I've had longer days, with lots more miles, but this one just seemed very long, starting with getting home from the internment at 5:30 last night and being so exhausted I wanted to go to sleep at 8:30, but staying awake until nearly 11.
This morning I was going to the Bay Area for the second of our two Lamplighters interviews this week. The time was set for 11 a.m. at the home of a lovely woman who lives in Oakland. I kind of got the times mixed up and actually left Davis a full hour before I meant to, but it turned out to be a good idea because I missed a crucial turn on the freeway. Since I last drove that road, they had apparently built a new offramp that was on the left side of the freewayinstead of the right side, which I didn't notice until too late to change 4 lanes of traffic, and I ended up getting hopelessly lost in an area with which I used to be pretty familiar. I eventually resorted to using the GPS to get me back on track. The entire mis-adventure took about 20 minutes but I still arrived half an hour before the appointed time. I drove around for a bit looking for somewhere to get a cup of coffee (unsuccessfully), and finally went back to the home of our subject, all of which meant I arrived only 20 minutes early instead of nearly an hour early.
The interview was delightful. Both of the women we interviewed this week are "new" to the company (which means they joined within the last 15 years!) and were people we did not know, and both were just so interesting.
This particular interview today was so emotional that both our subject and I ended up fighting tears.
When it was over, Alison and I went to have lunch. Now this should have been a simple exercise, but there was no neighborhood coffee shop, so we had to decide where to go (we each had our own car). I made one suggestion of an area I know fairly well, since we lived near there and Alison and I had already had lunch there once, but she preferred to head in the opposite direction, which would take her closer to where she lives. We decided to eat in Alameda, but we didn't know where. We were going to do this all by cell phone. The original plan was to head to Alameda and then call each other to suggest places.
I got my GPS to direct me to Alameda and poor old "Nigel" didn't realize he was guiding me through some of the scuzziest parts of Oakland, which was not particularly comfortable. After two phone calls, we finally decided to head to the mall, which I knew I could find (it's only about 4 blocks long at the dead end of the street we were one, so I figured my chances were good).
We chose a restaurant and had a lovely lunch, where we taked over where we are in the book and what we need to concentrate on next. This book is quite different from our other two. I was struck by the fact at both interviews this week that the "new" people we are interviewing are speaking with awe about current designers and directors whom we remember when they first entered the company as lowly choristers or seamestresses. It makes me feel so old. Today's subject commented on a woman who sings in the chorus now and remarked that she remember when she was just a kid in high school...I admitted that I remembered when her parents met!
When lunch was over, I had to get to my mother's, on the other side of San Francisco bay. My route for the day looked something like this:
It's not nearly as long as driving to Santa Barbara, but it sure seemed long. I was going to my mother's to show her pictures of Lacie and to meet Walt and his sister. Walt had spent the night at his brother's, along with his sister and her husband, and she was bringing him to meet me so I could drive him home. She also wanted to visit with my mother.
It was fascinating watching my mother in action today. She couldn't remember why I was there, didn't know why Alice Nan was coming to see her, didn't remember that I was going to Santa Barbara this week, thought I was going there for some other reason than to see the new baby, asked me the same thing several times, couldn't seem to remember anything, but when Walt and Alice Nan arrived, she was sharp as a tack and didn't seem to lose her memory once. I guess she just needs constant stimulation....or to be the hostess at all times, working hard to make everyone comfortable!
It was aboaut 7:30 when Walt and I got home and the dogs were happy to have dinner. I had left dinner in the crock pot, so it was all cooked by the time we got here, which was nice. Then we settled in to watch the opening of Desperate Housewives and asked ourselves, not for the first time, why we are continuing to watch this show!
I am feeling better as the day closes, but there were times today when it just seemed very long indeed and I'm glad that it's over.