“This was my grandma’s quilt. She always wrapped me in it when I was sick. But don’t worry. It’s been washed.” The tattered old blanket had obviously been laundered at least a hundred times. Batting escaped its worn edges as thin patches of fabric from yesterday’s clothing told a story. Shane gave it to me to use while we visited their home. I felt so loved. In fact, the reason we were a thousand miles from home and happy to sleep on their couch all started with a quilt.
A few months earlier my hubba David and I took a little day trip to the Blueridge. Part of the fun included scanning the landscape for barn quilts. These colorful pieces began popping up first in Ohio when a daughter wanted to honor her mother, a master quilter. So she painted a huge quilt pattern to display on their barn. You can read her story at http://barnquiltinfo.com/history.html. Now barn quilts are showing up all over the countryside.
“I’d love to design and paint a barn quilt.” I mentioned on the way home.
“You know we don’t have a barn, right?” replied my wise companion.
“Then I’ll paint a shed quilt. It will be smaller and much easier to manage. In fact, I might paint one for each of our girls.” My eyes glazed over as colorful images and delighted daughters danced in my head.
“Since we’ll have to ship them to two of the girls, they can’t be too heavy…” cautioned the one who often gets stuck with logistics.
Tra-la-la-la-la… I was too busy dreaming to bother with petty things like delivery. Once we were home, I started the design.
Each daughter has a favorite color. Amanda has loved pink from her youth and even had a pink kitchen before she met Shane. Hannah loves the colors of fall and especially orange. Stephanie has loved some form of turquoise even after the bridesmaid dress fiasco of 1997. I am all about robin’s egg blue. So here’s what I came up with.
You’ll notice the black background. That’s David’s color which is appropriate because he’s the one who holds us Clarkgirls together. Though it’s fairly simple, that’s also by design. We like to keep things uncomplicated. We worked a couple weeks getting four of these finished. I couldn’t wait for our daughters to see their surprises.
“Have you thought about how we can get these to the girls?” inquired my ever patient sweetheart.
“How about a road trip?” My suggestion shocked even me. The husband of my youth, knowing I don’t even like to go to the grocery store and would happily be a hermit were it not for the grandchildren studied the mystery woman before him. “Let’s pray about it.” He replied as if to say, “I’m game if you are!”
One month later we hit the road.
First we traveled 716 miles to see Stephanie’s new home in Ramsey, Illinois. Oh what kind people and beautiful farmland!
From there we took two days to travel 1083 miles to Amanda’s home in Corpus Christi, Texas. What wonderful food and friendly people. However I would caution anyone with good sense to stay away from the craziness that is Dallas traffic. Merciful heavens! But once we got to Corpus, the beach beckoned and all sins committed on the highway were forgotten… until it was time to return to N.C. Turns out the folks in Houston, New Orleans, Montgomery, Atlanta and Charlotte share the same craziness. Holy guacamole! [Which in this context is very appropriate.] What wonderful yumminess can be found in a breakfast burrito from Taqueria El Portro. You’ll surely have burrito envy when I also tell you we enjoyed them on the beach.
When finally it was time to fold Shane’s quilt and say goodbye, we took two days to travel 1283 miles through all the aforementioned cities on the return trip to Home Sweet Salisbury, NC. It’s a good thing we like to keep things simple!
Sometimes life can feel much like a crazy road trip where we question if we’ll ever get through it. Then suddenly a lovely path emerges and we realize there’s actually been a plan by our wonderful Designer all along. Through miles and miles of joyful reunions, sad partings, and adventurous burritos we’re finally home, wrapped in love with a story to tell.
As the verse we wrote on the back of each quilt says, “For though I am far away from you, my heart is with you. And I rejoice that you are living as you should and that your faith is strong.” -Colossians 2:5
May the sweet Lord speak the same of us as we journey homeward.