Having been denied the opportunity to enter contests whilst on the other side of the pond had its pros and cons! I was informed by one of the radio stations that, because I was in a different location, and no doubt a different continent, that I was unable to access my 'account', as it did not recognise the address from where I was attempting to 'log on'. "It is England", I told the very pleasant helper, thinking that someone, somewhere must be able to recognise my birth country, but apparently it was not the fact that the helper did not recognise it, as much as the computer's lack of geographical knowledge, or capability. Of course, this meant that I was unable to win any prizes. On the plus side, of course, I had some spare time on my hands!
It was with enormous joy that I saw the email, upon my return, with the simple word, "Congrats". I had been selected to visit the radio station for a 'meet and greet'. We were back in business!
My first full week back was bound to be busy, but I was not prepared for quire how busy. Monday afternoon, after swimming, was quite the challenge. Dana was announcing to the world (or whomever was listening) how many emails he had to contend with at any given time. Thinking that it was not productive to make this statement every five minutes, I went ahead and told him so. My patience, or lack of it, was blamed on jet lag despite having more than enough time to 'get over it'.
Leaving the office at a few minutes after eight o'clock on Monday evening did little to improve my temperament, but I chose to ignore the 'moody' bug that had set up residence inside my head and enjoy what was left of the day. The diner where we decided to eat was rather more busy than we are used to seeing it, and it took longer for our food to arrive than it would usually, but I did not allow this to bother me. I had turned a corner!
The challenge on Tuesday was not to get overwhelmed, being that I was going to be gone from the office for a couple of hours at lunchtime. The email I had received had suggested I bring 'all my friends'. I did not reply that the majority of my friends reside across the pond, and it would be cost prohibitive for a lot of them to join me. Even the friends stateside would need to jump on a plane to get to Austin, let alone the studio, and my poolside friends had not been at the pool to ask, and I did not have time Monday night, by the time I arrived home, to go knocking on doors! Samantha mentioned it to her friends, but they were all working. However, Cori was not! Cori had suggested that they 'do lunch', and Samantha asked if she would like to 'do lunch' at the radio station!
We arrived quite early and the 'usual suspects', bar one, were there. It looked as if (but I have no way to confirm) only the 'regulars' were invited and asked to bring their pals. Lunch was provided by Rudy's barbecue, a local favourite, and we all ate in anticipation of the show.
As we were eating, we noticed the that lady whom we had noticed was missing from the 'regular' crowd, had arrived. We knew it must be nearly time for the show! She seemed a little surprised that all were there before her. Just as she retrieved her lunch, we were asked to go into the studio, but to leave all food items outside. As we walked in, I felt Samantha's hand on my back, forcing me forward. I fell into the sofa that was in front of the stage and by the time I had got up from the horizontal position, my daughter and Cori were ready to take their place next to me. Having denied all other's the opportunity to sit in the prime position, the 'other' regular parked herself on the floor next to the couch, and set up her phone, camera, tablet, and probably had a minute sound system somewhere upon her person, to record the show!
Hailey Knox was waiting for us to sit down before she started to sing her first song, 'Awkward'. Young enough, physically, to be my grand-daughter, I was most impressed with her voice, and guitar skills, but then any grandmother, I am sure, would be! She finished the toe tapper, and then started to describe how she 'mixes' her music, and invited a member of the audience to give her their name, and perhaps their favourite food, and she would make up a song, using all the equipment at her feet, to introduce us to the wonders of her world. Just as she finished explaining, Samantha once again made physical contact with me, this time nudging her elbow into my ribs, which made me jump and raise my right hand in the process. "Yes!", said my surrogate grand-daughter, "What is your name?". I responded, and then had to think about my favourite food. When put on the spot it was not easy. I had been contemplating a 'sophisticated' sounding question whilst she had been singing, as usually we are asked by the promoter for one to pose! "Chocolate. Dessert. Any dessert.... with chocolate". As easy as the question was, I sounded like I has just been asked to explain Pythagoras's theory, in three thousand words, in multi languages, and failed miserably! However, grandchildren are generally patient, and the lovely Hailey was obliging. "Hmmm I love chocolate", she said, making me feel like the grandchild, of pre-school age, and proceeded to start 'making' the song. After 'mixing' a few, 'ooh's' and 'ohhs', and adding some 'brrs' for effect, she sang, "Tracie loves chocolate cake" several times. The final chorus was the same line, but with more 'umph'. "I hope you liked it!", she said as I applauded and mouthed my thanks. Like it! A young, up and coming, star wrote a song not only for me, but about me (albeit short). What was there not to like?
The photo session followed, and Cori seemed to be quite happy that she had joined us. "Hi Trace", said Hailey, as I arrived by her side. I was now like a giggling schoolgirl, just rather pleased that I now have a little more confidence than ever I did when I w's at school. I am a little less 'bumbling', although I am not sure that much maturity shone through when I smiled back and said "Hi" to Hailey!
We waived cheerio to Cori, who said that she would love to join us again, should the opportunity arise, and drove back to the office, with two half barbecue sandwiches for Dana's lunch. Sandra, Samantha's neighbour, who was unable to join us for the concert had posted a link on her Facebook page, and sent it to Samantha. It appears that from the whole show the person recording the episode for the radio station had chosen my song to upload to their Facebook page, to promote Hailey being at their studio! Well why not keep it in the family!
The rest of the week was very busy, but I took my own car to the office so that I could leave at a reasonable time. I ate dinner alone Wednesday night, and reheated Dana's when he arrived home a little before 11pm. We were unsure as to why things were so hectic, although the up and coming long weekend was probably the reason for so many attorneys working into the small hours. Getting their desks cleared so that they could 'take off' at lunch time on Friday, meant that we could not!
My time to enter the many contests that were on offer was greatly limited, as in addition to the legal profession clearing their backlog, Jason was away for three days, which meant I was wearing another hat for the last three days of the working week. I told one client that it was "Me, myself and I, and Jason", at my desk, and all four of us were very busy! Edward, however, had made the most of 'my song', and made his own 'cover version', which Samantha sent to me! In the words of today's generation, I am waiting for it to 'go viral', but I think it will probably be accepted with as much excitement as a dose of the 'flu!
With Labor Day looming, leaving the office on Friday was not as easy as Dana had anticipated, despite letting his clients know that we intended to close the office at 4pm. The emails were still piling into his inbox, and announcements as to how many continued to permeate through the office. We were still working very hard at five with no end in sight! Did we manage to get any time off during the three day weekend. That will have to remain .......... another story!