When I moved to this town almost 25 years ago it took me a while to figure out something that people who are from here seem to inherently know. That is in order to survive the 'hardships' of living in a very isolated community you MUST find a way to leave it several times a year.
This may sound a bit extreme to those of you not living in an isolated town but trust me on this one. Now things have certainly improved in the past 25 years. The road through Quebec is so much better with large parts of it now being paved (yeah we have it good) and there is even a second road out of here through the southern part of Labrador.
My first year in the 'Big Land' was an eye opener. For starters I was a new mother raising my daughter away from my own family. I didn't know many people here. I fell in love with Labrador though. I remember lying on my bed one day nursing my infant daughter when I happened to glance out of the bedroom window only to see the largest bird I had ever laid eyes on perch atop the telephone pole that was just feet from my house. It was a Golden eagle and I'd never seen anything like it!!
But I became sad somehow. I thought maybe I had the baby blues but that wasn't it. My daughter was the center of my universe. I just missed my family. And I missed being able to go to shops. I had become a little stir crazy living in such an isolated community. So I visited my mom and my sister. And I went shopping. I came back to Labrador refreshed and revitalized and ever since then I have gotten out of here at least twice a year.
2014 has been a year like no other! So far since January I have taken five (that's 5) trips out of Labrador. I've been to St John's three times. I've been to Halifax once. And I've been to Montreal once.
Now the thing you need to understand about people living in isolated communities is that when given the opportunity to shop somewhere outside (of Labrador in this case) we will do so no matter if we don't need anything. Living in an isolated community almost makes one want to .... (It's such an ugly word) .... hoard. There, I've said it. We try to anticipate future needs when we get to shop in larger centers because we know that if we buy something in St. John's will likely cost 40% more in Labrador. That's just the way it is.
Now factor knitting into this equation. Do you see where I'm going with this? Everytime I travel, I look for the best yarn shops in town. And then I try to anticipate any future knitting I might do. This is trickier than it sounds. My stepdaughters have two young boys each. But are they done making babies? Technically I could have another grandbaby before I travel again.
Now I will admit that Internet shopping had made things SO. MUCH. EASIER. But there is something very tactile about yarn shopping. Sure, the colours look great on my computer monitor but I have no way of know what the yarn feels like next to skin.
Because of this, I tend to hoard yarn. When I get to physically go into a yarn shop and actually pick up and feel yarn and squish yarn and yes, even bury my nose in it and smell yarn, well, I tend to go a little nuts.
The result is an awesome stash. And I think I have achieved SABLE (stash acquired beyond life expectancy)
I took a picture of this little yarn/craft shop in St John's called Fiber Lilly. It's pretty cute.
And this is the yarn that I bought on trip 2 to St John's at Cast On Cast Off. I bought yarn there on each of the three trips. Don't judge.
And I didn't even take a photo of the stuff that I bought when I went to Halifax. I bought a bunch of yarn at Dartmouth Yarns and even some nice rustic yarns T the Halifax market. (I also bought a darning egg there too but that's another post).
The sad thig is (or perhaps the great thing) that I'm not done travelling this year. Kev and I are planning a trip to Charlottetown, PEI and perhaps Niagra Falls, Ont - and I know there are yarb shops in both of those cities. We may need to build a piece on.