Annamaria on Monday
Most of this blog would have been pictures anyway, because I spent the weekend at the Malice Domestic conference in Bethesda Maryland, and I would have reported on it—the premier conference for traditional mysteries in the USA.
|Babies making friends at Penn Station|
Even with the hour-long train delay on the way from NYC to Washington to Union Station Washington, worth it for all the delightful distractions of being with my tribe, which in this case included our own fabulous Sujata.
Then, once the conference was winding down, a stroke of what felt like luck—a chance on Sunday to take an earlier train and get home before 9 o'clock at night. Hurrah, right? Not so fast, my friend.
The quiet car, in which I hoped to work on my manuscript, had broken air conditioning. The temperature when I sat down in my seat felt around 99. Okay, maybe it was only 97. And the rest of the train was packed on a Sunday afternoon. So off I went in a railroad car the conductor described as having a sauna temperature. She brought us cold water, and I worked over my WIP.
But by the time we arrived at Philadelphia, my cheeks were red, and I had what felt like second-degree heat stroke.
I got up for a while and stood in between the cars so that I could cool off. I felt a little woozy. The conductor, a splendid woman who was doing a fabulous job controlling the tempers of a carload of overheated travelers, said she was going to put me in the first class car which was air-conditioned. How great, huh?
The conductor in the first class car took my hand to escort me over the bouncing connection between the cars and into first class. She let me go just as the train lurched – one of those 7.2 Richter scale lurches that, of all the railroads worldwide, only Amtrak can deliver. My left hip crashed into the arm of the nearby seat. The railroad employee sitting there tried to help me by grabbing my arm, but ended up wrenching my shoulder.
Once I recovered my equilibrium, I let out a groan and sat down across the aisle. The occupant of the window seat next to me, a woman who seemed to be about my age said, "Oh, you’re not really hurt. I can see you're a tough old bird."
You will all, I am sure, feel very proud of me. I did not weep. I did not punch her. I was perfectly cordial and answered her questions, even the one about my religious beliefs. Even when she insisted that I must believe in God, because God is infinite love.
I have been home for a few hours now. And I am feeling better.