Thursday, August 26, 2010

Road Food

I've never taken a liking to fast food burger joints. In fact I never even had one until I was in high school and I thought it just awful. The road food I remember was from my childhood. Every summer until I was 15 I spent at my grandparents in PA. I would be picked up the day after school ended, and returned right before Labor Day. And every summer there was a road trip. A magnificent two or three weeks in which we had a loose game plan, a state or two in mind and my Grandfather, with my Grandmother and me in tow would point his Rambler, his Charger or his Impala in some direction and we would be off. Now this wasn't extravagant travel. We stayed at Ho Jo's and motels with cabins like teepee's or with big neon signs in old style fonts that you just don't see an more. Almost always we found a place with a pool. Road food was off the beaten path, BBQ joints or home made pies, ice creams or cobblers and Southern Fried Chicken, little Mom & Pop Italian places, Rye breads and odd sounding dishes. Most I liked, some I didn't. There was chopped sirloin better tasting than most steaks these days. Good handmade hamburgers, grilled and served with heaping slices of ripe tomatoes and pickles and chips. Fish on Friday's always. Local food, neighborhood food almost always served with a smile and bit of conversation. All of it accompanied by new scenery, a lot of it pretty kitchy. Small sad little roadside zoos, big balls of string and rubber bands, giant fry pans, local natural history museums and all sorts of other funky things along any given route. There were few museums of art (my parents made sure that end of American culture was covered also), one summer some of the Smithsonian and of course all the other sites in D.C.. I've seen vast beautiful and buggy swamps, horses and buggy's used still as transportation, great lakes, citrus groves, nut farms, canyons, amazing mountains, miles and miles of corn, all sorts of snakes, roadrunners and scorpions, old growth and lush forests, abject poverty, Indian reservations, plains without buffalo, buffalo without plains, tobacco fields, waterfalls, wide rivers and small streams with bloody histories, steamboats, tractors and all sorts of things I know I've forgotten. I won't even go into some of the crazy, fun and stomach turning tours we went on. I had a fast food Wendy's hamburger Tuesday and while it was certainly nothing to be repeated unless I had to, the trip down Memory Lane was well worth the $2.99 price and resulting mild indigestion. Road food ain't what it use to be!

Now, onto weaving. I can still move when I have to and the towel warp was measured and wound on yesterday.

In fact, the threading has been started and I'm hoping to get it done today; sleyed and tied on for weaving. This is a mixed warp of organic colorgrown cotton and low impact dyed cotton, mostly 6/2, some 7/2 and two strands of 10/2 for a little color. They will be plain weave with a rosepath design of pine trees for the borders. For those that have the book, the design is #118 on page 31 of A Weaver's Book of 8-Shaft Patterns. It uses 8 shafts (surprise surprise), and 11 treadles. The trees will be in dark green, of course!
Sett is 18 epi and it is 21" wide
These were my "helpers" yesterday. Stella actually listened when I told her the 5 yard warp chains were not play toys. Check out the tail in motion behind her head.

Dennett was channeling lots of calming vibes and his wise manner is always welcome in the studio.
And Jack was keeping my desk seat warm for me.

The Hollandia loom is at the other end of the studio, so he took over the vacant chair to keep a watchful eye on me and remind me of the threading pattern should I lose my place. With help like this you know the towels have got to be good!


  1. What a fun memory to wake up to today! I live near old US 1 in VA. A lot of similar places are on that road but in decline for sure. It is still the best route for avoiding the nightmare that is I-95.

    My favorite warp is a towel warp. It seems so natural, useful and risk free!

    Dennett is honoring the buffet I think.

  2. The best fried shrimp I ever put in my mouth came from a local diner on Hwy. 90 in Gautier, MS. They served it on paper plates with LOTS of napkins!!! Great memory! The towel warp looks amazing...can't wait to see the pine trees woven in!

  3. I enjoyed hearing about your good memories of time spent with your grandparents and the places you visited!

    You really shot some great dog photos this time-I love the one of Stella and the expression on her face.

  4. Sounds like you had some pretty wonderful summers! Love the studio helpers, sure miss mine.

  5. What great summer memories - mine are from the Jersey shore at my folks beach house, from when school let out until Labor Day weekend. Spent my days slathered with baby oil (before we all heard of skin cancer or wrinkles from the sun)laying on the beach and dating lifeguards in my teens.

    Better than Wendy's is Beckie's Cafe in Union Creek - good old style place to eat, good burgers, best homemade pie around and nice Rogue River gorge walks on top of it! Not exactly on the way home but a nice drive.

  6. Cindie, Thank you for the local tip!

    Evelyn You know, studio helpers can be found at the shelter. I can't imagine what a lonely place my studio ( and house) would be without all the spectators. I was critter-less once for about 2 years and I still remember that time and not in a good way either.

    Judy, Stella certainly has an adorable and expressive face. She is SO photogenic.

    LA, YUM! Shrimp. I love fried seafood. Good thing it isn't readily available here, although the fried oysters can be quite good.

    LOTL, yes, towels are such risk free items to weave, and still useful even if you have made a mistake.
    And I know were US 1 is too. I would love to do another road trip up and down the eastern seaboard, but I know seeing New Orleans and parts of MS would break my heart. You can never go back. It's not just that things change but the way you see them also changes. I'll keep the magic memories instead.

  7. Great to have wonderful memories of times shared with your grandparents, I have those too and I cherish them. I'm there with you on road food, I've had great and not so great, and stuff that you'd rather just toss in the toilet and not put through your system. Nothing like a small diner off the beaten path for great food.

  8. Stella always makes me smile.

    Great memories Theresa. So nice they involve your grandparents. come of think of it, most of my best childhood memories include my grandparents too.

    And I really like your towel warp!

  9. Stella could not have taken a more perfect picture. Cute!

    I agree with you on fast food. This summer we were so hungry for breakfast we stopped at a McDonald's near Madison, Wi. Boy were we surprised. Two large stone fireplaces, two extremely large flat screen tv's and so nice I could hardly believe we were in a McDonald's. Oh, and our breakfast sandwich was bad either.
    Do they do it better in Wisconsin??

    Our grandfather would take all his granddaughters to our cabin near Bemidji Minnesota for a week. No other adult just him and his 10 or more granddaughters of assorted ages. What fun!!!!! Think he was sane after the week? I often wonder that myself but he did it year after year. Bless his heart!

    Nice warp.

  10. What a great blog, loved the road trip and the fun photos...-

  11. I've had more than my share of road food lately!! I'm happy to be back in my own kitchen. (But not as happy as little ecstatic Bailey's who's enthusiastically licking a dinner plate on the floor right this minute....)

    Love the picture of Stella with the wagging tail!!

    I'm commenting out of order, so I know your towels are super cool already!! I like the colors you chose and the way you used them!


  12. Your towels make me want to weave, but not enough to come indoors on beautiful days like today. I'm sure that's going to change and soon - ugh.