Sunday, May 2, 2010

3 Bag Ladies

About 9:15 I piled my 3 bags into Sharon's car, said bye bye to Jim, drank coffee while Sharon drove on over to Audrey's place where we said hi and bye to her birds (mostly Love Birds) and her dogs (lots of hairless and crested).

We then stashed my 3 bags and Sharon's 3 bags into Audrey's Toyota amongst her 3 bags and a nice cooler of snacks and drinks.  Of course each of us not driving kept her knitting bag close by.  We were so excited and delighted to be going south to warmth, sun and endless amounts of fiber.  The reward of crabs for dinner was also bandied about.  Once in PA we could see that most of the trees had leaves or leaf buds while up here we still have locust and oaks that are yet bare.   We stopped midway down for bleenies and salad in Frackville where we got to experience a restaurant that sported several PA Dutch type menu items and lots of homemade quilted, knitted and crocheted items on the walls.

The change to all green was slow but noticeable and once we were in MD quite striking to us green starved northerners.  Sharon had made the motel reservations according to Audrey's directions. Audrey is an excellent Tour Director.  It was only 20 minutes from the fair but merely 5 from the clam shack.  Frederick is inland. I hadn't bothered to look that up on a map so was very disappointed at first to find out we would be eating nowhere near the ocean.  However upon opening the first crab I instantly smelled the ocean and felt oh so much better.
Sharon had a crab quesadilla but Audrey and I each ate 2 large hard shelled crabs from the Chesapeake, covered in Old Bay spices.
What fun! First they plop down the crab filled pan, then the mallets and knives and then we hold it all up while they cover the table with butcher paper and add a roll of paper towels.  We also ordered yam fries so it was all finger food all the way around.  They were the tenderest crab I have ever eaten so am now spoiled rotten.  

We spent the evening knitting and talking in our motel room.  The Haiti face cloth got completed while Audrey worked on a baby blanket and Sharon started a swatch for a sweater.  Then we set the alarm for 6 and tried to sleep.

Of course the alarm did not go off but since none of us really slept, although we were up at different times all night, Audrey did wake us at 6:10.  She also suddenly realized that we had not gotten gas and had not checked the gauge either.  Were we on fumes?  Could we get to a gas station in time?

By 7:15 the Three Bag Ladies had restashed our 9 bags back into the Toyota and checked the gauge.  Not quite on fumes, but close enough.  Luckily a station was nearby so we could fill up with gas that cost 20¢ less than in Ithaca. Another positive for going south.

 The Fair is free and Audrey told us about the parking situation so we were there by 8 am and walked right in.  We had maps I printed out from the website so could orient ourselves.

Audrey gave us a fast tour, showed us the porta potties and the real bathroom and the big metal barn.

After that we kinda went our ways but Sharon and Audrey stayed relatively close as Audrey doesn't have a cell phone.  I loved walking around at a leisurely pace instead of the quick racing trips I get when I am vending at a fair.  I saw the new electric Woolee Winder machine and the New Kromski wheel and lots of wool and yarn and patterns and jewelry.  Got myself a fimo bunny pin that is adorable, my sister part of her birthday present and some multi colored b/bfl to play with.  I also got some great ideas for revamping my own booth which might make set up a lot easier and faster. 
We saw some lovely Romney's ready for the show ring.

By 10 it was HOT, really HOT.  OK so to a northerner it was really HOT.  The open barns did not have fans and with all the people were getting not only more and more crowded but stuffy too.  Up here if it gets that hot folks don't want to touch much fiber, but down there it didn't seem to make much difference.
A band was playing country music near some trees where lots of folks were picnicking so we stopped and rested there too for a bit.  Then headed on up the hill to the tent vendors so Audrey could look for the Cormo Association tent.  She found the right tent but not the right cormo but did get name of the seller to contact from home.

By the time Sharon got herself some plants we were more than ready to get out of the sun and leave. There are over 400 vendors at MD Sheep and Wool but after a while I was saturated.  I hadn't believed it beforehand but 4 hours were plenty for all 3 of us.  

As we traveled north through some gorgeous MD farmland and then into PA and up through disturbing coal tailing hills and into the mountains and back into spring we chatted and knit and snacked and knit.  Potential was realized with the completion of a baby hat and the gussets on one sock.

AND I am proud to say I did not go into total chaotic withdrawal from my computer which I purposely left behind to give me some real time off.  It was good, it was fun, it was short and it was spontaneous.

As Sharon says, "Life is good."

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