It's been a little hectic of late in my world.
When I began 2017 with a prayer for new territory and experiences, I had in mind something such as, oh, say an Indiana library program for my books somewhere new, or the trip to an Iowa farm that my bestie Gay and I are planning for summer.
What I didn't expect was the phone to ring on Wednesday and my boss, Katie Clontz, to ask if I'd like to cover the U.S. presidential inauguration. Would I? As the word "Yes!" left my lips, goose bumps broke out all around. I didn't realize a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity would find me in 2017.
I'll be traveling with Indiana State Rep. Tom Saunders (R-Lewisville), his wife, Sue, and 110 or so Hoosiers headed to the nation's capital on Wednesday. I'll be reporting on what it's like to attend an inauguration -- this inauguration-- and related festivities. Our state's governor, Mike Pence, will take the second-in-command oath, making him a heartbeat away from leadership of the free world.
I'll be writing for my newspaper, the New Castle Courier-Times as well as several sister papers in the Hoosier state. These will be exclusive to our chain, Paxton Media Group, but I'll also be posting to The Courier-Times Facebook page and blogging at the end of each day right here on Home Row. I can't give you anything firm regarding times or topics. I'm as curious as anyone.
As it happens, I got the last seat available on either of the two buses they are taking so that sounded like a pretty good name for my blog about the trip: LAST SEAT ON THE BUS.
If all that isn't enough to think about and prepare for, I had a serious technology issue that involved me tracking down replacement for an obsolete power cord that graciously quit working on me a few days before I leave for D.C.
While spending hours and many false leads chasing after a new one for most of one day was not in my plan, I am grateful it didn't blow up on the trip or I'd be up a creek. As it happens, Brian and I were able to find what may be the last one known to mankind right before closing time at Fry Electronics in Fishers the other night. SIGH of relief.
On Friday, we went ahead with plans to meet with our accountant in Rockville and get my books' Indiana sales tax squared away for another year and then as a reward for that, head north to visit and do lunch with dear friend Barbara Clark, rolling into our driveway a little after dark.
This morning, despite ice-storm warnings the Indianapolis media is gaga over, the roads were fine when I joined my author friends Sandy Moore and Annette Goggin in New Castle for a signing. They were so kind to graft me onto their event and even if folks were probably huddled tight at home for the most part (although a few brave souls did come by), the morning was not lost for me since I got to visit with my two friends. Thank you so much, Sandy and Annette, for inviting me!
My brain is scattered this afternoon as I figure out what clothes to pack, what other goods I need to stash away for the trip, and I make a list of what not to forget before we roll on Wednesday. That's not to mention the household chores I need to attend to such as bill paying, a run to the library, some research for the trip, schedule-rearranging calls to make, and a few other things before my mind can even begin to focus.
This has been quite a month. Over Monday and Tuesday, I need to put the winter issue of her magazine for women to bed, get some pages planned and paginated for the daily paper and prepare to be gone until next week. I need some training about some technical details of transmitting content besides.
The month unfolded with a newsroom "rush" on a project that normally allows the entire month of January to complete. It was a lot of work but the good news there is that it's now finished on our end.
So pardon me if I'm a bit daffy today. And please, join me on this journey through this blog as I plan to give you an insiders' guide to this peaceful transition of power, a hallmark of this nation. And, I'll show and tell whatever else unfolds.