Monday, August 17, 2009

Senior Road Trip

Summer Time is for road trips. I suppose when you’re retired, anytime is good for a road trip, but they’re much more enjoyable when you don’t have to worry about getting stuck in a blizzard, or agonizing about how many coats to bring. I’ve gone on trips with my parents, with my husband, and with my kids and grandkids. I haven’t gone on a road trip with women my age and above until last week.

I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I am aging. Having seven children who call me “grandma” tends to do that. Having doctors who weren’t born when I graduated from college does that, too. But they say you’re as young (or old) as you feel, so I prefer to think of myself as “well seasoned.”

Anyway, one of the things separating me from my progeny is what I consider to be fun. I’ve heard terms like “I’ve been to the Promised Land”, “Hog Heaven” and “Like a kid in a candy store” but other than the thrill of actually BEING in a candy store, I haven’t had the euphoric feeling those phrases imply until early this week. There’s nothing more exciting to a crafter than being in a warehouse FULL of supplies, and for me the supply of choice is fabric.

Twice a month, I work with a group making fleece hats, which are donated to various charities. Fleece is fun to work with, but it’s not cheap, and donations don’t come readily. So this week, the group decided to go to a fabric warehouse in Chicago. We piled into Jackie’s van, followed the directions provided by Marcia’s GPS, pooled our gas money, and away we went. Diane and I both brought our knitting, and I managed to finish two dish cloths on the way there. The time always goes faster when your hands are busy!

We arrived at the Troy Corporation without any problems (okay, there was one wrong turn, but the Garmin got us there anyway). We were introduced to a friendly young man named Derrick, whom Diane had contacted previously by phone. He led us through the warehouse to the area where the polar fleece was stored. I left the price negotiations to the experts and wandered through the warehouse.

It’s dangerous for me to go into a regular fabric store. The yards and yards of colorful designs cry out to me, begging me to take them home and put them into a project. My mind nearly exploded with the possibilities this place offered. I imagined outfits, quilts, handbags, curtains, and more. It was enough to make Marcia hyperventilate. I briefly considered getting an extra shopping cart in case we had to wheel her out.

After leaving the warehouse, we ate lunch at a lovely place called the Jolly Inn (great food, wonderful ethnic atmosphere) and then we headed home. There was barely enough room in the full size van for the six of us and all the fabric! I was home in time for supper. My children were appalled that we hadn’t stayed for some entertainment, or shopping in some of the fabulous shops, or knowing my interest in just about anything, gone to a museum. A few years ago I would have agreed – a trip to the Windy City deserves more than a visit to one place and a meal. But I guess I’ll save that stuff for when I’m with them!

I’m finally starting to complete some of the projects I’ve been writing about. Next time I’ll put up some pictures.


  1. I think it's so cool that you guys make hats for donation. My Grandparents used to do that for the Santa Claus Girls. My gram would knit mittens, and my Grandpa would make matching hats on a knitting loom that she'd taught him to use. After supper, they'd watch a little TV and and knit.

    I looooooooove fabric stores. They're dangerous, though. :D

  2. Patty,
    What a wonderful idea. Maybe I could do something like that with my mother's lace baby dress from 1914.