I can’t blame you if you aren’t – I have been neglectful of our relationship. I hope you will forgive me and come back.
When last I posted – over a week ago – I told you I would be going to PA this past weekend, and while that is NO EXCUSE for not writing, it is in fact what I did.
But that sounds so simple. Going to Pennsylvania.
Just for a day, really, although three days are needed for the trip. I did not think it would be a huge big deal. I was very much looking forward to seeing where my nieces live now, and where niece C (the younger, if you are trying to keep track of them all) goes to college. She is a sophomore now, and 19 years old. WOW. She was just born last week, you know.
So, the plan was to rent a comfortable car in Bangor, pick it up with Mom so we could both be legal drivers on it, and then pick up niece B after her Friday class and head out together. Mom would drive the first part (in daylight, in Maine) and I would do the dark hours of driving after that. I would knit peacefully while she drove. We would drop B off at her home and then proceed to our hotel. I had told them it would be a late check in when I made the reservation, so no problem there as long as we were there by 2. Saturday we would connect with C, see her college, then take her home to her house where we would visit with her mom, and leave both girls, then we would head back to the hotel, planning an early pick up Sunday morning and a long drive back, with Monday to recover and return the rental car.
Sounds a bit crazy but not bad. B said it takes her “about 8 hours” to get home from Bangor.
Here’s what really happened:
I started coming down with a cold on Thursday. I got some non-drowsy drugs and a box of tissues and pretended I would be fine. Mom forgot that she had a class when all these plans were made, so instead of leaving Bangor at about 3, we left Rockland at about 6. Thus, instead of having two drivers on the rental car, we had one. Instead of 8 hours, it turns out it takes 10 because there is construction in Connecticut, even in the middle of the night. A panicked call to the hotel let them know we would not make it by 2. Fortunately, they were OK with that, and glad we called. So FINALLY at something after 3 am, we dropped B off at home and really hoped the barking dog wouldn’t wake anyone but me. It was 4 am when we closed the door of our hotel room and collapsed. But not until after getting a text from C saying she would like to meet us at 10.
We struggled up at 8, showered, went downstairs to breakfast, and texted her “where are we meeting you?” only to find she had overslept, and could we come at noon instead? Certainly we could, and we tried not to think of the two hours of sleep we could have had…
Instead, we looked up the address of a yarn store I had found on-line. (Yes, when going someplace new, I always google yarn stores just to see what I can find!) In this case, I found “Gosh Yarn It” in Kingston, just over the river from Wilkes Barre! We thought it was near the college (it was) and that we could get in and out in under an hour (pretty close!)
It is tucked into a nondescript office-type building on a main street, luckily had good signage, so we got there with no trouble. Although small, it had a very nice layout and a good selection. I was looking for Lamb’s Pride, which it mentioned on the website, but couldn’t find it anywhere. I asked, finally, and the store clerk told me that the website isn’t up to date, they are having trouble as the webmaster went out of business. Sigh. Advice we always give new businesses – make sure you own your website. You just never know what the future will bring.
So, no Lamb’s Pride (although they offered to order some for me), but a wealth of other gorgeous yarn and really adorable project bags. Lots of Madeline Tosh, I drooled all over it, and many other fine yarns, some I had never heard of, some I had. I almost made it out without spending a dime, can you believe it? I say almost, because as I was perusing the Tosh Light, I saw a cowl that was just plain gorgeous. And so simple! Called Panda Food, it is much like the worm hat everyone has made and loved, it alternates bands of stockinette and reverse stockinette. But it is knit in stripes, and has a cool looking carry-stitch feature (like bamboo, or panda food.) The tag said “free pattern with yarn purchase.” Someday someone should remind me that patterns aren’t that expensive – much cheaper to just buy the pattern. But I knew immediately which yarn I had to have for it, and scooted back across the store to some hand-dyed gradient yarns I had seen. Sure enough, the package had enough colors and yardage in it for this pattern, and there was a big skein that matched that would do for the main color. So, $65 later, I had my free pattern and we were back on the road.
C came to greet us in the lobby of her dorm, I was quite impressed with the security there – we had to show ID and be signed in before we could go upstairs. Her room was amazingly neat and tidy, and though small, she and her roommate had made it very homey. Then she gave us a quick campus tour – it’s a small school, but very pretty, and she seemed very much at home and comfortable there. It is amazing how much she has grown up since I last saw her! Beautiful inside and out, she is learning and growing and expanding her horizons. The three of us went to lunch, then went back to her house.
The new home is fairly rural, with apple trees and a broad lawn, a really nice place. While the house is small, it works for their mom and step-dad, since these two are the last of the kids, and will soon be on their own. We spent a couple of hours there, and then headed back toward our hotel. I just wanted to make one stop, because I noticed my glasses were a little wobbly. We easily found the same chain store I bought them at, and while I had hoped for a quick easy (cheap) fix, that was not to be.
It seems they could not only not repair the wobbly bit, they found that the weld that held the two sides together was so weak that they were afraid to touch them for fear they would fall apart. Naturally, these are not new frames, so they don’t carry them anymore. Their lab was closed, so they could not make my lenses fit into a new frame. They called the Scranton store, but they could not help either. The fellow was kind enough to say that if we went and got some super glue, he would put it on the weld, but he doubted it would do much good. We raced to CVS for glue, raced back to the store, waited while he glued the frames, and then went in search of supper. The glasses were now wobbly and stinky and besides my sunglasses, the only ones I had with me.
We decided to get takeout and eat in the room, and it was a good idea, I think I would have fallen asleep in my dinner if we had sat in a restaurant. But it was Saturday night, and something was going on in town, all the restaurants were mobbed, so even take out took nearly an hour to get. It was after 7 o’clock by the time we sat down to eat dinner.
We told B we would pick her up at 7 the next morning, and when that alarm went off, I seriously considered just living in that hotel for the rest of my life. Or at least sleeping another hour. My cold was here in full force, but I swallowed some pills, loved the hot shower, put on my sunglasses, and off we went.
After picking her up, stopping for gas and coffee, we hit the road.
This time, we got smart and decided to skip Connecticut. We got off of Rte. 84 in New York and went up the NY Thruway to the Mass Pike. It was a MUCH nicer ride, but no shorter. At least it was daylight, and until we met up with Route 84 again, there was no traffic to speak of. Yeah!
Now my goal was to get Mom home and get us home before dark, so I could see where I was going. Almost made it! Got Mom home at dusk, didn’t; waste time visiting, we basically dropped her and bolted. I had to put my regular glasses on, and prayed they would hold together for the next hour. Thankfully, they did, in spite of the sneezing and coughing.
We were home by 7:30 Sunday night, just as planned.
But I felt like a train had run over me! I said to B “If you ever hear me offer to do this again, please remind me to stay there a couple of days at least, this is crazy.” She promised.
On the whole, I am so glad I went. I now know where they live, I got to see C and the girls’ Mom, and C’s school. And it was a pretty drive (home, anyway) so that was good. And of course, lots of quality time in the car with Mom and B (although, B slept the ENTIRE way home!) But I hope I don’t have to do that too many more times. I hope they settle down some place a bit closer.
Monday A was sweet and spent half of her holiday to drive me to Bangor to return the car (she was a legal driver on the rental as we are married. Not sure why the woman who gave birth to me can’t be a legal driver, but whatever) and go do something about my glasses, which by now were a serious worry.
This time we had better luck in that department. While the frames I had are long since out of production, the young man who helped me found a pair that my lenses would fit in, thereby saving me hundreds of dollars. We had to wait an hour, and spend $175, but I have a good secure pair on my nose right now. It is great. My next plan is to get a second pair in the new year. Not going on road trips with no spares again! (Also, he offered me back the old frames. As the fellow in PA had said, they would, they broke in half when they took the lenses out. I declined the offer.)
We did the grocery shopping and FINALLY headed home with no plans for anything but me to sleep. B was just getting up when we got home — lucky kid. 🙂
Needless to say, although I had planned to go to work on Tuesday, I did not. I slept half the day, and then sat and knit the other half. I am just now feeling like I might live.
There you have it. How my weekend went in just over 2000 words. In another post I will share the other stuff that has been going on lately, and show you the photos off the camera – none from PA, I was too tired to remember to take pix! But there is yarn and knitting and some early mornings. I promise. Before another two weeks go by.