I knit therefore I am. I knit everywhere. I knit here. I knit there. I especially knit on the go.
So in the summer of 2013 which was quite the year of traveling, I packed the yarn, needles and pattern for a forest green Sampler Blanket and got in the car with my Scouting friend John Farley to drive to the new Summit Bechtel Reserve in West Virginia for the 2013 National Boy Scout Jamboree.
Here's John's first selfie en route to West Virginia. I swear I offered to help with the driving, but he said "No." OK - better for me. I can spend the next 24 hours knitting!
I managed to knit about half the blanket on the drive down to West Virginia. We broke up the trip in half, so there was a nice dinner and an overnight halfway down. Knitters instantly understand what this means - MORE KNITTING TIME!
Finally we arrived at the Summit Bechtel Reserve (this is a photo from the following year's trip - but it's the only one I have of the sign). For the next few weeks there would be no knitting on the Sampler Blanket. I left it in John's truck for the duration.
We parked the truck in the staff long term parking area. The excitement was palpable. Look who's a happy camper!
John was excited, too, as we boarded the bus for fun and adventure.
The bus dropped us off at Base Camp A - our home away from home for the next few weeks. Coincidentally, our color for the Jamboree was green. How fitting!
Since the Sampler Blanket was too large for Jamboree knitting, I brought some socks to knit for the duration. Even sock knitting is cool at the Jamboree.
We had a lot of exposure to Mother Nature while we were at the Summit. John is a retired middle school science teacher, so it's always fun to have an expert telling us about the flora and fauna. I don't remember what type of moth this was, but let me just say it was H-U-G-E!
We had our official name tags. This must have been early on during the Jamboree, because by the end, my lanyard was adorned with mementos from all the Scouts and new friends I made along the way. My first adornment was a mini Gumby. Because Marines (and Scouts, too) should always be Semper Gumby (this means always being flexible).
The Jamboree was so much fun. We met our close friends and made new friends. Sometimes we even dressed alike. Here's Caroline, me and Dianna posing for a picture in our Sub Camp headquarters. Matchy-matchy!
And the knitting continued. I made a batch of my miniature Scout sock ornaments.
Camp life is always fun. We got these new fancy schmancy bunk bed cots. These were seriously the coolest cots I've ever seen.
Before you could say Summit Bechtel Reserve, the youth arrived. I managed to see Primogeniture once or twice during the entire adventure.
I saw Secundogeniture more often. He came by to decompress, charge his phone, and enjoy things from Mom - like extra patches for trading, ice cream, and the use of the computer.
Lunch consisted of 'shelf stable' on the go food. It was plenty of food, and I managed to lose about 10 lbs while I was at the Jamboree - between the food and the miles and miles and miles of walking. Hmmmm.... maybe I should stay here more often!
We got the chance to walk around between our work shifts and see the displays and activities for ourselves.
John met up with another friend and fellow board member from our Council - Charlie.
We got the one currency that all adult leaders treasure - a coveted Staff patch. It was a great time but it was time to head home.
And of course, we sang the classic John Denver song about West Virginia as we departed.
Our first stop on the way home was a delicious steak dinner. I'm not sure what the true quality was, but I can tell you it was the single most delicious meal I have ever eaten! Two weeks of camp food will do that to you.
And we met up with our Long Island friends for breakfast at Cracker Barrel. Here we are sitting on the rocking chairs like the Old Timers we are. Look who didn't bring any civilian clothes with her? Hahaha.
And I managed to nearly finish knitting the blanket on the long drive home.
The best part of any trip is arriving home. Home Sweet Home!
Once home, I blocked the five strips for the blanket and only needed to join the strips into one full sized blanket and call it a day. Somewhere along the way, after I blocked the strips, I had to clean up the basement and I put the blanket away for safe keeping.
Of course, you know this means it got forgotten. Out of sight. Out of mind.
And in the two and a half years since the Jamboree, every time I saw John, he would tell the story of the Major knitting the entire blanket on our drive down to West Virginia. I knew while knitting the blanket on the drive to the Jamboree that this needed to find its home with the Farley family.
I saw John again in December as we were interviewing the candidates to be leaders for our Council's Jamboree Contingent for the 2017 Jamboree. He told the knitting story again. I casually mentioned that we should get together for dinner with our spouses.
And of course, the first thing I did when I got home was find the blanket. I joined it sometime in the past year, but still hadn't given it the final blocking. So I wet soaked it.
I rinsed it thoroughly and pressed (no wringing allowed) out the excess water, repeated this until the water ran clear and soap-free.
I laid out the Sampler Blanket on my pool table with its plastic protective covering which is the perfect surface for wet blocking and drying my hand knits.
Finally, last night, BF and I had a delightful and delicious dinner with John and Josephine and I gave them the completed green Sampler Blanket.
It was the best ending to a wonderful story. :)