It would have been a lot on its own. I had to plan a trip crossing through five states in four days, to prepare materials and appointments for each of the six jobs. At the same time I was finishing my packing and leaving Thursday morning to drive from Colorado to the Chicago area so I could be ready to entertain in the lanes of a major festival on the weekend.
The festival was wonderful, complex and full of sights, sounds, and enticing scents. I met hundreds of people, told hundreds of stories, painting bloomed on my painted dress as children painted with laughter and smiles. My focus was the moment. One moment leads to another. You cannot truly live if your mind in constantly running on yesterday's treadmill or obsessing on tomorrow's trepidations. This moment, right now is where you are. When you choose to be here, the rest follows naturally.
I tried some of the others. They were polite but no help. Credit only. Sorry.
I typed a plea for aid and friends across the country threw a flurry of suggestions. As I tried them I gave feedback. All excellent suggestions. I let my employer know my status. He started thinking options too, Enterprise came up repeatedly.
Enterprise said they had no problem with my PayPal card but they were out of cars until sometime hours later in the day. They were real, they had empathy. They apologized. I was shocked, I said "you have nothing to apologize for. I will wait as long as I need to I am just grateful that you are here, willing to help." We said goodbye, I focused on work.
There is only so much in a day.
Twenty minutes to the appointment, six blocks to walk, phone dying I raced across downtown Charleston too fast to appreciate the sights. I arrived several minutes late, looking like I'd walked through the desert. I felt like I had. Sitting in air conditioning became the biggest challenge. I struggled to stay awake. Sleep was seductive. I barely won my struggle, and in part because we took time to get up and take a tour of the building.
I chased and was chased by a crab in the waves. I watched tourists and large boats. I left for work. It wasn't long before I was in North Carolina surrounded by the sound of cicadas. Another days work done, three gigs down and I was headed to see friends I've dearly missed.
We got to visit in person, another night passed too quickly. Atlanta came up in my sights. Another snag had me readjust: instead of doing two gigs in Atlanta in one day I had to do one, then wait and do the other Thursday afternoon- putting my estimated return to the airport off. Shrinking the time I'd get to visit with my friend Mick in Columbia, South Carolina. I watched Wednesday's sunset as I crossed into Alabama.
I slept comfortably at La Quinta and did my gig there, leaving the state before noon. Atlanta with its congested traffic and obnoxious tailgating bogged me down an extra hour and a half.
My last gig was finally finished. Still paperwork to do, but it was time to make my return.