Book Stories Travel

On The Road

So my book, Perfectly Imperfect, is out in paperback. Release the confetti. I’m on the road, doing my author thing. I’ve patched together a series of speaking gigs and I packed my bag, my cooler of food, my metal water bottles and headed out on the open road. The point is to sell books. If I sell enough books then maybe someone will want me to write another one.

People think travel is glamorous. And here I am in a hotel room outside of Baltimore, Maryland. There has been some kind of a fire in the area’s water station. For seven miles around, there is no water. No water to drink, to shower, to cook and to air condition the room. It hit 90 degrees here today. I smell. I’m sticky. And I’m hungry but I’m too tired to move.

People think travel is glamorous. Until they do it enough. Right now I miss my kids horribly. I miss my bed. I’m sick of what’s on the hotel TV; sick of Kate Gosselin and her whining about missing her kids while she works. Does she think she is the only mother who has ever had to work for a living? Here come the tears again on the ET interview. Spare me.

But tomorrow I will be a new woman, that is if there is water available for a shower. In between the travel and the delayed flights and the fatigue, lies the good part. It’s the tasty meat filling. What energizes me is talking to people. It’s relating a story or an experience. I like feeling alive when I talk and share what I know. Something I have learned might just help someone else, or ease their own journey. Sometimes there is a moment when I wonder if I will be able to tell it one more time and then I look out at the crowd, at the faces of the people seated there, and it all flows out of me.

Tomorrow I’ll be home. I’ll make a birthday dinner for my twins— steak, peas and mashed potatoes. I’ll walk the dogs and hug my husband. Maybe more, if he is lucky. I’ll lay my head on my own pillow and let out a deep breath. Sure—I’ll be back on the road next week. And that brief time back in the bosom of my family will recharge my batteries. And I’ll go out and do it again. So I hope I get to see you on the road. And I promise I will have showered.

11 Comments

  1. Karen Wright

    April 8, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    I just now have gotten a chance to write and let you know how much I enjoyed getting to hear you in Nashville at the BIAT conference. I am on chapter 13 of “Perfectly Imperfect” and might I say thoroughly enjoying it. I love the humor. I have alot of the clothing issues also.
    NOw on to more serious. My son had an ATV accident in Dec. 2006. During this whole time I have been keeping a diary of sorts. I didn’t want to forget all the people who came to visit. As I wrote it became a release. When we got home it was still early on in his recovery and I turned to the internet for help.
    This lead to starting a support group with the help of his speach therapist. We now meet once a month. I tend to be the goo-roo of info for getting websites and other things we can use. I love it!! We play games and sometimes just talk but it is our little group that understands each other.
    My question is do you have any suggestions on how I may write a book or start a blog? I would like to help those who don’t realize they need the help at the moment but will appreciate it later on. I still grasp at anything to help move forward.
    We were blessed to have had the option of Shepherd Center early on. We also just went back this past Dec. because Jacob couldn’t last through the full day at pathways before. We wanted him to have a chance at it again. God blessed us with two Jacobs and they are both so kind and loveable.
    Thank you for your time on this subject and I am sorry for the rambling on. Hope you continued success.

  2. Deb Woerpel

    April 9, 2010 at 3:35 am

    Lee,
    First – hope water found its way to your hotel. And hope that you are now safely home! Watched your husband on GMA this morning, and thought about how hectic your lives must be. Please know how much BOTH of you are appreciated for all you do!
    And want you to know – I will be first in line if you write another book! I truly hope that becomes a reality. You have a way of putting into words all those crazy emotions we feel as wives, mothers, daughters. And you do it with humor and empathy. Thank you!
    Deb

  3. Paulette

    April 10, 2010 at 2:52 am

    Well, to start, this “someone” wants another book! As for the travel, being a Flight Attendant, it is lots of fun, but I dont have kids at home to miss. I dont know how the FA’s that do have kids deal with this life.
    I dont know what you mean, though, when you talk of delayed flights…….that never happens in the airline industry….there is never delays for weather, or mechanical issues, no never! Haha.
    I do know what you mean when you say talking to others energizes you. I get teh same when I talk to passengers about where they are going, and just about themselves, I love it.
    I hope your “travels on the road” bring you to the ATL again soon.
    Until thewn, get busy on that next book!! :))

  4. Paulette

    April 10, 2010 at 2:59 am

    This “someone” wants another book, please! Travel, I am sure isnt pleasant to do when you have kidsat home. But for me being a Flight Attendant, with grown kids is a lot of fun. I dont know how the FA’s with kids do this job.
    As for delayed flights……the NEVER happens………what are you talking about? LOL. There are never any weather or mechanical delays!!
    I in some ways understand what you mean about talking to people energizing you. I get that from passengers, taling about where they are going to or coming from, or just about themselves. Is lots of fun.
    Hope to see you out on the road, again , soon. Hopefully maybe bring you to the ATL again soon.
    Have fun out there!

  5. Paula Wallace

    April 10, 2010 at 9:18 pm

    Hi Lee, I have read both of your books! I thought they were both excellent! You have a way of expressing your thoughts as if you were sitting across the table having a cup of tea with ME! I am a faithful reader of your blogs! They are SO GOOD!! I really look forward to reading them. Please write another book!! Take care!Happy trails to you, till we meet again.

  6. Karen Putz

    April 12, 2010 at 3:10 pm

    I do hope you write another book as I enjoyed “Perfectly Imperfect” a lot! A friend of mine, another exhausted mom, is currently borrowing my copy. I am about to hit five days in another state myself– I always miss my kids by the third day and look forward to going home again.

  7. Cubanlove

    April 12, 2010 at 9:34 pm

    I’m so excited I found your blog! How can I be the only commenter to this post?? C’mon, people. Show the love!

  8. Deb Woerpel

    April 13, 2010 at 3:22 am

    Assuming that you are back on the road, I hope your travels are going well. Please know that I (along with many others) are eagerly awaiting a “next” book. Your words are always inspiring to me as a mom, wife, sister, and daughter. Thank you!

    Deb

  9. Sue Kennedy

    April 13, 2010 at 3:29 pm

    Hi Lee,
    thank you so much for braving the challenges of Baltimore Hotels to speak at the BIAM conference last week. You looked amazingly well-shower or not. I am so grateful for your sacrifice of time in sharing your experiences so that we “professionals” gain a much needed understanding of what families and caregivers go through during traumatic brain injury recovery. Your point about human vs. medical touch was well made. We in the health care profession get used to distancing ourselves emotionally so that we can provide the care needed without breaking down ourselves-which if this happens, we can’t give our patient’s the care they need. That should not prevent us however, in giving the occassional much needed hug or pat on the shoulder to those who need to feel cared about as well as cared for. In the same respect, those folks, like yourself, who are or have been caregivers, also need to have some quality “me” time to regroup and regenerate. The burden on caregivers is seemingly endless, while their energy sadly, is not. I often have told family members to take time to build their support systems and cultivate them wisely. Bring in family or friends who are willing to even sit for an hour or two with the family member who was injured, just to give the primary caregiver a break. What is sadly lacking in our insurance industry, is a lack of value in regard to un-licensed caregivers such as friends and family members. the work they provide for the patient saves insuranc companies millions of dollars if not billions a year, and yet they are uncompensated and often put their own jobs in jeopardy or lose their jobs to care for their loved one. If anything at all can come out of all of this health care reform in process, this should be at least one of the resounding battlecries–reimbursement for caregiving services for families and friends, so that they can continue to care for patients in their homes, rather than have to send them to nursing homes or other institutions. Lee, thank you for all you are sacrificing and continue to sacrifice by way of your time away from your family, God bless,
    Sue Kennedy, RN BSN CCM

  10. Diane Owens

    April 15, 2010 at 4:14 am

    Great news! Now I know what to give some friends for Mother’s Day. I will personally help sell some of your paperbacks because I definitely want you to write another book. Can you please get started right away? 🙂

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