First, a big thank you and howdy to the folks in Kansas City–those who belong to the Heart of American Christian Writers’ Network (HACWN). (I hope I got those initials right). I spent all day yesterday with them, teaching and swapping stories, and talking about books and the changing industry. It was great to see old friends, since I’d just met so many of them last fall at their annual conference.
The day would have been PERFECT had I not tried to multi-task as I finished up my rambling talks and headed out the door. As I packed up my computer, numerous cords, my notes, some books, etc., I went off and left my cell phone on the little table I’d been using as a lectern. (I use my phone to set alarms so I can always stay on track, otherwise I just talk and talk and talk . . . )
I realized I’d left my phone as we pulled up to the airport. I asked Janette, my hostess, if she’d mind calling my phone. So she dialed my cell number and we listened, hoping to hear a muffled sound from my suitcase or my briefcase or even my pocket, but . . . nothing. So with a sinking heart I used her phone to call my hubby and say that I was heading home . . . disconnected.
It’s an eerie feeling, walking around untethered when you’ve grown used to it. I couldn’t text or tweet or call or use the internet. I couldn’t check flight schedules or see what eating establishments were close to my gate. I couldn’t even use the handy “find my iPhone” app because I didn’t have a phone with me. Worst of all, I had started listening to an audio book on the flight to Kansas City, and now I wouldn’t be able to fill the travel hours with more of the story.
When we boarded, I dropped into my seat and felt compelled to tell the young man next to me that I was traveling incommunicado, and it was freaking me out a little bit. They don’t even have pay phones scattered around any more, have you noticed?
In Chicago, I managed to get online with my laptop for a moment–long enough to confirm that my phone was indeed still at the church in Kansas City (it popped right up on a map–how cool is that?)
We landed in Tampa after a long journey (during which I read the SkyMall magazine cover to cover, along with the United Magazine, Hemispheres, and an abandoned issue of POPULAR MECHANICS. (Unexpectedly fascinating).
And when we landed I went out to the curb like I usually do, but I couldn’t tell my husband to come pick me up. So I waited and waited and waited, and finally I saw down, opened my laptop, found a signal, and sent him an email: “I’m here. Where are you?”
Turns out he had nearly decided to go to sleep, waiting on me in the cell phone lot. We could have remained apart, separated by a few hundred yards, for who knows how long if I hadn’t sent that email.
But we finally made it home. And on the drive home, I discovered that in the “find my iPhone app” you can set your phone to LOST STATUS, in which it displays a message: I AM LOST. PLEASE CALL XXX-XXX-XXXX and say you’ve found me.
With my phone found, I was free to concentrate on something more important: the Grandest Baby’s birthday. She is actually turning three on May 8, but she and her mother will be living in ALASKA by then, so we decided to celebrate early. She’s all about Princess Sofia right now, so her mom had decorated the kitchen in pink and purple streamers and all kinds of Princess ho0-ha. She helped me bake a cake, which tasted good . . . and would have looked a lot better had I put more powdered sugar in the icing. When the layers began to slide, her mother laughed and said it looked just like the cake the fairies tried to bake in SLEEPING BEAUTY. So we let it go at that, and the Grandest Baby thought it was beautiful. 🙂 That’s all that matters. 🙂
So wherever you are today, enjoy life untethered . . . and don’t forget your phone!