Last week I joined 5000 other women at the 2012 BlogHer conference in New York City. To make the event more affordable, and to have a little family time, Paul and I drove down together and stayed with our son in Brooklyn.
The thought of rubbing elbows with people I’d only known through online exchanges was pretty thrilling. And I was looking forward to making some new connections and taking home some helpful tips and inspiration from the sessions.
But I was also nervous. There’s nothing to make me feel more like a country bumpkin than a trip to the Big Apple.
Because I generally travel with my extremely competent male entourage, finding my way from Brooklyn to the conference on my own would be a new experience. In fact, when my son heard my plans, he joked about making me the kind of placard that kindergartners wear while on a field trip. “My name is Judith, if lost, please call….”
Jokes aside, his excellent directions enabled me to arrive at the conference without a hitch.
Sadly, he didn’t give me any fashion advice that would enable me to survive a 45- minute subway ride without looking like I’d slept in my clothes.
I’d agonized for days over what to wear. And I chose my two favorite summer dresses, both with fabulous belts. The problem was that one was cotton, the other linen, and no matter how well they traveled when carefully folded in a suitcase, they both became a wrinkled mess after I’d sat in them for any length of time.
But my dress worries vaporized when Paul and I came back to Brooklyn after meeting for dinner in the city. Our car was not where we left it. It had been towed — a front wheel was allegedly outside of the legal space. When we got it back, it was making an ominous new noise.
Which leads me to the string of bad luck we’ve had over the past couple of weeks. A few days before our New York trip, Paul was driving his van home from a job. It was raining hard and his windshield wipers suddenly went dead. He had to pull over and wait for the storm to pass.
After our trip and the second car fiasco, my prescription sunglasses and then my swim goggles disappeared in quick succession. Like the car, they were suddenly gone from where I surely had left them. Apparently there’s a black hole for eyewear.
Then, when it seemed like we’d lost or broken everything we could in one week, I saw a family of turkeys crossing our yard. “Get the camera!” I whispered to Paul. He brought it over, turned it on, and announced, “It’s dead.”
Luckily, my iPhone was handy and still working (for now at least).
I was transfixed by this momma and her five babies as they made their stately way across our yard and into the garden.
Karina was transfixed too.
So here’s the current tally: two broken cars with one very expensive repair, two pairs of lost eyewear, and a deceased camera (did I mention that the electric toothbrush is also on its way out?).
So yes, we’ve had a run of bad luck. But the fact that it’s the everyday, garden variety kind of bad luck and not real trouble makes me enormously grateful.
Grateful that my husband can fix a lot of things.
Grateful that my friends are willing to step up and provide help and advice. (Thank you Jane and Heather for the camera recommendations. And huge hugs to Kathleen who made sure I attended the conference with nice-looking business cards.)
Grateful that lost items, unlike people and friendships, are easily replaced.
And grateful that we arrived home safely and can sit on our deck and enjoy Mother Nature’s daily parade.