Ye Ol' Quilt Rack

Every single word, verse, poem, prose, etc. within The Tea Room (unless otherwise stated) was written by Brenda Dwyer and is protected and copy written.
Do not copy, reproduce or otherwise share this content without express permission by the author. 2008/2009


ye ol' quilt rack ...

quilt (kwilt)

A coverlet made up of many scraps of fabric then sewn together to create a specified design. -bd

Many experiences all stored up together that describe one's life. -bd

A bit of this with a tatter of that all "sewn" together to create a thing of beauty. -bd

To this day I have no idea why I did it. My father, who traveled extensively when I was young, had brought home a Christmas gift for my mother and laid it beneath the tree. I knew what it was. That particular gift was the same every year. A bag of Goetz Caramels from Chicago. We lived in Springfield and they didn't sell them there. My mother looked forward to that candy every year ... it was her favorite. It was my favorite too and long story short ... I had every single one of those candies eaten by Christmas morning. I learned some very important lessons that year ... lessons that are imprinted on my heart forever. I learned of morals, love, integrity and undeserved forgiveness. -bd

He was the most magnificent animal I had ever seen. Jay. I had mentioned one evening that I longed to have a horse of my own. Little did I know all of the work involved in owning a horse. None of that mattered. The only thing I could think of is how much I would be riding him. How we would fly across open fields and walk lazily down country roads. I dreamt of his mane flying thru and mixing with my own hair as the wind kept me crouched low on his back. We would sprout wings! Well, I'm sure you've all heard of the "be careful what you ask for" warning. I just didn't heed it. I asked and I received and oh my goodness ... what was I doing? Those first few weeks together found us almost inseparable. I would lay, for long hours, in his pasture reading a book as he would quietly chew the grass around me and once in a while nuzzle me with that big long face of his. He was always so careful not to step on me and I was so "green" that I never realized that he could do me great bodily harm without even meaning to. To me he was like a big overgrown puppy. We became so very close. His name was Jay when he came to me. I asked him within a few days of bringing him home if I could change his name. He gave me a very penetrating look and then turned his back on me. Just like that. I got the message loud and clear and told him so. He then turned back to face me and brushed my arm with his neck. Jay would forever be Jay. I spoiled him and fed him so much grain and food it's a wonder he didn't get sick. He didn't though ... no matter what I did, he survived it. Apple treats, salt licks, mineral licks, alfalfa, sweet feed ... he loved it all and always begged for more. I always obliged him. I didn't know any better. Makes me smile to think back on it. I bet I fed him 5 buckets of grain a day. Maybe a month or two into having him I moved him to a stables here in Middlebury. He loved being with the other horses and it worked out great for me. Now he was fed by someone else, someone else called the ferrier, someone else made sure the vet was there when he was needed. Jay and I had a very happy and full first year together. Sometime into the second year I began traveling more than ever and rarely found time to visit him. I missed him horribly but life at that point had me swept away on a current I couldn't escape. The years flew by and circumstances dictated our new schedule of seeing one another. Today he belongs to someone else. In 2006 my life took an unexpected path and I had no idea how I was going to be able to keep him. I asked my friend who boards him to put the word out that he was for sale. She did and within mere days he was sold. He is still at the stable. I still see him once in a while. I long for him to be mine again but I know that one day soon he will be off to his new home in South Bend and life's current will totally sweep him away from everything but my memories. I love Jay. It was a "love at first sight" that endured the test of time and circumstance. I owe him a lot for he taught me so many things that only a magnificent animal like that can. -bd


Jay n me

Love woke me up this morning

and put me to bed last night.

Love wove itself like threads in and out of my prayers ... surrounding each one and protecting it ... lifting them all to my Father's ear. Love makes the impossible, possible. -bd

there you sit, day after day. i watch you and learn from you. you studiously address your work and let your mind formulate new ways to make our days easier. we break bread together, we laugh together, we cry together. many times we have entrusted each other with matters of the heart. we are family. we are sisters in the Lord. we are years apart in age and yet timeless in our appreciation and love for one another.

i thank God for you. every day i watch as you grow and mature into a more beautiful person and i wonder what God has in store for you in your future.

you are strong with a quiet reserve. there are many things i admire about you. i am most intrigued by the fact that i see you doing some of the same things i did at your age and I marvel at your tenacity. you are a rose amongst many thorns.



Wow, isn't it amazing? You are really old! :) I mean, think about it ... you're 30! That's just crazy! Where did time go? How did this happen? I remember the very first time I cradled your small head in my arms. You were so tiny and I had never before held something so seemingly fragile. I was amazed at your ability to immediately capture my heart. You've held onto it ever since. In that instant it was if no one and nothing else mattered. You were my new focus ... the subject of my undivided attention. Now you are grown with babies of your own and you too are aware of how each child has the uncanny capability to steal your identity and create in you a new identity ... their parent. No matter how many babies you have you experience this phenomenon with every one. It is a beautiful scrap of life's fabric. -bd

Daisy has been in my life for 4 years now. It seems like just yesterday I went to Monica's house to see her for the very first time. I had paid for her before she was ever born. I couldn't wait! Monica had called to tell me that Daisy's mom took a bad fall off of the porch swing. A week later I got another call. She was having her pups and two were born stillborn so far. Daisy was the last to be born and the only survivor. She weighed 8 oz. Here she is all of these years later a strong-willed 5 pound ball of fur. She delights me over and over again. A scrap ... well, she may be but at least she is a scrap worth mentioning. -bd

Once upon a time I had a mechanical clown. It was supposedly an antique when I purchased it back in 1976. He stood about 3 1/2 feet tall. I kept that clown for a few years. My daughter, who was born in 1978, told me around the age of 5 that she was really scared of him. So, I did what any concerned mother would do ... I sold him ... only to find out years later that she didn't even remember us ever having him. Now I wish I would have just put him in storage somewhere because I haven't seen another one since then. Que sera, sera


Buddies forever! that was our creed.

We wrote

it way back when you were just three.

You were exuberant and happy and funny as could be.

you proclaimed to the world

"Buddies forever"

... you




I remember sleeping with my head on my daddy's lap

as the preacher spoke to us about the Lord's love for us. At such a young age, that preacher made a lasting impression on me. Later in life another preacher by the name of Ray Christman further helped my heart to be convicted of God's unwavering love for me. I thank God for both of them.


I was always the last one picked (I was a klutz). The last one in line (my last name began with a "Z"). The last one to be baptized in my family. That's all just as it should be because being the last one picked allowed me the opportunity to "hone my game" with no expectations. Being the last one in line enabled me to see that which laid ahead of me. Baptism, I knew from example, was not just a decision but it was so much more ... it was my way of saying, "Yes Lord ... I want to commit to a relationship with you and walk where you lead". I was a klutz and even though I can see part of that which lies before me, I am still a klutz and am so thankful that God continually picks me up and sets me safely back on my path. -bd

I love you. I always have (as far back as I can remember) and I know I always will. You have comforted me when I wasn't even aware of your presence and you have encouraged me when I didn't even feel weak. You always seem to be two steps ahead of me. Watching over me. Loving me. So many times I find myself talking to God or to Jesus ... but you ... you are like my guardian angel. God in three persons ... Himself, Jesus and you. The Holy Spirit. I thank God for you for I can't imagine a day without you in it.


She was feeling lost, neglected, forgotten. Seems her life was just not going the way she had "once upon a time" dreamed it would. She had many blessings. Perhaps not what most folks would consider blessings, but to her she was surrounded by jewels; her children, her family. She was unsettled in her soul. Often condemned by the world for choices she had made (at such a tender age), she was mocked and ridiculed. Time was a healer though. Once, in a car with her mother; as her children slept in the back seat, she was given a gift of encouragement that she neither expected nor felt she deserved. You see, both of her brothers were ministers and she often felt that they "had it all together" and she just didn't. Her mother told her though ... "Honey, everyone always tells dad and I how blessed we are to have two sons in the ministry. We are. We are so thankful. I need you to know something though ... I am just as proud of you, if not more so. You have a way of looking at people thru the eyes of Jesus ... you don't see what the rest of us see ... you seem to see only the heart of a person." "Sure, everyone thinks that you have brought great shame to our family but I need you to know that you haven't. You have brought blessing upon blessing and we are so thankful for you."
Yet, never in a million years had she ever realized that her actions could, would effect so many. She had always felt the people she loved were hurt; her father was broken ... her children would be the target of hatred and fear. What none of them could see at the time was that God was right there with her. She was one of His. Even though she made her fair share of mistakes, He was faithful to watch over her. Her children would bless her in so many ways throughout the days of her life. They made her stronger as she witnessed their strength to endure, persevere and be happy in the process ... against all odds. Although she wished in her heart of hearts (as she grew older) that none of them would have had to endure the disappointments of this life, her vision became clearer as time went on and she could see the Master weave this unbelievably beautiful and intricate tapestry called life before her very eyes. -bd
I have found that life isn't always fair. No matter how hard you strive to do the right thing, say the right thing, apply the right thing .. sometimes life has a mind of its own and you "take one" right in the gut. How many times have I been thrown down, pushed aside, shoved to the back of this "heap". I smile thinking of some of them for as hard as my life has been, I have always survived. I have gotten back up, shrugged off the push and ignored the shove. Why not? There is enough fighting in this world without me contributing to it. I choose to fight the spiritual battle that rages within instead and thereby recognize the war that plays out around me. -bd  
Day to day living in Elkhart County sure is changing in unbelievable leaps and bounds. Many businesses here have closed their doors and many more will more than likely follow. I just read that one in four people in Elkhart County are now out of work. Our food pantries are out of food, our churches are feeling the strain as well. Mothers, fathers and children are being displaced as their unemployment benefits run out and their mortgages still come due. We are all children of a very mighty God. He is faithful to answer prayer. :)

Christmas 2008 came and went.

I always love considering the story of the birth of baby Jesus every year. Less gift giving and more adoration and thanksgiving help to make Christmas seem even more special, more meaningful. Perhaps it is a day to concentrate on doing more for others and less for self. -bd

What is my favorite color? You tell me ... here are your hints;

what color is life?

what color is love?

what is the color of hope?

of charity?

of peace?

what color is good health?

what color is happiness?

Whatever color they are ... that is my favorite color. -bd

Consideration ... a little goes a long way.

Respect ... give it and it reflects back to you.

Love ... not always reciprocated, but certainly

always beautiful.


I never saw it coming, Sam; your love, your intense loyalty.
The way you depended on me to keep you safe from harm ... for you carried the weight of having been horribly abused as a puppy. When I invited you into our lives I was smitten with you. Your gentle eyes ... that gave away the truths therein ... your bark and vicious growls that presented when you were approached belied the gentleness that I knew you desperately wanted to share. When you got sick at such a very young age, it broke my heart and I nursed you and nursed you and prayed for you to get well. I begged God to spare you but I suppose your short time here was just to bless me and teach me a lesson about trust that I needed to learn. I love you so and miss you beyond words. Just an animal ... just a dog ... maybe to some but not to me. You were my strong Sampson ... I thank God for you and I still cry like a baby every time I think of you! I probably always will.

Please click on the page you would like to visit next: