Some Scenes from the Road and Everyday Teachers

I keep thinking about doing a little blog series about the things I’ve learned by being on the road so much.  I see a lot of neat scenes, of course visit wonderful yarn shops, and have great (and sometimes deep) realizations as a result of all my lovely Alone Time.  I am not a big picture-taker, and some of the shots I do take can only be described as random.

Gorgeous purple beans planted outside a yarn shop in Indiana. You can see my new car in the picture. Of course I never did my Part 2 of the car-buying blog post either!

I was highly gratified to find another (famous!) road-warrior’s blog entry containing her own random, yet interesting noteworthy items.  It was neat to realize that there are others out there who value the little surprises life gives you and prefer the county roads to the interstates.

I pulled off of 80 in Central Ohio to take in a pretty scene. Because of the glare on my Xoom tablet screen, it took me a few tries to capture it successfully in the late afternoon, mid-autumn slanting light.

That's a little better.

That's more like it.

For the possible Travels with YarnSuperhero series, I even have a list of categories for topics, including Eating, Driving, Lodging, Packing/Traveling Light, Must-Have Gadgetry, and General Supplies and Conveniences.  I’m not sure if a blog dedicated to how I am adapting to so much solo car travel will be entertaining to anyone but me.  Really it might not even keep me engaged. Short attention span, don’t you know.  I recently sent a newsletter out to my customer base with project ideas for some yarns in my lines.  It was getting long, so I capped it off where I was and called it Part 1.  Will there ever be a Part 2?  I don’t know.  There are so many ideas to be had, and only some of them will ever get realized, much less completed, before I am on to newer and shinier.  Look, a squirrel!  Oh well, what’s another WIP or UFO?

Still mostly grass, but you get what I was going for.

I was surprised that over the past several weeks, I heard from 3 people who had found me online and had read my blog.  I kind of thought only my mom read it.  All 3 of these folks wanted to talk to me about different facets of the yarn business, and I liked sharing my observations, opinions, and experiences.  I hope it worked for them too.  One talk was especially valuable for me.  As I blabbed an overview of my YarnSuperhero career and some of my normal activities, I heard in my own voice how happy I am and how thankful I am for simple pleasures, found along the way.

I love the light in the fall, and the colors of the fields help me mark time.

Anyway, I’m just going to slap up some randomness and hope that maybe that will kickstart a blog mini-series.  Perhaps there are some people who don’t get out much and will get to see some of the great unknown.  I guess one of my favorite parts of this all is that I (literally) never know what I’m going to see around the next corner.

Or who I will be meeting, or how we will connect.  I have made some really fantastic new friends.  Many of them are multitalented creatives, and we are all small businesspeople trying to make it work.  I’m in an industry where there are WAY more hugs than handshakes happening at the big trade shows.  People help each other “just because,” and there is true collaboration.  I know people who I love to talk to and learn from–I get smarter just by being around them, it seems.

Lots of Riding Off Into the Sunset, these days.

Of course, you don’t have to leave home to find great teachers.  On my way out of town last week, I stopped at my favorite Indian grocery to pick up some spices I ran out of and get a couple bags of dried mangoes (great road snack–if I ever do the “Food on the Road” post, I have a long, delicious list.)  J. is the guy who is always working there when I go.  I am not sure if he is the owner, but I do know that he is turning into a great teacher for me.  Does he help me find strange and new (to me) ingredients?  Recipe ideas?  Sure, but that’s the easy stuff.

He teaches me about generosity.  In fact, almost every time I am really curious about something I see in his store that I have never seen before, he gives it to me.  That’s right.  His business is to sell his goods, yet he has given me things for free on several occasions, even when I remind him that I don’t mind paying, and after all he is not in the free food business.  Once, after checking out and chatting a little, I was on my way out and spied some interesting looking plum cakes.  I found out they were house-made and I said I would have to try one next time.  J. actually chased me out the door to give me one to take home.  A whole cake, not just a free sample bite, like you sometimes get at the bigger grocery stores.  He chased and I ran away, trying not to let him give it to me.  So he is also teaching me about accepting gifts.  He told me “Food is for sharing.”

One of my favorite "landmarks" on I-80, The House on the Pond.

So the day of bay leaves and dried mangoes, I mentioned that I was about to hit the road for Connecticut, to visit some yarn shops and spend a few days with my best friend, Julie.  J. said he did not like that drive because it was so long.  I told him that it is a decent haul, but that I really did not mind stretches of time in the car, because they offer a lot of uninterrupted thinking time.  J. said “What is there to think about?  Everything is perfect.  Don’t think too much.”

Here’s the house on a sunnier day, maybe a month earlier than the foggy photo above.  Thank goodness for Google, and my hotel’s free wifi.  You hardly need to know anything for your search to be successful…

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.”

“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”

 Marcel Proust

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