We collected the hire car this morning and after a little faffing about, set out along I 90 west through Massachusetts.
The roads are good and the traffic light. Our only hindrance was the lack of an EZPass in our Florida-plate hire car, which meant that at every toll booth we had to gather up our coins and pay in cash rather than sailing through the EZPass gate. Never mind, if that’s all we have to worry about, then we’ll be just fine!
Our first stop was in Northampton, where we left a few dollars in Webs. Such a great store, bustling with keen shoppers and helpful staff, we remembered it fondly from a previous visit when we were last driving through this area.
It’s a huge store with much temptation and many choices to be made. I needed to focus and decided I would buy yarn to make a road trip project – something simple and relatively mindless to knit. I browsed the patterns and then remembered, I had several in my Dropbox files that I could access on my Note. I settled for the Honey Cowl and since there were some great colours in the Madeline Tosh yarns, all I had to do was to choose one.
A bit of umming and aahing later, I’d chosen an indigo blue from the bottom row.
Choosing knitting needles isn’t easy either, for there is so much choice and many brands I was unfamiliar with. Square needles anyone? (Marion, I wonder if you’ve tried them?) Carbon Fibre, perhaps? Eventually I chose a good old Addi Turbo Rocket – well, I do want this thing finished, after all!
Resisting the chance of buying a ball of the most lovely glittery sock yarn, I made my way to the till and, prompted by the sight of weaving supplies nearby, I asked if they might possibly have a netting needle – of course they did!
Time to go. Time to drive a little further on into the Berkshires, taking a small detour via Amherst where we had identified another interesting place to visit.
Emily Dickinson was born here and her home is now a museum which looked pretty interesting, even to those of us who knew nothing about her or her poetry (me!) We were fortunate to have a great guide, David, and with just four of us in our group (the three of us and a young woman from Asheville, North Carolina) we had more or less a personal tour.
We learned a lot about Emily herself and her family, some of whom lived next door, here at Evergreens We also learned about her poetry and what makes it remarkable; enough to inspire us to find out more.
Her poetry featured on all kinds of signage around and about the place, including this poem which begins:
“Alone and in a Circumstance
Reluctant to be told
A Spider on my reticence
That it hung on the wall of the loo reveals a little of the personality of the place – not at all stuffy or forbidding, but genuinely interesting and with a real sense of spirit. We were so pleased we came!
Tonight, we are in Lenox, where there is little going on and the hotel manager’s recommended restaurant was surprisingly (but thankfully) empty when we turned up feeling hungry. We’d missed lunch somehow, so a plate of asparagus followed by a bowl of delicious pasta hit the spot perfectly.
Pudding was found on the way home, too. It’s been another great day!