I dunno, Adrian
Tuesday July 24th 2007, 9:30 pm
Filed under: Non-Knitting

Eight embarrassing things, Adrian? Who, me?

1. I’ve definitely and happily led a very Mormon life: no drinking, no smoking, not even coffee for a vice, although I definitely like my hot cocoa and my dark chocolate. Valrhona. And Scharffenberger! Gotta be at least 70%. I read somewhere that dark chocolate, and knitting, too, are ways to lower your blood pressure. Given that I take meds to raise mine, which otherwise likes to give readings like 80/40, don’t tell on me, okay?

2. I can’t always think of a new punch line on my feet and often just cough up old standards when chatting with new acquaintances, like, “My husband” (who is 6’8″ to my 5’5″) “and I grew up together. He just did more. I knew when to quit.”

Trust me, after 27 years, he’s heard that one a few times.

3. Okay, here’s one for you: once upon a time, my little sister and I were supposed to entertain two visiting cousins our ages for an afternoon by canoeing with them up a lock of the C&O Canal, which runs alongside the Potomac River. My sister’s canoe kept bumping into ours–I think she was trying to race us, but I’m not sure–and I, being about 13 1/2 at the time to her 12, found it highly annoying. I pushed hers away hard with my paddle and accidentally flipped her canoe, dumping my indignant sister and younger cousin into the canal, where you couldn’t see past the first few inches into the thickly stagnant water. Ew, gross. (For those who’ve read about my water turtle in my book, it’s been cleaned up a fair amount since then.) I got yelled at a good one later by my mom, who wasn’t about to put it past me that I might have done it on purpose. I was righteously indignant, because I hadn’t done it on purpose–but probably only because I knew that I would never get away with it if I did. Part of me found it quite satisfying. (Anne, don’t read this. Oh, wait–your twins are 13 now, aren’t they? Want me to take them to Swain’s Lock?)

4. I occasionally totally forget that my car and my balance were smashed by a speeder seven years ago, and I do stupid things because I assume I’m still normal. For instance: re the story in my book about visiting Helen. What got edited out for lack of space, was, I told my friend Karen I wanted to touch the Potomac before returning to California, that that was part of going home to Maryland. Trouble is, we were at a lock of the canal where there was no good spot to do so; the embankment was a bit steep all along the river there. But! There was an overturned, bleached-out, ancient wooden canoe (it’s those canoes again) that the waves were lapping against, keeping it firmly in place against the bottom of the embankment. I would just step carefully off from up top, onto the canoe, just jumping a little and then balancing onto my knees, you know, and reach over and splash my fingers in the water over the side. No biggy. Right?

Karen, good friend that she is, tried really hard to talk me out of it. This seemed like a really dumb move to her.

Uh uh. No way. I was going to touch my beloved Potomac before I flew back, and that was that.

What I couldn’t see, was, that canoe was totally rotted out, so that when I landed on it, the first knee to hit it simply crashed right on through. And you know? The detritus washed up along the edge there didn’t smell so great. (Yes, Anne, I had that coming.) But I got my splash! Reached over, laughing, while Karen was just rolling her eyes, going, Some people.

The hard part was trying to stand up again without crunching through the rest of it, on a canoe that was swaying with the water, with little sense of balance on my part. Karen grabbed my upstretched hand and somehow we got me back up to her, though. What are friends for.

We got rained on at the last, to add to my muddy knee. And then we went to stop by her elderly stepmother’s: who had a white carpet and a white sofa. Who completely ignored my mud and our being wet and invited us warmly in.

I wanna be her when I grow up.

5. Can’t top that one. Think I’d better quit for tonight. Thank you, Adrian. This post is all your fault, and I’m quite glad.

12 Comments so far
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Hehehe, that definately gave me a chuckle, imagining that old canoe simply crumbling beneath you. You were lucky…that story could have ended with you taking a dive! Thanks for playing!

Comment by Adrian 07.24.07 @ 10:28 pm

Thank you for leaving a comment at my blog. Oh my heavens you have some lovely lacy things here. If the chandelier at the Hotel MacDonald inspires you to knit something wonderous, oh please do. I’ve been looking at that picture for days, I admit to being enthralled by it, and that would be why. It is lace isn’t it?

I absolutely understand about needing to touch the water. For me, its going home in springtime, to walk through pastures covered in wild prairie crocus flowers.

Comment by Needles 07.25.07 @ 6:34 am

If we ever meet in person, I am not going in a canoe or canal with you! ha ha…

Comment by Amanda 07.25.07 @ 12:45 pm

OK, Alison, here’s another thing to say about you and your husband.

“I married up, and he married down.”

… and I’m with you on the balance, but all I need to do is SEE the ocean. Sounds like a good thing, after reading about you and the canoe.

Comment by Ruth Schooley 07.26.07 @ 1:51 pm

I did a similar thing when visiting my sister in California in 2005. It had been 15 years since I’d last been anywhere near the west coast and I wanted to touch the Pacific one more time before heading home. I walked towards the water’s edge, put my hand in, looked up, saw a large wave coming rapidly towards me, began running backwards (no time to turn around), fell on my bum, became engulfed in the wave and sea foam (but managed to keep my camera dry, thank goodness). My brother in law managed to snap a photo of the event where I’m doing the double fist punch in the air thing attempting to look triumphant. I had a soggy (but satisfied) car ride to my sister’s house.

There’s nothing like familiar water. I also recently visited the Wicomico River in Maryland. Some of my family lives on Cobb Island.

Comment by sparkle j 07.27.07 @ 7:44 am

You know? You could fill a very interesting book entirely with great canal stories. 🙂

Comment by Amy 07.27.07 @ 3:11 pm

I guess it is a little like my beloved Texas. Going home has to include a springtime walk among the bluebonnets.

I haven’t been home in the spring in a long time. Maybe I will make my Christmas visit a spring visit this year!

Comment by Rena 07.29.07 @ 9:56 am

Mountain Laurels for me. I am so going to make Kim Salazar’s Mountain Laurel Counterpane at wiseNeedle.com one of these days!

Comment by AlisonH 07.29.07 @ 3:49 pm

[…] Diana trying on my mother-of-the-bride Camelspin-yarn shawl at Purlescence’s knit night last night. The pattern has memories of strawberry picking with my family, growing up, and the wide, flowing Potomac River knitted into its stitches. I have a tradition of always dipping a toe into the water along the banks of that river every time I fly home. Now I can take it with me without having to crash through the canoe. […]

Pingback by SpinDyeKnit 06.13.08 @ 10:55 am

[…] went to where I’d fallen through a canoe.  The last shards had long since floated out to sea.  I looked at that embankment and went, I […]

Pingback by SpinDyeKnit 11.12.08 @ 9:18 pm

[…] spot where I fell through the canoe, several steps away and looking the opposite direction from the above picture. Yes, that’s […]

Pingback by SpinDyeKnit 11.19.08 @ 4:19 pm

Great story, Alison. I can envision you now with one leg through the canoe, the other trying to brace yourself to get yourself back up. Would have been great to have a video of that one. Funny, how sometimes when catastrophies happen, we can smile and laugh about them later. Thanks for sharing!

Comment by Joansie 11.20.08 @ 7:02 am

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