Sunday, January 11, 2009

Once More Into The Breach

There’s really not much left to say about traveling across half the continental United States. I mean, this is the sixth trip in roughly 14 months (and four were over the exact same route—sigh).

I packed a bag with stuff that would need to go in the new car (snow scraper, winter boots, emergency travel kit made by Thing Three, sleeping bag in case I skidded off-road, as who wants to be too cold to craft while waiting for rescue; like that) and with "just in case I get to them" crochet and knit projects. (I didn't. I never do, but they're a weird sort of comfort. If the bus had been caught out on the road in a once-in-a-century blizzard, I definitely would have had plenty to do.)

I generally get in a car, but in this case, being car-less, I got on a bus, and until I got to Boston, I enjoyed lots of space, quiet, and good scenery.

From Boston to NYC to Cleveland to Chicago, I end up with lots of people and no space and the weird sort of bus-bonding that only happens with people who either got on at your stop or, at the most, one stop after you. It’s like your suddenly comrades in arms or something. (Comrades in bus just doesn’t sound right, sorry.) It’s the whole shared experience thing, and it’s probably helpful in keeping people from experiencing Post Traumatic Bus Overcrowding Syndrome. Seriously. I’m sure there’s literature on that syndrome somewhere…

My seatmate from Boston on was girl who’d gotten on at the same stop as me. She was worried about starting college and whether or not she could really do it.

She was also a kid who was known for reading every book in her school’s library in a single year. You read correctly. The. Entire. Library. (Yet she said she had not done well in high school.) We talked Shakespeare and Eliot and popular writers for more hours than our fellow travelers probably cared to hear.

Lea? You’re gonna do well, kid. Trust me. You’ve got what it takes.

Fun, fun conversations, but not much room for crocheting, let alone knitting articles of apparel in the round for snow zombies.

By the time I dumped off the bus at my more rural destination, I was pretty much dead on my feet. Sleeping on crowded buses is possible, but not productive in terms of actual rest. Friends picked me up and in-between rudely falling asleep off and on whilst they drove the last bit to my folks’ place, I did manage to knit the felted nest ornament by Marie Mayhew.

(Felting was done upon return home and now all I need to do is needle felt the eggs. I’m nervous about that, as I am not the most graceful of humans and have visions of puncturing my finger so many times with the VERY SHARP NEEDLE--the amount of cautionary notes with the needle felting kit is terrifying--that said finger just falls right off. I’ll give you update photos of the egg attempts from the emergency room, shall I?)

Then it was off to a return trip back to my place, solo, in my new baby.

I discovered several things on that trip. One, that driving a vehicle with headlights that actually illuminate the roadway makes for far less scary evening driving; two, that I now know the Iowa to Maine route so well that I barely glanced at the map; and three, that I will spend hours with the cell phone on speaker, boring various friends out of their wits while I am driving through Ohio, because for some reason Ohio always makes me want to take a nap. Ohio is a very lulling, soothing place. Maybe it's all the vowels?

I also discovered: the joy of a car that doesn’t lurch like its been hit by a train when going down the road, that those key fobs with automatic door lock/unlock thingies are very cool, that CD players that I don’t have to plug in don’t skip, and that it takes going through every toll booth but the very last one in Maine to train me to stop reaching for the handle to roll down the window when it comes time to pay. (We won’t discuss just how many toll booths that was, okay? Thanks much.) That whole push the button thing just threw me. Got me some odd looks from toll booth attendants too.

So, not much knitting accomplished and no crocheting at all :(, but I now have a car that was actually made in the early part of this decade, rather than in the last millennium. Oh, and get this. It has all its paint.

Life is good. Chaotic and convoluted and frequently edging beyond what even I find interesting, but good. :)

No comments: