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This part of the story of how I learned to weave baskets, is complex to explain, even though it has been replayed in my mind a thousand times since it happened.

For one it is hard to fathom this happening and then having people question whether there is a God, Supreme Being, or other supernatural force in the universe that looks out after us. I still get chills to this day when I get self doubt as to just how I learned to do this.

Believe me when I tell you basket weaving was the furthest thing from anything I had ever wanted to do in life.

My mother took care of her grandmother and parents, not believe they should go to homes in old age, however my great grandmother did go to the Showalter Sisters home in Dayton VA,  3 unmarried Black Bumper Mennonite sisters that never married and cared for 3 women at a time. When my grandmother died and my grandfather needed care. So the Showalter sisters agreed to take my great grand mother.

So years later and myself coming from  a Mennonite background had this same belief,however our family background was Mennonite several generations back, and  were from Pennsylvania. also our family were Brethren in Virginia.

Now, this brings us to me being the oldest in the family, I felt that when and if a time came when mom was older that she needed care I would need to have an income from something that I could do at home to help generate an income. Troubled after weeks of thinking what I could do and of course I would have to start soon so that I would have a customer base built up when the time came ( would be years or decades later).

I will admit that I tried to think of things on my own to do, however in the end I did turn to God for advice. Really feeling deeply that I had do something I turned to fasting and prayer for 7 days, however disappointed that I was only able to make it 4 days without eating, I went  to bed that night and fell asleep, Awakened in my sleep (I was asleep and heard someone calling my name) now in the dream which is what I call a Void Dream (have had others ) where there is no picture, just darkness. the voice that called my name said  to me “God has felt your fasting and heard your prayers” ~ the answer to you is~ You will be a basket weaver, from nothing that shalt create something, something you will create from nothing!   As your hands move, so hands of God moves with you. !  The dream ended and I set straight up in bed. …………….A Basket Weaver! ………..A  Basket Weaver, surely God got my prayers mixed up with someone else’s, ………………..God  made  a mistake………(then I thought better of that last statement and asked for forgiveness)

Now days, weeks month and years passed with me doing nothing on the response to my prayers, pondering on it over all that time, from time to time, still wondering what in the world was God  thinking………………..A Basket Weaver, think of the mockery, people made jokes all the time about people going to college for 4 years, and all they had to show for all that time and money was taking Basket Weaving 101.  No I don’t want to be a basket weaver.

Three years passed and I got a call at work one day, saying Mom had a mini stroke, well this jolted me into another 3 days this time of fasting and prayer (foolish me thinking I would finally get another response) once again the voice calling in the darkness of my dream, and the voice this time replied saying.


The next morning  I was sitting in the garden in the midst of my perennial borders, I remember looking at a David Austin Rose in full  bloom (hundreds of blooms)  that my friend Diane gave to me it was Graham  Stuart  Thomas, I still remember that day vividly in my mind  Abraham Darby was the rose beside of it blooming in full regalia, another David Austin rose, thinking of all the ways God had blessed me with flowers and my lush perennial border,,so beautiful. it was about 6 am on a summer morning. A voice called my name, (audible) no one was there, again a voice called my name, the the voice said you have been told what to do, and no matter how long you wait the answer will always be the same, YOU WILL BE  A BASKET WEAVER!  When you choose to accept this from God all you have to do is tell God you will accept it, any where and at anytime and it will happen.

I will admit to the next several nights being the most restless nights that I have ever had, tossing and turning, not sleeping. Finally I was at work on the shipping line, palletizing boxes and said OK LORD you win, I have no idea why a basket weaver but I will be a basket weaver. I don’t have much money at the time only $50.00 to my name to invest in anything (a voice said you will have what you need) I thought in a split second I have no idea how or where to even find basketry supplies.

I got off work several hours later and it was beautiful calm day, sunny and warm,  not  a cloud in sight, I pulled up in front of my mothers house and she was on the front porch, suddenly from no where the wind started blowing, Mom commented there is no storm, where did the wind come from, news papers started blowing up the street, Mom said pick those up, I did, and the wind stopped and a voice said look down, and in the crumpled up mass of news papers looking up at me was an advertisement  in a block ad, saying “CUPP’S BASKETS AND SUPPLIES, RT 340 ELKTON, VA”

I ran into the house and called and she said she would be open the next  day if I left work  at 3:30 I could get over there before she closed. I went over there  the next day not knowing anything, had not a clue what I was to pick up. I got there and remembered sitting in the car, and saying what do I buy?  A voice said you will know what to get when you go in. 

Cathy Cupp the owner at the time asked if she could help me? I said no I have been given a list of supplies, how long have you been weaving she asked, never,this is the first time, she aid who is teaching you, (well I tell you, just meeting someone for the very first time you don’t blurt out GOD) she asked if the person has been weaving a long time ? I said yes, you might say that.

I will tell you right now that I never remembered actually picking up the supplies in my hands, though I remember moving around the shop, I had two 12 inch oak hoops in my hand, Cathy said oh no people don’t start out with 12” hoops that is too big for your first basket, I said well this is what I was told to get, she said perhaps you should get 8” hoops I said I really don’t think I want to go back  and say you made a mistake (been there done that) OK. I paid for everything and went to the car and looked at what I had 2 – 12 “ oak hoops,coil of round reed, and narrow flat reed.

I thought I just spent this money and have no  idea how to do anything. the voice said you will.

Part 3~ GOD’s CLASSROOM~ explains the learning experience, and just knowing how to do these things.