blogging, BlogHer 2012, Brooklyn, city/country, fashion, gratitude, luck, New York City, online connections, wild turkeys, Womens Voices for Change
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.
Kathleen Volp said:
Sorry, I have to laugh Judith. When it rains it pours! Don’t know why those black holes exist but its nice to know someone else’s things are keeping my lost things company. Maybe karma is working overtime giving you the little dips in the road to spare you the BIG pothole. I love your positive attitude despite all!
I LOVE your idea about little dips preventing the big pothole. And I love the idea of our lost stuff together somewhere.
Oh, and Kathleen, you should check out Heather’s post today. I know you will swoon for her sunglasses at the end!
I especially like your flower photo. Lovely. And the thing to concentrate on after all that hassle!
Caroline, you and I both know what REAL trouble is, and it makes me so happy to think about you and those wonderful grandchildren.
Yes, perspective helps.
Heather in Arles said:
Judith, what a lot of craziness all at once, something I am certain is nothing personal but rather is just the stars going…pszt..pszt..pszt. Do you have any idea how excited I am about your new camera? No? Because you will go up and out from all of these bothers, you will see! Remi is sleeping next to me so I will watch the videos tomorrow but am so happy to know you, my friend.
Heather, I can’t wait for the camera to arrive tomorrow. We are supposed to go up north to Little Cranberry Island in Maine later this week and I can’t wait to capture some of that rugged coastal beauty. Thanks again. And I am happy to know you, too! xo
I didn’t notice your clothes at Blogher, I just remember your smiling face and sparkling conversation. It was so great to meet you in person. Sorry to hear the towed car was the beginning of a string of minor bad luck. But those flowers and that vase! And, a yard filled with parading turkeys. What a miraculous life you have!
Oh my, Carrie, thank you so much! And meeting you was one of the high points of BlogHer for me (which will be noted in a post going up on Women’s Voices for Change sometime next week.) And, yes, my life is miraculous. Those of us who have experienced what I euphemistically refer to in the post as “real trouble,” don’t take much for granted.