I meant to send you several postcards from Squam. Blogging, tweeting… I was going to show you what it was like while I was there, but the combination of teaching and being busy and having spotty wi-fi meant that I didn’t. (Also, there was an afternoon where I had to choose between a swim in the lake and a blog entry, and you lost. I’m not sorry either.) Sadly for you, that means there were no postcards. Happily for you, I’m now at home, and you get all of them at once.
#1. Squam is pretty.
#2. So pretty. (That was our dock. Every cabin has one, and we made the most of ours.)
#3. Somebody yarnbombed the snot out of the place. Everywhere you went, the woods, the classrooms, doorknobs… Yarn-o-rama. Makes a knitter feel at home, let me tell you, though I can’t stop wondering who’s job it was to keep track of where they all were and remove them after.
#4. There were pom-poms hanging everywhere. You’d be walking through the woods and there one would be. A little yarnish note.
#5. If you ever have to go on a road trip with anyone, go with us. Not only were my carmates kind, funny and easy-going (and yes, that car is full of yarn)… we did a car lunch that you would have died for.
#6. Like fresh lemonade.
#7. Like little individual pasta salads in wee mason jars, and camping cutlery with real cloth napkins, tied up with a little hand-dyed silk.
#8. Like a cheese tray and home made crackers. (Sheep’s milk cheese, naturally.)
#9. Denny even made lavender wands for us to hang from the suit hooks of the van. (Heaven knows we have no suits.)
#10. The baby we took with us (Marlowe) was a constant source of entertainment and joy. (That smile? That was on her face for all 5 days, including the 11 hour car ride each way.)
#11. She even liked going to classes.
#12. Except when she looked like this.
#13. That means that mostly, her mum looked like this.
#14. We shared a cabin with Amanda (aka Soulemama, though I like first names, don’t you?) and it turns out I like her as much as her blog. Despite our different lives (she has a farm, I have a city) we share many values, especially around families, the very young, and trying to live in a way that treads lightly on the earth and those that we meet. I haven’t told her yet, but we’re going to be pen pals.
#15. It turns out that one thing that Amanda and I have in common is a complete and total lack of direction. We were separately lost in the woods in exactly the same way a few times, and arrived at the cabin relieved that we weren’t going to have to live out among the trees, wandering hopelessly and eating bark and lichen. It was eventually decided that we must never set out together, alone. We were grateful.
#16. We taught, we talked, we ate, we laughed, and that means that my friends looked like this.
I love them. I love Squam. Today, there is laundry, and no groceries, and an exploding inbox, and a dirty bathroom – but before this, there was a lake, and clever students, and a beautiful space and … I love Squam. I wish you’d been there.
PS. #17. On the first day there, the Torontonians learned about ticks and were repulsed and afraid. Ticks are far more common in the US than they are in Ontario, and we were absolutely flabbergasted by the laissez faire attitude our American friends showed towards a bloodsucking arachnid that stuck its head in your body and was hard to remove. We spend four days fearing them and looking for them and feeling them crawl on our bodies, even though they weren’t there. On the last night, we breathed a sigh of relief that we’d avoided the disgusting things entirely. That was moments before a half dressed Denny burst out of the bathroom screaming "TIIIIIICCCCCCKKKK!!!" and there one was, stuck to her leg. She closed her eyes, we all smothered her in love, and Megan removed it from her with tweezers while we all said helpful things like "Be sure and get the head!" (We heard that from someone. Seemed central.) The tick was removed (as well as the head) Denny took a shower and was rewarded with a big glass of cider. Peace reigned for 10 minutes until I felt a little lump on my leg under my pants. I pulled up my pant leg and saw it.
TICK. The hysterical scene repeated itself. Megan screamed "I’LL GET THE TWEEZERS" and Jen yelled "I’LL GET THE CAMERA."
Denny and I have 96 combined years on the planet and we each got our first tick in 15 minutes. We feel lucky to have escaped with our lives.
PPS – Because someone will worry. Not a deer tick. No risk of Lyme Disease. Disgusting, but not dangerous. Thanks for caring.