The road ends, but the journey continues...

My Son – The Sharp Dressed Man

please, enjoy the music while you read the following, I promise it is related to the main thrust of this blog post…and since there are several guitar solos, well, you don’t really need to watch the lyrics up on the screen

Okay, so I’ve been starting and stopping in the writing of several blog posts.
I need to feed the blog, yes, but I gotta say my focus has been a bit wonky since returning from my five weeks visiting Dad.  I started to write about that in a post entitled “Spider Webs, Jacob’s Ladder and Losing the Strand” but could only get so far when I’d lose the strand…(to be finished and posted at a later date).
Then on to a relatively easy Shoutout about the great Maestro Ricardo (and my friend) receiving a prestigious award at the annual GFA Convention in Denver, held just one week after I left. I wanted to attend, but those plans got trumped (don’t know if I like that term anymore…) with the Dad-card. No regrets at all, but it does leave the “Shoutout: In Honor of the Maestro Ricardo” in the queue to be sent sometime whenever I can do a final edit on it…again, the focus thing is the limiting factor here. It may never get finished and sent out since it’s more (out)dated news.
I discovered early on that I didn’t have the energy required to return to my current Swimming with Swans projects. This of course lead to frustration because I needed something to do in the realm of creating while navigating this new pattern of four weeks here and two weeks there; along with the emotional stuff that goes along with end-of-life and long distance elder care.
So I picked up the needle…that phrase is loaded, eh? I first mentioned this phrase in my post “The Rusty Quilter” that describes my history and re-introduction to quilting and fiber art.

Whole-cloth quilt top basted and ready for straight stitch machine-quilting

Whole-cloth quilt top basted and ready for straight stitch machine-quilting

That said, I began in earnest my new ‘now’ project totally unrelated to anything other than as a pleasurable creative outlet: the whole-cloth quilted throw; which will be discussed in greater depth in yet another WIP blog post, as yet unnamed.
During today’s immersion in some straight line machine quilting, I listened to an Amazon Prime Classic Rock Song List.
When ZZ Tops’ tune, The Sharped Dressed Man came on full blast in my earphones and into my brain, I remembered my Jo-Jo and his new obsession with dressing snappy for work.
Joe Lilly is the Sharp Dressed Man

Joe Lilly is the Sharp Dressed Man

Here’s Joe in his Tuesday morning duds, posing in the dining room of my folks’ house, with the telltale cleaning supplies and messiness in the background. One of the fantastic things I got to do while visiting Dad was to make dinner for our kids. Some of Ma’s cooking stuff is still in the kitchen and so I was able to throw together some makeshift family favorites.
Since Joe still lives in the Denver area, he purposely carved out time to stop by after work and/or pick me up for doing fun stuff together during ‘down times’.
One such outing was going to his gig at the Oriental Theatre. Actually, my sorella-amica Lisa and I went to see our sons* at this wonderful venue. Like most musicians, he’s in several bands/ensembles. This one, Heavy Medicine**, added a horn section recently, of which Joe is their main sax-guy.
The Sharp Dressed Man with his Heavy Medicine Bandmates playing the Oriental Theatre, Denver, CO 6/2016

The Sharp Dressed Man with his Heavy Medicine Bandmates playing the Oriental Theatre, Denver, CO 6/2016

Me and my son - the sharp dressed man

Me and my son – the sharp dressed man

Lots more of this mother-son stuff is in the future with each trip back to visit Dad.
Oh and on the marquee behind us is the name Leon Russell, significant in that another blog post in the queue needing to be finished is called, “The Buena Vista Social Club, Leon Russell and Dad”.
Just sayin’.
‘Tis a blessing to be loved…
*Lisa’s son, Ted, is fourth from the left
**The track ‘Dangerous’ includes horns
acknowledgement note: last two photos taken by Lisa K.


  1. Bob

    Truth be told I share your Husbands’ allegiance to the Broncos. I’m sorry to see Peyton go but I’m afraid if he stayed any longer he would get seriously injured. Nooo I’m afraid I’ve given up on “dem K’boys”. Mr. Jerry wrecked that team.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Whoo-hoo high five I’ll bet you even remember the old ‘orange crush’ days. 😀
      And…that the Cowboys gave us Craig Morton (first super bowl win for us back in the day)
      I love that you know this stuff, too!
      Have a great week, buddy-pal.

    • laura bruno lilly

      oops got a little ‘orangey-eyed’! Of course we didn’t win that one, but well you know how memory plays tricks on ya 😉

      • Bob

        Speaking of the Broncos, one of my favorite NFL players of all time at any position was John Elway. I also read somewhere that his net worth today is $145 million dollars. I sent word to him that I’m available for adoption. For some reason I haven’t heard back from him yet.

  2. Jane Chesebrough

    Enjoyed the photos and ZZ Nice colours at your son’s gig and in the quilt. You haven’t dropped your “Swimming with Swans” project; it is just perculatng. (oh, oh, another coffee reference)You have lots going on and the trickle effect will inspire your creative juices. ..interesting to see where this will all lead. Happy 4th!

    • laura bruno lilly

      Yes, Jane, you and I are on the same wavelength on the ‘percolation’ affect (not the least of which is indeed the coffee input!!!). Your encouragement is gladly received.
      Happy Canada Day to you.

  3. Lulu

    This post was wonderful to read. Your voice is so clear and authentic, even as you traverse from one topic to the next and catalogue all the strands that seem to be loose and untied right now. I have a folder on my hard drive titled “unfinished blog posts.” Life doesn’t slow down for me to reclaim my focus, so I just accept what’s unfinished and move onto what needs to happen in the next moment.
    Your quilting project sounds like a great creative outlet. Don’t you think that sometimes, it just seems like we need something *different*? Maybe you will find the energy for “Swimming with Swans” again when the time is right.
    And your son is definitely a sharp dresser. I love the picture of the two of you together. The smile on your face is beaming.
    Happy Fourth of July!

    • laura bruno lilly

      Happy Fourth to you, too! I hope you’re enjoying the treats of the holiday, whatever they may be in your part of the country. My personal fav is fresh corn-on-the-cob.
      Thank you for your kind feedback on my post. I think I need to sort through my folder titled ‘current ideas for stories/blog posts’ and start placing the chronically unfinished ones in a separate folder as you mentioned. 😉
      I agree about the something ‘different’ that helps to round out our creative endeavors…like taking a walk I think.
      Ahem, and as for my son…yeah, he’s something to ‘beam’ about!!!!

  4. Bob

    Very sharp and, from what I read here, a good man. It takes a strong person to make a life around playing those smoky venues. Great picture of a very proud, loving Mom and Son.
    Also that’s “my” music too.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Bob-the-pilot and ZZ Top, now that’s a visual that’s hard to shake!

      • Bob

        My son Scot is a musician playing similar smoky venues so I’ve followed him and got to know many of his friends doing that work. The thing I’ve noticed is just how much physical labor it takes to make a living that way. Getting the equipment to the location and setting it all up. Then taking it all down. My hat’s off to Joe.

        • laura bruno lilly

          It’s great you getting to be a ‘groupie Dad’ my hat’s off to you. I’ll bet you’re a proud Papa.
          You and your son being in Texas, those ‘smoky venues’ can get volatile, I imagine! Though Joe has many stories to tell of sketch-gigs in Denver!
          Hmmm, about the strength thing: picture this – a lady musician schelping her own PA system to each gig along with instruments, stands, mics etc…
          Yep, that would be me! HA! Only (as noted in my response to Andy’s comment) my destinations usually aren’t smokey!!!! And, to be fair, hubby and son helped whenever they could, schedule-wise.

          • Bob

            I’m glad you mentioned that because in my mind I saw you as doing acoustic guitar with no amps. A totally wrong assumption on my part . Of course there are amps and you still have to do the heavy lifting. Load the car, then unload it and hand carry the stuff to where you will play. Your dedication to your art is strong and bright. Hats off to you also.

          • laura bruno lilly

            Hey, lots of hats waving about here in the comment section – hubby’s is a Denver Broncos cap, I’ll bet yours isn’t! 😉

  5. Anna Scott Graham

    Lovely to read how in the midst of much disjointedness several cohesive threads were binding you and others. I know that feeling of blog posts dangling in the wind, but this one strikes a beautiful chord, ha ha! When I returned from caring from my dad, sewing/quilting kept me busy in a don’t think too hard about it manner, which was just what I needed. 😉

    • laura bruno lilly

      Actually, dear Anna, I’ve often thought of you and your dad-quilt journey.
      This is a project that is perfect for me also for ‘when I return’…

  6. Janis

    It’s so nice that the visits you make to take care of your father – which can feel very isolating, I know, – are also opportunities to spend time with your son!
    Your quilt pattern looks lovely. I’ve been considering taking up fiber arts again (a craft I learned when I was much younger) now that I’m retired. I recently saw some amazing 3 dimensional work by Dominique Ehrmann.
    Looking forward to your post about the Buena Vista Social Club. I saw them perform while we were in Cuba. Most were pretty elderly, but they had a lot of enthusiasm!

    • laura bruno lilly

      Googled Dominique Ehrmann…wow. I’d love to take a class from her. Maybe a trip to Quebec is in my future?! Thank you for introducing me to this wonderful fiber artist.
      And if she doesn’t inspire you to get back into your quilting, I don’t know what else can. 🙂

  7. Andy

    I didn’t recognise that ZZ Top song by title, but of course when I played it it took me right back to my school days, and others followed by other artists in a similar event vein, maybe: Addicted To Love, Diamond Dogs and more. Thanks for the nostalgia.
    And good to see your son continuing the family’s musical tradition.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Addicted to Love and MTV…YouTube of the 80’s. While MTV blazed the way for YouTube, I think MTV produced a common-core base experience for a generation while YouTube is way too disjoint, IMHO.
      We often joke that Joe’s slice of everyday type gigs is in dive bars while my slice of gigs is in wine tasting rooms! It’s all in the family for sure. 😉

  8. Linda W.

    How awesome that you were able to attend your son’s gig. He is a sharp dressed man!! (That song brings back memories.)
    And how cool that you have that quilting project. You have a tough schedule, so I can understand the difficulty. Looks like a beautiful pattern!

    • laura bruno lilly

      Yeah, he’s pretty ‘sharp’ 🙂
      I especially like the color palette in the pre-printed fabric of this project. Makes it fun to look at when driving the ole walking foot in straight line stitching!

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