Monday, August 06, 2007


Finally here are the pictures that I told a few friends I was going to post up on my blog days ago. I am so amazed at what she has done over the past 5 weeks. WOW. I knew she was talented I just had no idea that she could draw like this.
Michael has a saying, "It's been a long year today". Well, it was a long year yesterday. Artie came home from Skidmore on Friday and had plans to leave for Pensic (a re-enactment sort of thing for medieval time period and before that time period enthusiasts) on Saturday. Well the kid was an emotting mess. She was all wigged out about finishing her art program and then saying goodbye to friends, packing up all her stuff to move home, unpacking all her stuff at home, packing up all the stuff that she needed for Pensic, and then getting reading to take the bus to Pittsburgh. I stayed home from work (we were at a show in VT) to be with her on Saturday.
The morning began with frustration and her wanting to throw things (she had a lot of artwork to deal with from her art classes at Skidmore). The mid-day turned into her wanting to leave on Sunday instead of Saturday. Good choice in my book but her pick up in Pittsburgh wanted her to arrive on Sunday. So, she gets herself ready to leave on the bus for Saturday.
We take a cab to the Saratoga Springs bus station. Really not to far from our house but with two suitcases and 80+ degree weather I thought it wise. Art wants me to come and sit with her and wait for the bus. It's ok with me. We met all the crazies that are heading back to Albany after drinking at the racetrack all day. One woman wants to know if Artie and I are girlfriends. Uh, no!
So, dear emotionally wrenched Artie gets on the bus for Pittsburg. All is well. She has her itinerary printed out. She is going to Port Authority in NYC to transfer to a bus for Pittsburgh. We did a lot of planning for this. Making sure that she is in NYC during a time of day so that she is present and awake to make her transfer. The bus will get her into Pittsburgh at 6:30am. It's a long ride from here to Pittsburgh.
So.....Artie gets to Port Authority at 9:30pm and is catching an 11:15pm bus. She gets there. Calls us to let us know that she is there. The cell connection is awful so we only chat for a second. But she is there and OK. The kid is overwhelmed with the size of the place and goes to the information counter to help her figure out where the bus to Pittsburg is. The really nice guy at the information place wants to help her out and carries one of her bags for her over to the gate for the bus. This really nice guy who most likely really meant to be nice. This really nice guy who walked my really nice kid to the wrong gate. She didn't check to see what gate she was at. She didn't check to make sure that the bus number on her itinerary matched the bus number at the gate. She goes ahead and gets on the bus. She didn't even question the bus driver when told her that she would be transferring in Philadelphia. She knew damn well that she wasn't transferring anywhere but in NYC.
I called her at 11:30pm just as I was getting into bed. Just to say goodnight and make sure that she got on the bus. She then tells me what the bus driver said to her when she got on the bus. I am thinking, "This is not good". I hang up with her and get online and see that there is no transfer like I thought and I'm thinking, "Where the hell is she going?". Once back on the phone with her she tells me that everyone is asleep and there is noone to ask and the person next to her is asleep and she can't get out to talk to the bus driver. We make a plan for her to call me when the bus stops.
I fall asleep with the phone next to me. I am woken up at 12:30am.
"Hi Mom, I got on the wrong bus. I'm in Philadelphia."
"OK, what time and where is your connection to Pittsburgh?"
"I don't know."
"Didn't you ask the driver when you got off the bus?"
"Do you see a ticket office with ticket agents?"
"Go and ask the ticket agent what time and where the bus to Pittsburgh is and call me right back."
Wait, wait, wait.
"Mom (her sobbing starts) I have to wait until 5:45am (my gut is wrenching). I feel so stupid I never checked to see that I was getting on the right bus because the information guy took me there."
"I know sweetie, I know (Oh fuck my 18 yr. daughter has to spend the night in the bus station in Philly)."
"Mom, I feel so stupid. I didn't want to leave today anyway. Mahhhhummmm."
"I know sweetie (I think I could just about puke right now)."
Meanwhile Michael is across the street sitting with Xan because she is babysitting for a neighbor and it's late. I now walk across the street.
"Well Honey you are going to have to sit in the station until the bus comes."
"I know."
Michael gets on the phone and gives her some great advice about asking the ticket agent where the safest place to sit is and that she should take her purse off and zip it into her bag and then sit on her luggage so nobody can take it if she falls asleep.
We all chat back and forth for a little while. Apparently there is a tv on there so she goes and sits somewhere where she can stay awake and watch tv.
I go home and get into bed with the phone.
Michael got a serious vibe at 3am and called her while some yahoo was trying to pick her up. She told me later that morning that there was a homeless woman that sat with her and thought that Artie was her daughter. She took out her journal and wrote about all the displaced nuts that she saw and met.
I set our alarm for 5:25am so that I could make sure that she was up and getting on the bus.
We chat and the bus is late. She gets on the bus around 6:30am and I tell her to go to sleep because the bus only has a few stops and she doesn't get off until it's last stop in Pittsburgh.
I never go back to sleep and we have to leave the house at 8am to be in VT in time for our show.
Of all the things to happen that morning we leave both of our cell phones behind and don't realize it until we are too far on the way to Vt to turn around. It's OK we have lots of friends with phones. I phone Artie at 12:30 to make sure that she got to Pittsburgh Ok. Got her voicemail which did not thrill me and left her a message. She called back and got my dear friend Lisa and told her that she was with Mark (her pick up) and all is well.
All was well. I became a bowl of jello. Exhausted and limp. I floated through the rest of the day can't wait to get home and crawl onto the couch.
Mid morning Xan wanted to give me a hug. Michael, who knows me so well, said to her, "Don't touch Mommy honey until this is all over then you can hug her all you want." He knows so well how tightly compact I put all that anxiety in there and one hug can let it all unravel. He knows I hate that.
In the afternoon I looked at him teary eyed, "We lived through it honey. I know it's not the first time nor will be the last but we got through this one."
We had a nice hug.