Sunday, September 19, 2010

home again ...jiggity-jig

Notwithstanding a very slow start (I had one of those debilitating intestinal maladies that we all get from time to time last week for two entire days), I managed to drive away Friday afternoon in the general direction of New York's fingerlakes region -- by way of Canada. I have always preferred the Canadian route to the northeast - in part because it's shorter (allegedly), but also because it's so very pretty, with roads many time better than their US equivalents. This time, the queen's way was heavily under construction, two major auto accidents held up traffic, and I confess that it made me quite tired. The route took about two hours more than the US route might have taken. But never mind. Here's why:

The countryside in Ontario cast a spell -- the lighting, the way the cornfields were making the journey from summer green to autumnal browns (the stalks were beginning to look like emaciated scarecrows), the pristine mixture of eastern woodlands and almost-prairie. I say "almost" because I grew up in the Great Plains, and nobody who's grown up there would ever mistake long-settled and cleared woodland for plains. The woodlands gently undulate; the plains do not. On the plains, the sky is enormous, almost a cariacature of a normal sky; in easterly places, it's comparatively boring, normal, balanced. I'm also pleased to report that Canadians have Halloween-period orange cones with black and orange striping instead of the US's white and orange stripes. (Don't worry -- I have that kind of mind.....). I noticed, too, that the coffee at Tim Horton's is still better in Canada than in the company's American shops. I wonder why???

After a good night in Batavia, New York, Matilda (the bossy GPS) took me overland, away from turnpikes onto small paved roads to some of the state's most beautiful little towns. One was founded in 1789, another in 1802. Here and there, you can find vestiges of those early republican beginnings -- the occasional old Dutch facade (I last saw some of those rooflines in Edam and Amsterdam), fields with furrows much deeper and less temporary than the ones to the west. After a couple of century's you can't really eliminate furrows that have been ploughed in a certain way over and over again; if you don't believe me, just fly over the English midlands.

I bought some really amazing vintage buttons in an Ontario collectable shop, and then some genuinely antique fasteners in a very old, creaky shop in one of those sleepy NY towns.

But I'd like to save the Finger Lakes Fiber Festival descriptions until I can download the camera. I made some new friends. Be patient: I'll get the job done tomorrow. svb

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