Monday, September 21, 2009
Oh Yes, Oh Yes, Oh YES!! The Knitters Have Landed!
I am more excited than a little kid who asked for a stick horse for my birthday and wound up getting a real, live pony! Which is my way of saying, YES! I am, at long last, back on Monhegan Island. Most everyone else got here yesterday-- taking the van from Portland and catching the ferry over before it stopped running for the day.
As for me-- courtesy of a work schedule that had me stuck in Austin Saturday night combined with the crazy challenge of getting anything that remotely resembles a semi-direct flight to Maine-- well, I got up at 3:45 a.m. on Sunday morning, was on my first plane by 5:30 a.m. And even with my flights running smooth and on time, it still took me over seven hours to get to Portland. So the downside was I missed traveling out with the big group and I missed the opening night dinner, which I heard was out of this world.
On the other hand... I got the very special treat of being picked up at the airport by Mary Alice, who again joins us to give massages to everyone. Oh boy oh boy! She came inside the airport and everything, which made me feel like royalty, to see her waiting at the bottom of the escalator. We stopped at Day's on the way to Port Clyde, and we each had a crab roll and a Salty Dog root beer, the ultimate local cuisine. (Though I suppose some folks might insist the lobster roll is a better choice. Well, I like crab...)
MA and I stayed at the Mill Pond House B&B, just two miles outside of Port Clyde. We had those awesome twin beds like they had on TV shows in the olden days. I felt like we were at camp, or grandmother's house or something. My goal was to stay up "late" enough so that I didn't wake up at 3 a.m. again. Boy was it hard to keep my eyes open past 7. But MA and I had some great conversation, some reading time, and then a little bit of the Dallas/NY football game.
I slept like a rock, or a baby, or maybe a baby rock. Whatever. When I woke up at 5:30 a.m. to head down and catch the ferry, I was pumped. There was a chill in the air! And so, as I am fond of doing whenever the weather dips down below 80 degrees (which is cold in Texas), yes, I put on my wool socks, hat, gloves and scarf. Like I said to my boyfriend when I was packing for the trip, "I CAN'T WAIT TO SHOW ALL MY KNITTING TO MY KNITTING FRIENDS!!" No better way to do that than to show up at Monhegan House wrapped head to toe in wool.
We had some good coffee down at the dock, and observed with wonder that the little store in Port Clyde apparently has EVERYTHING. Not just "most stuff," but EVERYTHING. Pretty incredible. Then we hopped on the Laura B for a baby-bottom-smooth ride over. Much different than our ride back last year when the water was, uh... let's just say a little choppy. At one point, I even saw a seal swim by-- a seal! They are such magnificent creatures. I want to make sweaters for them.
Not a lot of people on the boat this morning-- some of those crazy birders. In case you missed the story last year, we seem to share retreat week with these bird watchers who are totally geeked out in their binoculars and sundry other birder gear. They like to come to MH and observe us at meal times, as if we are birds and also as if we are very hard of hearing. They will stage whisper to each other about us, wondering aloud how anyone could be so passionate about something as silly as knitting-- of course not realizing that if we're kettles, they most certainly are pots.
All in good fun though, and we called out a cheerful Good Morning! as we ran into a number of them on our first "warm up" hike around the island. We walked just about an hour, taking our time as we got acquainted and reacquainted -- there are lots of returning knitters from past years. Now I'm going to go sit on the porch and knit and wait for our first batch of whoopie pies. Er, I mean, our first group knitting session, which starts in a couple of hours.
I HEART MONHEGAN ISLAND! I HEART KNITTING!