Fabric & Fun Roadtrip Day 3

End of day three of a nine day road trip. (Photo was not taken by me but it was one of the quilts on display during our visit to the National Quilt Museum in Paducah, Kentucky)

Last night was Sunday and the first of two nights in Paducah, Kentucky. We are here to visit the National Quilt Museum. Sharon is a serious quilter and I seriously like any excuse to take a road trip. So here we are.

We are staying at the Paducah Inn Boutique Hotel which is two historic Victorian homes situated side-by-side. Upon our arrival Russell, the Inn keeper, informed us that he cooks a made-to-order breakfast in the main dining room each morning. After long drive the comfortable beds beckoned, promising sweet dreams and a good nights sleep. Sharon’s suite is large and luxurious with a private bath. My room is cozy with a bath down the hall shared with the upstairs guests. Staying in a bed and breakfast inn can be very nice. There is a kitchen between my room and Sharon’s room complete with a dish filled with homemade chocolate chip cookies. It kind of feels like we are visiting a relative or friend’s home.

I awoke this morning feeling refreshed and went for an early walk in the chilly twenty degree temperatures, then got ready for our day of sightseeing and stopped by Sharon’s room to see if she was ready for the days adventure. She was, so we joined our fellow houseguests in the main dining room for breakfast. (House guests sounds better than Inn mates don’t you think?)

Three tables were occupied when we entered the dining room. A mother and son from New York were cordial but not inclusive. A couple from Tampa, Florida were very friendly but we didn’t want to intrude on their “couple time” and it happened that Sharon had already met the guest at the third table so we asked if we could join her. Carolyn Brantley welcomed us warmly. We learned that she is a missionary, author, and transformational life coach specializing in “quiet” retreats. She was a most engaging soul and we were completely captivated by her table talk. She grew up in Paducah and generously shared some of it’s history as we enjoyed Russell’s delicious made-to-order breakfast. Before saying our goodbyes we purchased copies of Carolyn’s book “Reminders from Russia” which is s compilation of newsletters written while she and her husband Bruce were on a mission in Russia during the late 90’s.

With our bellies filled with fuel for the morning activities it was now time to find Hancock’s Fabric. They say this is a virtual heaven on earth to the sewing community. It was reported to me by a reliable source that women from other countries have been known to leave their clothing at the Inn so they can pack their luggage with fabric before returning to their homelands. This was easy to believe when I saw Sharon’s face as we pulled into Hancock’s parking lot. Oh if it were possible to bottle the joy that exuded from her when she entered that store, I would sprinkle it over you as you read these words and you would be as giddy as a school girl (yes, even if you are of the male persuasion). The look on her face was priceless as she frolicked through the fabric aisles.

Monday morning email and text messages didn’t seem to understand that “vacation” was my word for the week. So a cozy bench in the front of the store offered the perfect place for me to work and sit guard over fabric filled buggies. Sharon would fill one buggy, bring it to me, then go fill anther one. She found lots of material for her projects while I managed the production on lots of my projects. It was a great morning.

We took a short lunch Break at the local D.Starnes BBQ then toured the wall of murals along the river bank which tell a pictorial history of Paducah. Murals always get my attention and some of these life size paintings felt like you could wade off into them and be transported back in time.

In the afternoon we toured the National Quilt Museum to view craftsmanship and works of art from olden time to modern days. Some of the work is so intricate and tedious, I can’t imagine having the patience to make each painstaking stitch. Of course today machines can be programmed to do much of the work but it still requires a skill that I may never acquire. Much respect to any and all quilters is offered by me.

We topped our day off with dinner at Patti’s 1880 Settlement in Grand Rivers, Kentucky and I took a walk through the grounds decorated with thousands of Christmas lights. The beautiful scenery was a perfect backdrop for family photos and I was blessed to be able to offer my assistance to several dads so they could join the photograph instead of being the photographer.

By the time we arrived back in our rooms at the Paducah Inn we were ready for some rest and thankful to have logged another beautiful day on our route.

E.A. Fussell


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