Sunday, June 5, 2011

The car did not come home empty~

I've just had a month away, visiting family and friends.  I had a new grandchild to get to know and my mother's 90th birthday to celebrate.  I drove and my DH flew out for the long Memorial Day weekend to join us for the surprise birthday party (poor working stiff doesn't have the luxury of long trips just yet).  My, was Mom ever surprised! It was so great to be able to celebrate this milestone with her.  She's a retired nurse (that includes a stint during WWII as an Army nurse in the Pacific) who has spent her life healing and caring for others.  She's loving, smart, funny, and has always been a staunch defender of women's rights.  She still takes me by surprise sometimes on that score - she can be very fierce when roused.

I managed to tick a couple of things off my bucket list this trip.  

I drove back roads from New Jersey to western Pennsylvania, admiring historic farms and beautiful woodlands.  I planned the route to take me to The Mannings, a wonderful shop with the largest selection of books on fiber arts one could imagine. (I got two:  Rural Pennsylvania German Weaving 1833 - 1857 and the Christian Frey and Henry Small, Jr Pattern Books by Tandy and Charles Hirsch, and The Complete Book of Drafting for Handweavers by Madelyn van der Hoogt.)  The setting was incredible~ Getting there was an adventure since I had programmed NEW Berlin into the GPS, instead of EAST Berlin!  The elderly gentleman who got me straightened out thought that was hilarious.

Whilst the DH and I were bimbling around the countryside Saturday evening of the holiday, hiding out from my mother until Sunday's party, we went past an antique/collectibles/junk shop.  Luckily Himself was driving because we'd had been off the road when I spotted a Great Wheel on the back stoep of the place!  Did I want to go back and have a look at it? Did I, even with the whiplash I had just given myself! It needs some attention to the wood (pretty dry), but was otherwise intact.  While wending our way to the back of the shop to pay for it, DH spotted a clock winder/reel.  It needs the indicator hand replacing and that's it.  It had some cloth hanging off it and I had walked right by. The price was astoundingly low on both items and DH managed to fit them into the rental Corolla!

And last, but far from least, on the drive back west, I did a side trip to Decorah, IA, to visit Vesterheim, the Norwegian-American museum.  The collections in the museum building are very good, especially if you are interested in Krokbragd, Scandinavian boundweave.  The museum's collection of historic buildings is superb and I was fortunate to be the only tourist there that day - I had a one-on-one guided tour!  The gentleman who gave me the tour was very knowledgeable and very accommodating.  Thanks again to him for a wonderful afternoon.  Now, of course Vesterheim has a museum shop and I left with another book Om fellen kunne fortelle... by Randi Breiset.  Beautiful woven coverlets, beautifully photographed.

So, today is the last day of 'vacation recovery' and tomorrow it's back to routine.  The looms await.