Like a bad dream, a very bad dream.
I acquired my spot in the Audrey Woulard workshop in an unusual manner.
I was contacted by a woman saying that she had a spot, she saw my name and intrest in Audrey's comments, and she emailed me.
The woman said Audrey had two workshops coming up,one in Sept. and one in Oct.
The Sept was too soon so I said the Oct dates might work.
I emailed Audrey and asked her if the woman I was dealing with was real and was it alright with her if I purchased a spot this way.
Yes, it was just fine with Audrey if I purchased a spot in the Oct. workshop.
So with great trepidation, I sent a lot of money by paypal to this woman.
I was in.
I was going.
And as you know I was elated and excited and nervous.
(People come from all over the world to attend one of Audrey's workshops. It is very hard to get a spot.)
So you know about the pre-trip preparations; Here's what happened.
I arrived in Chicago at 4:15 on Sunday, early enough to find the loft.
I wanted to be right on time and know where I was going on Monday morning.
I timed my drive both there and back.
Between 12 and 15 minutes depending on the lights and traffic.
After a totally lonely night in the hotel and a sleepless sleep, I awoke at 6:30.
Not too nervous. I changed twice. Put deoderant on three times.
Had a complimentary breakfast. And walked to my car at 8:32.
Audrey specifically said not to arrive more than 15 minutes before the workshops.
I arrived exactly on time. There was no one standing outside the loft.
Could I be the first to arrive?
I parked easily along a side street and walked up to the door.
There on the door were two little business cards. Both Audreys.
The door was locked. To my right I spotted three buttons.
The door did not open.
I tried all three of the buzzers.
The door did not open.
I walked along to see if there was another door that might be open.
Nope. This must be the door.
But where was every one
No one was arriving.
My stomach started to churn.
I called home. It was 8:54.
Katie drug Emma from bed.
"Emma, no one is here. Look at the paper near the phone and tell me if I have the address right."
She reads it to me. I have the address correct.
Tell me about the dates and times.
She does not see a mention of the date. But I have the time correct, my paper says 9-5.
By now it is 9:00.
I am all alone.
Something is terribly wrong.
I go back up to the door and call the numbers on Audrey's business card.
I try the cell phone first cause I know she is not in the loft.
The cell phone clearly says not to leave a message if it is concerning photography. I feel awful but leave a quick message.
Then I call her loft phone. I leave a bewildered and sad little message.
I go to my car and call Emma one more time.
Cheerful Katie answers again. I'm not really in the mood for silly cheerful right now.
I ask Emma to go thru all the correspondence and look for dates. Do I have the date right?
It takes some time but Emma reads thru all the correspondence and the only dates we have or were ever told are the dates from the seller of the spot.
Oct. 22 and 23.
I ask Emma to email Audrey. Perhaps we can get thru this way.
(I am still thinking perhaps the workshop starts at 10:00. But alas, no one is arriving.)
I dial Audrey's numbers one more time.
This time I leave slightly blubbering messages. I'm starting to unravel.
I can't remember where I was when Emma called me....
Either I was sitting in a parked car.
Driving back to the hotel.
Or already back in the hotel room.
But when Emma said, "Mom, Audrey emailed, she said the workshop was last week. She wondered where you were?"
So there it was.
My heart broke.
I cried and sobbed and started to pack.
As I stood at the elevator, in a daze, the phone rang.
It was Audrey.
She had the sweetest voice and the most positive attitude.
She was kind and sorry but she offered me a place in one of her next workshops. No charge.
She said, the workshops just get better and better. Every one is better then the last.
I told Audrey I would love to come to a future workshop. When would the next one be? January?
No. It is too cold for outdoor shooting. March will probably be the first workshop next year.
She said she would send me an email as soon as they set the dates.
I would get first dibs.
I will choose March.
And it's going to be her best workshop ever.
Cause they just keep getting better and better :o)
(In going over emails....the only date I ever got from anyone was the one from the seller.
Audrey's emails always just said....the October workshop.)
I can write this without crying today.
I don't see a reason for this odd adventure.
But lots of times we don't.
Thank you for all the hugs and love yesterday afternoon and night.
Did you ever go to a concert or a wedding or a photography workshop on the wrong date?
Encourage one another,