written 3/20/08

I’ve long been a fan of the serendipitous moments in life and in books.
Last week while reading the tail end of War and Peace I finally read the passage where Aunt Anna finished knitting. I had Chris’s second STR Haida sock in my purse.

Pierre went into the children, and the shrieks and laughter were louder than ever. “Now, Anna Makarovna,” cried Pierre’s voice, “here in the middle of the room and at the word of my command – one, two, and when I say three, you stand here. You in my arms. Now, one, two….” there was complete silence. “Three!” and an enthusiastic roar of children’s voices rose in the room. “Two! Two!” cried the children.
• They meant the two stockings, which, by a secret only known to here, Annna Makarovna used to knit on her needles at once. She always made a solemn ceremony of pulling one stocking out of the other in the presence of the children when the pair was fininshed.

Maybe I’ll have to try that knitting two socks at once some day. It’s a crowd pleaser.

On Thursday morning it happened again. I’m reading Miles from Nowhere. The subtitle is “A Round-the-world Bicycle Adventure” and is the travel memoir of Barbara and Larry Savage. My knit-sib Cathy loaned me this touching book. She’d read it following her own bicycle adventures through New Zealand and Australia in the mid 1980’s. Cathy rocks!

In the early pages of Miles from Nowhere, after Barb and Larry quit their jobs and sold everything to finance their two year sojourn, they begin their ride on Highway 1 in California. Several years ago Chris and I drove this same road on vacation and as I read of Barb and Larry’s encounters with grueling winds I wondered if I could have ridden that road on two wheels.
Now in Chapter Seven they have left the UP (for us a more recent vacation – again not on two wheels) and entered the Finger Lakes Region of New York.
My excitement soared! We’re planning to ride The Bon Ton Roulet in July. A week on our tandem touring upstate New York. Wine country. The seat of American Feminism. And where Barb and Larry encounter their first frost of the season.
I imagine this is probably the last geographic serendipitous moment in Miles from Nowhere for me. Last fall was our first time to travel by tandem. But we were hooked and have agreed to do more. In traveling the world, Barb and Larry Savage had more adventurous goals than I, but I’d love to take our tandem to Europe and beyond. Traveling by bike slows your pace and increases your physical connection to the larger world. You stop and talk to strangers. You avoid the big cities which are the usual destination spots and encounter the small towns and countryside, along with the people who live there. It’s a beautiful and exciting way to travel.
3/24/08 notes
Actually I’m so slow in posting this that another serendipity moment occurred today in Miles to Nowhere. The author is riding through Morocco. I’m beginning the Moroccan Days Shawl. Okay it’s a stretch but still…..


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