Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Off Season

Have you ever wondered what snow ski resorts do in the summer? Me either. But a few days ago I happened to attend a wonderful brunch at Seven Springs Resort in Pennsylvania. After my group finished stuffing themselves to the gills, we opted to take a quick stroll before climbing back into our cars. That's when we enjoyed a closer look at a ski resort during the off season.

As we strolled onto the balcony outside the dining room we enjoyed listening to a live Bluegrass Band performing for the families splashing in the pool. As we looked up the mountain we watched a variety of age groups riding the lift to the top.

At first I thought the passengers were merely enjoying the view, but then I noticed a few of the visitors coming back down. Some of them were making their descent on the Alpine Slide--a descent of nearly 2,000 feet, seated on a tw0-wheeled sled. But what about the rest of the lift riders? I decided I'd have to get closer if I was ever going to find out.

I'd seen glimpses of bicyclists racing down a dirt path, but hadn't given a thought to their ascent. Silly me, I'd assumed they were riding up one side of the mountain to come roaring down the other. Not so! Wherever the trail began, I discovered that it ended at the entrance to the ski lift.

As I watched, helmeted riders would slide to a stop, gather their bikes, and wait in line to catch a ride to the top. Before long here they would come again, barreling down the mountain with a cloud of dust behind them. Fun? Maybe for some, but my crowd was content to stand to one side and watch.

All of this summer fun at a winter resort got me to thinking. What do quilters do in their "off season?" If comment heard in the store during recent weeks are any indication, many quilters travel:

"We're on an eight-day trip visiting shops featured in back issues of The Quilt Sampler."
"I'm headed to babysit my four-year-old granddaughter in Florida."
"We're coming from Indiana to watch our grandkids show goats at the 4-H Fair."
And on the stories go...

Once in a while someone in our summer crowd of travelers just happens to bring along a little Show-and-Tell.

We were thrilled to have Judy Murphy (soon to be Hayes) of Jacksonville, Illinois, share her gorgeous interpretation of a design from Barb Adams and Alma Allen's Women of Grace & Charm. Thank you, Judy, for sharing your work!

As you can tell from the bottom of the photo, Harvey and Ollie thought Judy's fine work deserved a closer look. Inspecting customer creations is just one of the activities the Bulldogs have enjoyed, and both dogs have been very busy during these warm summer months.

Harvey has been enjoying his summer vacation from college by spending time greeting customers at the front door.
Since Harvey has taken over the doorman duties, Ollie has been branching out.
He even tried to convince Lori and Dolores (left to right) that he could assist customers at the Penney's catalog desk. Let's just say they have placed his application on file.

So what do you do during your quilting off season? We'd love to hear your ideas--and we may even borrow a few--as we enjoy traveling and stitching our way to simpler times.

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