Saturday, July 20, 2013

Blessed or Cursed?


Blessed or Cursed?

It was one of those days – you know the kind of day when it feels like the whole world, the universe, is trying to overthrow all your plans. A giant conspiracy aimed right at you.

I’d had a week-long trip to New Mexico planned for months. The night before my flight I got all my gear and clothes assembled & half packed. I had extensive lists – what went on the plan, what got checked. I was organized. On top of it.

My flight was due to leave at 7:10am. – to be comfortable with the security lines, checking in, making sure I had time to grab breakfast – I wanted to be at the airport by 5:30 – just over an hour before my flight started boarding at 6:40am. I set the alarm for 4:00am – that way I’d have plenty of time to shower, dress, finish packing, be calm about leaving.

At 5:31 I woke up – shrieked when I saw the time and started scrambling. The alarm went off at 4:00am all right – just the volume on the clock radio was turned down – so no one heard it.

With the husband’s help – and with a mad throw everything in the bag any which way – I was out the door and at the airport a few minutes after 6am. Sweating over the long lines at bag check-in – I felt truly blessed when the checker told me the flight was running 20 minutes late!

Surely things were turning in my favor! Not so fast. The gate was changed to a different terminal – mad scramble to get a shuttle to the correct terminal. On board and on my way – I thought – now I’m set. Minor hiccups when I changed planes in Dallas – but I figured the conspiracy to derail me was finally winding down.

Picked up my car in Albuquerque – loaded up & set out to drive my planned route for the day – places I hadn’t been before and some places I wanted to revisit.

Heading out on I-24 North toward Santa Fe  - the sky was huge, clouds gathering, clearly rain in the mountains. I started seeing lightening strikes – spectacular bolts. Then the storm closed in around me – heavy rain mixed with hail, lots of thunder & lightening.

And then it happened. The universe hurled the big one at me. Lightening hit my car – driving 60-some mph and the car just lost all power – luckily I had enough speed to coast to the side of the road. Entire electrical system was fried.

Short end to a long day – six hours later, the rental company finally conceded that, indeed, the car was toast. Of course, it may have helped that I screamed hysterically at them about leaving a woman stranded on the side of a busy highway in a dangerous position with no emergency lights during a storm. They brought me a replacement car, towed the toast car, and I was finally on my way.

Blessed - or - cursed?

On the Road to Taos

I’m thinking blessed. 

I wasn’t hurt.

I had a good working cell phone. The day before I’d bought a new cell phone to replace one that was unreliable – and the new phone was a lifesaver. Allowed me to make all the calls I needed to get help from the rental car company and the husband (who offered moral support and phone instruction).

The new phone allowed me to chat with a friend while I waited for hours, that’s a blessing too – it’s a good friend who will sit with you by the side of the road.

I met two great guys. Michael  - the service guy who came out to check the car and who informed the rental company that yes, the car was toast, and they needed to replace it. Michael sat with me for half an hour and talked – he’d heard me screaming at the rental agency – and he called to check on me after he’d left. And Jose, the man who brought me my replacement car – he was sweet and kind. He called every 30 minutes to give me an update on his ETA with the replacement car.

The folks at the B&B in Taos – were wonderfully supportive when I called them to tell them I’d be late. They waited up for me, and greeted me with hugs.

All in all – not a bad day.