Like the witch riding her broom just in front of the tornado, I managed to get back about two hours before the big storm hit our coast on Saturday. Parking in the driveway before the trees blew sideways involved getting up at 5:30 AM and driving from Cobleskill New York to Searsport Maine almost non-stop but the pay off was worth the effort- the storm was spectacular and made even better because Steven had arranged a picnic dinner to be enjoyed beside the fire…bring on the waves crashing over the retaining walls!
It was a marvelous trip. I had amazing weather during the time JJ (the boxer) and I were camping in Rhinebeck NY and the Sheep and Wool Festival reminded me of a medieval market only faintly covered with 21st century trappings…I learned so much about fleeces and felting and knitting and spinning…and if you haven’t seen a sheep to shawl contest…you’re missing out on some real “Reality TV” competition. Four teams competed against each other to take a raw fleece (straight off the sheep) and create a wearable shawl in four hours…let me tell you, those spinners know how to work fast and the weaver was a genuine task master as he or she pushed the spinners to go faster and faster… I don’t think I’d work that well under pressure.
While there I saw some old friends from Fiber College and met others that I sincerely hope will join us in the years to come. I bought some new combs for my wool, journaled some great ideas for fantasitical birds made from felt and embellished with beads, clay, feathers and more wool and resolved to spin a different breed of sheep fleece each time I take on a new project until I really can feel the nuances of breed type in my hand…now if only I could add a few hours to each day!
While in NY I camped at Mills Norrie State Park…yup, the site I chose over the internet was terrible (see my previous posting for my pre-trip travails). My site was beside a gaggle of drinking boys (I’m sure getting old) but the ranger took good care of me and I ended up on the perfect site. The hiking was fantastic and if you’re looking for a place to spend a few days or a week, consider this part of the Hudson River…but pack flip flops for the bathroom…those showers are disgusting.
When the Festival was over JJ and I drove to Erie PA for some hiking and then on to Elkhart Indiana for a week with Aram, Shelley and their boys (my brother and family). It was fun to discover their world and it was made ever sweeter by the friendliness of everyone I met. It’s true, mid-westerners are remarkably nice. Urban renewal is strong in Elkhart and all through my travels I made a point of looking for great parks and interesting hikes. I’m curious…why is it so hard to find the parks and museums and so easy to find Home Depot and Wal-Mart?… I know it’s a marketing thing but when will we start recognizing that it’s the green spaces that make a place unique…not the strip malls?
So now I’m home and living the reality of work that piles up when you check out for 15+ days. Everything seemed so manageable while I was thinking about it in the abstract but in reality I’m going to have to put my nose to the grindstone to get on track. But I have a real question for you and genuinely would like a response…sort of a poll. If you’re like me, when Christmas time rolls around, I love to hear from friends and family but the whole holiday sort of overwhelms me. This year, I’m consideringing of sending Happy Spring cards instead of Happy Holiday cards…would you think that odd?