Saturday, June 13, 2009

wherever it may lead

Kids and I headed out this morning with lots of possibilities for how the day could go, all in agreement that we'd just see what felt right at the time and roll with it. We knew that Leah was volunteering for the Nathan Hale Homestead's contribution to Connecticut Open House Day. We knew they would be celebrating Nathan Hale's birthday and she should bring her spinning wheel because there was going to be a focus on wool/textiles of the time period. We also knew there was a fiddle fest going on nearby, so Jesse and I thought we might check that out after we explored the Nathan Hale Homestead offerings.

What we didn't expect was that one of the sheep would break out of its pen and go racing off into the 1,400-acre state forest, and that Jesse and a handful of other young volunteers would spend hours in the woods, tracking the sheep for miles. We didn't expect that this would leave the event short-handed and that the remaining spinner would have problems with the wheel she was using, and when I was trying to help her by comparing with Leah's wheel, visitors would be interested in this thing you call spinning. I didn't expect to show bunches of people how to spin, even with my humble beginnerly skills, or to chat for hours with the soapmaker or the dyer or the chair caner.

I didn't expect this boy to be so interested in what I was doing that he came back twice, the second time intending to spin "enough yarn for a BALL." I never expected to meet the delightful Louisa, who learned to drop spindle last week and was so thoroughly psyched to use a wheel, or the woman who was making wool felt for the first time and was amazed by this miraculous transformation.

Meanwhile, the sheep-trackers followed that rogue sheep all the way out the other side of the state forest, through muck, around pricker bushes, over hills, and, into a different town. Just before the owner arrived with her truck and some rope, a dog spooked the sheep and off it ran at full speed, out of sight of the young adults who had followed it so carefully. They got a lift back to the house and their efforts were rewarded with lemonade, ice water, and unlimited cake.

We started off not knowing how the day would take shape and ended with shaking our heads and laughing in disbelief. We could never have planned it, but wouldn't have missed it for the world.
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Blogger Turtle said...

sounds like a good day, I haven't been there in years but loved it at the hale house. (makes me remember those years in costume at the seaport museum in ct)

3:01 PM  

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