and what a weekend it was. I spent it with Marti. Marti and I have been friends for quite sometimes and in a car with her was essentially how I spent last Saturday, Sunday and Monday. We have spent extended time with each other before on many occassions especially when we jointly dye fabric in quantity, but I don't remember a time when our time together was spent mostly in a car. Are we still friends? YOU BET!!!!
“By the Grace of God and with great pleasure and joy our Congregation invites You to the Installation of our new Pastor, The Reverend Margaret Dudley Ashby on Sunday July 23, 2006... Staunton, VA”.
So read an invitation that arrived in the mail 2 weeks ago along with the announcement of our Dear Friend Margaret’s ordination into the Ministry of the Lutheran Church the Saturday before in Harrisonburg VA.
I HAD TO GO! And so did Marti. Another friend Kathleen was joining us there. She would be in Roanoke, Virginia visiting her parents the same weekend, a mere 1-½ hours away. We all knew Margaret first as an artist with an extraordinary eye for detail, composition and a remarkable sense of color. As a member of our critic group her assessment of my work and the work of others was always insightful and more often than not right on target. Whether at the time I or the others members wanted to hear it or not.
SATURDAY- Day One
Early only, because I refuse to say bright in conjunction with early in this instance. The sun was barely above the horizon when Marti arrived to get me at 6:10 AM Saturday morning for our trip to Harrisonburg. Virginia where Margaret’s ordinations was schedule to be.
Where is Harrisonburg you wonder, well so did we.
Map quest is a beautiful thing. Harrisonburg is where James Madison University is located Map quest informed me. The small town sits in a valley surrounded by the Appalachian Mountains and the Blue Ridge Mountains. It is a very scenic and historic place. You get there from my place by taking 64 East until it meets 81 North. Then 81 North to the exit for Harrisonburg. What luck, sight unseen I picked a hotel right off the Harrisonburg exit and within a 5-7 minute drive of the church barring we didn’t get lost. WE GOT LOST for a brief time.
The first 3 hours of the trip on Saturday morning I slept. Marti was surprised that I did. She made mention of the fact that I had done so while she was behind the wheel of the car because she knew I didn’t trust her driving. My thoughts on Saturday as I lost the battle to keep my eyes open were; if she kills us, so be it. If I try to drive us as SLEEPY as I am we surely will die. Anyone who knows me knows at that time of the morning, alert I am NOT and I am not responsible for anything of importance I may commit to or say before 9AM. Thank God I get better as the day passes 10AM and keeps getting better the more toward 2 PM it gets. I am with a short nap at 4PM great until about 3AM the next day if need be.
Marti got us to Charlestown at which point I took over. We stopped at Tamarack to browse through the art and crafts on display and for sale there. After our trip around,it is designed in a circle with a green space in the center visible through glass windows. We ate a very good lunch prepared by the Greenbrier Resort Catering staff. The food was far above your truck stop fare. Grilled salmon, trout fillets, fresh greens, the menu was too extensive to recount. For those with uncouth taste there was the taco salad bar and hamburgers cooked to order and the sandwich deli thing.
The stop at Tamarack was a good way to spend 2 hours breaking up the road trip. I’ve made mention of that West Virginia Art and Craft Center in one of my very early blog postings. A second visit there in less than 6 months was still an adventure. Although I had my purse with me, there wasn’t anything I HAD TO COME HOME WITH. Beside I would have to pack it for my relocation move in less than 2 weeks. WHO needs something else to pack. My God, not me.
On the road again, we stopped in the small town of (something) Forge. I know Marti will remember and email me and tell me what it was, When she does I will tell you. We took the detour because a sign on the interstate said they had an art and craft museum and so they did. A very nice one, filled with work of regional and local artist. It was staffed by three very friendly women. We had to tear ourselves away. At that point we still had a way to go.
With me pushing the speed limit we got to the hotel, checked in, dressed quickly and off we went to surprise Margaret. She had no idea we were coming. And surprise her we did. We sat in the balcony for the ordination, got at the back of the line in which she was giving communion. I among all of those attending stuck out like a sunflower in a poppy field. So I chose a person taller than me to get behind as I approached the altar. She looked up to give me communion and her mouth dropped. That in itself made the trip worth doing. Whiles she had hoped we would come, when we didn’t tell her we were she hadn’t set her heart on us being there to share this special time with her.