A few months ago, my friend Tink Linhart sent me a message. I met Tink and her husband Dick through Facebook, and actually got to meet them in person when I was traveling in Wisconsin last year. They are very active in a group, Quilts of Thanks, that makes and delivers quilts to military veterans to thank them for their service. The group of quilters get together on a regular basis in Wisconsin to make the quilts.
Tink contacted me because she has received a request for a quilt, but the recipient lives near New Hartford, NY, about an hour east on the New York State Thruway from me. She wondered if I would deliver the quilt in person.
Of course, I agreed, and went through the logistics to get the quilt and schedule a meeting. I enlisted Dave as the designated driver and last Saturday, off we went to meet Jack Dale, a 95-year-old, WWII veteran. His daughter Sue was also on hand for the presentation.
Jack is a Navy veteran, so the Storm-At-Sea block was very appropriate. We all got to chat a bit over fresh cider and donuts (Mmm, donuts!) We were treated with a few stories from the SS Washington, the ship on which Jack was stationed in the Pacific during World War II.
After sampling the donuts, on Sue's recommendation, Dave and I decided to venture over to the Clinton Cider Mill for some to take home.
Love the carved wooden door, and Yay! it's OPEN!
Yum! There's a pie in our future!
What good is a good old fashioned cider mill without a good old-fashioned cider press? Yup, got some cider, too!
You know how sometimes, one thing leads to another, and another, and another in the most unexpected ways. We left the cider mill and headed to the town center in Clinton, NY to find a place to have lunch. This beautiful house was a surprising find. It was once a home, then restaurant, and now houses the Alexander Hamilton Institute. It is an extension of Hamilton College. They host author lectures on a wide range of topics--a lot like bookTV. With Dave's interests in history, we went in for a look around. Neither of us had even heard of this before. A hidden treasure?
We left the Institute and wandered down the street for a really nice lunch. (It must have been Red Car Day or something!)
You know, meeting a 95-year-old war veteran, presenting him with a quilt that will provide warmth, comfort, and gratitude over the winter months, then exploring a whole new world only about an hour away from us . . . Makes you stop and realize how much there is to stop and appreciate.
And the best part of this whole odyssey--receiving a note of thanks, for a quilt of thanks from our new friend Jack.
No, Jack, thank YOU for your service, and for opening our eyes to new experiences right in our own 'back yard.'
Don't forget to stop and smell the apple cider this autumn. Just sayn!