It's always a good day when I see a bald eagle as I'm driving off in the morning and look what we saw as we headed towards Richmond Sunday morning. No. It's not a buzzard.
It was a gorgeous day, though and I had knitting in my lap. BD remembered we had to go through Hustle because the road to Sparta is still out. (locals will understand this). We were headed to Richmond because that's where it all began - on the campus of Virginia Commonwealth University, lo these 4 decades ago. So we wanted to walk around the campus, see how many places we could still get into, (none), sigh over how things have changed and laugh at how little they really have changed. The girls hardly look any different - the boys are much less shaggy. Only some of the beautiful 19th century row houses have succumbed to modern architecture and at least nothing they've built since 1971 is any uglier than the hideous art building they built in the 1960's. I always felt so sorry for the art students because they had to study art in the ugliest brick&concrete building in Richmond. And unlike the gracious old brick houses, the newer stuff hasn't aged with either beauty or grace.
Happily, the music school is still houses the practice rooms in a lovely unconsecrated church and there was a couple sitting on the porch chatting as we walked by. And 917 is still the same even if it's no longer a music building. And it's locked, of course, as nothing ever seemed to be when we were there. I know. I spent the night on the 4th floor once, when I missed lock down at the dorm. It was always my favorite of the music buildings even though it wasn't the fanciest.
919 still looked good too - where around Halloween somebody asked me for my phone number. It wasn't my phone number, of course, it was the dorm phone where twice a month everyone had to do phone duty. Ah. Those pre-plug-in days of yore. Yeah. somebody ought to learn how to use the camera.
We walked on down to 1617 Floyd, beneath the leafy canopy of autumn, remembering, pointing, laughing. The little grocery store on Lombardy is now a hair salon. The man who ran it was from Dunnsville, Essex Co. I remembered him as tall and thin like Melvin Clark. BD remembered him as heavier, like Mutt Brown. You can pick whom to believe but I'd advise you to put your money on TheQueen ... who used to smoke Virginia Slims and could sweep up the pennies off the floor to go get a pack of them at that same little grocery store. A pack was twenty two cents - and that was the expensive way to buy them.
We poked around getting out of Richmond and even missed the turn off to I85 south of Petersburg but most of the trip was interstate driving. We did find the KFC in Henderson NC and they even had photographs of the first restaurant - the one we actually stopped at on that first date. Yes. We did eat there. Okay but greasy.
We are older these days - and I had it in my mind that the drive to Chapel Hill would be longer than it really was. The plan was to stay over night and take our time coming home. But I had no nostalgic attachment to that town and when we're actually seen enough of it - and realized that we could be home by 10:30 if we wanted to drive on through - well. It was a no-brainer. We'd much rather spend Monday at home, in Paradise. Which we did.
In fact, this was our last anniversary trip to NC. I like NC enough but I thought Chapel Hill was sort of snooty. The only friendly person we ran across was Beans the Dog who would do a trick for you for $1. His owner told me to ball up a dollar bill and hide it in an alley, out of sight of Beans. Then Beans would search the alley and come back with the crumpled bill, which he returned to me - and which I gave to his owner. So of course, petting Beans brought thoughts of white dogs who would really like to get back up in the Big Bed and if we made just that little push - we could make it happen.
You see - I switched to that pretty wooden new Knitters Pride Dreamz needle on the 4th repeat. It is much slicker than the Addi Natura I'd been using. The stitches in this repeat are so much looser and, ahem, sloppier, I will frog them all and go back to the original needle. Mind now. I like these new needles very much - I'll talk about them sometime in a later post. But I like my sculptured knitting to look tidy - the cabling and bobbling and knits and purls are enough interest. I don't want wobbly stitches.
And so. It's back to the Real World today and my own particular real world is so packed with obligations I'm almost daunted by it. But the stars tell me to get a move on and I see it's after 8. So off I go.