The Mysterious Pittsburg

No I did not misspell the town’s name. I’m talking about Pittsburg, New Hampshire. It’s way up on the Canadian border. It’s been a favorite place to go for my uncle’s family. And while Eric stopped to teach a workshop in Pennsylvania on our way to his next workshop on Nantucket, I rented a car and headed north with the two dogs so I could spend Labor Day weekend with my cousin and my aunt and uncle in Pittsburg.

Before I start… where did the summer go??? It went by way too fast. And I

When I arrived in N.H. I dropped off the dogs at my parents and spent the night at my cousin’s home so we could leave early, around 5 a.m. and head north. It was a gorgeous ride…

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pittsburg-newhampshire-drive

I took this snap because of the reflection in my cousin’s side mirror. The sun was coming up and the reflection was very bright in the mirror of the New Hampshire landscape along the highway.

The sun was out when we arrived…

pittsburg-newhampshire

(See, there really is a town called Pittsburg in New Hampshire!)

My uncle built two cabins on top of a mountain…pittsburg-newhampshire-welcome

His view shows Canada in the distance and a lake on the left, another lake on the right and the town center in between, below in the valley…

pittsburg-newhampshire-view

The photo above I took about ten minutes before sunset. Below is a view from the porch on the other side…
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Below is the outdoor table where we ate dinner and played card games and my new favorite game, Rummi Kub. Here is my cousin and her mom getting ready to set up the game…
pittsburg-newhampshire-games

Labor Day morning we packed up and (sadly) headed south. Below is my cousin taking a photo of a lone loon making her way across the lake.
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Another beautiful morning for our drive…

Five Questions Friday: Spark

chevy-spark-van-breakdown-basketry-travelThis week’s questions need to start with what’s usually his last question which is…

Q: What aggravated you this week?
Eric: The van breaking down 90 minutes away from home on my way to the convention in North Carolina.

Q: What happened?
Eric: At the time, I didn’t know but a loud ding and a light went off that said “check engine.” I got off the highway and looked around to have it checked out. The first place couldn’t fix it so they sent me to another garage. They looked at it and said they were able to fix it but not until the next day because they had to order the part.

Q: So what did you do?
Eric: I couldn’t wait since I was teaching my first class the next day at the NCBA. So I called Hertz and got a ride to get my new rental car, which happens to be red and very little. A Chevy Spark to be exact. Did I say that it was tiny?.

Q: Yes, you did. How did you fit in all your stuff?
Eric: I barely did. I had the passenger seat, back seat and the barely-there hatchback trunk completely filled. I couldn’t fit my wheel cart to lug all this stuff into the hotel, so left that behind. It was very uncomfortable.

Q: Okay, so you made it. Let’s end on a positive note… Anything funny happen in class?
Eric: Yes. You know all the shop cloths you cut for my classes? Well, someone asked out loud, in front of everyone, “Did these used to be your pajamas?” I quickly replied, “I prefer to call them lounge pants.” Everyone burst out laughing. And then we talked about how we were hosted at someone’s house many years ago and she told everyone the rags they were using to oil their baskets were cut from her old underwear.
(Actually, those plaid “shop cloths” I cut for you were from my old pajamas. Hey, they were washed beforehand! And they were too ‘used’ to donate. Glad they not only came in handy, but they provided some much-needed entertainment.)

The Profiling of Long-haired Basketmakers Needs to Stop!

First, I need to apologize to all my loyal fans (or rather my brother Tripp) who wrote me that they were upset I have not posted in awhile. So, I am truly sorry.

However, we were gone for over two weeks visiting family (which included my brother Tripp) up in New Hampshire and then Mr. Basketmaker had a workshop in Connecticut. And I tend to not write on the blog so much (or even at all) when we are out of town. And I didn’t want to announce “Hey, I won’t be posting for a couple weeks because we are leaving our home and will be out of town!” Sounds like an invitation to some morally-defunct persons who may be nearby. But then again, what am I worried about — only the best people around read my blog!

Speaking of the morally-defunct, Mr. Basketmaker (okay, just joking… he was brought up right, with excellent morals…) had a little encounter while driving to Connecticut. He was profiled by the police… again! And we are sick and tired of it. I want to start a protest! (everyone else does… so why can’t the long-haired basketmakers in this country stand for a cause?)

So he’s on 93 South in Massachusetts, alone, and sees flashing blue lights behind him. He puts his attitude with all the traffic he’s been putting up with in check and quickly pulls over. The officer walks up to him as he rolls down the window and says “What seems to be the problem officer?”

The cop replies, “You passed on the right.”

What??? We drive thousands of miles every year. And I can honestly say that I’ve seen hundreds upon hundreds of vehicles traveling our highways passing on the right! So it’s apparent this cop has profiled my poor long-haired Mr. Basketmaker and is fishing….

The officer continues “I see you have Tennessee plates. What are you doing up here?”

Eric responds, “I was visiting my parents up in New Hampshire for Thanksgiving.” He was going to keep all his answers extremely simple and short.

Officer: “What town?”

Eric: “Meredith.”

Officer: “Then why are you in this state (Massachusetts)?”

Eric: “I am teaching at a workshop in Connecticut.”

Officer: “Where in Connecticut?”

Eric: “Suffield, Connecticut.”

Officer: “Show me your license and registration.”

Eric opens up the glove compartment which I have packed full with napkins, straws, antibacterial gel, pens, paper and also a bag of dog bones right up front that fell out when Eric was looking for the registration.

Officer: “You have a dog with you?” (as he shines his flashlight throughout the van.)

Eric: “Not with me.”

Officer: “Where is he.”

Eric: “Staying at my parents house.”

Officer: “Where’s that?”

Eric: “New Hampshire.”

Officer: “What town?”

Eric: “Meredith.”

Officer: “What kind of dog is he?”

Now since Eric is keeping his answers short and sweet with as little info as possible, he doesn’t say we have two dogs, he just goes with the one… “A Golden doodle” he replies back.

Officer: “What are you doing up here in the North again?”

Eric: “I was visiting my parents up in New Hampshire for Thanksgiving.”

Officer: “What town?”

Eric: “Meredith.”

Officer: “Why are you in this state?”

Eric: “I am teaching at a workshop in Connecticut.”

Officer: “Where in Connecticut?”

Eric: “Suffield, Connecticut.”

Officer: “Where’s your dog again?”

Eric: “At my parents home.”

Officer: “Where’s that?”

Eric: “New Hampshire.”

Officer: “What town?”

Eric: “Meredith.”

Officer: “Why are you in this state?”

Eric: “I am teaching at a workshop in Connecticut.”

Officer: “Where in Connecticut?”

Eric: “Suffield, Connecticut.”

After asking the same things over and over, the cop gives him back his license and registration and sends him off his way with no warning, nothing.

So clearly he was being profiled! A basketmaker, with long hair, driving a minivan, alone, with Tennessee plates, up in the state of Massachusetts must be up to no good!

When will law enforcement stop profiling and picking on long-haired basketmakers driving minivans?

STOP-Profiling-Now-Shirt