Friday, May 26, 2006

The Road to Chicago: Day 2

Don't spoil the surprise. Our saga begins here on the Road to Chicago Day 1.

Slept fitfully dreaming of Legionnaire’s disease to the badly tuned hum of the wall air conditioning unit and woke with a stuffed nose to the sound of phlegmy coughing from the J. Woke at 6:12 am with a panic attack sure that I had left half my poles for my display tent in Atlanta. Called Dave and caught him with running bathwater and a mouthful of toothpaste. When he called back, he confirmed that I had, indeed, forgotten all the upper and lower supports for the tent. I cannot use the tent without those poles, and I cannot do the show without a tent. IF Heather can find me a Grand Caravan it will cost me $385 base AND I will have to return to Atlanta for my poles (500 miles roundtrip) which gives me 1000 miles left to Chicago.

So I sit at 7:00 am reviewing my options. Option A: Stay in Nashville till the transmission is done Friday afternoon and head back home, metaphorical tail between legs obeying the obvious will of the gods. Option 2: Refuse to bow to a conspiracy of unfortunate circumstance and do whatever it takes to forge on.

On the one hand, if I go on, I get a mini-vacation with the family and J gets to spend a couple of weeks with Gramma and Grampa. I get to see the Broadway play “Wicked” (my birthday gift from my in-laws was a ticket for Tuesday 5/30 at the Fox Theater in Aurora). I follow through on my show commitment and maybe get a big commission or two. Dave gets to use his plane ticket and we get a tiny vacation this year (between his schedule at CNN and the book this is the only time we have before November 6). I get to buy more hostas at the grower in Princeton, IL. My batteries fully charge for the work ahead—the book projects are fully percolated and ready to be started on my return. Finally I get to stop by the Art Institute to make sure I have the right color blend for the 75 platters I have to do for them by the end of July.

On the other hand, the Prairie Arts Festival is a nice little show that I would not do if I did not bring J and stay with Dave’s parents so that J could have Gramma and Grampa time and vice-versa. There is no way that I can expect it to cover the mounting costs of this expedition. Gas alone right now is making the trip almost cost-prohibitive, and add the cost of the rental car… Then there are the issues of time and energy. Driving back to Atlanta for the poles and then back to Nashville (just because it is on the way) and on to Chicago again is a huge time and energy sink. I could just cut my losses and rechannel that time and energy into meeting my book and production deadlines. Not going to Chicago would put me physically way ahead of the game. I could just mail the platter to the Art Institute to verify the match and skip vacation altogether this year. Of course I might not get into the Prairie Arts Festival again, my ticket to “Wicked” is lost and Dave’s plane ticket has to be repurposed.

It’s a lot to think about and really hinges on being able to get a vehicle. Time to gird the loins both figuratively and literally, fuel the belly and the soul, and head across the street to Honda/Enterprise. Oh yes, I also forgot my wireless adapter for the laptop so I cannot even get this up to Glass Incarnate. But if I go back to Atlanta today I’ll be able to get it too!


Bill Paley said...


Do you keep a list of what you need to pack for your shows?

Perhaps you should?

What else are computers good for?

Kimberly said...

Hey Brenda - first visit to your blog. Sounds like you are having trouble getting up here to the Windy City! You should call Honda and/or your Auto Insurance company and find out if they'll cover the rental car. It's their bum transmission - they should make ammends for your interrupted trip. But maybe that's just wishful thinking...

Hope to see you if you do make it. Would love to introduce J to my kids.


Brenda Griffith said...

Bill: I do have a checklist, and I followed it faithfully. Unfortunately, while I have "tent poles" on the list, I don't have how many and I missed one stack--the crucial one--because they were not with the others after the big garage cleaning. *sigh* The other stuff, well, I checked it off and moved it closer to the car, I just never actually got it in.

Kim: We made it! We made it! And we would love to come to the BBQ Monday. What can we bring?

Jodi said...

Glad you made it to your destination. What a saga!