What I Did On My Summer Vacation

Seems both distant and near. Summer. The season that begins, in case you didn’t know, on the longest day of the year, my favorite day of all 365.  The shortest day of the year is upon us, a mere three weeks to go, followed by MY SECOND FAVORITE DAY OF THE YEAR, December 22, when the days begin to stretch again.

Last summer, summer 2009, Along-for-the-Ride Heidi and Teddy and I went to Wisconsin. Heidi took Wisconsin 101 and so there was no avoiding ice cream, Bucky Badger, knitting and other of my personal touchstone Wisconsin esoterica. She suffered, poor thing, through the tour of my former apartments, the long gone tables upon which I waited, on and on and on, interminably I waxed nostalgic.

Lakeside Fibers, however, has not a thread to do with my past, although my past and present are looped together through knitting. All that I have been, I am still. A more perfect knit shop, you will not find, according to me. Yarn, buttons, books, advice, a view, and sandwiches!

CIMG6170-1Lakeside Fibers is the sister to The Washington Hotel, on Washington Island, where they grow their own wheat and hops, make their own bread and beer, and anything else they can get their sustainable hands on.

Good food prevails at both places. Word to the childless wise – do not tell the child that the “red things” in his quiche are red peppers. Just play dumb. Red things? What red things? We LOVE red things. Go big Red!CIMG6175-1When in Madison, you gotta getta Bucky Badger shirt. I am partial to F-k ’em Bucky, but nobody else wanted that.

CIMG6167-1Now, this set of table and chairs takes me back. Coffee shops and cafes so rarely have these rickety sorts of things anymore. Got a coffee jitter flashback. Flashback to a time when I could and would drink ten cups of coffee in a sitting. Sitting and talking and feeling so smaaart and collegy. Shortlived, but vivid.

CIMG6173Was in the market for Go Big Dread, although I understand that has been unavailable since about 1979. When did I become so declassé and passé? Appalling to face the demise of my coolness factor.

Very remote and windswept, The Washington Hotel creaks at its seams with pride, and rightly so. I am in love with its restrained luxury. Luxury for a puritan. Just my speed. No, I have not slept in its beds, nor eaten its bread, or toasted my chilly bones on its sun-leaning lawn, but I can picture it. And we always have Lakeside Fibers, where the menu is identical and I ate a sandwich and warmed my bones in the luxury of colors, colors, colors in wool, cotton, alpaca, bamboo, rayon and silk.

Washington Island is a place to go slow. Knit one, chew a bit, purl one, look about, knit one, sip sip sip, purl one, tuck the greens back into the bread, knit one, stretch from tip to toe, and so on, slowly it goes.
Speaking of Washington Island, off the tip of Door County, in the waters of the devil’s door…speaking of it brings one’s mind round to cherries. Limestone, the stuff of which Door County is made, is conducive to growing sour cherry trees, should you be inclined to blast a few holes. “Live fast, die young” could be a Door County cherry tree’s motto. They do not live long there, but do they produce a heavy crop! They do.

The ruby, nearly translucently so, cherries are not sour to my taste. Delicious warm, off the tree, unwashed-who-cares. Transformed into pie, sour cherries restore my faith in humankind.
We did this too while on vacation. No rush. Lacing lattice is a zen experience on the holiday clock.

Pie is to share, doncha know. This person eating pie, Morsty, is proof in the flesh that when worlds collide, a feast results.


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