A day that defies description but you know I’ll try anyway.

Dear friends,

I had the Monday of all Mondays yesterday.

It started in St. Louis with the funeral of a friend’s adult son. To say that sharing a family’s grief over the sudden loss of their son is no way to start your week seems like a colossal understatement.

Then I made my way 20 miles west to drop off my eight-year-old Accord at a Honda dealer for a repair necessitated by a factory recall. I had been putting it off for months because we don’t have a Honda dealer in our small town  and I was unwilling to take a day off just to drive 100 miles for a car repair. But since I had to be in the vicinity — and since my day was likely to be ruined, at least emotionally — I figured I might as well.

The nice people at the dealership told Mr. Mom I could drop my car off at noon and get it back a couple of hours later. And they offered to shuttle me to a location of my choice so I wouldn’t have to sit around the dealer’s waiting room during the repair.  “Awesome!” I thought, as I salivated at the thought of spending a couple of hours of downtime in my favorite quilt/fabric shop.

Turns out, there was a limit to the distance the shuttle driver would go and my favorite fabric store was well beyond his perimeter. So that’s how I found myself in a sprawling strip mall eating lunch at Buffalo Wild Wings in a black funeral dress and heels.

Three hours later, I had walked every aisle at Ross, Target, Pier One, Best Buy, Dick’s, Michael’s, and Office Max. And I visited the Target restroom three times. Twice because nature called during my long wait, and once because about two hours in I couldn’t tolerate my funeral clothing one second longer so I purchased an inexpensive shorts outfit and flip-flops at Target and changed in a cramped stall. By this time I had my fill of the entire outing, so I called the shuttle drive to pick me up, thinking I’d spend the rest of the afternoon checking out Honda’s new models and dreaming of the day when I’m not paying college tuition and two house payments and can afford a new car. Exactly 70 minutes later — that’s an hour and ten minutes for anyone who’s counting — the shuttle driver finally showed up

. . . after which he got lost picking up his next passenger

. . . after which he asked me if I knew where to go (“Hello? I live 100 miles away”)

. . . after which we sat in traffic for 30 minutes to drive 10 miles back to the car lot.

At least the dealer washed and vacuumed my car in addition to replacing some potentially faulty part that might potentially some day cause me trouble. Hey, you gotta count your blessings where you find them on Mondays.

On the way home, while driving 70 miles an hour in eight lanes of heavy traffic, a man on a motorcycle in the lane next to mine “popped a wheelie.” You know what that is, right? Only he didn’t just pop up and go right back to two-wheels. He rode on his back wheel for quite a while. AT 70 MILES AN HOUR. IN RUSH HOUR TRAFFIC. RIGHT BESIDE ME.

I started worrying the whole day was a dream.

Which made me awfully twitchy, so I decided to exit and make a detour through my fourth-favorite quilt/fabric shop, which was nearby, and which turned out to be the best decision of my day because I found everything I needed to make this:


Source: Pinterest

And so 16 hours after my day started, I was back home in my pajamas and a facsimile of my inspiration quilt was cut and laid out on my dining room table, to be sewn some day soon for the child of a special friend. Because, somehow, ending my day with the celebration of a young life was the only comfort to starting it with a tragic loss.

With gratitude {for small favors, interesting detours and happy endings on peculiar trying pensive surreal hella Mondays},

Joan, who has awfully high expectations for Tuesday based on Monday



  1. I think having normal expectations for Tuesday would give you more than a furlong on yesterday.

  2. texasdeb says:

    Wow. Just, wow. I’m sending you a “love surround wave” for being in the position of attending the funeral of a friend’s child. Nobody should EVER have to do that, ever.

    Secondly, I salute your fortitude and reasonability in response to all the absolute craziness that you stared down with the rest of your day. That’s the kind of story that if people made it up they’d be told they were nuts – that stuff like that just “doesn’t really happen”. The quilt looks adorable btw – can’t wait to see your version.

  3. Saw this on Pinterest this morning and thought of you. Then I laughed because you had pinned it! I, too, think it is so cute and thought about making it for my granddaughter. However, I’ve yet to finish the one for my little grandson that I started about 5 months before he was born and he’s 2 1/2 now. I’m going to have to think a little more about making this for my granddaughter. She might be graduating from high school before I ever completed it.

    Have fun and post pics of the finished quilt.

  4. That is one hell of a day. DANG! I’m glad you got to end it on a sweeter note. That quilt is very cute and all these quilt-related posts are making me want to take it up. I’m very sorry about your friend’s son. 😦

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