January 5, 2010|Comments (15)
Who better to take on a road trip than a fellow Appalachianite, knitter, and now-blogger, Aunty Katydid? Her cd collection alone would have the average bluegrass/jamband-appreciative person scrambling to rope her into a road trip.
Hoping to escape morning traffic through Atlanta, Katy stayed Sunday night at my house so we could get on I-185 by six a.m. which landed us on the north side of the city by eight o’ clock. I drove and Katy knitted the final sleeve on a sweater while a collection of best-loved mellow morning songs played in the background. We were largely quiet until reaching South Carolina which wasn’t planned or uncomfortable. In my mind, the sign of true friendship is the ability to sit in comfortable silence.
As we neared the border of North Carolina, a familiar view brought tears to my eyes. The gentle swell of the mountains was no longer a bluish blur in the distance and a rush of “Home” came over me. I glanced over at Katy, who sat with needles still mid-knit, and saw her eyes filled with tears. Katy grew up in Asheville, NC (where we planned to stop for lunch) and obviously the mountains were a welcome sign for her, too.
In order to buy decent yarn in our small corner of Georgia, one must either drive to a yarn shop in Atlanta or purchase from the internet — both of which can lead to disappointment. The yarn shops of Atlanta do not compare to Purl’s Yarn Emporium. We walked through the door of Purl’s and immediately recognized that we were going to spend all of our vacation recreation monies on yarn. Hand-dyed, hand-spun, and natural fiber yarns overflowed from baskets and shelves in a veritable cascade of color.
Still glowing from our yarn shop experience, we made our way to The Laughing Seed. The Laughing Seed’s menu is filled with delightful vegetarian dishes which are as delicious as they are beautiful. Each dish is made with local and organic ingredients while the prices are surprisingly low.
After a quick stop for coffee, we hopped back on I-26 and were Virginia-bound. Excitement crackled through the car as we chatted and laughed our way onto I-81 which carried us up through the Shenandoah Valley to the small town of Bridgewater, Virginia.
All along the way, I acted as a Virginia tour guide and peppered Katy with historical trivia and some of my own personal history. Four of my five maternal uncles live in/around the Roanoke area and it seemed odd to have driven so far only to roll past them without stopping. I haven’t spoken with any of them since the first week of July 2005 (some even longer). After cutting ties with my mentally ill mother for safety reasons, her oldest brother consulted with the others and declared me officially banned from the family. Not one of them have made any attempt to inquire about my health or well-being since the summer before I moved to Washington and married Josh. Which is why I firmly believe that you should choose your own family. My chosen family just happens to live in Virginia, Maryland, and North Carolina… hence the road trip.
My favorite scene from Bridgewater, Virginia? Just the sun setting over a lovely barn and Mennonite buggy.