Challenges of Travelling and Shows!!!!!!!
Get a kleenex, cause if this saga doesn’t make you cry – you’ll be laughing your heads off!
IF you think traveling, vending, teaching it shows is ‘glamorous’ – take heed! While I still consider myself to be VERY fortunate and blessed to be doing all this….. it DOES have its challenges!
I truly believe the Lord has something for us to learn through EVERY situation, and honestly, what I think he’s telling me is that I’m stronger than I think I am, and that ONLY with the great helper/friends He has brought my way could I every possibly be handling days like today…..
Puyallup show was early March. Had my 7 boxes of jackets, booth fixtures, lighting, cash register, stock, brochures, credit card machine, etc. shipped by my great helper Kathy and her hubby on Mon, March 8 directly to Tampa area – my helper here, Elaine and her hubby – in Clearwater actually. That allowed plenty of time. I sent an extra box of stock….. had some jackets with me for intense work on my NEW BOOK!
So got home from Puyallup March 8. Monday. That Thursday I flew off to Cleveland from Indianapolis (that is a 2 our drive from my home – dear son drove me)…to go tape an episode for the new PBS sewing show, It’s Sew Easy. More on that later…exciting, I met and worked a bit with SUEDE – designer from season 5 of Project Runway….. It snowed there 7″ or so overnight. Taped Friday morning – after which my head cold took hold of me with a vengeance. Had gotten that because I slept with the humidifier on me to make noise to balance the CPAP mask my husband has been told he has to sleep with – which keeps ME awake. That’s another whole story – had a huge scare with his health in Jan and early Feb causing me to cancel the Feb. Denver Show….. So as soon as I got done taping that morning, I really start blowing my nose constantly. So – got home Saturday morning.
Made more Jacket Kits like crazy, proofed NEW BOOK, and then left again for Indi arriving on Tuesday. Also – that Monday, my helper here called to let me know that THREE of the SEVEN boxes had arrived. Not worried – figured they’d arrive on Tuesday – no sweat!
THANKS BE TO GOD ABOVE, at least those 3 boxes contained ALL my jackets, and kits from Puyallup. If those get lost, I may as well just give up an entire year of travels!!!!!!!! God is GOOD!
So – start to track the other 4 boxes, they’re lost. Then appear perhaps in the area and change with UPS the delivery to be here to my hotel. Praying they arrive on set-up the booth day, Wednesday. See the UPS truck roll up – raise arms in praise – assuming they are on the truck – NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sew – nothing to do but to start to re-buy what necesssary to pull off a booth:
New cash register, print out forms for credit card purchases, new clipboards, black fabric to cover tables, screen and hooks, pvc pipe, ….. you get the idea. Go home to motel last night. Think ahead and realize my projector for Power Point programs for classes is also lost. Knew I could use the Original Sewing & Quilt Expo one – but would need a connecter to go to my Apple computer – go buy the one dear son tells me to buy – at Best Buy. Grateful thought of before class started…feeling quite smart.
Program the NEW cash register. Went well – felt very smug and smart I did it so easily – was the same type of cash register as my old one. Read that batteries needed to hold journal info for $, but no alert it held everything else also only with batteries…well found THAT out this morning.
THEN… backing out of the parking place about 9 pm finally having done everything in booth possible, CRUNCH!!! A fender bender in the parking lot, – but really not even a scratch on either car – and Elaine had NEVER had any type of mishap driving! I’m feeling so responsible and terrible… and so indebted to all their great help – I’m sure you can imagine!
Then went to eat and sat in the bar area instead of waiting and got lousy service. I mean… it took 10′ at least to get a glass of nerve-calming wine I figured I needed/deserved………..
What an end to a day that started with the only thing on my list of real concern was stopping at a drugstore to get eyeliner so I had ‘eyes’ cause it didn’t get or keep packed! At this point – I could care less if I have proper eye makeup!!!
Could I sleep? After programming the cash register – thinking it was done perfectly – then NO, I couldn’t sleep!
OK – so I go to teach my class at 9. WOULD YOU BELIEVE – that the connector sold to me by Best Buy was NOT the correct one?!? No such port on my apple that fit that thingie! Thankfully I had my cell phone on me – and called Mark the superboy of this group – and he arrived about 10′ into my class – getting power point up and running. Meanwhile – was ‘winging’ it….. Such Fun!
Get back to booth – to take over cash register I leave dear Eileen with (hasn’t run cash register in about 50 years) – she’d been playing and it wasn’t programmed, nothing working!!!!!!!
Long and short of it: that brand new cash register would NOT hold the tax rate in it – and most of the time – not ALL the time, mind you – it did not add the proper 7% tax. Which meant we had to hand figure/check everything. Ahhh – but what wonderful customers sewers are! Everyone so understanding, patient, etc, etc. Meanwhile, Elaine and hubby Dave and also helper Sandy who had volunteered to help out – learning as they go and picking up pieces of me everywhere it seems!
Running out of brochures, stock, already. But always excited when reception of my stylish sweatshirt jackets is positive and exciting…which it seemed to be. Keep Smiling, Londa…. Keep Smiling………….
Meanwhile blowing my running nose constantly… EAT? fat chance! Mouth dry as cotton – nasal drainage…
Keep Smiling, Londa,,,,,,
4:00 – Sandy and I leave having taken down most of the 39 jackets, to the Free Stage to do my one woman fashion show of jackets – THAT’s a Sweatshirt??!!?? Half way through – the lavalier microphone stops working! Sew… OK – we’ll use the hand-held mic – a bit taxing with constantly putting on and taking off jackets. I think there must have been 250 to 300 in the crowd. Great audience – I shared a bit of my ‘experience’ thus far – I NEEDED EMPATHY – and they were SO kind!
While I’m giving the show – my cell phone (in my bra) – starts buzzing like crazy – like yea, I’m gonna whip it out of my bra and answer!!!!!!!
Well – guess what? The dear lady in Puyallup UPS office has news that the 4 boxes have been located – and are being delivered to Elaine’s house – in Clearwater! NOT what I had changed it to – so now this evening, her dear hubby Dave drove the 1.5 hours each way to go fetch the boxes. Is that a dear, wonderful, generous man or WHAT?!?
At this point – leaving it all in the Lord’s most capable hands – that the cash register WORKS. That the Credit card Machine WORKS, etc……… Because you can be SURE that I marched the faulty cash register right back to Staples and got a refund.
Now my fingers are tired as well – but I feel better already and do bet I’ll sleep tonight!
That’s All Folks…. Stay Tuned! I’m just gonna write a list of my blessings and call myself fortunate. I mean come on – if all the people in the world (how about Japan right now!) could have 2 rolls of toilet paper, a clean bed, an air conditioned room, a computer – internet connection – how amazing would THAT be? So – please don’t get me wrong, though I know I’m complaining, I DO realize and appreciate the many blessings.
Say – the events in Japan will be affecting sewers in a significant way. While I”m almost hesitant to share this – as those people’s lives are SO much more important…. but already my
scissors man friend says he’s gotten notification of 22% increases in prices of scissors coming from Japan (KAI among others!) and that is only the beginning! And, so much fabric is printed in Japan as well! Costs were rising before, but now – just hold on………
I truly believe God is trying to get EVERYONE’s ATTENTION! HE is in control, and when you think anything else, He’ll put you and me in our proper places. That is where I pray my heart and head are tonight – in the proper place in relationship to Him!
Thanking and praising my helper friends, customers, but most of all Jesus my Lord.. and our Father above…………