It's Thanksgiving Day and I'm sitting in a hotel room about a thousand miles from home. It's week two of the bus and truck tour from hell. Actually, that implies that we have a bus; we don't. The company travels with two Penske trucks, two minivans, and various personal vehicles. We had to pester the production manager to get the minivan (into which the crew and our belongings barely fit), as we originally had a retired police cruiser, with broken spedometer. Five people in a sedan is a tight fit. Six people with their bags is impossible.
Most of our problems on the tour stem from lack of organization and piss-poor management. The company really needs a company manager in addition to the production manager. We just finished a rough week at a high school in Sheffield, mainly hindered by the owners of the venue. They refused to move giant piles of scenery and general crap, meaning many of our man-hours were wasted carting around their things. The we had to reset it at load out. I think that the school doesn't have vast experience in presenting.
Luckily, there are a couple of people on the crew with whom I would like to remain friends after this tour has ended: Matt, our master carpenter, and Karen, the master electrician. Matt and I became fast friends when we were stranded at the Albany airport for three hours by the company. That was a big bad omen, if ever there was one. Matt is another Chicagoan, with a wonderful sense of irony and sarcasm. We daily tell each other how glad we are that the other is on the tour. Karen is my road roommate (but not at the convent where we are normally lodged--luckily, the company recognizes that we need some personal space). She reminds me a great deal of Ingrid, my wonderful sophomore year roommate. They have very similar voices, and an easy going attitude that is essential when dealing with all of the mess this tour generates.
Karen and I went to Lenox on our day off this week. Lenox is quite different in the winter than in its tourist summer days. Our main objective was to visit Colorful Stitches, a LYS with a beautiful ad in all the knitting magazines, and to get a decent cup of coffee. The wonderful side effect is that I also got to know Karen.
I am teaching Karen how to knit. It's a pleasure. A little over a year ago, my mother taught me to knit. It was very hard for her to resist the temptation to take my first project away and do it herself, as her grandmother had done so many years before. So, when Karen complimented me on my patience, I also silently thanked my mom. My desire to take up knitting brought my mother and I closer together this past year, and I think that Karen's desire to learn is helping to forge a friendship between us.


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