Quite Alright, Thank You
Published On: July 15, 2010

One of the most enjoyable things about the retreat was that everyone staying at the Inn was there for the same thing.  It was unexpectedly liberating.  You knew that no one would think it odd that you were carrying around a spinning wheel or sitting on the porch knitting or carefully photographing a ball of brightly colored fluff.  If you noticed someone peering intently at your work you could be sure that they would ask about the yarn or the technique or the colorway, not ask ‘don’t you know you can buy socks at the store?’  Even the staff had more or less gotten used to us and took our odd behavior in stride.

But the Inn also has a marina, and the people staying on the boats had not quite reached the same level of equanimity.  They seemed more than a bit perplexed.  We outnumbered them though, and we tended to move in packs, so they didn’t really say much about it.  At least not until Saturday.

Saturday morning after breakfast I decided to sneak off for a few minutes to take pictures of Peregrinate.  I ate breakfast on the porch.  Just off the porch there was a little path with a set of stairs leading down to a bit of a beach.  On the beach was a giant log covered in grass and moss and other mystery plants I can’t name.  The beach (and all but the top few inches of the log) is submerged at high tide, but in the morning there is plenty of space to wander around.  I decided the log would be a great place to take pictures.

At first, I tried to do it standing up.  Alas, I couldn’t quite get my feet where I wanted them and get the camera where I wanted it and maintain my balance (my dignity had already been abandoned) all at the same time.  So I decided to get a chair off the porch.

Now those stairs I mentioned only come down to within about 3 feet of the beach.  If they went any lower, the bottom ones would be under water at high tide.  It was easy enough to hop up and down, but lugging a large sturdy (read heavy) chair down the stairs was a bit trickier.  I managed though, and dragged it over to the log.  I sat down, kicked my feet up as high as I could, scrunched down in the chair to get the shot lined up, and started clicking away.  I’m sure it looked odd, but it should have been pretty obvious what I was doing.

About this time the folks staying on the boat started coming out to walk their dogs.  Their path took them right by me.  Several stopped to stare, but I ignored them.  Some felt the need to to chat.  They all started the same way.

“Are you ok?”


“Do you need help?”


“What are you doing?”

Taking pictures of my socks.

Now of course what they were really wanted to ask was ‘why are you taking pictures of your socks?’ But none of them quite got up the nerve.  I have a firm policy of answering the question that was asked and not over explaining.  I pretend it preserves the mystery.  I had this exchange or a slight variation of it several times before I was done.

As I was packing up, one of the staff members came by and asked if I gotten enough pictures of my socks and if I’d like help getting the chair back on the porch.  These were much more reasonable questions and demonstrate a far better understanding proper knitting behavior.  I was impressed.

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