Thursday, May 25, 2017

Somewhere I lost a day!

This was the gorgeous view of not just one mountain (Mt Hood in the foreground)  but of FOUR in ONE photo!

It could not have been more perfect weather for flying as we left Portland, Oregon on Tuesday afternoon.

I was headed home. 

I enjoyed all of the gorgeous views, taking quick notice, and heads up from hexies as the captain came over the audio system saying “For passengers on the left side of the plane, we are now passing over Wyoming and there is a great view of the Grand Tetons below.”

I instantly had my camera poised and ready at my window:


We live in SUCH a magnificent world!

And I would be in my own bed by bedtime.

Or so I thought.

This 4 hour 15 minute flight was reaching 5 hours and it didn’t feel like we were going down anywhere.  More than that.  It definitely felt like we were going around and around in circles.

Within 15 minutes of my realization, again the captain came over the loud speaker to say “Ladies & Gentlemen, we are having to make a diversion, landing in Memphis instead of Atlanta.  There are severe storms in the Atlanta area and we’ve been circling them hoping they would ease up, and we need to refuel and wait out the storm.  Flight attendants, please make the cabin ready for arrival.”


I know the Memphis airport.  There is NOTHING at the Memphis airport.  They roll it up and close it down by 6pm. 

We landed, and when the gate agent came on board with a warm Tennessee smile, she said “There are no restaurants or shops open, but if you want to walk around a bit, you are welcome to deplane, but please bring ALL of your belongs off the plane with you if you do.”

We were going to be there an hour, tops.  I decided to just stay put, listen to my audio book (Jack Reacher series!) and continue to hexie my way home.  That is if I WOULD reach home.


My quick shot from the gate where I was working before boarding.

I’ve gotten this far on one side.  There are 4 sides.  WHAT was I thinking???  “But it needs this border.  So just keep sewing!” I keep telling myself in an effort of encouragement.

We eventually were back on our way, but by the time we reached Atlanta it was about 11:30pm.  I had missed the last connection to Greensboro.  Other passengers had also missed THEIR connections.  Tired families with small children, older folks with wheelchairs and walkers, couples headed on vacation, kids heading home from college.  We all stood in a long line waiting for our flights to be rebooked for the next morning flight out, wondering where we were going to lay our heads for the night.

The thought of sleeping in an airport while 100 lbs of quilts in my luggage are locked in the belly of a plane somewhere was filling me with dread.  I’ve never had to spend the night in an  airport and I don’t want to!

The lady at the help desk booked me on an 8:10am flight, boarding at 7:20.  AND I got a voucher for a hotel room.  AND It was easy to get to.  I’ve not done much outside of the Altanta airport, but I followed directions, took the little train toward the rental car station.  Halfway to the rental car station is a cluster of hotels.  My backpack and I disembarked and went over to the Springhill Suites where a room, a toothbrush and a hair comb were provided and I crashed for a short 5 hour dead to the world yet still fitfull kind of sleep until my alarm went off letting me know it was time to grab a quick shower, re-dress in the previous day's clothes as I had no luggage, grab the train back and head to the airport.

I thought I might be able to shoot off a blog post from the airport – but the security line was huge, and I ended up only having time to post  a Quiltville Quote of the Day to FacebookInstagram.  If you missed it, click the Quiltville Quotes tab at the top of the blog, they are all there!  (And please feel free to pin them, share them, use them in your guild newsletters, any where you want to.)


This girl just wants to go HOME!

I was walking in my front door by a bit after 10am.  I’d been gone 8 days.  No time to waste.  If I wanted to get up to the cabin for the long holiday weekend, I needed all of the book orders that had come in while I was gone OUT the door.  My goal was to have them all done by the time the post office closed at 4:30.


We made it!

I actually dropped off the orders about 3:30 and headed out to run a couple of errands and make a beeline for the cabin.  But the weather was getting bad.  VERY BAD!

This is where I know this post is going to get longer than I had hoped it to be, and it is going to jump topics just a bit.  I try to keep things coherent, but when so many things happen in just a few days, jumping back on a fast moving train after having gotten off at the last stop becomes a problem!  I don’t want to skip anything, and I need to get back to real time instead of posting of things that happened days ago, so bear with me!


My 15-91 rewire job.

There are things I can take care of with vintage machines, and there are things I leave to the pros.  Things like replacing vintage wiring.  I just don’t feel comfortable with it, and there is this time thing.  It saves ME time if I can drop it off and pick it up.

And that is what happened with this one.  The wiring was bad.  The machine was in a cabinet.  The foot pedal cord ran THROUGH a hole in a cabinet side spring so there was no way to remove the machine completely from the cabinet without disconnecting the wires at the terminal.  At this point it was decided the best thing to do was to have it rewired so that it could use the dual cord system (where the plug in cord and the foot pedal cord are in ONE plug, like on a featherweight instead of 2 hard wired ones.)  DONE.

I received a call while in Washington that it was ready to pick up.  I said I would pick it up when I am back in town.  That was errand #2 yesterday on the way to the cabin.

As I pulled into the parking lot, the rain was starting to let loose.  Not hard, but it was coming.  I hurried inside to find the clerk helping a sweet, very elderly lady with a tan godzilla finish machine with SINGER visible on the back side.  They were fiddling with the bobbin case, wiggling the needle up and down, trying to get something to come loose.  I stepped closer to hold the machine steady.

“This looks like a Singer 306W!”  I was met with smiles, and they nodded in agreement.  The little old lady looked to be in her 90s if a day.  And as I get closer to that age, my heart smiles when I see someone still in love with sewing and creating.  The little lady has dealt with a lot.  I could tell that by the cane she had propped against the service desk, the hump on her shoulder apparent, a sign of pain and discomfort over the years.  I thought back to my days of massage therapy school, and all of those things we were taught about the aging process, how “humps” in the back and shoulders could happen through osteoporosis or other reasons and how to best work around them to provide relief and comfort as much as possible.

That was where my brain “squirrelled” as we talked about this machine.  She had had it since it was brand new.  It was one of the first zig-zag machines that Singer came out with in the 1950s.  She’d sewn all of her life on it.  My mind counted back 60 years to when this machine was first produced.  I imagined her as a lovely young wife in her early 30s, maybe sewing for small children and making her own dresses.

She said she can’t see to get it threaded anymore and it was so frustrating for her.  We talked about my use of the old fashioned metal needle threaders and how I sometimes use them to thread my machines because I can’t see it anymore either.  She said she hadn’t thought of that, and there is one in the drawer right where she keeps her machine.  GOOD!

It turned out that the bobbin case was not in correctly, and the thread was coming off the bobbin in the wrong direction (Bobbin in backwards) and as soon as we fixed that, the needle didn’t jam anymore and the stitches were perfect.  Hooray!

The clerk said there was no charge as there wasn’t really anything wrong.

As the rain began to fall a bit harder I asked if I could help get the machine to her car for her.  That machine is aluminum, but it was in a wooden base, and not exactly light.  I grabbed the machine, we opened the door, and I belted it into the front passenger seat next to her.  She smiled and said "Thank you, but don’t I owe anything??"  I stated again what the clerk had said.

And I’ll never forget what she said next.  “Thank you.  I don’t have many sewing years left I’m afraid.”

I watched her climb in, reverse out of the parking space, and pull her way into traffic.  I was trying not to cry.

And then  I wondered if I would still be driving at that age! LOL!  That brought the smiles back.

I went back into the store to pick up the 15-91.  The clerk said the little lady had been in twice to have her machine threaded.  She thanked me for my recommendation of the needle threader, hoping it will help the little lady not have to lug her machine to the car and to the shop every time she needs it threaded.  She didn’t need to be carrying that kind of burden around.

And then she told me there was no charge for my rewiring job.

As I got back into the car to make my way through the rain, the wind (And later finding out that I had passed through Yadkin County just before tornadoes happened) I let the tears fall.

In all of the hubbub of going here, going there, doing this, doing that, we can so easily miss the opportunity – no – the GIFT of taking the time to connect with another human being no matter what their situation.  I may never see the sweet little lady again, but I will forever remember her smiles of gratitude, and the shared love of vintage machines (Though hers wasn’t vintage when she bought it, it was top of the line and so very modern!) and the fact that I hope I’m still sewing into my 90s.


Yeah, this looked really bad!

It was coming down so hard as I reached Elkin that I pulled off at the local Walmart to wait it out and do some grocery shopping while I did so.  I parked around the side where the garden center was – taking the distance to the entrance into consideration and parking as close as I could to stay as dry as possible as I made a mad dash, umbrella in hand.

There is a steep and winding mountain pass between Elkin and Sparta that can be nasty if the weather is bad.  I decided to wait even a bit longer and grab dinner at a local Chinese place – quick, easy and yummy before going that direction.

I was biting into my favorite sauteed green beans, and felt something hard and crunchy, like small rocks in my mouth.  I broke a tooth.

DANG!  I broke a tooth!  A quick survey with the tip of my tongue let me know that it was the back side of my upper left bicuspid that had sheared off.  OH.  NO.

It was Wednesday evening, about 6:30pm at this point.  The dentist office is closed.  I’m half way to the cabin.  It’s a holiday weekend.  I decided to call them this morning to make an appointment for Tuesday as I know they are closed on Fridays, and Monday is a holiday.  There is no pain.  There is a bit of sharp and jagged, but I think I can make it until Tuesday.


58 degrees at the cabin!

Feet up, slippers on, fire in the fireplace, and a quilt to finish stitching down the hanging sleeve on.  The Hubster came in about 10:30pm after finishing up his work day and playing in a tennis match. Our weekend begins.

There are things on the agenda that I needed to take care of.  There are some things that were supposed to be posted in a Give-Away this weekend as well, that will also wait.  I need the world to stop for just a few days.

I slept until 8am.  I feel so very behind in EVERYTHING.

Emails have started coming in because of yesterday’s non-post, and this morning’s being late.  I’m still adjusting back to the time zone change.  my 8am wake up was in effect a 5am wake up as my body still feels on west coast time.

I plan to sew.  I’d love to go hike.  Today is bright and sunny and it is absolutely gorgeous out.

It’s a holiday weekend.  I am on holiday.


Quiltville Quote of the Day!

Vintage shoofly quilt found in Virginia.

Sometimes you've just got to change your game plan, and take that leap!

Have a wonderful Thursday, everyone!

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  1. Breathe, Bonnie, breathe.
    It is probably a good thing the new Quiltvilla isn't so connected to the grid and you are allowed (forced?) to cut back on that. Enjoy your walks and your cozy hand stitching time. We can wait.

  2. I pray you get some quality rest while at your cabin.

  3. (((HUGGS)))
    after going through all of that, you deserve some down time to relax and re-group.

  4. You enjoy your holiday weekend, Bonnie.
    We'll still be here when you get back to reality.

  5. Anonymous11:00 AM EDT

    So loved reading about your time with the elderly lady quilter. Bonnie, I have not sewn a quilt block in far too many years, but I follow your blog daily still as I admire your talent, industry, and kindness. Hope you have a blissful rest from your travels.

  6. Glad for a long Weekend for you to sit back and just take care of yourself. That was sweet of you to assist the older lady. I had one of those machines with the short cord in the cabinet. Foot pedal on the side with knee control. It pays to get it done by a Pro. I missed you posting but kept praying you were ok. Nice to read what you did with that lost day. Beautiful Mountain views. Thanks for coming West!

  7. Enjoy your well earned holiday. Everyone can just W.A.I.T.!!!! Hugs, Allison in Plano

  8. Big hug for you after that long trip! Hope the weather clears enough and is dry enough for you to get out for a hike. Just be careful of ticks! They are especially bad this year due to a mild winter.
    Enjoy your weekend and hope the tooth doesn't cause a problem!

  9. We appreciate all you do to help make the world a better place. ❤

  10. Recharge those batteries! As for helping people, I, like you, value kindness. I strive to be kind to someone, no matter who, every single day! I love that story and I hope I can sew in to my 90's too!

  11. What a day you had!! I always find it so nice to help out an elderly person - to have lived as long as some and still enjoy getting out even if it is rough can be tough and I so admire those that stay busy. have fun on your long weekend and hope your tooth won't bother you

  12. Bonnie, I had a good cry while reading your post of today with the lady who said she didn't have many more sewing years. You see, 6 months ago, I thought my sewing days were over. I went thru 5 months of therapy to learn to walk again, so re-learning to sew became my occupational therapy. I am not the perfectionist I was, but I sew every day for a while. So thank you for loving that woman and helping her have those moments of pleasure at her machine. Relax and enjoy your weekend.

  13. A holiday weekend/long weekend is for unplugging and connecting with family and time for yourself!! You deserve it, you have worked hard for it, enjoy it. Give Sadie a hug and nice long walk!

  14. That was a five mountain picture...Hood, Adams, St. Helens, Rainier, and way up North is Baker. It is beautiful here in the NW when the sun is shining!

  15. Enjoy your holiday!

  16. Dear Ms Bonnie: This is a lesson I had to learn early in life, and I am going to share it with you. Energy is a commodity and must be used as such. Think of energy as coin. You are given 100 units/coins of energy a day. It takes so much to do different different things. You have to figure out how much each job takes. You can borrow energy for a bit, but... you always have to pay it back. A nap plays it back, resting and watching TV/listening to music, playing on computer can pay it back. But if you borrow too much, you pay it back whether you are ready or not. Sometimes in illness, sometimes in collapse, or mental stagnation. So you were on GO for 8 days, you might have slept, but you didn't REST, so you used more than 8 days of energy. NOW you have to pay it back, so trim that to do list. We are now in our 50's, our 100 units may have been reduced to 90 or less. If we push ourselves to the limit day after day, there will come a time when you cannot continue to push. You are at your rest place, STOP!!! Do things that pay back that energy, having fun, taking walks, things that lift the spirit pays back the energy, so.... Have a great day, and enjoy.

  17. Relax, Relax, Relax. The holiday weekend will be all too short.

    Hope your tooth doesn't give you any pain before your appointment. It's strange how they break when we're not even eating anything hard or tough. Three of mine broke a number of years ago as I was sitting in a meeting eating a SOFT sugar cookie. Imagine that!! I suppose the first one broke and then I bit down on the pieces before I realized it. Result = three crowns.$$$$. At least we had dental insurance at the time.

  18. relax and enjoy the holiday! Nancy A: rangerer@sbcglobal.net

  19. Relax, you deserve it!!!!!!

  20. Dear Bonnie, just reading your travel woes made me tired! Rest and recharge! I apologize that one of those "have to get it to the post office" was mine. I figured you wouldn't have a chance to fill orders until after the holiday and that was fine by me.

    It's not like I don't have enough projects to keep me busy LOL.

  21. I noticed no post yesterday and thought I knew why since you had posted on Instagram about being rerouted to Memphis and having to soend the night there. I knew when you could you would resume blogging. About the tooth - I did the same thing once and of course it was the week that my dentist had closed the office due to his daughter's wedding in another city. I survived, as you will. It's annoying but as long as it's not painful, it's survivable. And now you have a lovely long weekend to relax and recharge!
    I found your story about the little lady and her sewing machine very moving. Your repair shop people are also wonderful.

  22. Please take care of yourself and recharge. Your body will only let you cash checks so long without putting something in the reserves. What a story today! Thank you for all you do.

  23. Your kindness to the elderly sewer will be paid forward to many! THanks.

  24. I, as always, enjoyed the details of your adventures. It occurred to me after I saw the vintage quilt and the saying, that this blog post was 'vintage Bonnie'--intimate, very real, positive in spite of minor (and major: tooth) life hick-ups. Thank you for being authentic so that all of us in your virtual circle of friends can be inspired to live more authentically and bravely.

  25. Take the weekend off Bonnie. I don't know how you keep it up. That little old lady was a God Gift to you. She was supposed to be at that shop when you came in to make you smile and be grateful for the little things. Its a long weekend ahead,just right for you to drop some stress and sew away. Hugs. Carol

  26. I just want to say, Bonnie, that you are a "class act!"

  27. What a sweet story about the lady and her machine and the shop and your machine. All that kindness brought a tear to my eye too...and renewed faith in humanity! I always had faith in you...it was the ripple effect that got to me. (and I pictured that sweet lady driving off with her machine all safe and sound in the front seat)

  28. Bonnie, I have had the same thing happen to me in Atlanta. It was years ago when I was still working and returning from a business trip to Dallas. Storms in Dallas kept us on the tarmac for hours--I literally aged a year as my birthday arrived after midnight. It was late late when we got to Atlanta and I had missed my flight to Columbia SC. I was put up in a hotel near the airport, had to wear my same clothes the next morning, too. I was so tired the next day that I didn't even go to the office--I told them I'd see them the day after. Thank goodness you have your cabin and are able to get away and unwind this weekend. Good to know you made it back safely.

  29. I wish there was a "love" button on your blog! I can't tell you how much I appreciate you sharing your life and life's philosophies with us; you are an amazing & awesome woman. I can't wait to meet you in person sometime--perhaps it is the MN nice that you still carry with you! LOL I absolutely love elderly people, all their wisdom, knowledge and zest to carry on and I thoroughly enjoyed your story. Imagine what a difference you made in her life even if for only a day. Enjoy your weekend and rejuvenate:-) Happy day to you and yours.
    Darlene in MN

  30. Bonnie enjoy your weekend off you deserve it!

  31. your blog for this Thursday was very moving in many ways. Beautiful pictures of mountains I'll probably never see, and some touching moments amid the trying ones, as you soldiered on. You inspire and assist and help us with your words and pictures as well as with your talented sewing, creating, and teaching skills. Thanks much. Enjoy your holiday weekend.

  32. Holy moly! You need a long, relaxing and fun weekend. Loved this long post, so thanks for taking precious time to update us.

  33. One of my machines needs a rewire...can you share the shop? You and I share the same zip code.

  34. That older lady reminded me of my grandmother, so it was especially poginent to think of someone being sweet enough to help her. Thank you for sharing your knowledge with her to make her sewing life last a little longer.

    Rest and recuperate. Have a wonderful holiday weekend.

  35. Bonnie, Just wondering if your quilts made it to the airport with you? You hear horror stories every once in awhile of luggage going astray. I bet Sadie is super glad Mom's home.

  36. I also wanted to say, that I really enjoyed reading your blog (again) this morning. Everything from the flight to the errands and the lady, to getting to the cabin. Take some time to rest. Go for that hike, breathe in the mountain air and recharge. The sewing will be there later. Take care of you!

  37. Recharge your batteries, we will be right here waiting for you when you are rejuvenated! I loved Rochelle's post about energy being a commodity. I have been spending more than saving, I need to recharge as well. Enjoy your long weekend and relax.

  38. Enjoy your weekend and don't worry about us. We'll be here when you're ready! Hugs

  39. A wonderful post and a wonderful reminder to enjoy the little things.
    Enjoy your breathing time.

  40. I'm now going on 72 years old and I have found that there are so many energy units that have left me. My husband and I talk each day about what is possible to do and what we'd like to do. And then we try and do what we can. We rest a great deal, we have fun and we work. So I hope this weekend is a resting weekend for you. A lady told me years ago that when you get sick, you rest. Ha Ha, I never did that before and the next time I got sick, I followed her advice and I got well so much faster than I did my old way. So now your are tired and you need to rest. That's OK.

  41. Bonnie, I always enjoy your posts, but I truly love this one. It shows so many facets of you -- your enjoyment of the beauty of the world around us, how you cope with the frustrations of life, how much you give of yourself to others. Plus (of course) quilting! Thank you for sharing yourself with all of us. it's just too bad that I didn't know you were stuck in the Memphis airport. I'd have brought you some wonderful Memphis barbecue, or, even better, Gus's World Famous fried chicken and excellent fried green tomatoes. Oh, well, another time...

  42. Your volcano picture is wonderful, but not quite as wonderful as those yellow shoes.


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