“A party without cake is just a meeting” – Julia Child.

Meeting #3:  We met at Trudi’s house on the eve of the first dose of Patty’s next round of chemo.  Like climbing to the top of a mountain with a sled and pausing to take in the view, we arrived and took in our surroundings.  Our vantage yielded old family pictures, charming furnishings and interesting objects from other lands.   Trudi’s house is truly a sanctuary of warmth and memories.  These were the views from the top.

We had three birthdays to celebrate…April birthdays for Patty, Trudi and Julie.  And why have one cake when you can have a cake and a tart?  Jean and Patti won top honors for their deliverance of delicious treats to the night!


Committee reports ensued.  Jane delivered Route 66 t-shirts to all the gang.  Her role as Apparel Supervisor is very secure.  She excels.  And Jean surprised all with a truly thoughtful presentation.  Easy-going, yes, but Jean is also quite creative.  She designed and made us our signature Route 66 necklaces.  Better than one-of-a kind, there are only SIX of these in the world.


We hammered out the beginnings of the trip.  Arriving in Chicago by plane on a Friday night in July, we sleep in a hotel and then high-tail it to the Route 66 sign downtown that commemorates the beginning of the mother road.  And beside this is Lou Mitchell’s Restaurant and Bakery.   Lou’s dad opened the restaurant in 1923, but success was secured in 1958 when someone had the idea to give out free milk dud boxes to ladies and children.  And no matter who you are, you get free doughnut holes.  Oh we are going to Lou Mitchell’s.  No doubt.


Trudi has pinned down a couple of MUST-stay hotels (A wigwam!) and is beginning to hammer out an itinerary with our help.  Jane and Patty will book our Chicago night and the subsequent St. Louis night.  For on that very first day we plan to head to The Arch.

And this just in.  We are adding WINONA to the itinerary.  We don’t know why.  But we are.  What’s in a name?  No really.  What’s in our name?  Winona?  Poetic license.  Julie liked it.  No one was standing there to offer an opinion when she named the blog.  Hence the name.  Guess we’d better go.


The discussion centered next on the blog.  How do we get people to read it?  Patty envisions side panels on our Suburban (those magnetic ones!) that feature our name and a link to our blog.  Patti will investigate.  And we’re totally making business cards.  If there is a waitress in a diner in Tulsa who has a sister who pet sits for Anderson Cooper’s old college roommate, well then, we’re SET!

Contact us if you are Melissa McCarthy or Ellen Degeneres.  Upload us if you think we are cute, have adorable matching t-shirts and scrunchies, and are singing in a delightedly off-key fashion the tunes of your youth.  We are a second away from stardom, you-tube fame, and a million hits/likes/shares.  OR check the blog if you are a family member and noticed we were not at the dinner table last night.  Jane says on Day Three a family member will call her and ask her if she’s at Publix.  ” ‘Cause if you are, mom, can you grab milk?”

We’re a bunch of women who will take care of one another on the trip.  Each of us will have five moms for ten days.  “Jean, did you remember your charger in the bathroom?”…”Patty did you remember to cancel the hotel in Oklahoma City?” …”I saw your shoes in the back seat, Julie!”  And we practiced group relaxation…circular back therapy.

FullSizeRender 3


The gavel dropped.  The meeting ended.  The dishes were done.

And now today Patty bravely mounts her sled and descends very quickly down the mountain where we were stood last night with the world at our feet.  She wakes early to head to Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa.  Not her first rodeo.  THIS round is six rounds of chemo administered every other week.  Monday, Monday.  Can’t trust that day.

She must feel like she is out of control careening around the bend, though we know she is headed in the right direction.  She is the Queen of Sleds, this friend of ours.  May the drug be gentle but victorious; selective but virulent; specific but mighty.

We wait at the bottom of the hill, Patty.  We’re waving banners and screaming encouragement in an embarrassing manner as you’d expect of us.  And we’re standing next to a Suburban filled with maps and matching fashions and lap tops and cell phones and chargers and granola bars and empty journals and stories to share!  We’re ready for ya.  Godspeed.  Toe in Water, baby.

9 Comments Add yours

  1. jguch says:

    Julie you continue to impress me with your writing skills and you NEVWR disappoint! You were MADE FOR THIS SIS! 😊


  2. We’re having so much fun, and we haven’t even left yet, right SIS? And thank you for the encouragement!!!


  3. Patti says:

    Our friend Julie,THE Pulitizer Prize winning blogger! AP’s got nothing on you! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  4. pvirgilio62 says:

    You’re all great and I’m excited to be a part of this!! And if loving you is wrong…..I don’t wanna be right! Let’s do this!!


  5. sandandelion says:

    Loving this so much! And for that, I have listed you for the Liebster Blogger Award. Hope you could drop by my site: https://sandandelion.wordpress.com/2016/05/14/an-award-nominee/

    Liked by 1 person

  6. lynchlines says:

    Where exactly is Winona? Such fun following your planning.


    1. Had to look it up too, Deb, but it’s in Arizona! 🙂


  7. Rebecca Macintyre says:

    I just found your blog–(thank you Jeannie!) and to all you travelers, I just want to say I am positively CHARTREUSE with envy! I contemplated crawling on bloody hands and knees to each of your doorsteps to prostrate myself at your feet and beg for a place–even in the wheel-well with the jack, spare tire and empty wine bottles awaiting the recycle bin. However, after consideration and a realistic picture of what the interior of Sparky is going to look like, I decided to settle for soothing my wandering soul by faithfully reading your blog. I will be with you in spirit, though, and wish you hours and days of wonder, love and laughter.
    xoxo to all


    1. How lovely! We have a chartreuse fan! So glad to have you along for the ride!


Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

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

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s