I barely made it to Confluence, and even more barely made it home. My car decided to dump its antifreeze in the middle of West Virginia, and, while I got some water in it almost in time, it was smoking like a fill-in-the-blank by the time I got to the first rest area in Pennsylvania. I called Sandy, and waited for her to get to me (coming in from Detroit, and she wasn’t nearly as close as she thought she was so I waited about 3 hours). I put 2 quarts of oil in Vanessa and refilled the water, and drove all the way to the hotel.
I did my best to ignore the problems, and performed my concert. I haven’t listened to the recording, but my gut feeling is that it was as good a show as I have done. There were about 30 people in the audience, and I sold 3 CDs afterwards — not bad, selling music to 10% of my audience. I went to bed Friday night instead of going to the open filk, much as I wanted to. I had a great time for the rest of the weekend, and paid no attention to the crisis until it was time to act.
One friend at the after-party called her co-worker, whose husband works at Meineke about 2 miles from the convention hotel. I managed to drive the van there, where he confirmed that the head gasket was shot, and that it would be about 5 days and $1000 to fix. I had to get home, both to keep my job and to make sure my cats were all right, so I arranged for him to keep the van at Meineke and drive me to a car rental place. All this time I was on and off the phone with my mother, who did quite a bit to help me out. I had to walk to a second car rental place (I was dropped off, and the first place did not do out-of-town rentals), but it was arranged and I just barely had enough money to rent the car. I drove home in a new Ford Fiesta.
I had to take the Fiesta back to Enterprise by 9 this morning, and they gave me a ride home. I checked the local used car place, which was of no help whatever, and then my neighbor offered to drive me to Rutledge to look at used cars at the dealerships there. We found one that would do nicely, although it has rather high mileage for its age. He said he would drive me to a friend’s used car lot tomorrow, and if we found something better or significantly cheaper we would get that (Mom is on board with this).
I am extremely proud of myself. At no time did I melt down, start screaming at anybody, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself at the convention and made new friends (and strengthened older ones). I took the crisis one step at a time, and I lost no sleep. I could not have done this 15 years ago.
I have many friends to thank and have done so, privately and/or on Facebook. I believe I made a good impression on the concom and increased my stock as a convention guest.
I should be back to work tomorrow or Thursday. And they really need me.