Beyond the bustles….

Besides the creepy story I shared with my friends at Rogers Sewing Center that happened when I was filming my Machine Quilting Level 2 class, I had a most memorable time filming that class in Indiana back in cold, cold January 2015.   Note:  The creepy story is not for internet public consumption, but I am happy to disclose everything if you ask me about it in person! :)

Now onto the other memorable parts… I remember as the plane touched down at Ft. Wayne airport, the passenger sitting beside me commented that their average temperature the week before was about 12 degrees.  My heart sank a little — because I am a chicken when it comes to driving in inclement weather.  Since my husband wasn’t there with me, I braved myself and drove my little rental car to the destination, and very thankfully, arrived in one piece.   Well, on the way out was a slightly different story… the kind people with whom I work had warned me about the impending snow that day… and still being the chicken that I was (and still am) when it comes to driving in inclement weather, I left about 2 hours ahead of the intended time, and even more thankfully, arrived in one piece because the snow was really falling halfway through my drive to the airport.  SO…. I had about 3 1/2 hours just to sit in the airport – which I didn’t mind because I really enjoy the hustles and bustles at airports (as long as I am not one of those rushing about to reach my next gate, ha!).  And at airports, I get to indulge in one of my favorite activities – people watch!

While waiting, an older gentleman came and sat beside me… and he struck up a conversation with me.  He was a WWII veteran who was 91 years old, half-blind and was on his way to Florida to play golf.  We had a lively conversation about his experience during the war, among other things.  He was one of the support guys during Normandy.  He asked me if I knew whom General Eisenhower was (seriously?!) , to which I named most of the generals in WWII.  I did that not because I wanted to show off, but to show him he didn’t need to bother with the basic stuff.  I wanted him to get to his stories, and more stories. As he shared his life story (and of course I was totally mesmerized by all the twists and turns in his 91 years of life), he summarized his life with, “Where can the son of two illiterate peasant from France become a successful dentist, and lived a full life but in America?”

[Note: Photo taken right before the flag was taken down when dusk set in….]

I almost cried when he said that!  At that moment when he uttered those words, he and I formed a precious bond. He is an immigrant, and I am an immigrant… we both came under circumstances bound by law during different eras of American history, as well as bound by the love for the rich legacy and history of the land in which we live.

Talking to this very accomplished retired dentist was how I spent my 3 1/2 hours at the airport before we embarked on the plane.  I helped him find his seat because he couldn’t really see despite his nearly impeccable health at his age. Well, it turned out he was my neighbor across the aisle.  So, we chatted some more… he told me I looked like a teenager to him, and asked me to be sure to tell my husband that when I got home.  My husband didn’t offer any comments (smart guy!) when apprised of that comment, but my ever-so-slightly cynical friend aptly pointed out that the reason his dear man thought I was no more than 15 was due to his visual impediment.   Impediment or not, this dear man totally charmed me with his sweetness and his life stories.

We reached out layover destination,  the plane was so small it didn’t park right next to the airport.  So we had to get off the plane on the tarmac.  I gave him a hug before we parted ways!

I have often thought of this dear man since that cold and snowy January day.

24 thoughts on “Beyond the bustles….

  1. I have no doubt that you made his day as well. I bet he told all his friends about the pretty girl he had talked to all the way . You made an old man happy.

  2. I’m so glad you told us this story. Sometimes some of our best times and connections come unexpectedly. I’m so glad this gentleman found in you an appreciative ear. So many of these stories fade with the host, but this story will live on in you.

  3. What a sweet story. Were you able to exchange contact information? It would be nice to keep up with this gentleman. Thanks for sharing. So many people just ignore the older generation, but they have so much to share.

  4. I loved that story….my Uncle Bill, William Sydney Allen, was under General Patton’s command, and stormed the beach at Normandy and lived to tell about it. Sadly, he’s gone now. Wendy…you KNOW I love a creepy story…lol…so when you have a free moment please share it with me…..hehehe…..

  5. OH Wendy that story sent a chill down me. How precious! And so sad what this country has become now. Anyway I was going to email you anyway. When you have time, sometime, would you send me a pic of any one of the 12 days of Christmas ornaments with a little instruction on how and what to stuff them with…what fabric on back, etc. I have fine stitched and got the patterns back out and working on #6 now. What is Miss Baby working on? I found it easier for me to do the whole “X” rather than go across in rows with the half X and go back the other direction. Easier to find the holes and not do a “split” of threads. Enjoy your posts! Are there any plans to come to AR? I don’t get any mail from Rogers Sew Center, my choice, most of theirs is about emb and I don’t have that type machine any more.​

  6. Serendipity! How neat to be there to share stories with one of the old patriots–we know you made his day, too! What a lovely story of what makes America the amazing country she is. What if there were no immigrants? Where would any of us be now?

  7. Such a sweet story. I have no doubt that you both will continue to savor the memories of that chance meeting. I firmly believe that instances like that happen for a reason. Thanks for sharing this “upper,” Wendy.

  8. What a great experience for both of you, Wendy! Thank you for sharing your story. BTW, you are not the only one who dislikes driving in snow and ice.

  9. Your post brought back memories of your trunk show at Rogers Sewing Center. I remember you telling about your Indiana adventures!! Sweet story about the amazing veteran. So glad he shared with you and you with us.

  10. Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful experience with us. It brought tears to my eyes! I was fortunate enough to be born in this wonderful country and sometimes feel disheartened when fellow “born-heres” fail to understand how blessed we are to be here. I love hearing how others made their way here and took advantage of everything the U.S.A. offers to create happy, successful lives – something too many of us “born-heres” forget or take for granted. Your story really touched this grateful patriot’s heart!

  11. Wendy, what a beautiful story. I, as an American born citizen, are thankful that you and this gentleman made America your home. Thank you for doing it legally. Now I want to here about the creepy story. Hugs~~

  12. What a wonderful story and being I am 84 I envy his health. I still travel to see family and I am working on your quilt. I think You call it threads but have everything pulled but only started the applique. I am doing the applique while it still is in a small piece instead of after the Ohio Star blocks. So I am behind and no picture yet and will have to get Grand Daughter to help me put in the picture on my computer as that is still a mystery to me.

  13. I, too, am touched by your story. Very few people would take the time to listen to the elderly vet…you not only listened, you appreciated his service, and that means the world to a vet (I’m married to one and have a son who has 21 plus years in the Air Force). Most Americans don’t understand the sacrifices made by military families…children born without their fathers, etc. It is not an easy life and the service is not done to get rich. WWII vets had it pretty rough, too. So, thank you for listening and for caring! Your posts are always inspiring!

  14. What a beautiful story Wendy!!! I’ve been reading several WWII books recently for book clubs, and have so enjoyed learning more about the brave men and women who fought for our freedoms. And I have to say, I’ve always been rather envious of your youthful looks!

  15. Great story Wendy! I’m from Ft Wayne. And yes, dear husband, I will admit to that. but now I live in Kansas. by any chance, was the person who taped your presentation my SIL, Peggy B*****? She has been doing a lot of taping for various web sites. She loves to tape the quilting ones. I have flown out of FW on snowy and blowy January days, too. It’s pretty scary! I was never so glad to land back home in Wichita. Now what’s the scary story you have to relate?

  16. I love your story. It reminds me of what happened in Nov when we took a flight from BWI to Puerto Rico to take a cruise for our 25th anniversary. We got on the plane and there was an elderly man in the aisle seat and we scooted in. All was quiet for a few minutes until take off. He is a vet, my husband is a vet. He had not flown in decades, since the military. Story upon story was passed back and forth. He was with his wife,daughter and son in law across the aisle. Coming back home we got on the plane to see him in the aisle seat with 2 empty seats next to him. His face lit up when he saw us. Of course we were going to sit with him. We were like old friends meeting up again. We got to see photos and hear the stories of his trip. As we said goodbye in the airport you could tell his family was thrilled that he had such a good flight where he was affirmed and blessed. I hope you don’t mind me sharing my story.

  17. Wendy, I am up super early and enjoying playing catchup on some posts I’ve missed.

    I cried when I read of your kindness to that 91 year old man and veteran. Did he move to the US after WWII or before? What an amazing story. I just sit in awe of the WWII vets and their heroics. Of all soldiers, actually, and also of the immigrants of all generations who have woven their stories into this big tapestry we call America.

    Love you and love your rainbow quilt from the above post.

    Hope you guys and Miss Baby are doing well.

    Love you,

    Sheila :-)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s