Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Taking the Back Roads.

My “beeline” home from Virginia on Monday took a circuitous route.  Or at least a bit of an adventurous one.

I was following my GPS even though I “pretty much” knew where my turns would be – but a sign I’d passed before a few times caught my eye and begged me to “GO SEE!” instead.

Cox Chapel, the sign read.  And I turned.

I found myself on a winding narrow country road, not really sure if I was still in Virginia, or had crossed over into North Carolina territory.  Nothing said so.  It looks pretty much the same on either side of the state line, and I kept driving.

The road was so empty that I pulled to a stop right there, putting the van in park, and got out to snap this photo.

I love barns.  I love barns more when they are sporting weathered barn quilts.

I got back in the car and drove some more.

I never did find Cox Chapel!  I must have missed a turn off somewhere, or there was a missing road sign, but I did come across this lonely old abandoned farm house:


It looks like Walton’s Mountain!

There were windows with glass missing, and a plethora of “STUFF” piled on the front porch, as if someone had moved out 50 years ago and left everything.

What is the story of this place?


Barn across the street.

As often happens in rural areas, the road can run right THROUGH a person’s property so I have no way of knowing if this barn belongs to this farm house, or to someone else.

There was no one around.  No cars passed me by.   My van Moby just sat there patiently idling on the road waiting for me to take my photos, hop back in, buckle up and wander on further.


Lovely little white church!

More stopping!


Picture perfect!

I pulled off the road into a gravel area on the shoulder, got out and walked back up to the church, sparkling white against the bluest sky I had ever seen-nary a cloud in sight.

At this point I still don’t know if I am in Virginia or North Carolina!


Shady respite!


Oh Sweet!  Potato Creek Church.

Established 1865.


1865 in the south was a tumultuous time.  The Civil War, or “The War of Northern Aggression” had just ended.  President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated in 1865.

My mind instantly went to the memory of old photographs from that era, recalling what the women of the period had worn, and then imagining their simpler Southern counterparts.  Mothers who had perhaps lost sons in the war.  Wives who had lost sweethearts, children who had lost fathers, brothers, cousins, uncles and friends.

1865 was the beginning of the rebuilding.  A community likely came together in building a simple chapel and placing their faith in God for a better future ahead, as unknown as it might be.


Across the street.

Potato Creek Cemetery.

There wasn’t time to wander the grassy knoll, but I’d like to go back some day and visit the cemetery.  Who are the people who made this place home?

When I got to a computer, I did some Googling to learn more:
In June 2012, Potato Creek Church, located at 2726 Potato Creek Road in Mouth of Wilson, marked a milestone in its 147 year history: the church now has running water and a bathroom.
Potato Creek Church was built in 1865, and it served the community for many decades. [source]

So!  I WAS still in Virginia.

And this brings me all the way to now.


Bye bye, sweet girl!  I’ll see you FRIDAY!

This is a very quick trip with a combined guild presentation for the Common Threads and Quintessential Quilters of Columbus, Ohio.  I left on a very early flight, catching this beauty through the airport windows while waiting in line for my TSA security check:



I’ve always been an early riser, and love a sunrise whenever I am blessed to catch one.  Living in the trees, There is no open sky space to view one on a regular basis.  The best part of an early morning airport departure?  The sunrise.  I’m glad I didn’t miss this one.


Last night’s crowd!

We had a wonderful evening full of hugs and handshakes and I enjoyed reconnecting with ladies I haven’t seen since the last time I was here 3 years ago. 

The show & share was indeed epic!  Just wait until you see it!

We have two back to back Tropical Twist Workshops today and tomorrow with combined guild attendance.  There were enough students to fill the class TWICE at more than 40 per class, so there will be a whole lot of Tropical Twist from the Addicted to Scraps book happening in Ohio.

The weather is perfect, humidity is low, spirits are high and I’m ready to go!


Quiltville Quote of the Day!

Wild and Goosey quilt shared during my presentation last night.

In the words of Deepak Chopra:

Nothing is more important than reconnecting with your bliss. Nothing is as rich. Nothing is more real.

Have a blissful Wednesday, everyone!

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  1. Such a beautiful ride home! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Thanks! Your trip home sounds wonderful!

  3. I hope someone can give you info on the church, barn and old house. So many old houses are being abandoned, where is their family? Did no one want it? Hope we hear the rest of the story from someone writing in. Have a good trip. Paula in KY

  4. Love wandering onto country roads and lanes ... this is the hidden America. With Interstates there could be a real chance of never ever seeing the rural USA!
    I get this wandering trait from my Dad. He would all of the sudden take iff on some small road just because it was there. Learned a lot from him ... he could find his way out of and to anywhere even with a bag over his head lol...
    Thanks for the mini tour...just what I needed today.

  5. Here's where your narrative took me: a side trip, find a cemetery, seque with "And this brings me all the way to now", picture of Sadie with the caption "Bye bye, sweet girl." OH NO!!!
    Needless to say, I was quite relieved to read the remainder of that caption!

  6. Thank you for continuing to take us on your journeys. I love it!

  7. What a beautiful drive home - i love history like that!

  8. Thanks for the Joseph Campbell quote--he is a favorite of mine.

  9. Welcome to Columbus! I am not a quilt guild member but there must be a tremendous number who are with the looks of that crowd!! ❤️

  10. I vicariously enjoy your back roads...they resemble the back roads of the Pacific Northwest which always reminds me of 'home'. Potato Creek Cemetery burials have been recorded on Find-A-Grave. There are 330 burials accounted for, and 69% have been photographed. As a family genealogist, I'm always inquisitive.

  11. That's so funny -- I'm in Northern Ohio and also in the midst of a tropical twist quilt -- center is done - just working on the borders. I did colors similar to the patter in your book but i'm anxious to see what the class comes up with. I'm thinking of doing another with smaller strips!! Thanks for all the great patterns!

  12. When I traveled a lot for work years ago, I followed all those little signs and odd roads and found so many interesting things. My mother would sometimes go along and she enjoyed it so much since we were just alike. The other thing I wanted to comment on is the statement. Follow your bliss. That was what Anderson Cooper said ,his mother, Gloria Vanderbilt told him when he was young. Follow your bliss. Wonderful advice.
    Love living vicariously through your travels.

  13. Hi Bonnie,
    Inspired by your wanderings, I too, took to Google Maps. Cox Chapel is on the same road as Potato Creek, sort of. I'm guessing that you may have seen the sign near the New River bridge where 601 changes names to "Cox Chapel Rd" as it crosses the river southward. But strangely, the Cox Chapel (cemetery) is west of 601 on 708 (now called River Bend), whereas Potato Creek Rd is 708 east of 601! 708 doesn't have street view, so its very nice you provided such lovely photos.
    (another who takes the other route, just because...)

  14. Well, as always, I started my morning with your blog and the beautiful Virginia countryside drive. What a treat.Thank you so much for including us readers in these lovely travels and rural pictures.It brings back memories of the backroads of my teens, many decades ago,knowing many hidden backroads in northern NJ.I used to go out of my way to find signs that stated "fresh eggs" and would stop to purchase and speak with the farmer family members.So much has changed with highways traversing such of what I knew back then. So, thank you once again for your travel pictures and the wonderful quilts you produce!!
    Helen S.

  15. I loved the road tour you took me on. Enjoyed it.


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