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A Sense of Wonder (That Everything Went As Well As It Did)

On The WayFancy Pants Conveyor BeltFor my latest adventure, we left off just as I was on my way to pick up the humongous truck for my crazy road trip out east. The rental company here was great and we got the truck without any hitches. Ominously, one of the last things I remember from the rental guy was that I had to have the truck to the lot in Massachusetts by 5pm on Saturday. (More on this to come.)

As a refresher, the overall plan was to:
Load the truck and leave for Massachusetts on Thursday afternoon;
Drive all day on Friday;
Wake up Saturday morning in Massachusetts;
Go to Sense of Wonder and switch out some Bella Bella pieces;
Deliver the 8 foot diameter table;
Switch the truck for a car;
Meet with another client; and
Wake up Sunday morning and head for home.

My good friend James had agreed to help me make this all happen so he was right on hand Thursday to help get things started. Loading the truck went great. James devised an ingenious set-up that locked the table into place flat in the back of the truck. Yay! Looking to get going on a good vibe, we started the trip with a cooler full of yummy food and high spirits. How quickly those two things emptied!

Now, normally on my epic road trips across the country I listen to NPR podcasts non-stop. I absolutely love This American Life. Hours can go by in the blink of an eye as the stories unfold. The timing is oh so perfect because the end of every other story is a good time to stop, stretch my legs, recharge for a minute, and then get back on the road with the next story in the series all queued up.

Fast forward to this trip. One thing that I always forget about these huge rental trucks is the lack of a radio/tape player/cd player/etc. Here we are, at the first conversation lull of the 16 hour drive, and no radio. What about This American Life? What’s going to happen to those people in those stories? Suddenly, I needed to know as if my life depended on it and I knew that this feeling would only get worse. Hence, the first detour of our trip was to a box-store to buy a little boom box. If only every problem was so easily solved!

I mentioned that the trip was going to take 16 hours. And it should have. But something about it just made everything drag along. No matter how often I checked the GPS, we never seemed to get closer. It was always so far away. It felt like one of those gag birthday candles – no matter how often you blow out the candle, it just keeps coming back. That was this trip! In the end, we logged 26 hours of driving time. Needless to say, we were still driving on Saturday morning when we were supposed to be at the gallery but we finally managed to get there.

Sense of Wonder, owned and operated by Jean Smith and her husband, is a great little gallery in North Andover, Massachusetts that I have worked with for many years. Jean has been one of my all-time favorite clients ever since I started working directly with galleries. Jean and I have always had a connection. The kind where you know that you’d be best friends forever and that no matter how much time has passed, you’re able to just pick right back up where you left off as if nothing ever happened. I hadn’t seen Jean in 5 or 6 years and seeing her and her beautiful store warmed my heart. Sadly, the 26 hour drive meant that we only had 1 hour together if we had any hope of getting the truck back in time. (1 hour!?! 26 hours of driving for just 1 hour!?!) But we made the most of it.

After an insane amount of hugging, we got started switching out some of her beautiful vintage Bella Bella tables for new wall art and mirrors. (I’ll have more to say about the vintage Bella Bella in a later post.) The most entertaining part of the process was Jean’s fancy pants conveyor belt. If you imagine Laverne and Shirley in the bottling plant, you’ll get a pretty good idea of how absolutely ridiculous we looked and how much fun we had!

With our 60 minutes up way too quick, Jean and I hugged tightly and promised that we’d drink together in Baltimore again just like the good old days. James and I loaded back up and headed to our next stop which I’ll share in the next installment of Lara’s Larks and Labors.

With Bella Love,

Lara

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