Have you ever noticed life will give you just what you need? I'll admit that sometimes life will show me where to go and what to do but I don't listen. Since life continues on, it will give me a reminder or two before giving up on my stubborn routine of being in a rut. The powers that be know my weakness is family, I can't tell them no. So when my dad invited me out for a day of food and antique shopping I couldn't say no, even though I wasn't thrilled at the thought of eating what I consider junk food and possibly being tempted to buy things I really don't need. The day out reminded me how pessimistic the voice in my head can be and how getting out of a routine can help recharge energy. A word of warning about today's post. Most of the pictures taken were blurry but I'm sharing them anyway because life isn't perfect. The picture below of dad was taken a couple of weeks ago at a small family gathering when my daughter brought the grand children for a stay at grandma's house. Yesterday I was in a all about me mood and forgot to picture dad, sad but true.
This is the first week of my dads retirement. Finally, at the age of 72, dad has decided it's time to stop getting up at 3:30 AM and putting in 10-12 hours a day in a factory. Did he need to work? No, he just didn't know how to not work. Working also helped him to heal after mom passed two and half years ago. Like many people from his generation it is a way of life. He has worked since he was a kid. At about 10 yrs. old he started delivering newspapers and groceries on a bike with no basket. Holding the groceries or newspapers in his arms which meant riding the bike with no hands. This wasn't an urban route. He grew up in a rural area with hills and lots of curvy roads. By the time he was 16 he quit school to help support his parents and 4 siblings. My grandfather had a day job while grandma ran a family owned country grocery. Grandma became very ill and could not take care of the store. Dad was the oldest of five, so he had to step up to the plate and do what needed to be done. Today's kids have no idea what their elders have done to make life GREAT for them. That's a rant I'll pass on for now. Over the lifetime he has had several jobs, owned a store that some of you may remember called Cutlery World. After selling his business in the mid 80's he started working in factories. In the late 90's he was offered free college courses from his employer. He gladly jumped on the opportunity to expand his knowledge. Yes, I respect and love my dad very much. He is an excellent example of what you can accomplish if you really want to succeed. He sacrificed so much to give us the best he could. There were many days when we never saw him because he was doing what needed to be done. So now I do what needs to be done to help him and I know this need will become even greater with each year. He and mom were best friends that did everything together. I do my best to fill her shoes, which is hard, I've no living siblings and I'm more of a loner/introvert. . Mr. Podunk and I are best friends that come together to share our experiences.
Well back to my day out with dad. Our first stop was at Cracker Barrel restaurant. This is one of dads favorite places to eat. I'm not a big fan of eating out but I do love the little store and the antiques hanging their restaurants.
They even have mass produced quilts.
After eating and browsing the country store we did our best Goldilocks impersonations in the rocking chairs on the porch of the restaurant. I have a feeling dad will be coming back for one of the natural wood rockers.
These three charming ladies were gracious enough to allow me to snap a picture. They told us their story of how they've known each other for many years but now lived hours away from one another. Once a month they meet up at this Cracker Barrel for lunch, do a little gossiping on the front porch before heading out for a little girl time and local shopping. The positive energy among the trio is contagious.
I gave them my business card and ask for permission to share their image online. Have you ever had that feeling that things were meant to be? I believe fate brought me to these ladies today, let me tell you why. The sweet lady in the middle said her husband had passed and she given all of his neckties to a friend who was trying to find a way to make them into a quilt. She asked if I had any suggestions. Me? have an opinion about quilts? you betcha! We chatted for a bit about options for her quilt and where she could find help in her home town. As we started to leave one of the ladies said to me, "This might be more meaningful if you get in a picture". Did the powers that be give me another hint? At this point my spooky radar has turned itself up on high.
Next was the Antique Mall, it's a HUGE place. So much to see under one roof. We weren't sure we could see it all in one day, but we did. It was a shop till you drop day and let me tell you I was one tired puppy last night. I shop like most men. Go, get what you need, and leave. Window shopping or digging for deals is torture.
The first thing we saw before we even got in the store was this bright display. Maybe this won't be so bad after all.
In every nook and cranny of this building I found inspiration.
Oohing and awing at the amazing workmanship.
It also brought back memories from my childhood of grannies extra special chenille bedspreads and how we were not allow to sit on them.
Of all the quilts in this huge building, this one is the one I would love to take home. Did I? No. But I may need to go back for another visit! Feel free if you are in the area to purchased this so I don't!...LOL! Mr. Podunk will thank you personally.
Hand pieced and hand quilted, absolutely lovely. My fondness for Lone Stars and variations of Lone Star quilts runs deep. I made several over the years but none quite this stunning. Is it old? It's hard for me to tell. Even if it's not it's worth the asking price.
Quilts seemed to be tucked in everywhere.
It was a day of sheer heaven! I could feel the quilting mojo building. Was this the powers that be or my dad's intuition and knowing what I needed? Whatever it is or was, it worked like magic. For the first time in months I feel a NEED to get in my studio, to create, to sew, and play. Hallelujah!
It just goes to show you how important it is to get out of a comfort zone. I've become comfortable focusing on my health and loss of quilting mojo. This day started with little or no expectations, really with negative internal thoughts. The powers that be kept chipping away at them, first at the old country store, then the cheery ladies rocking and laughing and now isle after isle, booth after booth, until the negative thoughts were gone. The picture below has nothing to do with what I'm talking about or does it? It too at one time must have been in bad condition and needed a little restoration. Maybe we all see what we want to see or need to see, when we need to see it?
This morning I slept late, causing me to miss my dental appointment. But I woke up refreshed and ready to get BACK to being me. Thank you so much for those of you that have stuck with me through this blog post and most of all, through the "funky" past few months. Today it's time to clean out the dust in the studio and do what I was put on this earth to do......QUILT.
Love you all!