I’m back from my third excursion, the biggest one. I’d been sent an email a few weeks ago saying there was still room for three more people on a five day retreat in the Adirondacks.  I thought it sounded awesome until I saw the price tag. I stewed about it for a few days and the Hubby noticed I wasn’t my usual goofy self. I told him about it and that man of mine offered to pay half of it. I couldn’t write the check fast enough. 

Once I turned in the check I was locked in so naturally there were palpitations involved. For starters I would be staying with three women whom I didn’t know all that well and hoped they could put up with my idiosyncrasies. Also, I would need to drive all by myself, and though they promised to sandwich me in and get me there they were taking me by way of Lowville. This made no sense to me as I have always gone south on Route 69 so why would we go north? 

I googled it and the two routes formed an eyeball, proving it was six of one and a half dozen of the other so I allowed them to take me out of my comfort zone. Boy, am I glad I did. Have you ever gone to Lowville to see the windmills? They are almost breathtaking in their majestic beauty. Like tall and graceful synchronized swimmers, they moved in lovely unison with each other. I still don’t know how I managed to stay on the road for all the gawking.  

After stopping at a quilt shop where I plopped down a couple of twenties for pretty things I probably didn’t need, we then headed toward Booneville. Oh my gosh! The leaves had turned already and the trees lined the road like colorful soldiers so it was like driving through a tunnel of gold, rust and crimson — the likes of which I’ve only seen in pictures. 

And then we arrived at the cabin. I was told I would be sleeping upstairs which is fine with me because its bear country and I don’t want to be the first one to get eaten. However, there was only one bedroom up there and a bed in the loft that overlooked the very room we sewed in.  I didn’t want the loft and turned to the woman who was coming up behind me and asked if she cared which room she got. Her drawn out “No … I guess not” translated into “Yes, I care but I’m too much of a lady to rip your hair out right now.” 

I very quickly surmised that since I am usually the last one to go to bed and the first one up, then I should be the one to take the loft. It wasn’t too bad except for the no privacy bit. I mean that half wall had me practically on the floor changing my clothes, but the high view outside was exceptional! 

Getting to know these women beyond meetings was truly the diamond in the rough. I asked them how they met their husbands and was told three very charming stories, but it also came out that all three of them had been married before and I wondered how I missed the opportunity to trade up like they did. I guess I got lucky the first time around.

Sadly, one of them had lost her husband a few years ago and she shared the details of his unfortunate accident with us. I was surprised at the tears that were pooling in my eyes for a man I’d never met.

I managed to make four quilt tops and six smaller projects. That is a personal best for me.

The last day is always a somber one as we pack up and clean the cabin but we went home the same route so I got to see the windmills again. It was shortly after that when things went sour. The lead car went through a yellow light, leaving me and the third car behind. I had no idea where I was or what turns to make so I had to find that lead car or else fall behind the third car, as she at least had a GPS. I thought I had caught up but the license plate was the wrong color. I checked my rear view mirror and saw the third car catch a light, leaving me totally on my own and close to popping a hernia. Longest two minutes of my life. Then I spotted the lead car as she made a left turn onto a new road. 

If I hadn’t seen that I’d probably still be trying to get home. The last car was nowhere to be found and I was worried sick about her, but I simply could not risk losing site of my beacon again. 

Just as we were exiting 81 I looked up one more time and there she was, pulling up behind me. If I could have gotten out of the car I would have done my happy dance right there in the road. Instead I danced in my seat, so glad to have us all together again. 

I’m really happy to be home — and I have no plans to go anywhere anytime soon! 

debbiehough@hotmail.com

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