Long ago when I would have a kid-free weekend, I used to go looking for adventure on Saturday afternoons. Adventure usually took the form of a spontaneous trip to the coast; or driving down a road I’d never been on just to see where it went; or maybe trying a new, not-so-kid-friendly restaurant; or enjoying a movie that was aimed at an audience older than 12.

This week it finally occurred to me that I have, for all intents and purposes, a kid-free summer. And really, if I’m being honest, a pretty kid-free rest of my life given that #1 Son has become so grown up and responsible. He will be around, of course, and we will continue to do things together, of course, and we might have to juggle schedules sometimes. But I no longer have to plan around taxi driving, dropping off at school, hauling band equipment like a roadie, dropping off at work, picking up from work, etc. I’m free. Free Kind of.

The day didn’t start out that great. I woke up early and decided to tackle #1 Son’s computer first. It wouldn’t boot normally. Or to safe mode. Or to “last successful configuration.” XP would not reinstall because it claimed it couldn’t write to the hard drive. Chkdsk froze at 5%. When I started getting “imminent failure” warning messages from the hard drive, well… I know when to fold ’em.

So a new task (obtain new hard drive) was added to my list for today.

First off — Lunch with M. Always! Every weekend (more or less) for the last 26 or 27 years. (I lose track).

Next, I decided to drop in on the new yarn store in Lake Oswego — Tangle. I’d heard about Tangle via the local Stitch n Bitch newsletter and I’d been dying to check it out. I wasn’t sure exactly where it was located. Traffic was terrible in Lake Oswego because of some festival that was going on. But I drove around a bit and found Tangle without too much problem. I even found a parking place right in front of it!

And what do you know… it turns out that Tangle is owned by none other than Alice of Alice In Yarnland fame! I can remember reading on her blog that she was opening a shop, but I hadn’t connected it with Tangle. Is this cool, or what! Alice and I had a great time talking about yarn and teen aged boys. 😆 And, wonder of wonders, Tangle will soon have a washing machine for those of us who are top-load-machine challenged. (I am cursed, or blessed depending on how you look at it, with a front-loader that I love for laundry, but not for felting).

Although I’d promised myself to “just look” (yeah, right, like that’s gonna happen), I did pick up a long circ to try the “magic loop” method. Which requires, er… yarn. 😉 So I bought some really fun cotton/elastic yarn in hot pink, lime green and turquoise blue. That ought to make some striped socks that will… knock your socks off? (pun unintended. really.) It would also make a cool tee shirt, but I didn’t buy enough for that. One sweater on the needles at a time for me!

From Tangle I headed south to Fry’s in Wilsonville. And I was really, really good. I only bought a new hard drive. (And some breath mints and a latte, but those don’t count.)

Hard drive in hand, I decided that it would be fun to take a scenic ride home a la my old “adventure” days, so instead of turning right toward the freeway, I turned left. I drove for a ways through the country, and happened to see a sign pointing toward the right that said “Canby Ferry.”

Now, I’ve lived in the greater Portland metro area for more than 30 years. It was only about 15 years ago that I learned there was a ferry across the Willamette in Canby. I’ve always wanted to ride it because I think ferries are really fun, but I didn’t know where it was. So what was I to do? I followed the sign!

The Canby Ferry was down a steep, twisty little bit of road. I just missed the ferry, so I had to wait a while for it to come back. But it was a pleasant wait because the weather was perfect. I was the first car on the ferry when it returned, so I was right in front . It was a weird feeling, too. The ferry deck sits low to the water, so it’s a little scary the first time, but in a very cool way. And it was only $1.25! I loved it.

And I had a nice scenic drive back, although I did eventually end up getting back on the freeway.

And now I have a hard drive to install and new yarn to swatch. And I need to decide on a pattern to use with this very cool yarn…

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