Tuesday, October 23, 2012

rhinebeck 2012

Only a couple of days late... As seems to to be the case most every year, we had a drastic change of plans just before our departure. My original impetus for going this year, since I couldn't stay the entire weekend due to the family wedding, was the promise I had made to Secondo last year that he would come with my parents and me to enjoy one last weekend at Rhinebeck before he entered high school. I have learned my lesson from Primo: once they start high school sports, their time belongs to the coach.

Secondo pitched a fit when he discovered that the wedding would mean no Rhinebeck this year. I figured out a way to work around the limitation, with only one day away from school. We booked the hotel, made our plans, and then... he failed to get a school project done on time. It had to be turned in on Friday, which meant no Rhinebeck for him. Of course, this all came to light on Thursday night.

Only somewhat daunted, my parents and I left as planned on Friday morning. At that point, I had too many things to drop off at Rhinebeck, including my shawl entry and some key items for the Coopworth breed display. We just went with the original program, and had a ball, though we missed my second son every minute of that day.

As planned, we toured Eleanor Roosevelt's Val-Kill retreat (in the rain, the weather was not planned)...

I can't recommend this spot enough, though the house itself is not particularly picturesque. The accomplishments of its inhabitant makes up for that. Absolutely fascinating, as Mrs C. had promised.

And then onto FDR's family estate at Hyde Park...

I got the most spectacular surprise when I exited the back of the second story of Springwood (the name of the family home). The description of the view from his bedroom noted that he had chosen the room because of the beautiful view of the Hudson River and surrounding hills. The blinds were drawn in all the rooms to preserve the interiors, so the truth of this statement wasn't evident until I stepped outside. Watery sunlight had replaced the curtains of rain, and the effect was stunning.

On Saturday morning we made our way to the fairgrounds to check the results of the Skein & Handmade Item competition, drop off further items for the breed display, and do a bit of shopping. I had dreamed of a white ribbon on the shawl, and it turned out to be quite prescient.

My dream didn't lie. A white ribbon is fourth place, as any 4-Her can tell you. I'll be interested to read the judge's comments! I did find out after the fact that roving from our farm was used to spin the first place winner in the Coopworth breed skein category, so that was quite exciting, even if I didn't know to take a picture of it.

After that my mom and I started shopping (and shopping and shopping), something I had never really done at Rhinebeck because I simply hadn't the time with the demands of the breed display. Our first stop, before it  was even really open for business, was a vendor who always has great deals on quality workhorse yarn. I had used the yarn from a Rhinebeck past to make my Acer cardigan. But what we found there was quite different from yarn, and absolutely irresistible at the price. I hemmed and hawed until my mother threatened to purchase it if I didn't.

Yep, my very own great wheel! I was so excited that I proceeded to tell everyone we met after that about my amazing good fortune. It is in rehab with my father at the moment, but I will post better and more detailed pictures once it has had the advantage of his TLC.

We had to leave at noon, but it was none too early. I was fortunate to see a number of friends, and enjoy a concentrated visit with the lovely Mrs C., but it was super-crowded and I was fading fast. We headed south for the wedding. At an opportune rest stop, I headed in with my boots and jeans on...

And after a superman-like change in a bathroom stall, headed out with my wedding gear on but boots in hand.

I was only slightly late to the wedding, thanks to an accident on the Garden State Parkway. My late arrival and inability to decode the church entrance signs meant that I very nearly burst into the front of the church, next to the altar, after the bride and groom had processed in. I managed to beat a quiet but hasty retreat and sneak into the back of the church so I could join my family, hopefully somewhat unnoticed. It was a lovely wedding and I had a great time dancing the night away with my guys... though I did feel somewhat guilty that I wasn't there to help stuff them all into their suits on Saturday afternoon.

I doubt that I could have squeezed one more thing into the weekend. No wonder I haven't recovered yet!


  1. Congratulations on your ribbon!

    It looks like the guys did okay getting themselves dressed.

    Yea for you for fitting everything in!

  2. Enjoyed your post. I've read all the books on FDR and Eleanor but have never had time to visit the homes on our trips. I certainly will next time. Great post.

  3. You wear me out just reading!
    Love to hear about your adventures