Friday, August 5, 2011

Hot in Chicago

What can I say about the trip I just returned from? Mixed bag maybe. Part of the reason I’d gone was that work was being done to my place so I had the plumbers turning the place into their worksite while I tried to do mine - work that is. While they smashed holes in walls and cut old pipes with a fingernails on chalkboard kind of sound, I was camped at my computer working on my next book and trying to proof two sets of galley pages.

Despite my efforts, one of the air conditioners wouldn’t go past fan and I got to watch the temperature rise in the living room thanks to my atomic clock. Outside the temperature was in the mid 90's with lots of humidity leading the news people to keep talking about excessive heat warnings.

Inside I managed to keep it from going above 89 degrees. I kept waiting for it to cool off at night like it does in L.A. Ha! Cooling off was going down to 82 outside, which didn’t help inside much at all.

Ah, but then I went to Minneapolis for the Knit and Crochet Show. How many way can I say what a good time I had? All the people I met were friendly and supportive. It was an interesting experience being in a situation where people recognized my name. It was also very nice hearing how much they enjoyed my books.

I learned a lot in the two classes that I took and I came home with a suitcase of yarn. As if I didn’t have enough already. But how can you turn down glow in the dark plastic yarn, or some that was made from silk saris and featured bright jewel colors and helped the Indian women who made it?

I ventured out in Minneapolis. First walking around the downtown area, then taking the bus and train to get to the Mall of America. I mean, how can you go there and not see that? The bonus was I signed copies of my books at the Barnes & Noble in the Mall and then in the downtown area on the way back. Oh, and I found two adorable dresses at the Jjill in the Mall - and they were on sale.

And then it was good by to all my new friends and back to Chicago. The plumbers were supposed to have finished by Friday, but even so on Sunday night when I got home, I found a toilet in the bathtub in one of the bathrooms. Thank heavens it wasn’t the only bathroom!

It was extra hot because the fans and the one air conditioner that worked were off all weekend. It was the kind of hot where sweat rolls down your nose even when you’re just sitting reading proof pages. It got later and not any cooler. It was almost midnight and I was watching an old Grey’s Anatomy show on ABC when I heard some sirens in the distance. The sirens kept getting louder to the point of being ear splitting and even though I was on the third floor, I could see the reflection of flashing lights. I stepped out on the front porch and saw a fire department hook and ladder truck pull up in front. When I looked over the railing, firemen were coming into my building. Uh oh. I had an instant adrenalin rush, put a shirt over my night gown, grabbed my purse and flash drives. I opened the door to the hall, but there was no smoke and no sound of people running down the stairs. Should I go outside anyway? I pictured getting weird looks from the firemen as I went outside in my nightwear. So, I waited. And waited. Then I heard noises coming from the street and when I went back on the front porch, I could see they were packing up. Finally they left. Unfortunately it took a lot longer for my heart rate to go back to normal and I missed all the plot explanations on Grey’s Anatomy and so had no idea why one of the episode’s character died.

The next morning I found out it hadn’t been a false alarm. There had been a fire in the dryer on the first floor.

It took three days after that, but the plasterer finished fixing the walls and the plumbers finally put the toilet back where it belonged. Despite all, I finished proofing both manuscripts and mailed them in so they reached my editor by their deadlines. I got back to working on my next book just before I packed up to come home.

And then as a final touch as I was going to the airport, President Obama was leaving the airport and his helicopter flew right over me. Oh, and Dr. Oz was on my flight.

Am I the only one who dreads having working done to their place?


Planner said...

You're not the only one! It's an incredible disruption having workers in or around the house, even if the work is minor. The best part is when they're done--it's an incredible relief when life returns to normal.

You have certainly had your share of disruptions lately!

So glad you enjoyed the show so much.

Terri Thayer said...

I dread the heat more than the workers! Who I am kidding. I have been putting off getting new rugs and having the place painted for months. To do that while editing two books, yikes! You're a better woman than me.

Congrats on the hardcovers, by the way. Well done!

Linda O. Johnston said...

Sounds as if your life has been really busy--and hot--Betty, but your attitude about it is great. I'm lucky to have a very skilled do-it-yourself husband--although I have to admit that not being able to use the kitchen sink for parts of 2 days last week was a little annoying!

Betty Hechtman said...

Planner, I think the relief when the workers on done is in direct correlation to how bad it was when they were working. So, in a weird way, the worse it is, the bigger the high when they're done.

Betty Hechtman said...

Terri, it wasn't by choice that all that was going on when I was trying to do my stuff.

Betty Hechtman said...

Linda, how nice to have a do-it-yourself husband. I know about not having a kitchen sink. Along with leaving the toilet in the bathtub, they left the water shut off in the kitchen sink. I only found out two days later that having the water shut off wasn't necessary, they just forgot to turn it back on.

Camille Minichino said...

You can't imagine what defects I'm willing to live with rather than have work done! I wait till I'm ready to move.

I can't believe all you accomplished in the midst of all that.

Betty Hechtman said...

Camille, I am so with you on putting off having work done.

Monica Ferris said...

Camille and Betty, I'm with you on putting off having work done. It's incredibly distracting. That said, it's also a pleasure and relief for it to be finished and the place back in operating condition!

JanG said...

I had to shake my head in empathy over the leaving kitchen sink without water, Betty. Every time a plumber has walked onto the property, SOMEthing has gone kerflooey (that's the technical term). In fact, workers of all kinds have generally disrupted life.