There are some things I learned while I was away. Big things. Important things, things that I wouldn’t have learned otherwise.
(This is all to distract you from the fact that I left my camera – complete with seriously cool pictures- in Boston. Alison is a sweet pea, and is sending it back to me ASAP, but alas…I am photoless at this time.) Here are some things that I learned on this first leg of the tour.
1. I am a chicken in every possible way you can imagine. I am afraid to get on planes. I am afraid to meet new people.
Every moment of every day that I am out of my element I am scared out of my mind. The only time that I feel ok is when I am talking about knitting with knitters while knitting. Buying yarn also takes the edge right off.
(Mentally insert image of new yarn here. There is less than you would think, but still an engaging amount of yarn. I’m leaving on Friday and I have a new plan. This time, I’m leaving the ball winder and swift at home, and using that space for wool. Almost everywhere I bought yarn had a ball winder and swift anyway. Besides, I think the presence of the many metal pairs of needles, the metal swift and the odd appearance of the ball winder may have had something to do with how often I was selected by Homeland Security for additional screening.)
2. Thank god I wrote a book about knitting. Given the above, if I had written (somehow) a book about carrots, my life would be a whole world of hurt right now.
3. I will not go into a restaurant and eat by myself. I would rather starve to death sitting at the edge of a hotel bed clutching a new skein of sock yarn than go down there and order a stinking bowl of soup all alone. Who knew?
4. If you leave your family for 6 days, when you come back every single surface of your house will be sticky. No one will be able to tell you why, or with what, or why they didn’t do anything when they noticed that the wall by the phone/floor by the tv/stairs/cat/side of the piano was sticky.
5. I am not replaceable. My children need me and I need them.
(this is really interesting, since all I have wanted since they were born was an afternoon off….and now that I am away from them I wish nothing more than to ask Amanda how her day was, tell Meg that online “chat” is out of the question and she can’t pierce anything and sit with Sam while she does her homework and I boogle that she is smarter than me.) Every moment that i was away I itched to call them.
Do not worry about me. Now that I have been home for a couple of days they are driving me straight out of my tree again.
6. I love new places.
7. I love my home.
8. I am a creature of interesting contrasts.
9. I need to arrange some sort of convention and petition to begin supplying vegetarian sandwiches in airports. I cannot possibly let this go for another moment. I’m not being difficult, I’m not even suggesting Vegan. Would it really be so hard to get a stinking cheese sandwich into an airport shop somewhere in
North America without slapping a slice of ham next to it?
10. Toronto weather sucks. EVERYWHERE is warmer than here. It’s down to zero again tonight and I am bummed. Boston and New York are on the same line of latitude and they have flowering trees. Get it Together Toronto. Could we try letting the daffs come up and then not threatening them? I’ve got other places I could be. (Psst…Rams, how’s the weather in Kalamazoo?)
11. I miss talking with Joe when I am away. This is ironic, since he drives me out of my mind when we are at home. I believe that this idiosyncratic opposition is called “love”.
(Mentally insert picture of the flowers Joe gave me when I came home. They are lovely pink tulips. He has never looked gladder to see me. Imagine that..)
12. I was right about two things. Firstly, knitters are interesting and engaging people. It is totally enough to be knitters. You can jet a nervous and decidedly odd Canadian knitter into another country and drop her in the middle of a whack of knitters just about anywhere, no matter how different the politics, the dialect, the food or the yarn they will have something to talk about. They will get along famously and they will be acting like old friends in minutes.
Knitting *is* enough of a starting place.
Secondly, shawl knitting is totally the right thing for planes.
(Mentally insert picture of the shawl I’m knitting here. Imagine that it is sort of looking scrunched on the needle but that you can see that I have finished the vertical “stems” and am ready to begin the “blossoms”. While you are at it, you can mentally insert an image of my cherry tree flowering. It’s a huge honking lie…but if I’ve been reduced to mental images, they might as well be good ones. Make me taller while you are at it.)