Briar Rose "Sea Pearl"
Sadly, I won’t be able to deliver on the recap of the Knitter’s Review Retreat as promised. Why, you ask? Because the Universe found out that I had a fabulous fun weekend planned and decided I didn’t deserve it. To make a long story short, I got another stomach virus (remember our Yellowstone trip in September?), and missed almost every part of the retreat. I’m so very disappointed. But I’m going to try to have a sense of humor about it all as I tell you the details, so feel free to laugh with (or at) me.
I was scheduled to fly to Albany on Friday morning at 10:30. So last Wednesday I woke up with a bad sinus migraine that kept me in bed the entire day. That evening I still hadn’t recovered as I usually do after a migraine, and began to worry that something else was going on. I continued to have nausea all day Thursday, but managed to pack my luggage for the retreat late that night. But when I woke up Friday morning I struggled just to get myself showered without getting sick. After getting dressed and almost ready to walk out the door, I realized I just couldn’t face the drive to the airport and knew I would have to skip this long-awaited trip.
I went back to bed frustrated and upset about all I’d be missing. I’d made plans to meet up with some friends I’d met at last year’s retreat, and I was going to spend an extra day antiquing and having dinner with my friend Jodi from Connecticut. I was scheduled to take a class with Cat Bordhi, for crying out loud. I couldn’t believe the bad timing of this stupid virus thing! And I felt like crap. But amazingly, at around 5:30 that evening I suddenly felt much better. Did I dare try to make it after all? I went online and saw that there were seats available on a 9:45 pm flight. Booked it. Called the hotel to make sure they were still holding my room and told them I’d be there after midnight. Made a new reservation for a rental car. Reinvigorated and excited, I kissed my husband and ran out the door, off on my fiber adventure.
I should have known this reprieve was temporary….
I arrived in Albany at around 11 pm, tired but enthusiastic. I got my rental car and set off for Williamstown, Massachusetts, a tiny little town nestled in the Berkshires. I’d rented a Prius for the first time, and was still getting familiar with it when I realized I’d begun to have a small problem. For the sake of modesty, let’s just call it a “feminine emergency”. Ok, one more instance of bad timing, but I can deal with this, right? I pulled over into an empty parking lot and tried to open my trunk so I could get to my luggage for supplies. And I could not open the trunk. I got back in the car and pulled out the owner’s manual, wondering if the Prius had some secret environmentally-conscious way to open the freakin’ trunk. Nope, sounded pretty straightforward. Tried again, no luck. Decided to “make do” (you girls all know what I mean when I say this, right?), and continued on my way, hoping there would be nobody awake to see me when I checked in to the hotel around 12:30 or so.
I drove for almost an hour over the pitch black winding mountain roads, and began to wonder if I’d missed a turn somewhere, when I saw a sign that indicated I was only a few miles away. I’m usually not afraid to drive in unfamiliar places, but that lonely and dark mountain road jangled my nerves a bit. I was so relieved to see the dim lights of the hotel when I rounded the curve into Williamstown, and quickly checked in to the hotel (and the thankfully empty lobby) and went to my room. I unpacked, took a quick shower, and got in bed at 1:30 am. And tossed. And turned. And watched the clock to see how much sleep I could get if only I could go to sleep “right now”. The last time I saw the clock was at 4:o0, and I woke up at 6:19. My stomach felt ok, but I simply could not function without some more sleep, so around 8:00 I decided I’d need to skip the class with Cat and try to get a couple more hours of rest. I got up and showered around noon, and went downstairs to meet my friends and explain my earlier absence. Everyone was so concerned about me and it felt good to know that I had been missed.
Improvised cardi for me, using Briar Rose "Charity" yarn
I got my name tag and goodie bag (more about the contents of that in my next post). Then I dropped off the two hats I’d made for the Hats for Hugs program. The first person I ran into after that was Chris Roosien, the genius dyer behind Briar Rose Fibers. I was thrilled to show her the cardigan I’d made from her Charity yarn, and even more thrilled that she loved it. After chatting with her for a few minutes, I went outside and sat on a bench in the sun to knit and get some fresh air. A few minutes later I was joined by Martha, a stranger from Boston who quickly became a new friend. (Hi Martha!) As we chatted a bit, other knitters began to form a line on the sidewalk beside us, waiting to get into the retreat yarn market that was to open at 2:00. I saw two more of my friends from last year in line, and we got a few minutes to talk too. Things were starting to look up!
When the market opened we all went our separate ways in search of our desired yarns, and I came out with 3 skeins of Briar Rose yarn and one from Spirit Trail Fiber. (That’s what you see in the pictures in this post.) With my yarn appetite sated and my credit card melting, I bundled up my yarns and went off to take a brief rest in my room before dinner. I was feeling a bit warm from the too-warm market room, and didn’t want to overdo it since I was just getting over my illness.
Or so I thought.
When I got to my room I began to get that queasy feeling in my stomach again. I thought, “Oh, you’ve got to be kidding me with this crap!” But no, I was down for the evening with a recurrence of nausea that kept me from eating — or even thinking about eating. I did manage to buy some pretzels from the vending machine, just in case I was able to eat later. I tried eating an apple too, but only made it halfway through. “Ok”, I thought, “I’ll get a fresh start tomorrow morning.” Luckily I had one Sominex with me, so I took that at 8 pm and went to sleep. I slept fitfully, but at least I slept. And of course I was still nauseous this morning when I tried to get ready for the final event of the retreat, the New Beginnings and farewell session (something I really loved last year). At this point I was really ticked off too. So rather than lie around waiting for checkout time and risk getting even sicker, I forced myself to get dressed and headed for the airport while everyone else was in the meeting room. I hated not saying goodbye, but I’d barely gotten to say hello either, so what the heck. I was booked on a 4:00 flight, but was able to get moved to a 12:30 flight. Finally, an instance of good timing!
And here’s the part I find most unbelievable: Once I got to my car at the Detroit airport, I got hungry. For the first time since last Tuesday, I had a sandwich. Well, it was a McD’s hamburger, but at least it was food going into my stomach. And it stayed there. Wow. So not fair.
So anyway, I’m home now and have already exchanged messages with friends about having a better experience next year. Let’s sure hope so! As Martha says, “the third time’s the charm!”