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Monday, 1/22/01 - Sick in Charlotte

I felt miserable. And not just because I had the flu and a fever but because I had a feeling I would need to cancel my Borders appearance. I had already missed a brunch at the home of Robin Ives, Charlotte Webgrrls leader.

I hate being sick. But at least the Berts and I were in a hotel, getting French Onion soup delivered to the room without the French (cheese) part. And lots of tea, juice and water.

Just need to get better quick because this week I have a speaking engagement in Milwaukee that I have to fly to. The words of the nurse at the Emergency Room kept ringing in my head: "We have to watch for pneumonia." Can't get that sick.

Tuesday, 1/23/01 - Driving to Richmond

Woke up early, loaded up the RV and went to the Metrolina Charlotte Dodge dealer to get my oil changed. So far so good.

Then I hit the road, knowing I had at least a five to six hour drive, not to mention pit stops and rest stops. The drive was pretty uneventful except for an accident an hour outside Charlotte that backed up traffic.

I turned on my trusty CB radio and listened in to find out how bad the backup was. This accident wasn't as bad as the one I had seen south of Atlanta. The traffic delay was over an hour and the CB was screeching with talk about the damage to the car miles ahead.

The car in the Atlanta accident had somehow slammed into the guardrail at such an angle that the guardrail cut through the driver's seat and came out the back window like a spear. By the time I passed the scene, the helicopters had already lifted the victims away, but just the sight of the guardrail in an unnatural position inside of the car made me cringe.

I later realized that, although my experience to date had shown me that Florida drivers were horrendous, after a few days in the Atlanta area I realized that they had the most deadly accidents.

Now as I passed an SUV with a smashed rear right end, I just thanked goodness that it didn't look serious and made a mental note to watch out for crazy drivers.

I arrived in Richmond around 8:00pm and my sister picked me and the Berts up from the RV a few hours later to spend the night at her apartment.

Wednesday, 1/24/01 - Flying to Milwaukee, WI

Took a cab to the airport, leaving the Berts behind in my sister's freezing cold apartment, their little fleece coats fastened securely around their shivering bodies.

The flight was okay, considering I hate to fly and for one brief moment thought I was going to have to fly on a prop plane which I refuse to do. But all was well when it turned out to be a jet and I arrived in the frozen tundra of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, wondering what I was thinking going to Wisconsin in January with a fever. But duty calls.

I was actually feeling much better, amazed at how effective Tamiflu seemed to be. My host picked me up and brought me to the Hilton downtown. It was a really nice hotel and rather than going out to dinner with my host and other speakers, I opted to order in lots of soup, watch a movie and get to sleep early.

Even though I hate flying, I love hotels.

Thursday, 1/25/01 - And Then It's to Richmond

Had to wake up really really early for a breakfast event where I was keynote speaker. Luckily, I didn't lose my voice as I had feared. My speech went well, I sold a bunch of books, and everyone was really nice.

Flew back to Richmond and took a cab to my sister's place. The Berts were beside themselves with glee to see me, still wearing their little sweaters.

My sister drove me back to the RV which was much warmer than her place. Ah, home sweet home.

Friday, 1/26/01 - Domesticity in Richmond

Spent the day organizing and cleaning. After traveling so much and then being sick, there hasn't been a lot of time to clean. I think it will take another day of cleaning before the RV is looking good again. If it wasn't so cold, I'd go looking for a do-it-yourself car wash.

But it is cold. And I'm heading even further North soon. For now, I'm in Richmond for a week, with a day in Newport News for another speaking engagement. I can't decide if I'm looking forward to going to New York for a month. I can't tell if I'm excited about being back at my apartment in my neighborhood. I'm just not sure.

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