birds of a feather . . .

by mulberryshoots

Yesterday, I went on a bus filled with women (and two men, one was the bus driver) to the Rhinebeck, New York sheep and wool show. It turned out to be a gorgeous Fall day with leaf color ablaze on the Dutchess County (NY) Fairgrounds. Honestly, I’ve never seen so many women in my life and was also surprised to see how many men there were; children in strollers and babies slung in body carriers.

There were live sheep, border collies herding sheep, live llamas, rabbits, guinea pigs. Hundreds of vendor booths with yarn, roving, sheepskins housed in building after building that I could make my way through the people with strollers, shopping carts and walkers. I spent plenty of time sitting around in the shade and on benches to bide the time. I can usually only take about two hours in a venue with this many people and it’s not a problem when I drive because I can just decide to leave when I’m done. Since I took the Peter Pan bus conveniently provided by WEBS, (leaving at 5:30 in the morning to make it to Northampton, MA by 7 a.m.) we arrived at 9:20 a.m. and left at 4 p.m. That turned out to be a generous amount of time for me but I did hear from a woman at lunch that she drove ten hours with five others from Maryland, taking hotel rooms for three nights to be at this fair.

I found a couple of interesting things but there were no particular yarns that spoke to me. I did come across something adorable for my granddaughter for Christmas and bought some hand blocked linen goods for myself from India in one of the booths. With these finds, I was happy to pace myself through the rest of the day.

The reason I’m writing this post, though, is to tell you about what happened in the last two minutes of this dawn-to-dusk experience. The bus returned to Northampton in the dark around 7 p.m. and as we stood up to disembark, the woman across the aisle from me sighed and said something like, “here we’ve gone halfway across the world to go and buy some yarn.” When I asked her where she lived, thinking it was somewhere in the Berkshires, Vermont or New Hampshire, she said, “Worcester.” I laughed out loud because I’m from Worcester too and we had just spent about 6 hours across from each other without being aware of it. She and her two other Worcester knitting friends introduced themselves and said they’ve been knitting together for a long time. And that they knit together every Wednesday evening at a local place where the Tatnuck bookseller used to be. There’s a cafe and a new yarn shop just opened, they told me as they kindly invited me to join them.

Up to these moments riding on the bus, I had been feeling bad, remembering how awkward a fit it had been with the folks in the last post, “My favorite day” –There seemed to be a true generation gap between me and others, who texted, emailed and did everything on their cell phones, communicating via Facebook, etc. I use my cell phone mostly to let my husband know I’m on the way home.

With the sudden introduction of three knitters from my home town, I no longer felt so isolated. I laughed to myself in the car driving home about how the Universe flips things around when you least expect it.

Today, I think it’s time for me to stop resisting a birthday that is coming around the corner and to relax and enjoy my life instead. . . like getting to know nice people who knit on Wednesday nights.