Saturday, September 19, 2015

Monhegan Island 2015 Episode Six!

Hey Y'all!
I'm at JFK for my 700-hour layover. I thought I'd put up some more photos for your enjoyment. Thank you all for another AMAZING Knitting and Yoga Adventures Monhegan Island Retreat! I had so much fun and I'm very happy you did, too. Big shout out to Norah Gaughan who is SO AMAZING. And who fixed my cable mistake this morning at around 6 am up at staff house. I finally, finally settled into my knitting on the plane from Portland to NY. Yes, I keep fumbling, but then I keep figuring out how to fix it. To me that is incredible progress. I learned how to read charts on Monhegan Island (thanks Susan for that!). And each year I return is, among other things, a reminder of how much my knitting has improved thanks to these trips. 

I already miss the island and Holden and Sue and all y'all! Very sorry if I did not get to tell you goodbye at the dock. We had to hustle to get Liz and me to the airport. I hope the yarn crawl was a blast. Don't forget to LIKE OUR KNITTING AND YOGA ADVENTURES FACEBOOK PAGE-- great way to stay in touch and keep up with these posts.

Safe travels!
See you next year!


Friday, September 18, 2015

Monhegan Island 2015 Episode Five!

Somehow it is our last full day on the island. HOW DOES THAT HAPPEN?  Well it is a beautiful day out there so I am going to make haste with this post and get out and hike a gazillion miles and knit a gazillion stitches. Or maybe I'll just look at the light on the water.

Yesterday some of us started out VERY early. I got up at 5 am and meditated then dashed from staff house to Monhegan House to meet up with a few brave souls who wanted to join me on the annual Sunrise Walk, which I take in honor of my wonderful friend Isabel, who I came to know on the island. She left way too soon, but she taught me so much. You can read a bit of her story at this link.

Yes, I knitted whilst waiting for the sun to pop up. Also, you can't tell from this picture, but I spent a good bit of time swatting at the swarm of seagull-sized mosquitoes that went after me relentlessly. I refused to be driven away.

Tenacity and crazy waking hours paid off big time. Look at that sunrise. So glorious. And the light on the water. For me it always always comes back to the light on the water.

During our wee hours hike we spotted a flock of bird watchers. Apparently they get up even earlier than knitters. I think they continue to think our hobby is very odd, whilst we continue to think theirs is. Though that said we do have a couple of crossover members in our group this year who actually can spot and identify all kinds of birds. I have yet to see a birder knitting.

Back at Monhegan House Joe allowed for a quick selfie before hooking me up to a coffee IV, which was much needed since I'd already been up for hours and, to understate it, I am not a morning person. Joe and Kyle and Meagan have been taking super great care of us at all of our meals. Thanks guys!

Mary Alice in her standard Waiting to Send Someone Else to Bliss Land pose outside of the massage room. Mary Alice is a most amazing massage therapist, a two-time member of the Olympic Massage Team, and a frequent volunteer at the Beach-to-Beacon runs in Portland.

I led the hike yesterday to Lobster Cover. It's always an extra fun adventure when I play guide since I have such a bad sense of direction that the other morning, with Norah as my witness, I attempted to step onto the back deck of staff house and instead walked into the bathroom. This was several days into our stay there. Somehow I managed to get folks to the cove. Liz and I had a wonderful talk on the rocks about how fleeting time is and the importance of enjoying EVERY SINGLE MOMENT. (And, I might add, every single stitch.)

Here she is, the original Human Dynamo, Monhegan House Linchpin, and the one person on the planet who can keep Holden in line. That's right, it's Sue! Yay Sue! This woman makes me seem like a slowpoke. And as you can see, she also makes me seem like Andre the Giant. (For the record, I'm 5'5".) Thanks Sue!

Though it hardly surprises me anymore, I remember when I first met Eva and watched her knit. I have never met a fast knitter. Well okay, there was this one guy at El Mercado in San Miguel de Allende, but besides him? EVA IS OFF THE CHARTS with speed. And she is, as you can see, on the charts with her knitting. She knocked this out in two days. Go girl!


The flowers. SO MANY FLOWERS. And so many butterflies. And so much sunshine. And such a blue sky. And so many stars at night. This place! Plus: so much knitting!

 Almost done a mitten. (Not me. I won't even try the mittens.)

 So much dedication and concentration. There is a LOT of knitting happening here. A lot.

 Wait. Did I mention Monhegan Island is My Happy Place? Oh I did? Well let me say it again. HAPPY PLACE!!!

I always love seeing laundry on the line being whipped around by a sea breeze. This year I got to be an active participant in this particular source of joy. As it happens I am wildly allergic to poison ivy. And despite my vigilance, I must've brushed up against some. I have poison ivy splashed all over my body. I couldn't figure out which piece of clothing was the likely culprit so I just washed everything. Happily we have a washer at staff house, though I wonder if I might've tried beating my clothes on the rocks if we had not? I hung it all up and delighted in watching my clothes become animated. Then I forgot to take the laundry in when it was dry and so by the time I got home last night it was wet again from the sea damp. Leaving me with no clothes this morning except some tights (tights are not pants!) and a couple of shirts. I was thus forced to pluck a wet skirt off the line and wear it. I've had worse problems.

Being around birdwatchers all week has really helped me to hone my own birdwatching skills. Last night I was able to stealthily move in on this rare Red-Combed Black-Winged species. Not sure of exactly what kind of bird it is, but I felt very blessed to be able to spot it without binoculars. Lucky me!

Last night a bunch of us went to the super fancy Island Inn for grub. Eva set the fashion pace. 

I ate this Tower of Tomatoes. That's not actually what they called it, but I changed the name. I think I will try to knit a version of this. Such lovely colors. And my special skill-set-- not being able to knit anything evenly-- surely will lend itself to success with this planned project.

We said no to dessert. But who we were kidding. We quickly switched our answer to yes.
And that, people, was yesterday! Now it's time for me to go run around and soak up as much of this place as I can before the long flight home.
More soon,