I should know by now that things are never as I imagine them to be. Sometimes they’re better, and sometimes they’re worse and sometimes they’re a total surprise, but they’re never as I imagined them. Last week I set out for Squam, and over the course of the weekend, I decided not to go home. Well, I didn’t decide not to go home really, it was that Joe and I were talking about how it would be – to drive Toronto to New Hampshire, then home, then turn around a few days later and drive back for the Fingerlakes Fiber Festival and all of a sudden it sounded stupid. I can’t drive at night – and I mean that. It’s not an affectation or a difficulty or a preference or a fear, I actually am not legally permitted to run that thing in the dark, such is the nature of my vision, and that turned two of the drives into two day trips and… the time in the car sounded stupid. Going home and turning around and coming back turned this week into a slog of epic proportions, and it slowly just dawned on us… Why do it? Why not slow down, take a breath, stay through and make my way slowly to the festival, and arrive sane. Didn’t I want to be sane?
It turns out I do. (I know, I was as shocked as you are.) I’m me, so then I started to worry. What would I do with my time? Where would I go? What hotel would I stay in and where would I have dinner and also – I didn’t bring enough yarn or underpants because I thought I was coming home and… and… it turns out those aren’t really big problems. I don’t get to this part of the country much except when I’m here to do something, so the idea of time here – well. After ten deep breaths I figured it out. I thought it was going to be lonely and strange and it’s been like that a little, but mostly I figured it out.
What I have done this week:
1. I have gone to bed early and gotten up early.
2. I have had less time than I thought, since my regular work still has to happen.
3. I ate at Taco Bell out of sheer panicky desperation. It was like eating food that had all been extruded – if indeed it was food. I’m not sure.
4. I stayed at a friends house and picked kale and met goats and read stories to her kids (the human ones, not the goat ones) and had a very nice time.
5. I had a dinner there that was the last time I’ve eaten anything resembling real food. I remember it fondly.
6. I have watched the entire final season of Fringe while knitting on the blanket at night.
(It had a pretty satisfying ending. The blanket has not, although tonight I think I’ll finish the middle part.)
7. I went to WEBS all stealth and hung out in the warehouse –
or at least I thought I did. I shopped all by myself and had normal interactions with a few normal knitters who didn’t know who I was and then I went to the desk to pay (yeah, I got some yarn) and the nice lady at the desk said "Are you on our mailing list?" and I said "Um, pretty sure" and she said "Oh yeah, there you are" and I was in the car feeling smug about being stealth when I realized I’d never given her my name.
8. I had lunch with my friend Linda, who also happens to be my agent. Usually when we’re together it’s work, and this time we got to just be friends and it was really, really lovely.
9. We went to a bookstore together, and really, a writer and a literary agent in a bookstore is the best thing ever. Linda told me about SnapTell. You take a picture of the book you want to remember, and the app recognizes it, tells you all about it and saves it in a list. Darned handy, and much better than scrawling the name on the back of a receipt in your pocket.
10. I tried to take pictures of the drive to show you how pretty the Berkshires are, and how amazing the Erie Canal is, but they sort of suck because you can’t look when you’re taking car pictures. (Well, I guess technically you could, but I choose life.)
Actually, when I stopped to buy coffee and looked at them, I was pretty surprised at how good they were.
11. I have decided that this time was cool. It wasn’t what I imagined -which was either wild adventure (really- I don’t know who I think I am sometimes) or a strange knitter sitting alone in a Super-8 motel wishing she was home either. (That was just one night.) I have been a little lonely, but not too much. Mostly I have been me, only in different places and six states.
12. Today I am going to try and be brave and have an adventure. I am driving from Utica to the Finger Lakes, and there has to be something between here and there.
See you Monday, with sheep pictures. I’m sure of it.