Sunday, May 12, 2013

Life On The Road

I left San Francisco for three weeks in April for various work dates, from Gees Bend to Atlanta to Sarasota and Denver, stayed home for a week or so, then headed out for my East Coast tour May 1. Since May 1 I have been talking and teaching and meeting with people almost non-stop, and have now passed the midpoint of this three-week trip. It has been a ball, it has been intense, and it has been  a lot of driving, but it has never been boring.

Why, just the salad oil stains I have managed to inflict on three of my new shirts have been exciting, especially when I tried to wash them off during a lecture. When I had back to back video shoots for PBS and Craftsy in my schedule, my wife took me to Nordstrom's and helped me pick out five new shirts, which I have worn every day for six weeks now, cycling through them so as to keep each one as fresh as possible. Finally in Brooklyn this week I took them all to a shirt laundry and had them cleaned, so I would look and feel fresh for the rest of my trip. The next night I went to dinner with guild members before my lecture and dripped salad dressing down the front of the first one. Perfect! A big stain on my shirt for my lecture! The following evening I went to dinner in clean shirt number two and slathered some nice balsamic vinaigrette down the front. The next morning I donned shirt number three, just in time to have a little something squirt out of my ham and cheese croissant, DOWN THE FRONT.

At the next lecture I hustled into the kitchen of the community center, squirted some dish soap onto a sponge and tried to scrub and rinse all three.  This, of course, was in a large room full of women, who all had advice for me: "Use shampoo!", "Hang them outside and they will dry by the time you are done." Indeed, they were--dry enough to see the water stains where I had not rinsed properly.

Oh boy, was I careful with that caesar salad tonight. I'm sure my dinner companions wondered why I was holding the fork by the very end, leaning over my plate and carefully inserting each forkful in my mouth.

I brought more books than I could ever possibly sell, and ran out on lecture number two. Now all the quilters are mad at me for having no books.

Today is not only Mother's Day, but also the day before my 18th anniversary. "You are going to be gone Mother's Day AND our anniversary?" my wife inquired at one point. I could see something behind her eyes that looked like...I am not sure what. Seemed like math of some sort.

Fortunately, meeting new quilters, seeing the personality of each new guild, teaching classes that get people to do things they never thought they could do--it is all fun. One more week til I fly home, and this time get to stay there for a while. Maybe I will get to make a new quilt this year yet.


  1. Joe,
    Your wife is very kind to have so graciously shared you w us on this, your eighteenth wedding anniversary. Your lecture was fabulous!
    Jane H. / CT Piecemakers

  2. Jane,
    You are right--she is a peach.