Looping On The Road

Embarrassing things happen when you travel. At least, I like to think it’s not just me who occasionally looks around in relief that I will probably never have to face these people again. I’ll leave much to your imagination and just share today’s addition to things I hope never to repeat.

This is not the yarn or project I planned to bring on this trip. I’m heading to Florida to move my parents again, to a different assisted living/memory care facility. I know I won’t have much time for stitching the next two weeks. But you might have heard that bad weather has wrecked havok on air travel this week.

Not that you could tell from the sunshine​ when I left home yesterday. But since I have a history of weather delays and one flight out of Green Bay had already been cancelled, I thought it prudent to grab something to keep me occupied in the event of… well, exactly what happened.

So I grabbed a cake of indigo-dyed cotton from the bin that holds stuff I get from rummage sales and who knows where — mystery fibers that don’t get quite the same care I give to yarns and threads I sell. These are mostly used for class samples, dye experiments and things I make for myself.

After the second Green Bay flight cancelled and no seats were available until Thursday, I rebooked out of Milwaukee and Bill and I rushed out the door to make the longer drive to a different airport.

En route, the Milwaukee flight cancelled, too, and I rebooked for flights today. Bill delivered me to an airport motel, kissed me goodbye and left on the 4-hour drive back home. I settled in to start an unplanned nalbinding project and watch cable TV. Not quite bliss, but much better than spending the night in an airport boarding area.

There I was stitching away, relieved to have confirmed flights for the morrow and a clean motel with Jimmy John’s delivery. Then I got a whiff of….. something familiar to anyone who has lived in old farmhouses.

I grabbed my flashlight and checked all the places where one might find a mouse. Nothing. Must have been my imagination. Then I caught it again: Very faint. Not my imagination? I checked less likely places, considered asking to change rooms, and wondered if I was having olfactory hallucinations. The smell came and went. Finally I decided I was too tired to stitch in poor light and should just watch The Americans and get some sleep.

In the morning, I was prepared for a middle seat on my first flight, pretending to read on my Kindle and getting in a good nap on a flight to Dallas (delayed on the tarmac by a faulty light and then de-icing). But I had a long layover before my connection to Florida, on which I was able to book an aisle seat on the left side if the plane (perfect for right-handed nalbinding). I got to my gate, found great lighting, and settled in to sip some Starbucks and make some progress on my nallbinding project.

That’s when I caught that whiff again. A cautious sniff confirmed it was my yarn. I must have carelessly left it on the table in my studio after winding the cake. And believe me, I know better. Usually the telltale black droppings let me know I goofed. I must have thought I got lucky bagged the yarn and forgot all about it.

I re-bagged that yarn, and dug out other yarn and a crochet hook to work on the birthday gift I that should have been a priority anyway. 
Boy, an I glad I figured out the source of the smell in the spacious boarding area and not in the close quarters of a full flight. I’m glad I didn’t ask at the motel to change rooms. I’m glad to have an extra skein of yarn along that didn’t stink. And I’m glad to have just one more short leg on this journey.

We’ll get my folks moved and settled in. Then hopefully I’ll have time to re-skein the stinky yarn and wash it and the WIP one evening so I can resume that project on the trip home. 

Should I tell you when I’m traveling so you know when the next storm will be?

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Donna Kallner

fiber artist, teacher and explorer, inspired by ancient fiber techniques and all the ways contemporary fiber artists give old ideas a new spin

4 thoughts on “Looping On The Road”

  1. I always knew you could be a little stinker – now the truth is known. I do have to confess to a little stinker story I have. I was going to Sievers for a papermaking class, and ordered some pulp from Twinrocker to take with. Needless to say “overground flax” was not the right selection. Did not notice the smell until the water was added, and by this time it was in the sprayer = you got it, Tom and I smelled like cows for the entire next week. but it was pretty good paper!

  2. When you started the story I thought you were the one that held up a flight recently because they had a mouse onboard!

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