Friday, January 12, 2018

Lunch with a friend

B Right On Quilting in Brighton CO

In an effort to get to know the area, and visit with a friend, I took the suggestion of Sharon to visit the quilt shop in Brighton.

To do this, Mary and I coordinated a day and time to meet. I had to get directions and follow my GPS that apparently wants me to support a very expensive toll road here.

At the end of the day my husband informed me I spent 23 bucks on tolls on the round trip! What?!!! Live and learn, and find an alternate route! The tolls are not marked, and they take them off your license tag, so it was a shock.

Back to the story...

As I left the town of Aurora, the landscape became even more desolate and barren. But I could see the mountains looming to my side, then ahead of me. I passed Denver Airport and suddenly looking at the mountains, my heart began to pound. I began to panic. The thoughts came fast and unbidden...
"how will we ever cross those?!" " Are we insane to try to cross those not knowing what's beyond?" " We are just crazy to do this" and I felt myself walking beside a wagon, with others trudging toward the giant mountains covered in snow, and wondering how we could go across them. Feelings of futility, and anger, and worry, most of all uncertainty.

Think I'm crazy yet? (Jury is out)

I am no stranger to belief in past lives, and I think each life is from God and lived to experience and learn in order to understand and love more fully. I've read a lot of studies done by many doctors on this subject.

I think I may have done this migration before, causing me to have a lot of stress about moving here this time.

I know subconsious fears can influence how one sees the present, and bringing it to the surface and seeing them as stemming from the past can alleviate some present discomfort. I also think maybe, just maybe, I have done this move before.All I know is the thoughts felt real, in the present, and came without thinking about anything but following directions to the quilt store!

I also wonder about DNA. We all came from ancestors before, we share DNA all the way back to eve so to speak. Can any of that shared DNA have memories attached? Greater minds than mine are pondering these issues I expect.

Image result for brighton co
So I find Mary and the quilt shop and the cute little town that looks caught between 1910 and 1935.
(rubbing hands with glee) I like exploring little towns like this. I had no idea just how interesting this would be on first glance.
This town is not a sleepy forgotten place, with closed storefronts. It's alive, and in use as it has been since it started. There is a prison, there are farms and ranches, there is a railroad behind Main street still in use. People come to Main street to shop and visit and eat.

Image result for cafe in brighton co
We went to the cafe on Main street for lunch, admittedly a bit wary of what we'd find.
Well we found a small but full restaurant with a mix of customers. Young mothers, business people, couples and families and groups occupying all tables but two. We chose the one in the back next to a table of men dressed to work outside.

Jovial and friendly, they opened with, "if you sit back here next to us, you'd better behave" and I countered with, "oh, I don't know, y'all look like your not a stranger to misbehavior!"

The rushed but nice waitress, a slim woman wearing jeans and a tight t shirt, gave us menus and iced tea, and took our order. On an old fashioned order pad. Mary ordered a BLT and I got a Turkey, swiss Avocado sandwich toasted. With salads not fries. They were hot off the grill sandwiches and lovely fresh salads. We ate them while having a wonderful conversation, the kind where two long time friends jump from subject to subject, sharing and asking questions, and laughing at times, shaking our heads in commiseration at times.

The men had their lunch quietly next to us.
Then I asked the question, "do y'all live here?" I wanted to know more about this little place.
"No," they answered, the spokesman saying "he's from Idaho, he's from Wyoming, I'm from Montana" or something like that.
"REally! are you here for work?" I asked, being an amateur journalist! I figure everyone has a story and I want to hear it, and if they want to be private they will send a sign, I'm pretty good at noticing when someone doesn't want to chat.
Most people are glad to share their lives if asked.

The strong quiet affable men explained their jobs. They follow the railroad, and run equipment that polishes the rails. Train wheels damage rails, then the damaged rails in turn damage wheels further so they drive polishing equipment over the rails to smooth them out. They were on the East coast this year, trying to maneuver their big equipment through cobblestone streets of Philadelphia! Now they are here. Next stop, somewhere down the line!

I felt richer having shared a conversation with them. They were happy and respectful and reminded me that taking the risk to reach out to people is worth it. As they unfolded long legs, put on cowboy hats, and stood to leave, each one said goodbye, God bless you.

Mary and I asked the waitress about dessert, and she gave us the last laugh of the experience. She said it's an enormous sweet roll covered in icing but you must order two. She grabbed a non existent fat roll on her waist, saying one roll for each side, to keep in balance! Bwaa hahaha. Having more than enough fat rolls already I passed.

The quilt shop was large, with so many fabrics I love from Moda Marbles, to Stonehenge, to modern. They had lots of kits and sale items, every notion out there, and I thought I could move in. We wandered and considered each item, discussing what we'd do with it. It was so much fun. That day all fabric was $8 a yard but it would be going up to $10 a yard next month.
Sharon, who lives in Greeley and left a comment on my post, was right. I did love that store! How nice that she risked reaching out to a stranger, me.

How nice that we exchanged phone numbers and have had a great long chat since then!

What opportunities there are in taking a risk to reach out.
When I was a bright young thing, I went to Disney World with a long time friend for NYE. The two of us had many adventures together through high school, and this was just one more while we were both on break from University. We met three college guys from Toronto, on a ride in Tomorrow land.

The three and I wrote many many times to each other that year, and one of them, Joe told me that my shyness was wasted.
"Look at people! look at their eyes, and say hello, then follow that with something, anything, to reach out", he said to me,
" stop hiding"

Oh! I began to look up. I looked up when paying a clerk, I looked up when approaching a walker, I looked up in class to see who was next to me, and I began to reach out. I read the book by B. Walters, How to talk to practically anybody, any time about anything. I was scared but getting braver.

Did it always work? Nope. Did it work more than it didn't, yep. Did I get better at it, definitely.

I put this into effect as a social worker, having to listen to each person's story, bring out the needs and hopes from each family. I put it in practice doing the "dog and pony show" that teaching junior high students required. I use this in outreach with other artists and to get work as a lecturer and teacher of quilting techniques.

Why am I sharing all this, on a public blog, with unknown people who have likely long since stopped reading all my words! What no pictures? I feel people are sliding into isolation with electronic "social" media. Ironically all this social outreach has formed a group of young things who don't know how to converse (or as I've actually heard them say, "conversate" ) or even want to talk to others.


People's lives and hopes and dreams cannot all fit in a 25 bite IM.

We are more important than that.

What do you think? Talk to me....


  1. I think you've given me words of wisdom. I'm a little on the shy side and hate to be in front of a crowd. Even at quilt guild when I'm showing something I made, I can't even remember what I said when I sit down, and probably am looking down the whole time. I'm glad you had such a fun trip! You may not realize it now, but I'm thinking you are just where you need to be at this time. I enjoy your blog!

    1. oh THANK you! I needed to see the move that way. Time will tell more... more to the story!LeeAnna

  2. I think - this is why I read blogs and don't follow Instagram. On the blog we have the chance to get to know the quilter/writer/blogger and not just see a few photos. I like the stories people tell. And it sounds to me like you and your new friend need to make a pact to meet monthly (at the least) in that little Main St Café, and explore more of that town too.

    1. You and I are two birds of a feather, Sara! I like that monthly trip idea... betcha I hear more stories!

  3. Hi LeeAnna,
    $23 for tolls?!!!!!!!!!! That is NUTS! You can check the box on your GPS to avoid toll roads . . . just FYI. Well, isn't that interesting about the rail polishers - never knew there was such a job! I am just the opposite of a shy person. I would be asking you if you lived in town, doing my best to draw you out in spite of your shyness. I can't help myself on the other end of the spectrum - I always talk to strangers. I smile at the cashier in the store and ask them how they are, and then listen. Good for you for trying to overcome your shyness because you lived through all that looking up, didn't you? I need to practice more shyness, I guess. Oooh, that would be hard for me. Truly! Happy Friday and weekend. ~smile~ Roseanne

  4. thank you for going out and asking good questions and thank you for sharing your explorations with us your fans!

  5. I read and enjoyed EVERY word. I don't always reach out to people, but I do try to make eye contact with anyone who has served me and, if they wear a nametag, call them by name.

  6. I’ll bet you were a pioneer woman or maybe an Indian living in the harsh environment in a past life. I’m glad you got out and explored though.

    I haven’t been on a toll road in over 30 years. Last I knew you drive up and stop, give the guy your money. You mean they just charge you from your license plate? Don’t they have to get a credit card first or something? I guess I’m behind the times here in the boonies of Vermont. Blissfully unaware

  7. How can the tolls be unmarked? Certainly doesn't seem very above board. Of course, I think the only toll road I've traveled is the Kansas Turnpike and it's a can't miss kind of thing. Reaching out to people depends on the day of the week and my mood but rarely can I think of when it's been a bad thing. By the way, I really love your blog!

  8. I just know that you can make friends no matter where you are. I admire your tenacity in reaching out. You will certainly bloom where you are planted. So sorry that we couldn't connect when you were in CT.

  9. I thought the Mass Pike was the only place with tolls like that. Oof.

    Sounds like it was a truly delightful day.

    I agree with Sara - I like the connectivity in blogs; I like the reading (as well as the pictures). One of the reasons I like Game Day so much is to spend time with good people. Gotta have more than online interaction.

  10. Hi LeeAnna,
    That day out was so good for you! It really reactivated you! Super post today!
    You never know what could happen when saying hello!
    Share a dessert? :)

  11. Great post - I'm glad you had a fun outing with a friend in your new home. I too am very shy and I don't know how to start conversations with strangers. Thank you for the encouragement to just say hello with a smile. I love how your life is richer for having had conversations with strangers. Who knew about railroad polishers?!

  12. Time to buy a travel map of CO. LOL. We were on one of those automated toll roads going into Denver near the airport. There was hardly another car on the road, so I'm guessing there are other ways to get around. Unfortunately there's also a lot of traffic around Denver. I don't like traffic especially when I'm unfamiliar with the area. Glad you got to meet up with Mary and visit the quilt shop. And even $10.00 a yard fabric sound good. Moda and the other brands are $12.00 a yard around here and batiks have gone to $13.00.
    We're snowed in again, although we didn't get as much as they forecasted. Temperature dropped 40° in a couple hours yesterday from 60° at noon to 20° by 7 PM. Going down to zero tonight.
    I like your introspective posts. I don't do other social media and prefer blogs because they are more informative and satisfying. It's been fun to see the places you visit and the treasures you discover. You are where you're meant to be, so embrace the experience and we'll go along for the ride.

  13. I so enjoy your outlook on life, people and art. Toll roads in Colorado? I had no idea. Brighton reminds me of towns I see on the Hallmark movies. In the 70's, we took our kids on vacation to Montrose, Uray, Durango on the western side of Colorado and I just loved those towns. Pagosa Springs in the southern part of the state is just gorgeous, but difficult to traverse in the winter so I don't recommend it now. Loved your cowboy lunch peers story. I try to chat with people around me but most people are on electronics the few times I go to restaurants. Anyway, loved this post and glad you got to chat with Mary. Have a great day. mary in Az

  14. Awesome post! As we have moved around in the military, I had to get out and explore - or go nuts! Like you, the jury is out....
    Since turning 50 (five years ago) and beating cancer, I reach out more and more - much to my family's chagrin (notice how it ends with the word "grin"?). I love living life this way! :) Awesome post - looking forward to reading more of your adventures!

  15. What a great post - it feels like this day out was just what you needed; maybe you should do it again. One of the reasons I prefer blogs to other social media is that I love to talk (and listen) and they are much better for this than the 'soundbite' forms of communication.

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  17. 😍 Glad you got out, explored and had a good outing by all counts. I think you need some sort of a transponder to make the toll on E-470 a bit cheaper, but could be all wrong about that. I always have avoided driving o E-470. Must be something about loving to sit in traffic on the few multi-laned highways in town. LOL

  18. So glad you are getting out and about, though the next time try to see if you can find a no tolls or less tolls route. I think the lunch and quilt shop with a friend did you a world of good. And I am a conversationalist and I love to write so blogging keeps me vocal. I have kept hand written journals since age 9 I find blogging an extension of that. I love to write letters another great way to communicate without the use of electronics.

  19. There’s a whole web of toll roads around DIA. You need to turn your gaps options to avoid tolls till you learn your way around.
    I’m So glad you and Sharon met up and explored a new town.

  20. This day out represents a turning point for you - so much good has already come from it! With respect to communication, we have lived through the 'texting' stage with our two kids, and together we have learned that MANY times texting is unsuitable for even the simplest of topics! In my short time in the blogosphere (10 months), I have quickly come to love it for the people that I have 'met' and gotten to know through their pictures but even more so the narrative they write! I hope we all continue to share our experiences!

  21. Angie you write a terrific blog... I love reading your words and seeing the illustrative images.

  22. I don't know how I missed reading this post. Lost in space. I think that there is some part in our DNA that we share with our ancestors almost like a sense of place. I have been looking up a lot more, taking a chance and speaking to people. Wow it is tough sometimes. Great post!