Whale of a Tale ©2011 Tina Ackerman & Bonnie Smith, hooked by Tina Ackerman
I have taken many rug hooking classes since I started hooking 20 years ago -- McGown and ATHA classes; some local, some far way, but I have never taken a class as fun and as full of camaraderie as The Whale of a Tale class the Peconic Ruggers sponsored this past weekend.
We were 16 altogether -- 12 students, a teacher and her assistant, and a father and daughter support team. Many of us have hooked together for years, but two were new acquaintances, and one was a complete stranger to all of us, yet we melded together like old friends.
It was beastly hot outside, and very humid, and the church basement was not air conditioned. I thought that combination spelled disaster, but everyone was enthusiastic and intent on making the most of our time together. We set up four fans around the room and provided plenty of cool drinks to keep everyone hydrated while they worked. Everyone received a name tag hand-made by Tina's mom, Bonnie Smith of the Wool Street Journal, and a great goody bag, put together by our president Jen's daughter, 12-year-old Lizzie, who also unloaded cars, unpacked bags and boxes, and helped set up and break down lunch.
Tina Ackerman of g.woolikers is a great teacher. She is funny and smart and kept things moving with the help of her sweet assistant, Betty Ann Horn. Tina had everyone set up with a color plan before lunch on Friday. I was lucky enough to have Tina and Betty Ann stay with me from Thursday to Sunday, and they were a delight -- even helping me shop for a new dehumidifier on the way home from the airport! And they brought homemade pecan pralines and coconut cookies all the way from Georgia for an afternoon treat!
We continued the fun into Friday evening, at the home of our treasurer, Sue, and her sister Sally. They coordinated a potluck smorgasbord I wouldn't have thought possible: caprese & green salads, bread with olive oil for dipping, sausage and peppers, roast chicken, tuna casserole, potato salad, cole slaw, peach cobbler, chocolate cream pie, chocolate chip cookies, strawberry shortcake. We ate what we could and then packed up the leftovers to add to lunch on Saturday.
Saturday was hotter than Friday, but everyone buckled down to work on their waves. Ken, our president's husband, made a Starbucks run with a list a mile long and kept us energized with cold, caffeinated drinks. My daughter Clara, in town for the weekend, took lots of photographs for us. Although the class was scheduled to end at 3:30, we started cleaning up at 3 , well, because we were hot and sweaty and many of us had tickets for the Southold/Greenport Rotary Lobsterfest on the beach at Founder's Landing later in the evening! Because we finished early and didn't plan on getting to the beach until 6, I brought a couple of carloads of people home with me to relax in the air conditioning. Clara and I whipped up a batch of mojitos and set out some snacks. By 6:30 or so we were all dining on lobsters and mussels, sweet corn and watermelon, watching the sunset on Peconic Bay. What a weekend!
Betty Ann and Tina left on Sunday to watch whales off of Montauk. I have to admit that I took a rather long nap on the couch Sunday afternoon, and just finished unpacking everything this morning. It was an exhausting but exhilarating weekend and I would change only one thing -- I would find a room with air conditioning.
Founders Landing, Southold, New York
Tina & Betty Ann in seafood heaven