05 May 2007

Quilt Camp Redux

Thanks to all of you who sent out virtual search parties. I went home to see the family for a short visit and am still recovering. (Kidding, mom… kinda.)

You know how it is, vacationing… such an exhausting way to spend time! I think all that time having fun did a number on my immune system because all I’ve done since being home is cough and sputter. Now that I’m back, I’ve got a ton of catch-up to do so hopefully Ill be able to keep the blog a’going a bit better.

Back in the dark and blustery days of February, my mom did her usual Saturday check-in phone call from a place near and dear to our hearts… quilt camp. As I may have been a wee bit on the grumpy and jealous side, I told her to book me a bed because in April, I was hopping on a jet plane and treating myself to a few good days with a fabric-induced high. Just to keep the high going a wee bit longer (at least until I get the credit card bill for the fabric I purchased), thought I’d write a recap of our outing. This will probably take a few posts, as I’m a little, well, wordy. I’ll try to make the tale worthwhile with a picture or two along the way and maybe some knitting posts tossed in for good measure.

So, to begin…

In the heart of rural Illinois, otherwise known as the middle of stinkin’ nowhere,* lies a blissful, peaceful lodge perfect for a relaxing and rejuvenating weekend retreat with needle and thread.

Pshaw… nothing relaxing about it.

Once a month, the Kinderhook Lodge hosts 20 women and their fancy-pants sewing machines, bolts and bolts of fabric, buckets of baked goods and enough rotary cutters to chop off fingers till the sun don’t shine. If you have an image of quilting bees as quiet affairs with demure grannies sipping tea, let me assure you, this isn’t that kind of quilting bee. Those grannies are downright lewd, especially when they’re determined to finish that $##%@ quilt around 3 a.m.!

The weekend shebang kicked off around 3.30 a.m. on Thursday (yup, that’s o’dark thirty… and yup, I’d been packing until midnight, you can do the math on that one) when I had to haul my tired behind out of bed to catch my flight. Since recent Leslie travel adventures have included major delays stuck on the runway, a missed trip due to booking incompetence (my own, of course… can’t figure out how to read a calendar), and lost luggage, I got to the airport with time to spare. Even thought I was going to luck out with an entire row to myself for the first leg of the journey until a nice, confused elderly woman was escorted to join me. No problemo, she stays over there, I snore over here with room to stretch.

And then she brought out the cat…

True confession time, I’m not a huge pet person. I know there’s something genetically wrong with my cold-as-ice heart that I don’t love cuddling up to the furry ones, but I just don’t particularly care for them. Anyone still reading or have you banned me to the nether regions of hell yet?

It was pretty clear that this was not a frequent flier and the poor lady didn’t speak English, so I took a deep breath and made peace with the fact that the cat she was holding in her lap was her security blanket and even I can’t begrudge granny her beloved furrball in these circumstances. I tried to close my eyes and pray that the thing didn’t throw a fit upon take off or I’d have to get out my knitting needles and defend myself from flying claws.

Well, remember that part about it being really, really early? I had decided to delay my caffeine fix until after the first flight in the hopes of getting in a few more minutes of shut eye and, more importantly, to avoid using the loo on the plane. (I saw a CSI episode once where the blue toilet water from a plane killed a guy so I have this weird fear of causing damage on earth with my tinkle in the sky… anyway…) Point being that without my daily jolt (or twelve) I may not have been firing on all cylinders in my assessment of my seat partner.

As the engines start whirling, I figure I best keep at least one sleep-encrusted eye on the tabby beside me, just in case I need to make any fast moves to protect myself. Good thing, too, because as I look over, the lady moves from gently petting her little one to sticking her finger into fluffy’s butt to flip the switch.

Fluffy came with batteries.

Now, on the one hand, the idea of a robotic cat as opposed to an unpredictable feline with claws was somewhat comforting. Unless the thing pulled a Chucky on me and turned demonic, how dangerous could a toy be? And then I realized that I was sitting next to someone who was clearly terrified of flying, confused about what the flight attendants were saying and temporarily without juice to her electronic friend. Now this could be an interesting flight.

Lucky for us all, a limp, battery-less Fluffy was enough to keep everyone calm and the minute we were in the air, the flight attendant came over and let Fluffy be brought back to life. Hallelujah for small resurrections. The freaky thing purred all the way to DC.

Unfortunately, the second leg of my journey wasn’t quite so pleasant. Again I got to share my row with someone who was not enjoying the friendly skies. Only this time, no battery-operated device calmed things down. And things certainly needed to be calmed down. In particular, Mr. Stinky’s digestive tract needed some major calming.

For three hours on a somewhat bumpy ride, Mr. Stinky churned out enough gas to keep us afloat Hindenburg-style just in case the engines gave way. Add that much yucky to the air filtration system and well, it was a very, very long ride.

And that was only the start of my journey…

More to come about the weekend for those of you at home who wish to keep the fabric flame alive. Looking forward to checking out all your blogs and seeing everything I've missed the past few weeks. Happy Cinco de Mayo to all. Wishing you buckets and buckets of margaritas!

* “Middle of stinkin’ nowhere” = no Starbucks for miles and miles. Think deer munching in the front yard kind of place, a description intended to be praise. As I sit here writing while listening to my neighbors on one side fight over whose turn it is to do the dishes and neighbors on the other side prepping food for today’s big hockey game, the middle of stinkin’ nowhere sounds pretty darn wonderful!

1 comment:

Redheadskydiver said...

Sounds like quite the vacation! Can't wait to hear the rest.