Home, Sweet Home
I am back home from my 4-day trip to Iowa which went just fine. Not a near-religious experience, which perhaps I expected, but just fine. Here’s the travelogue. I’ll write the knitting information later, when I get my pictures developed.
The Journey West
I got out of town 2 hours later than expected. Then I found myself 1.5 hours from home with a car overheated. I had about 5 minutes where I didn’t know what to do. Then I figured it out… a flywheel on my car was rubbing a coolant hose and it cut a hole in the hose, and then when the hose squirted the coolant on the flywheel it sprayed it all over the inside of the engine compartment. No wonder it took a while to figure out where the leak was.
In the end, I wrapped the hose with some packing tape I had, then filled it up with some water and a little coolant given to me by a nice gentleman who also stopped at the rest stop with his family (amazing the car overheated just as I pulled into a parking spot at a rest stop… I had no clue anything was wrong until that point). I drove 15 miles to a truck stop where there was a mechanic.
It was 5 minutes before 5pm on Friday at this point. This guy at the mechanic called maybe 5 places looking for the right hose with no luck. So he took the leaky hose off, cut out the bad part and put a metal pipe in it , clamping the pipe in the hose. It took 1 hour and they charged me $29. I was amazed and delighted. They could have really taken advantage of me, and the labor alone was worth more than that. Whew.
Hotel and Delay
So I drove without meandering, but couldn’t get to Nancy’s home (where I’d planned to sleep) in time for her family to sleep at a reasonable hour. I called and told her I’d find a hotel. I found a small city, Burlington Iowa, which had the last stretch of actual highway before Fairfield where I’d be studying (an hour away). Got a room for only $40. Whew. Nothing fancy but just fine.
Then I lost my eyeglasses somehow when I was in the room, wasted 45 minutes Saturday morning crawling on the floor looking behind furniture, shaking out towels, unpacking luggage. Gave up, made an “incident report” and requested that they ask the housekeeper to particularly look out for the glasses. Drove an hour to the workshop and got there 15 minutes late, could have been much worse.
Had 2 days of workshops only mildly impaired by the lack of glasses. Met some good people, learned some useful and interesting things, listened to some interesting stories, sold some of my hand-dyed yarn (paid for car repair and hotel bill, a good thing). Then the best news: I got a call that the hotel found my eyeglasses.
I drove out of Fairfield on Sunday at dinner time, after a long talk with someone (an Anna, but not Zilboorg) who lives there in Fairfield now, but used to (get this) own a house TWO DOORS down from Foster Community Center here in Lansing where I work, and only half a block from the house I owned for 5 years. Small world.
I checked out Maharishi University/Management school on the way out of town. Drove to Burlington and got my glasses. Drove to Chicago. That was a long drive, because the repair guys in Michigan somehow set off the “oh no, someone is stealing the stereo” computer chip in my car and therefore my stereo would not work at all (when I turn it on, it displays the word “SAFE” and won’t play radio or cassette at all). I don’t mind driving in silence when the sun is up but I missed my music when it got dark.
Got to Chicago 2am, stayed with my friend Iris who I haven’t seen in maybe 7 months. Didn’t get quite enough sleep but got up and drove to Lansing, got to work (CityKidz Knit) 3 minutes late. Whew! Fortunately, Luann, a volunteer from the Lansing Knitting Guild, was there handling the program until I got there.
Not too bad, really. I’m gonna crawl into bed early tonight.
All in all, It was Great
I made some friends and some acquaintances. I got some time to talk with Anna Zilboorg and Merike Saarnit who ended up staying at Nancy’s house the night I was there. Tried to listen more than I talked… but with my excitement it was a big job to stay quiet. I tend to bubble over at the mouth when I’m excited.
We ate some wonderful food, including two meals at a fabulous Indian restaurant. (How can a town of 12,000 have this much good food, and my town be so lacking?) I got to drive in a part of my country that I have not seen yet. I got to take a solo driving trip again. (My last one further than Chicago was when I went to a retreat in Vermont in August 2000.) I love driving alone, but it has been a long time.
A Surprising Extra
Oh, the unexpected cool thing was I got a LOT of knitting done even besides that in the workshop. Love it. My sweater even has a collar now. All I need to do is make two sleeve cuffs, fix a hem that is flipping up very badly, and figure out how to trim the steek seam allowances inside the armholes which are too bulky right now, because I picked up stitches a good 1.5 inches further in than I had expected.
I Would Do it Again
I’m very glad I took the trip. I think I’ll stay in touch with a few of the folks I met out there. Anna, the one who used to live in Lansing, says she will be visiting here in early August. We’ll surely meet then. And time will tell how much of what I learned in the workshop will help me in my daily knitting. But meeting Nancy, Anna Z., Merike, and the rest of the workshop attendees was worthwhile, and now I’m a richer person for the entire experience.
I didn’t have a digital camera so I’ll get pics as soon as I can. More on the knitting to follow…