Thursday, July 26, 2018

A Blue Ridge Over-Night.

You know of that juggler who has all of his pins flying around in motion, yet manages to throw in ONE more thing?

I mean, after all – what’s just ONE more thing?

After I went as far as I could on yesterday’s orders and getting things out the door and made my chiropractor appointment at 11:30 – my overly full van Moby and I continued west to Wilkesboro, North Carolina, and up highway 16 toward Jefferson and the Virginia state line.

 (Heads up folks!  For those waiting for the Triangle Booty Rulers to arrive, I finally got the tracking number yesterday and they should be on my door step TODAY!  There were a flurry of things that delayed this shipment longer than expected.  So sorry!)

And because I wasn’t in a hurry – and because I wasn’t meeting up with anyone at any particular time, I did something I’ve wanted to do since we bought our Virginia place more than a year ago.


I took the Blue Ridge Parkway entrance and pulled off at the first overlook I got to.


My soul is so at peace here

I know there is a lot of life and living and chaos and strife going on in the towns and cities below – but you can’t see anything but green and blue from here.  The hardwood trees cover all.  And I can think.

I sat at a picnic table and ate my little lunch, listening to the thunder rumble overheard as rain fell in the distance.  It was moving this way.  But not yet.  Not quite yet.


There is something else to explore 1/2 mile up the trail.

But I am in sandals.  Not a good mix.  Next time.


The view north from the other side of the road.

Vast and calming.

Conversations have been going back and forth daily between my dad and I – Mark is struggling so hard to stay with us.  But in the past 5 weeks he has gone from walking fine – (He treated my dad to a James Taylor concert in Phoenix, walking long distances from the parking lot, and up to the seating section where they were, handling stairs just fine.  So happy they made these memories!) to needing a cane just a week later.

Two weeks later he was using a walker – and 2 weeks after that, as in this past week, he is now in a wheelchair.

Brain cancer sucks.

And I can’t find the words to express what is going on as my heart and soul wrestle with still believing in miracles, and facing the likely inevitable.

And I am on the other side of the country – dealing with my own family.

Jason is coming today to say goodbye as he pulls everything he owns in a small U-haul behind his SUV all the way to Portland, Oregon - his heart breaking as he leaves his two beloved cats with us until he can retrieve them, if ever.

My son is capable.  He should be excited about his move and new beginnings, and his mother needs to NOT be a blubbering idiot over this, but you know……this is my baby.  He may be 34, but he is my baby. And I need to be visibly happy and excited for him. I will NOT be a downer at the start of his journey.

As I make my way to my car and drive back to the cloverleaf ramp that will send me on my way toward the cabin, I spy a gate in the trees as I look left, checking for traffic at the stop sign.


How far is it?  From this gate?

I quickly remind myself that I am wearing Birkenstock sandals.  Not exactly the kind of thing one goes hiking a mountain trail in, but what the heck.  The rain will likely hold off for another 10 minutes – go check it out. 


It’s up more than 1/4 mile from the road.

Uphill all the way -

But there is a beautiful haven in this hidden place. 

This little cemetery pre-dates the building of the Blue Ridge Parkway.  It’s likely that the Parkway was designed to go around it, leaving this family their sacred place. (The idea for the Blue Ridge Parkway was born when President Franklin Delano Roosevelt visited the newly constructed Skyline Drive in Virginia in 1933.)




And perhaps older.


This is a beautiful family plot.


And I know why there is peace here.

All of these departed loved ones –were loved.  Cherished, missed and mourned.  I’m not sure at this time why I felt lead here, but I still believe in miracles.  Life is a miracle in and of itself, no matter if it is long lived, or short.  The passing from this life and out of it is a miracle. 

And there is so much more I can’t put into words.

I let my sister in law know last night that should anything happen while I’m teaching over the next few weeks that I will drop everything and get on a plane to Arizona.

I have a week between returning from England and needing to be in Bedford, Pennsylvania in August.  I may find myself in AZ for a couple of days between those two events.

In September I have a week between Labor Day and teaching in Colorado on a 3-guild tour.  After the Colorado stint, there is another open week and I can again be in Arizona dependent upon what is going on.

And I’m rambling – but this is the only way I can get my thoughts out to make sense of what I CAN do.

And when I don’t feel like there is anything else that I can do – I pray.


And I cut fabric.

I cut A LOT of fabric last evening.  Yes.  It’s a black and white photo.  You may start guessing what colors are really represented in this photo!


Some Leader & Ender half-square triangles happened in between rounds of sewing secret things. I love the Thin Mint Girl Scout cookie fabric I was given in Mississippi just a few weeks back.


And even some hand quilting stitches found their place to rest while evening TV watching.  One can do a lot of thinking while needle and thread meet.

This morning I’m headed over the Quiltville Inn to offload all of the furniture in my very full van, and head on home to meet Jason.

I feel the need to hug on my boy and send him into his next chapter.

And there are two more cats to be dealt with and all that goes into getting them used to new surroundings, a new family – wondering how Sadie and Emmy Lou are going to react to all of this.

And life marches on….

July 26, 2018 at 07_08AM

Quiltville Quote of the Day.

Vintage butterfly quilt found in Verona, VA.

Sometimes learning when it is OK to let go of control is the hardest part.

Much love on this Thursday -


  1. Hugs and prayers to you and your family. And pray that you and Mark hug each other one more time!

  2. Big (((hugs))) to you as you travel this difficult time. May God's blessings comfort you.

  3. Through laughter and tears, Memories give us joy during our lifetime. Enjoy the great times during this period of struggle

  4. Prayers for Mark and family. Safe travels for Jason. Miracles do happen!,

  5. Praying for Mark and all of the family. Brain cancer does suck. Lost my good friend and fellow quilter to it. Best of luck to Jason. Go see Mark as soon as you can.

  6. Our thoughts are with you as you deal with yours brothers illness, don't wait, make the trip. Best wishes for Jason as he starts a new chapter in his life, safe travels and so excited for him.

  7. My in-laws live at the bottom of the Blue ridge parkway in Luray, Va. It is breathtaking there I agree! May peace be with you in the coming months, sending a hug or 2. p.s. A place to visit in Or.too!

  8. That's wonderful you found a special spot to find a moment of peace and internal calm. Thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. And as a tidbit of information for you, my son is 35 and lives in Portland. (He's getting married in September!) But if Jason ever needs new friends, let me know and perhaps they could meet up. At least he could help him get the lay of the land, etc. Never can have too many friends :)

  9. so many heart wrenching events at once...easy to feel overwhelmed...breathe deep and easy, pray for strength, wisdom, peace...be still..

  10. Sewing and walking help you keep your calm. Sorry about Mark's decline. Prayers as you bid your baby goodbye . My youngest son doesn't like to come home , he says it's too hard to leave. Tender mercies, when I can keep from bawling. Big lump in my throat. Hugs from Walla Walla.

  11. more prayers and encouragement... thank you for sharing your beautiful adventures and discoveries so close to home. Peace and joy to you from Cats in Carlsbad CA

  12. Bonnie, so sorry to hear of your brother's decline. We lost our 32 grandson to a freak diving accident last week. He left a pregnant wife and two little girls. So sad for such a good young man to leave us so early,

  13. Bonnie, thanks for exposing those innermost sisterly and motherly worries here. Helps me to know I'm not alone in connecting my quilting time with the deep concerns of the heart. Sending love your way! This blog helps get me through each day. Your optimism and outlook are a real blessing and example to me and countless others. And remember prayer changes things! Keep up those prayers :-)

  14. I have no words of wisdom for dealing with your brother's illness. Just know you have many people keeping you and your family in their thoughts and prayers.
    I can sympathize with you having your son leaving to travel so far away. Next month will be 8 years since I smiled as I watched my son drive away from our Alabama home, beginning his journey to Monterey, CA to begin his career. Beneath that smile was a struggle to hold back the tears that I was determined he would not see, and at the same time being so proud of him for pursuing his dreams. I am thankful for technology that makes those miles seem far less with the ability to video chat with him. I think of the pioneers that left families with few hopes of ever seeing them again and waiting months for letters for news from back home, and remind myself how fortunate we truly are!

  15. My Momma always said, "God doesn't give you more than you can handle." And I would always answer, "I wish God didn't think I was so strong!" But I am. And so are you. I have learned to live with no regrets. You do what you can and sincerely let the rest go. True words today in your quote. Love you girl and sending positive energy your way for whatever you have to do. xoxox

  16. Dear Bonnie, my thoughts and prayers are with you and family. 🙏❤️

  17. Being in control is a myth, and the longer you live, the more your realize it.

  18. Hugs at this time, Bonnie. When it comes down to the core - family is everything - and you just drop and go - everything else will sort itself out - and people especially quilters (I hope) understand. Nothing is more important than the time spent with family.

  19. Life sometimes shows us its wonders as we travel through trials. Know at this time you have many friends who care about you and it somehow seems fitting that the James Taylor song "You've Got a Friend" are running through my head.

  20. Prayers for you, my friend, your brother, Mark, and the whole family. You will find a way.

  21. I will be praying for your brother, his family and you. Oregon will welcome Jason with open arms. I am in Forest Grove. If you want to tell him, if he needs something, private message me, email, and we can contact him. Jan

  22. So sorry about your brother, I have a sister battling cancer and know how hard it is to deal with. I also know how hard it is letting your boys go. I have two in Seattle and one in Delaware, all a mom can do is send them off with love and prayers!

  23. Bonnie, I'll keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers. Good luck to Jason as he moves along on his journey.

  24. Do what you feel you need to do. Just make sure your heart is good with it. I stayed home from work with my husband for his last 6 weeks. That I don't regret. I always felt like I could have or should have done more. It's that darn heart that hurts and aches so bad. It is such a difficult time. Prayers for your decision.

  25. Hugs and prayers! May you know what and when you should do and feel peace and comfort in your decisions. Thank you for sharing your heart! And all your beautiful scenery! Holy Cow! And that little cemetery brought tears to my eyes! Lives that mattered, lives that were loved, and lives that are marked!

  26. Dear readers. I am stopping the comments here. This is between me and my family, and it is hard enough without everyone telling me what to do, how to do it and when to do it. I know you mean well, and I appreciate the prayers, but this decision is up to me and my family and there is more to work through than just picking up and going across country. Please refrain from advice giving. My ears are closed. My heart is hurting enough. Thank you.

  27. PS..I have removed all comments telling me what I should be doing instead of what I am doing. I have enough going out with all of these voices. I love you, but thank you for respecting me enough to stop telling what I should be or need be doing.