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Today we took off for a destination to Harrison AK and Country Corner Quilt Shop. We seem to always detour and ALWAYS U-TURN. Before we get to our destination, if it isn’t for a bathroom, it is because someone saw ‘something’ we must stop at. Our first stop was the Veterans Memorial at Ozark College. They have War Memorials for Korea, Vietnam, and Gold Star. We then headed toward Harrison with a driving tour through Hollister, a cute don’t blink your eyes, Main Street.

Back on the road and we stopped at Heart Quilt shop where everyone was greeted by baby kittens, even Rue was kissing them. Check out the pictures of Rita and Rue with kittens. We left there and landed at our destination.

Why, you ask, would we go clear to Harrison, AK? Well, in 1995 my folks bought their first Nolting machine from Country Corner. We all walked in and I asked for the owner. She was working on the Longarm. I introduced myself and told her about my folks and she remembered. We talked about how longarming had changed since 1997 and she told me Nolting had just sold so I am sure more changes are to come. It was nice to see where my folks started our beginnings and that I don’t forget that they helped what we have become. Enjoy the pictures Mom and Dad.

We then stopped at another Quilt shop. We all walked in, including Rue, and the lady said a few ‘wrong things’ that we heard and out the door we went. Some people can be so rude. Service Dogs have a purpose and especially mine. She is good in every way. If you don’t get it, keep it to yourself. I’m off my soap box now.

We then decided to go check out the Showboat that cruises the Table Rock Lake with dinner and a show. Rue even got a ticket. It was a good dinner and a great show. At the end they had all the veterans stand. When we sat down they started to sing God Bless America and I stood back up and everyone all around started standing. There were red, white and blue lights everywhere – it was so fitting.

The crew did decide they were going to count today’s U-turns. Well, that lasted for about 5 U-turns and they gave up so I’m still keeping them entertained. You would be surprised how I can U-turn a Suburban anywhere.

We had a good day and more adventures to come. Stay tuned . . . . . . .

God’s blessings,
Gail

Day 2 – Great Day!

Some days you just need to decompress and today we did just that. Took us a while to get there as Debbie, the navigator, took us to Carthage No. We drive into town and I ask where the Chapel is. We were in the middle of Carthage and it was cute and old but wrong direction. Debbie asked if she had to go to the back seat. See what happens – I made 4 U-turns before we found the Chapel.

The Precious Moments Garden and Chapel would impress anyone. The paintings are so real. Sam Butcher painted some of them in 4 days at the age of 70. He truly believes to save every memory or leave one for your loved ones. Everything in the place had a meaning. Truly a spiritual place. It brought back many memories for me of my Grandma. I am also thankful to my parents for bringing Precious Moments into my life and telling me to go there. I know that if they could have come with us they would have. It has changed so much since they came in 1997. The thing that got me and Rita was the Penny Pincher. We were trying to make a keepsake penny for Flo and that Pincher was making the wrong one costing us 51 cents each time. Finally Val came over and told us to follow the dots. Well, you know Rita and I cracked up over that. So Flo, in the end, got 4 collection pennies and Rita and I now call them pinching machines – they steal your money. We all will need a box for our Precious Moments to ship home but we sure enjoyed it.

We decided on the way home to go to Lambert’s, the famous roll throwing cafe. We all ate until we were sick. Just look at those salads. On our way home we stopped at Dicks 5&10 store. I’m sitting on the bench for an hour waiting for the gang. They loved it and yes, more stuff and of course you will see Rita with her witch outside of the store.

We drove down many of the back roads of Missouri. And, we all decided that they don’t have enough bathrooms especially when you gotta go. Just ask the group how we drove for miles before we finally found a bathroom. It was just like 7 kids in the car – mom, I gotta go – but don’t laugh too hard, you might have an accident.

We had a good day considering a few on the Crew are dealing with losses of loved ones and some family being sick and they are miles away.

When we were driving back to the house we spotted the Military Memorial in downtown Branson. So, a fitting end for all of us. Rue is wore out and already asleep on her bed.

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s adventure . . . . . . . . .

God’s Blessing
Gail

PS: Debbie’s navigation also took us to Lambert, MO – not to the café – so we ended up on more back roads. Debbie said she thought she was getting fired. I told her, no, just more zeros. Who would think there is a town named Lambert and it is miles from Lambert’s Café. We always have adventures.

Day 1 – Branson

Good morning

We had a safe flight here yesterday. Landed at Tulsa Airport, rented our BIG White Suburban that I have named the white mobile – it holds all 7 of us and Rue and has room for our luggage.

It was raining and windy driving along the Interstate but 75 mph was sure nice. For our California people, they have ‘zipper lanes’, that’s what they call merging lanes – that was entertaining. We stopped to eat at Crackle Barrel and that made everyone happy.

We got to the house after driving on a back road that looked like we were in Deliverance but nice house, right on the water, which we didn’t know. So quiet. You would never know we were in Branson. Two screened in porches and decks all around. Rue is being her good self and explored every inch of the yard.

Today we are off to explore and head to Precious Moments so be ready for more adventures as we take each moment to enjoy what we see.

God’s blessings,
Gail

Our Last Day in DC

Today we mailed the remainder of our quilts back home and then headed to see The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. There is no doubt it is the largest Catholic Church in North America. Everything was done in mosaic tiles, little tiny tiles, so beautiful. You get a crooked neck from looking up at the Murals on top of all the domes. It took quite a while to see it all.

We then went to the Vietnam Wall so Flo could pay her respects to Johnny O Brooks. While we were there, we met an Army Bugler so I had to stop and talk to him. Jeffery was part of Pershing’s Own Army Band stationed at Ft. Myer. He has been in the Army 7 years and he was waiting to play taps for an Honor Flight coming to the Vietnam Wall. We both discussed how it is never easy to play no matter how good you are.

We decided to head to Old Town for our annual Pop’s Ice Cream. We were on our way there and Flo is reading the GPS. We were trying to get to the George Washington Parkway and boom, there it is three lanes over and if you miss it there, you end up going in circles. I said, “Look out”, and did a crossover but we made it. Flo turned white and I proceeded to tell her that was the second time. I did it once with Debbie and crew and Flo says real quiet, “I bet they wet their pants. I almost did.” We did do a big U-turn but now my U-turns are calm Flo said.

We got to Pop’s and had our ice cream then sat by the river in the shade as its 90 degrees today. We are having dinner in and getting ready to come home. Just check out the dinner Jeanine made. We will end with Blueberry Buckle and Peach Cobbler for tonight.

We had a great trip and we are headed home tomorrow.

God’s Blessings
Gail

Family Day and Rest

Today we took it easy. Guess you need days like that. We ran to the store, our big adventure of the day. Jeanine made a big family dinner and for dessert we had Blueberry Buckle and Peach Cobbler. You might say we get spoiled when we come here. We did get to spend special time with Jeanine and Carl and their daughter and grandkids. Tomorrow we will do our last minute site seeing and go to the Wall for Flo. Tuesday we fly home; Wednesday we have Sew Day; and Saturday the Sonora Quilt Show so it will be a busy week.

God’s Blessings,
Gail

Back Roads of Virginia

We were off today to see the 43rd Annual Gas and Engine Pasture Party in Somerset, Virginia. Getting there I think we hit every backroad out of DC. Then, boom, there in the middle of the pasture was all kinds of old and new tractors, old Steam Engines, old cars, classic cars, lawn tractors with all kinds of seats and gizmos on them and everybody driving them all over the pasture. They had a flea market, a tractor pull, country music and homemade ice cream made by a 1923 John Deere engine.

We watched a steam engine, made in 1929 and stoked with firewood, run a rig that crushed rock and made cement. We watched my veteran sister, Annemarie, make a dinner bell in the Blacksmith Shop.

You know I always have a “Flo story.” She was watching at the Blacksmith shop when one of the guys signaled for her to come over. She went to see what he wanted and he gave her a tiny horseshoe he had made. He told her it would give her luck for a year and then he kissed her hand and told her to come back next year for another one. Flo did it again – another boyfriend.

We watched the tractor pulls and of course I was pulling for the John Deere. It was amazing! They have a weight hung behind their tractor and drag and pull a big tractor until their tires spin. We had a great day and enjoyed our time with new friends.

On our way home we stopped at the biggest Ice Cream Shop I have ever seen. The candy aisles were huge. We didn’t buy anything but custard pudding. One day I am coming back there.

Our last stop for the day was honoring an Army veteran with a Quilt. Julie was totally surprised. She told us it was giving her chills down her arm looking at it. As we left she told us we really got her.

What a day. Flo gets a boyfriend, I was a happy camper seeing the tractors, and we gave a Quilt. When we got back home Jeanine fixed a great dinner – life is good.

Stay tuned . . . . . . . . . .

God’s Blessing
Gail

We began our day being lazy but Flo wasn’t leaving for California without going to the 5 and Dime store so we went and I told her she could have as long as she needed. Guess what, she didn’t buy anything. Normally I give her 15 minutes so maybe I’ll try doing this again. We decided to drive to Quantico early as DC traffic is a bear. We stopped at the Lazy Pig BBQ – I think the name tells you what kind of place it was. We drove to the Potomac Mills Outlets where there are 190 stores. We could have spent all day there.

We ended up arriving early at the Marine Museum so we went to the Marine Chapel. I had always heard it was really beautiful and it was. They had monuments all around in beautiful settings among the trees with benches you could sit and ponder. We didn’t have time for that but it sure was beautiful.

We met Melissa, our Quilts of Honor East contact, and Marsan, her sister who lives in Acampo, CA. They were helping us provide quilts and learning about military reunions. Melissa had this fancy dolly and we piled all our stuff on it and off we went. We all jumped in, got letters attached, cards made, and were all set up. We then changed and even had some time to visit before they found us hiding in the closed tavern.

We sat at a great table with Jerry, our contact, his wife and their close friend, a widow whose husband had been in their unit and another couple who lived in Spotsylvania, VA – kinda scary name for a town. We were sitting there when a server brought us this cute looking sandwich. I thought it was grilled cheese. It was about the size of a 50 cent piece. I bit into it and, oh Lordy, did it taste awful. You just gotta watch that fancy food. We did have a good dinner – a big beautiful steak. There were a lot of military procedures before they said we would like to honor a couple of groups and I heard my name called up to the podium. They gave Quilts of Honor a $500 donation and then the Master of Ceremonies said, “You’re on” and that I could have 5 minutes.

Now, most of you know I can’t give that short of a speech but I did and I made them laugh and cry. I then presented a Quilt to a double amputee with 3 Purple Hearts. He told me how awesome the Quilt was and he loved the Purple Heart Flo had embroidered on the quilt. Then the General spoke and when he finished, I presented him with a Quilt. His face, when he looked at it, was amazing.

We finally got through dinner and the guys were told they were to receive Quilts and to please come to the table. It was pretty crazy. We had the Quilts in alphabetical order but 48 quilts is tough to look through. Melissa and Marsan were great helpers – they jumped right in. We had to take labels off and make new ones as some of the guys weren’t on the list but everyone hung in there and we made it work just like we always do.

We were the last to leave the building and we closed down the Museum. Flo, Melissa and Marsan were a great crew. Quilts of Honor East provided about 35 of the Quilts for this reunion. A special thank you to Angie for her work and prayers for her husband, Dave. We all received a Challenge Coin from the Marine Unit, too, so all in all, it was a great night for Friday the 13th.

We are still here for a few more days so stay tuned . . . . . . . . . . . .

God’s Blessings,
Gail