Last week my Mum asked me if I wanted to go up to the rented cottage our family has been fond of for years. I declined. I had too much to do, too many things to organize, was too far behind on email and should stay here and ride my bike because The Rally is in two weeks and I’m starting to have a terrible cramp when I think about it.
My mum pretty much ignored everything I was saying, and said something along the lines of “Whatever, see you Tuesday.” I got off the phone stunned, and spent the next few days trying to figure out how to cancel. (It’s really hard to cancel when you’re not sure you agreed in the first place.) I talked to my sister and she said “Whatever – see you Tuesday” and so Tuesday I just got in the car and left. It seemed easier to play along.
For the record, I love the cottage. I love Georgian Bay, I love the rocks, I love the sunsets and the sound of the wind and I love watching out for poison ivy and walking to the lighthouse and there’s really only two things that I don’t love. I don’t love backing onto the ferry to get there (I am very bad at driving backwards, and live in fear of ramming the ferry, which I’ve never done but still worry about all the time) and I don’t love that there’s not really any mobile service or internet up there. I say there’s not really any, but the truth is that there’s just enough to be a tease. Someone will get a text out of the blue, and nobody else will have service, and then it will disappear before you can answer. When I first got there I had enough internet to post to instagram, but it never surfaced again – except as I was driving along one of the roads to Big Sand Bay, and I could hardly use it then. I’ve expressed this to my mum a few times, that if there was internet I could come for longer. More than just 36 or 48 hours, because if I could work while I was on vacation then I could take more of them.
That one got me a stare, and that look my mother saves for when she thinks I’m missing the point.
As fast as the trip was, it was worth it. A freezing swim in Georgian Bay, I read an entire book in a day (The Rosie Project– grand fun, I recommend it.) I knit on the socks that I threw the last pair under the bus for.
I had fun taking pictures of the finished Emperor’s New Scarf too.
Erin thought that it looked like a tree. I do too. I’m completely in love with it, and every single chain of crochet was totally worth it, and it did get easier as it went along. By the end it was only taking me a few minutes to do each one, and I hated it less. I’m still not saying that the crochet was fun for me, but I am saying that it wasn’t too hard, and that I love the finished scarf so much I’d do it again.
It looked so at home up there, blowing in the breeze.
All in all, it was a beautiful 48 hours, and I even got a chance to set up the tent that Jen and I will share on the rally, and I made sure that the air mattress I bought fit inside. (I had to buy a new one on account of the fact that last year I took my knitting into the tent with me, and my dpn poked a hole in the air mattress. The only reason Jen didn’t kill me that night was because she’s a knitter too. This year we have a “no needles in the tent” rule that seems reasonable to both of us. There’s not much that can make the rally harder, but sleeping (or not sleeping) on rocks is right up there.)
My mum tested it for comfort. She says it’s quite good.
Now I’m home, and chained to my desk for the day, and getting ready to spend my weekend in the service of the Rally. I think Jen would agree when I say that we grossly underestimated the time commitment of being Team Leads. We’re sweeping two rides this weekend. The first in a car, and the second on our bikes, and the combo means that other than when we’re sleeping, we’re serving the cause. It’s a wonderful thing that the rally does, and I feel proud when I think of the good it does in the world, but man.
I’m going to knit the pants of off August.
PS: Because someone will ask, the stop sign is in Ojibwe. The cottage is on Beausoleil First Nations land, so the signs are in the language of their nation. It’s like how in Quebec the stop signs are in French. Canada’s big on language.
PPS. Thank you very much. Thanks to the generosity of knitters, yesterday I met my fundraising goal for the Rally. It’s been a hard year, and meeting that goal actually made me cry – and I’m not embarrassed to admit it. I did set that goal a lot lower than in previous years, knowing that things are tough all over, and I’m just so impressed and honoured to know the lot of you. Stand by for present-o-rama in the upcoming weeks. The generosity on that front has been staggering as well.
PPPS. Only because there have been some emails asking – Yes. Last year my total came in at $50 000, which is more than double where I stand now, and yes, the needs of PWA are the same, or greater than last year. If you were planning on giving, please don’t let the fact that I met my goal stop you. You can pledge me here, and I have two things to tell you. First, if everyone who reads this blog or follows me on twitter or instagram was able to give $1, that total would be staggering. Don’t think that a small donation doesn’t matter. We’re knitters, we understand how one little thing together with many other little things adds up. That’s what knitting is. Second, for the next little bit, a generous knitter who prefers to remain anonymous has pledged to match donations up to the incredible sum of $2000. Her letter was beautiful and kind and everything decent about people, and I’d like for her generosity to count as much as it can. Thank you all. As big a commitment as this ride is, it does no good at all without you behind me. You are, each and every one of you, amazing.