Friday, October 3, 2008

Alas-- We Couldn't Stay Forever

Posted by Spike Gillespie

And so it came to pass (sigh) that it was time to pack up our needles and our mats and head back home. Though let me backtrack and say that on Friday night, post-lobster, we had a great surprise Awards Event thanks to Louise, Gina and Brenda and everyone was a winner and we all won the same thing—a lovely ball of yarn. Then, post awards, we had a great Show & Tell, where we demonstrated what a skilled and speedy bunch we are. And then some of us, because we could not resist, broke off and went into the knitting room (which the birders had referred to as, “Oh look! They have a children’s room!”) to watch the first presidential debate.

I stayed up very late, bound and determined to finish my bag, which I did. I can no longer remember for certain, but I do think I broke down and packed Friday night, even though I wanted to put it off til Saturday morning. How I managed to cram in all my new acquisitions—even with the help of my new bag—is beyond me. Boy did I accumulate a lot on this trip, every single bit of it most welcome.

Saturday morning found us contemplating what breakfast items might be most likely to stay down on the predicted-bumpy-ferry-ride-back. Or at least would look the least unattractive down the fronts of ourselves, should hurling become unavoidable. My waitress recommended the raspberry muffin, and I concurred. To my great joy, I looked up and noted Alarmist Bird Man, yes, back in the lobby and, yes, back on the phone.

Feigning Important Business out by the front desk, I went to eavesdrop, eager to hear his latest prediction that we were all heading to Davy Jones’ locker in short order. Then, talk about luck, I discovered he’d actually be on the Laura B. with us as we headed back.

Our beloved Holden hauled our not insignificant mountain of collected luggage down to the dock in his truck, as we hoofed it behind him. We waited for the boat to unload sundry supplies for the islanders and then—all aboard.

Okay, okay, much as I hate to admit it here, Alarmist Bird Man was, if not entirely correct, somewhat accurate in his predictions that we were going to be riding rough waves on the way in. I suppose we could call it a Swell Time, but really, I prefer the word “swell” when it is used as an adjective, not a noun. Up we rode and back down again. Everyone got very quiet—even ABM. I kept telling myself something along the lines of what I told myself that time I rode a horse along a dangerous mountain cliff in Mexico. South of the Border my mantra to stave off fear had been: This horse wants to get home. This horse will get me home. Up north in the Atlantic, I reminded myself the boat wants to get back. The boat will get back.

[The Patty Duke Show 2008]
And get back, it did, living up to the title of the newspaper article I saw hanging on the cabin wall: The Venerable Laura B (though I confess at one point I thought it said The Vulnerable Laura B). Only one of us tossed cookies (I’m not saying who). And I don’t know about the rest of the gang, but my stomach was wobbly much of the rest of the day.

[This place needs to be outlawed.]
I did find some calm when we stopped at Halcyon Yarn in Bath, where I loaded up on notions, a pair of needles, and some irresistible Noro sock yarn. I also, despite my stomach’s poor attitude, filled up on a crab roll from Day’s, a shack on the way back to Portland. Oh that was a fine, fine meal. (And for the record, I did gain five pounds on the trip—Damn you, Holden and your whoopee pies, too!)

[Day's Shack-o-Crab-and-Lobster-Rolls]

Those of us who hadn’t parted ways in Port Clyde said our farewells and went our separate ways. For my part, I rented a car at the airport and headed a couple of hours north to visit an old boyfriend I’d dated for about five minutes back in the eighties. His wife is a serious knitter and she’s getting ready to teach her two little kids to knit, too. The kids were so cute, and so fascinated with my stitch markers and mini-Chaka-Chaka that we invented a little math game: use the clicker to count the markers. This is the kind of homeschooling I can get behind. [I can't believe I at the whole thing.]

I’m writing this on Friday, just about a week after my return. I just got back from my personal den of sin, Hill Country Weavers (don’t let the name fool you—the place is packed with yarn) where I found myself breathlessly telling Suzanne, the owner, all about our most unforgettable journey. I’ve been on countless trips in my life, and to roughly eighty bazillion parties and I have to say that the knitting and yoga adventure easily lands at the top of the list. Can’t wait to see you all next year.

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