Saturday, February 27, 2010

It's been a bit busy over the last week or two...

I can't believe it's been ten days since I wrote. We have been so full time busy with work or travel or moving that I haven't had time.

Gosh, where to begin catching up? I can't remember that far back! Let's see, on the 17th I flew into Philly for a demo.

Up late, up early, all morning the 18th in the demo and a strange sence of confidence came over me- which I had bee working towards. What a great feeling to know you're truly doing what you should be doing. Customer said, candidly, "I've sat through a bunch of these and this is the first one I've liked."

Back to the corporate office for an afternoon rush of learning some new call center features for the next week's demo; to the airport; landed Manchester 8:30; drove to Loudon and had dinner with dad at the Longhorn. He was all relaxed and talking fun (motorcycles, tractors, not politics and doom.). On through the night to home at 12:45 AM.

Friday up early and all day working and preparing. Friday night to Millinocket. Saturday packing Millinocket and back home. Sunday... kids to CCD, Stella needy and in arms. Made a good dinner, to bed.

Monday, up at 6:00 and to the airport. Early call before my flight. Got to Philly and the second leg of my flight was cancelled, mechanical. Changed car rental from Harrisburg to Philly and did a one way- that made it expensive! Got there in the same time it would have taken to fly. Worked 2:00 to midnight with a short break for dinner.

Tuesday, got up at 5:30, got the one thing I was hoping to make work... fixed at 6:02. More powerpoint clean up. Showered, got dressed, printed driving directions and demo script. At the customer 7:32. All friggin' day in front of the audience- scenario 1 and the questions came flying in from the forty people in the audience. Exhausting. Hour lunch, no, "could we make it 45 and keep on driving through?" "Sure, mister customer, you're used to standing up in front of a crowd for hours on end." By the way- very low stress levels through all of this; a confidence in what I could handle, and the fact that I couldn't handle all of it, so why worry, and the fact that, well, I know what I'm doing and had prepared a ton. Limped back to the hotel exhausted at 5:30. Half-hour nap, worked for an hour, went for dinner. Best and biggest martini ever, bangers and mash for the meal, back to hotel. Tried to work but fell asleep on bed around 8:00.

Wednesday, 2:30 AM, woke up. "Shit!" worked until 4:00, getting my key plan for the day ready. Back to bed, back up at 6:00, ignored 6:03 email from customer asking if I could come in early (give me a break! talk about not recognizing boundaries!) In front of customer at 8:00, delivering the goods until 2:30, then my partner got a chance to talk while I scrambled the travel logistics due to weather. Kudos and thanks from the customer, they're pleased and going forward. Flight delayed 1:45, so I went for another of Harrisburg's best martinis (Lancaster brewing company, if you're counting), then onto the airport. Hour long turbo-prop to Newark with 15 minutes to catch my flight on a different concourse. Nope, delayed an hour. Hour and a half. Two. Left at 11:45 and landed Portland 1:00 AM. I was, well, dragging at this point. 30 mph winds, absolutely sheets of rain. I drove 50 mph on the highway- me! Home at 2:20 AM.

Thursday, up at 6:00 to let a dog out or something, crawled back to bed. Up at 9:30 for coffee. In and out of too much work, calls, catch-ups, etc. It's 3:00, 4:00, that's it, I give! Torrential rain and strong winds all day. No leaks in the basement or the garage. Hooray, hooray.

Friday, up at 8:00, hammered email for an hour on my day off, many with the customer, and then up to Waterville at 11:30 for Cheryl to close on the house in Millinocket. Kept everyone but Bridget in the van and drove in counter-clockwise direction around waterville for 45 minutes. Back home. Lunch and packed and back north and east around 3:00. 4:30 in Bangor and picked up the mega u-haul 26 footer. Bridget and Henry in the cab with me, trucking. We had walkie talkies with us, but the kids wore the batteries out with silly talk. Wouldn't have minded but, we ended up needing them. Getting dark, Cheryl's headlights weren't on. Ten miles north of Bangor it turned into serious snow and out of nowhere the road is packed solid snow and sleet. Slowed down to fourty. Come on, we're within 40 miles of Milinocket. Stop in Howland so Cheryl can nurse Stella and I can get a coffee. Check out the van's headlights and only the high-beams work. High-beams it is then, as it's blowing and gusting and I'm not about to fix that on the way. Back on the highway, another 20 miles, walkie-talkie battery is dead. Pulled off in Lincoln for a quick off and on to make sure Cheryl's allright. I parked on the on-ramp, careful to leave enough room for people to get by yet not so far to the side that I'm off the pavement. Walked back to Cheryl and Stella was crying again, "could we go through Lincoln to get to Millinocket?" "Sure, let's back out." Started to back out and wasn't going anywhere. Cautiously tried to go forward, but slid to the right. Shit. Left a note with my cell phone number in the window, date, time, that we're all safe. Back to the minivan and I drove the rest of the way to Millinocket at 35 mph- too much snow, the moving truck abandoned. Unpacked in Millinocket and my cell phone rang, state patrol. I have to move it tonight or they'll move it for me, will be a couple hundred no doubt; to pull it is a big, big truck. How in blazes am I going to do that? I can't drive there myself, I'd need Cheryl, which means I'd need to pack all the kids up again. Called U-Haul's roadside assistance which amounted to twenty minutes on hold until a roadside assistance specialist told me he could help by looking up towing companies for me. Gee, thanks. "Is West Gardiner near to Lincoln?" "Only in the sense that New York is near Boston." Crap, I was online and said I could do a google search as well anyone. "Have a nice day, sir." Found John & Son's on Katahdin Avenue here in Millinocket, he picked up on the first ring. Yes, he could tug me out but couldn't tow, how bad was it. Yes, he'd meet me there. "Could you give me a lift? I can't take my whole family out in this." "Yeah, I'll squeeze you in next to my grandson in the cab. Meet me at the bottom of School Street in 10 minutes and call the state patrol, let them know you're fishing it out or they'll tow it before we get there." His name was John Doyle, no relation to Bert, but asked if Cheryl might have gone to high-school in the 80s or so. Yep. Knew the fella buying the house. That's Maine. The roads were now simply wet, rainy and clear- safe as can be. One hour later. Got there and tugged me out in five minutes, $100 cash only, a firm handshake, thank yous and off he went. Drove north to Millinocket and found my way up the hill to park in front of the house. A game of Clue with the kids and it was 11:15, off to bed.

And now we're all caught up. We need coffee. Time to move the Truck.

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