Saturday, November 19, 2016

Quilt Camp Crisis!

The quilters of Spring Quilt Camp

I'm early this time. I have all my quilting gear in the garage to pile into the car after dinner and will be ready to leave first thing in the morning, first time ever to arrive at Fall Quilt Camp when it opens. I have my suitcase out and need only throw a couple of changes of clothes into it. I leave all the routine stuff (toiletries, et al) in it so it won't take long. I'm making one more run into town to pick up mail and do minor shopping at the grocery store. I don't need anything for quilt camp, but it's Senior Citizen Discount Day and I want to stock up on a few essentials. Like ice cream and cookies.

It's chillier than I expect outside as I leave home and I'm wearing a tee shirt and light vest, so I shop quickly and throw my sacks into the back of my little SUV. The radio blares and my breath fogs up the windshield as I turn the key, so I put on the defroster a moment. I turn the key farther to start the engine. Everything stops. The sounds of silence. I try again. Two indicator lights flash briefly. One looks in that glimpse like a pump nozzle tipping into a gas tank. I had  60 miles to empty when I left home five miles ago.  I conclude that I have a terribly dead battery. The last time my battery balked, I needed a new one. In fact, on that same day my truck's battery also croaked. Daughter has my truck at the moment. I must alert her.

I call AAA. It's what I pay my dues for. There's ice cream in my trunk. Hurry, please. ETA is 51 minutes. Naturally I post my stuckage on Facebook. An "Oh, no" response from a friend is immediate. Her husband appears in the parking lot not long after and I think perhaps he's been sent on a rescue mission. His arrival is only coincidental, but he does stick around and lends me his jacket as I shiver there.

To shortcut the story a little, my battery is, indeed, dead. Dead dead dead. Helpful comments put doubts in my mind about other possible causes, but my gut knows it is dead. AAA loads my car onto his giant flatbed truck and delivers us into my driveway, positioned for whomever gets to tow it away tomorrow. My ice cream is soft serve now. It goes directly into the freezer in hopes of regaining its profile.

My mind is churning about options for getting to quilt camp. I have a bunch of stuff to take (my SUV's worth of stuff, in fact) and it's an arduous drive up there for the uninitiated. I can't just casually ask someone to drive me there, then expect them to find me again at the end.

After mulling options for awhile, I make Plan A: the mechanic at the auto shop in the next little town down the road will bring a battery to my house and that will fix it. Plan B, in case the mechanic can't come or a battery doesn't fix it, is back to AAA to take my car into the auto shop for repair. But I'm still without transportation. I don't think I can disguise this as something the Senior lift program is intended for.

A message on Facebook arrives from Sister, who with Hubby is at their City house. Their truck is in the garage at their Mountain house, in my Little Town, and I can use it if I can find someone to get the big TV out of the truck bed. A sense of relief washes over me that there's a fall back to Plan B, even though it has its own issues to deal with. There's not much else I can do before 8 a.m., so I finish packing the suitcase and fall into bed.

Hallelujah!  It's foggy out when I get up, but early on, Plan A is launched. The mechanic is on his way with a battery. What a welcome smiling face he arrives with, battery in hand(s).

I know it was just a battery when he tells me to get in and start it up, and the door-open chime greets me. The "what-ifs" melt away.

Driving my route regular route through ranch country makes me happy and calm. The stress drains, even as I bounce along the rural roads.

What a beautiful (late) morning with stunning skies.

I take the longer route up the hill because I've heard there will be road work on my usual route. It really is longer this way.

It gets narrower when I make the steep turn up the road that accesses the camp.

I find myself behind two buses. Just as I snap a photo of the awesome sight of big buses on this tiny road, two come down the hill and the excitement begins. Upward-bound vehicles inch slowly by. Look at the big gap between those two. While it's not a bare precipice to the right, it wouldn't be a fun roll.

I'm now more up into level with those billowy clouds and they're not looking quite so benign.

I'm not the latest arrival, but people are at work when I get to camp. I set my stuff up and take a tour of the room.

There's a cry of "It's hailing . . . "


. . . even though sun is shining. Look closely for the white streaks.

But I can't stop yawning and I go to my room for a brief pre-dinner nap. Just before cozying-in, I note that there will be a beautiful sunset. Which I will miss.

Later, after the nap, I catch a glimpse of something I recognize on the Swap Table, a picture of Mont Saint Michel. I'll be visiting there next summer.

People are busy.  Clockwise, the snack table; a cookie tin with a gorgeous pleated fabric top; a quilt top; beginnings of a hexagon piece; three intricately appliqued quilt blocks.

Almost done. I love the colors and the simple design.

Blue and white Japanese prints will be set in alternate blocks with white, one of my favorite color combos.

And I am finally starting to quilt my Shimmering Quilt, begun in Jenny Bowker's class at Empty Spools Seminars in the Spring of 2015.

So goes the first day of quilt camp.

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