I am free, I am on 71 headed south and it will only be 15 minutes or so when I should see a lighted area with gas stations and hotels and restaurants. I am starting to feel like I am back in control when I feel a huge jerk. Almost like I had run over something big. I look back and see fire and smoke flying out of the wheel that was hooked to the Simi. I look for a place to stop... Snow there is nothing. I have on star AAA USAA. There is nowhere to stop so I ride the rim to the next exit. No real bright lights. There is a 7-11 with 2 pumps in front. This does not look promising but I feel it is still better to wait for help here than on the side of the road.
A young woman was behind the counter of a Subway. I told her what was happening and asked if it would be ok to wait... She smiles and says "sure, sorry for your troubles Ma'am. Can I get you anything?" Then the man at the end of the counter says something unintelligible. The tatted girl says he is her father and he can help if I want... Hmmm 45 minute wait for on star or change the tire now... He looks and gets to work. His daughter goes out to help him....now it is 19 below with the wind factor. He borrows tools from other people in the lot and fully 70 minutes later I am ready to go again.
Remember that wad of bills my friend handed me... that was found money... written off as a loss years ago... So I pulled out 5 crisp new 100 dollar bills and gave 1 to the daughter and the others to the gentleman. She hugged me and told me the reason everyone was hanging out at the store was that they had not been able to pay their utility bill and they had no heat at home. We all hugged and held one another. Those people had no expectation of a reward. They were helping a stranger on a cold night. God Bless them...
I am almost done here. Just one more important thing....
Christopher Stone (Tofer) is my life partner. We are together 18 years now. I know he worries about what I do and that I go alone. He hates that I do not call often and that I am not married to my phone so often do not answer his calls if I am busy. When I do get settled in every night I call and am able to let it all go. He listens and offers solutions I never take but he keeps trying. All he wants to do is be there right now to hold and comfort me and do all those things that I hate.... Yet he cannot because he has a business to run and animals to take care of.
My Tuesday drive in to Atlanta is fraught with threats of an ice storm. I have already made plans to stop at the first sign of weather and wait it out. At this point I am DONE IN. All of the sudden I get a call from Christopher Stone to take the next exit. He and TJ (the best farm hand and my adopted son) had driven to Chattanooga, 3 hours from Atlanta, to take me home. They both give me a big hug and tell me to relax... KARMA.... I am one lucky woman. I come home to very happy dogs and my special farm. Thank you God for allowing me to do what I want at an age when most people are spending their retirement... Thank you for putting the right man for me in my path...
This is the end of the Cleveland trip. I make my living one corset at a time... It really is a good life. Nothing worthwhile is ever too easy.
Just a little hint to our customers….
The next time you see a vendor at an even, try and appreciate all it took for him or her to get there. Appreciate the quality of the work, never insult a vendor by saying you can get it less expensively online… BECAUSE YOU CAN NOT!
You CAN get cheep knock offs! If that is the way you feel just stay away from the Vendor Room. Do not wait until the last day and expect a bargain… Those days are long gone…. There is an event of some sort every week. If all you want to do is learn and have no money …be up front. I for one would much rather you feel what a good corset feels like. You may not have 5 different corset fittings and then ask for a card to order online. Totally inconsiderate. Appreciate being taught and educated about what you are buying. Most of all, know we are there because we love what we do. We love our chosen community and we want to do the very best we can for them.
Thank you for reading,
Ms Martha's Corset Shoppe