, I know that you write these blogs for yourself, they are Your Story, however YOU have helped so many of us, touched our hearts, made us/me think. Not in quilting alone, but about in life itself. You can express, often times, what I can't verbalize and your words are never discouraging but rather they help give me a rudder when I am just floating.....thank you for that, thank you for adding to my experience - I hope you see this....

Your unknown friend, Darlene

Vic in NH said...

Hooray for all the "Ralph's" in the world! So glad to see you avoid the city strife right now. I so enjoyed seeing your wonderfully scrappy tumblers in the guest room and the quote of the day's quilt is a classic, too.

Brenda Wall said...

So very sad about the condition in our cities with the riots and unrest. I know that with all that has gone in in your life a visit with your son would have uplifted your spirits.
I love the fact that you found Ralph and the gas station. It was a heartwarming story and so glad you shared it. We need more Ralph's in the world.

Susann Chaplin said...

Hi Bonnie, Love your Ralph story! An angel in disguise! Brought back memories too. Loved your picture of the mountains, how soul uplifting! PLEASE see Jason as soon as you can.I think Andy's death really shook him up too. After the cruise! So go and have a wonderful time on the cruise. Prayers for a safe and smooth sailing and drive. Peace to you.

Kimberly VanLiew said...

God is good!!! he was watching out for you Bonnie!!

Tammie said...

Love the tumbler quilt on the bed. Can't wait to get started on the quilt for my spare room. Have 2 blocks made. That's my next project while I wait on the new mystery.