Yesterday, which was a cold day full of amazing limpid sunlight, Doug and I set out to see Linda Diak's new storefront/studio, in Vermont about an hour and a half from here. It was a very pretty ride, except for the drive through Alstead. This was the town that took the worst damage from the October storm. Parts of it are still pretty. Part of it has been bulldozed. There are big patches of freshly trap-rocked ditching and new tarmac. The small, pretty river runs close to the road and dips suddenly into deep, narrow gorges -- unusual for around here -- that probably added to the acceleration of the waters. Other places it flows on the surface and you can see a forty- or fifty-foot wide swath of brush that was overrun, apparently deeply, with good-sized trees either bent over or torn up altogther. And patches of fields with a new litter of bushel-basket sized cobbles. It was sobering.
Saxton's River is not far from Bellows Falls. The area has a lot of nicely preserved older buildings, including a dime store (now housing a Starbucks). Linda's storefront is on the main street near the church (and a crafts coop)and next to a good unpretentious restaurant that does a fine taco.
Carolyn and the lovely Julia Rose appeared, as did NH State Rep Claudia Chase, known to her friends also as Mirrix Looms. I hadn't seen Carolyn for years (we compared college-aged kids) and Claudia Chase was the most encouraging political item I have encountered in a long time. Enthusiasm. She was elected by a plurality of four votes a year ago, showing once again that one person's vote can matter.
And she spins.
We also got to see Tom and all three of their sons, who were affable. Now I'll be able to keep them mentally separate from Helen's two sons.
Linda was happy and perhaps a little tired. She and her husband had been setting up the place until far too late for much too long. She figured the contents of this spacious shop had been crammed into a (not yet fully unpacked) room about a third the size. Now she should actually be able to see all of her stash.
I came home with three batts and a spindle. Doug behaved very badly; he has two more spindles and an elegant rack, as well as more batts.
I am never going to get my father's socks finished. Knitting for Christmas is not for the faint of heart. And I keep stopping to spin a rich and lovely purple Diak.