When I say I carry the Monhegan Knitting and Yoga Retreat with me all through the year, I’m not just talking about memories. I mean I carry a physical reminder nearly every day. On the 2009 trip, we had—as we always do—a pretty raucous final night (not to say the other nights were are all tea and crumpets and extended pinkies but this was one heck of a party). There was show and tell. And that was the year Eva convinced me it was high time I put on some makeup for once in my life. More accurately, she convinced me it was high time I let her put makeup on me.
Consensus was that I pretty much looked like a drag queen-- surprise surprise I can't seem to find any photos to let you see what I mean-- and the laughter this makeover prompted lasted well into the night, and spilled over to breakfast the next morning. So, no, I did not take to wearing makeup on a regular basis, and this is not what I’m talking about when I talk about carrying a reminder.
I'm talking about something else Eva gave me that night, something way better than “beauty tips." I’d admired a knitting bag she was carrying with her. She happened to pick up a new knitting bag (or six) over that the Black Duck during our stay, and so she gifted me her old knitting bag. (Please note that I also admired her diamonds, but my flattering acquisition technique did not extend to these sparkly rocks.)
Well I have since taken that bag all over the world. It’s been to the South of France and Paris. It’s been to Buenos Aires, Mexico, and Israel. It’s been all over the US. And just today I was readying it for my upcoming trip to “the other Portland,” out on the West coast this weekend. I love that bag so much, and it has become such a part of me that it's like a third kidney or something.
Fortunately, she figured it and returned to the restaurant to hand it over. I insisted that she look at what was inside, as I emphasized to her what a very good deed she’d done. I was halfway finished the second of two socks (and, maybe this pair was cursed because a few nights before I dropped the finished one at a restaurant—fortune shone on me that night, too, when a friend who stayed later than me spotted it and brought it home). Upon seeing the socks, the woman immediately voiced dramatic regret at having returned the bag to me. And you know, I think she was only half-kidding.