It Takes a Village

The Home Show is one of those times each year when I feel most blessed… when I get to speak with so many people – favorite friends and customers and new friends alike – about my art, my family, and life in general.

Even when it’s too busy to have an actual conversation, just a quick hug or a wave from a friend warms my heart.  I always walk away from the Home Show with deep gratitude for all the wonderful people in my life.

Though I enjoy the people interactions and the energy and hard work of the show, one of my favorite times (believe it or not!) is the breakdown.

I always say “It takes a village to raise an artist” because there’s no way I could do what I do without my support team. For example, when it’s breakdown time, a group of my favorite people comes down to the Convention Center to spend a few hours wrapping, boxing, and bagging what’s left in the booth to return it safely to my studio. There’s a lot of laughter… and definitely exhaustion. But it’s a good kind of tired, and at the end of the day, I’m left with happy memories.

That being said, this year we had one “uh-oh” moment…

It gets pretty chaotic with everyone trying to leave at the same time and tractor-trailer trucks moving all around the Convention Center floor. Tom had to navigate our truck down a very skinny aisle, and we were in a hurry to get started once he was clear to go.

While Tom parked the U-Haul, and we started loading, I had asked the crew to get all the empty boxes and bags out of my van in the Convention Center parking garage. What I didn’t know was that when that task was done, they gave my keys to Tom instead of me.

As we packed late into the night, focused on our goal of getting out of there as soon as possible, we never gave it a thought.

Finally, I had just one last thing to do – taking a case of grape juice on my flatbed cart to my daughter’s car on the second floor of the parking garage. Once that last mission was accomplished, I headed back to my car with the cart, only to realize I did not have my keys.

Now let me just say that being stuck in a parking garage in the middle of the night alone without car keys is a very lonely moment.

I knew the girls would be coming down the ramp, so I ran there, trying to flag them down, but they never looked.

I called Tom but he was halfway home with the big truck. After several attempts, I finally reached my daughter, and she kindly returned to take me home. At long last, after we unloaded the truck, Tom and I headed back into the city to pick up my van. It’s a good thing they don’t lock up parking garages overnight!

Isn’t it funny how those times when things go a little astray are the ones you’ll always remember?

With another Home Show in the rearview, I would like to thank you all once again for your support and friendship and for allowing me to share a story or two!