Sometimes you just have to stop
and let your soul catch up with your body.
I boarded the Pelee Islander in Sandusky, Ohio and sailed half way across Lake Erie to Pelee Island, Ontario last week. The voyage took less than two hours, but it took me a world away from my spring encounter with ill health. A friend of mine has a home on the island, and she invited me to come for a knitting vacation. Here is a collection of word snapshots of my impressions:
- The Jackson Street Pier in Sandusky must be one of the better duty stations for the Customs and Border Patrol officers. The inspections went smoothly and I got to use my new wallet-size passport card. I also added another item to my list of reasons I like being over seventy. Everyone stood back and let me go first. They didn’t see me get in my two-seated roadster to drive on home.
- Lake Erie has come a long way back from the brink in the past fifty years. When I saw it on my way through Cleveland in 1965, it was dead. Last week, the water was clear, and free of debris and odor. Since there has been so much rain this year, the water level was unusually high so many beaches were covered.
- Starting a trip with a boat ride adds to the excitement, and is a fun way to separate one from everyday life—unless, of course, one works on a boat in ones everyday life. I didn’t even feel sea sick.
- Knitting is an essential skill for those of us who aren’t adapted to aimless idleness. It makes us patient waiters. I knit as I waited for the boat, I knit while we traveled. I knit while my friend and I visited. Some folks don’t realize that most knitting doesn’t require constant thought so one can converse and pay attention to other things while the fingers are moving.
- Halfway into our voyage, the Ohio rain gave way to the first sunshine I’d seen in days. It lasted for several days. I even brought it home with me.
- As my friend said, Pelee Island looks like a chunk was cut out of the Ohio farm land and set down in the middle of the lake. The center of the island is planted in crops like soy beans.
- A morning stroll down a shaded country lane adds even more to an already excellent breakfast at the local Bakery. The baker is also a painter and jewelry maker. I invested in earrings and a tea pot as well as croissants.
- A trip to the local winery was educational as well as fun. Did you know that rose bushes are planted at the end of each row of grape vines for their “canary in the mine” effect? The same diseases infest the roses as the grapes so, if the roses show disease, the whole row is likely to be involved.
- The history museum, the local craft co-op, a food and hardware co-op, and a small dress shop also grabbed my attention. I didn’t put too big a dent in my budget, but I did bring home good-memory triggers. Some folks call these souvenirs.
As I drove west toward home on U.S. 6, and U.S. 27, I felt whole. I think that is what vacations are for.
Mary Ann said:
Can’t remember if I told you, but our reading e-circle group read The Pelee Project for our book in July. You would enjoy it since you have been there. Jane Christmas, author.In my comments, I linked your blog post on Pelee!
James Miller said:
Quite a writer, you.
Thank you, Jim.
Myrna Stahman said:
Thanks for sharing. I just don’t understand people who don’t have knitting with them at all times! My daughter recently gave me a T-shirt that says “If I’m sitting I’m knitting,” and that is generally true – unless (a) I’m running after our two-year old grandson, who already must think that he is twelve – intelligent and curious or (b) entertaining his four-year-old big sister. Myrna
How true. I was knitting a scarf and thinking of you just the other day. Do enjoy the grandbabies.
I’m vacationing vicariously through you!
I took the special Madlintosh yarn with me (thank you, thank you) and have my special project almost finished with an eye toward New Harmony.
I LOVED your special project!
Charlotte Griffin said:
Aunt Rachel taught you well, i.e. idle hands (but she or Marilyn could never seem to teach me crocheting or knitting — oh well I have other things to keep me busy).
Your vacation sounds perfect. By the way, people don’t realize that to Misegades’ if you’re in your 70’s you are a “spring chicken”.
to “sapatron” the Aegean can give you seasickness for sure.
So good to hear from you. Thanks for the encouragement.
Victoria Kline said:
I’ve never heard of this place and your description and photos made me want to visit.
I’m sure you would have enjoyed it, especially the knitting. Pelee is the most southerly point in Canada. I’d not heard of it until recently either even though it isn’t far from me.
Katherine, this was great. It took me back some 60 years or more to when my parents took our family on a trip to Pelee. I don’t remember much of it now but I do recall something about rocks and gouges and glaciers. And vinyards, I believe. I don’t believe any of us got seasick on that trip but 50 years later my SO and I were invited on a fishing trip on Lake Erie and I spent most of the time lying in the cabin feeling green. Lake Erie is a good seasickness maker. *G*
You know, I bet very little has changed in the last 60 years.