On Saturday morning as I was headed out to the Vancouver USA Marathon I woke up to a flat tire.
Lucky for me, I was staying at my Aunt’s house so my car was trapped safely in the driveway – not on the side of a busy freeway. Also lucky for me, my cousin is a automotive whiz kid and was kind enough get all dirty and greasy changing it for me at 7am. His super sweet girlfriend offered to go get us Starbucks while he wrestled with the tire and I got ready for the show. The spare ended up being almost flat too, but Andrew followed me to the near by country store to fill it up with air and tighten the bolts one more time. In my gratitude I stupidly threw him the $15 bucks I had in my wallet and said, “I’d buy you a beer if I lived in town, but since I don’t, you and Sara go have one after work tonight.” Kinda oafish to hand your cousin money for doing a good deed – but I just felt I needed to do something and a few bucks for an after work beer is always good…
At this point it was 8:50 and the show started at 9am across town. Lucky for me, I grew up in Vancouver and still know the backroads so I was able to do a little fancy driving on empty streets, find a sweet parking spot, and pull in at 9:08 – a little frazzled, but all good.
The show was pretty empty – a 2000 participant race just doesn’t require a 2 day expo – but lucky for me lots of women that I have met over the last year or new ones that I know via facebook or our blog stopped by to chat. That is my favorite part – swapping stories and catching up. I feel bad that I don’t remember all the names, but I know the faces and probably what we laughed about last time. I get fuzzy on the specifics, but I remember the connections.
Once or twice, I noticed a few vendors look over at my booth in dare I say, envy? Not because we were doing some kind of gang buster sales, but because there was ENERGY coming from my little table. The kind of energy that comes from a vibrant community of women, but will never come from a cut-and-dry, profit-only operation. That energy means everything to me.
Which must be what drew me to Stephanie from Sweet Sport Skirts. We are very different – the girl could sell you a heater on a hot August day, whereas I can’t sell to save my life – but we are both passionate about women, community, going for our dreams, and (of course) female entrepreneurship. I felt lucky to spend the rest of the day talking about a million miles a minute with her.
Finally all packed up and ready to head North for home, I drove off in a search of dinner… only to see the flash of police lights behind me. Yep, I was driving the wrong way down a 1-way street in downtown Vancouver. Man, some days I really feel like a brunette Lucy Ricardo – smart as a fox and dumb as a door all in the same small package. I apologized for being so ditzy, but argued that the 1-way streets really are confusing. I promised him I just had ‘expo brain’ and would be on my merry way out of town as soon as he let me go. Oh, and as long as I had his attention, would he possibly mind checking my spare tire to make sure it was still full? Lucky for me, the police officer was a smart, reasonable guy who figured the sooner I was out of his territory – the better – so he checked my tire and sent me off , ticket free!
About half way home I got this text from my cousin who had changed my flat:
Hi Jenn, it’s Andrew. Hope everything went well today for you and you have a safe trip home. I am very glad that Sara and I were around to help out with your tire. And it was totally un-needed to give us $ but I know that you were very thankful and just thought I’d let u know that I used it to buy a bright pink bromeliad plant for Sara for her new place . It will remind us of this morning while we enjoy the plant ; ) Hope all went well and have a good night…
Holy crow, I was floored. When did my little cousin grow up to be a man that takes beer money and instead buys his girlfriend a pink housewarming plant? And how does he know what bromeliad’s are anyway? And how incredibly kind of him to send ME a thoughtful and warm text, when I should have been sending HIM a Thank You. I felt lucky that we had had the opportunity to connect.
As I finally pulled off the freeway exit for home I reached over to get a Cascade Ice out of my backpack. After two days of bouncing around it completely exploded all over my jeans and seat when I untwisted the top. Of course it did. Although, I had to laugh as I instantly realized that it is just sparkling water and therefore no sticky or sweet mess. Just fizzy water that would quickly dry. Lucky for me…
How does a day that begins with a flat tire and a hectic late morning, slow sales, a police pull over and finally a spilled beverage all over the lap – still somehow seem lucky and filled with gratitude? Because you know, it was a pretty great day. Not in spite of, but rather because of those little adversities, I was opened up to some great things the universe is dishing out.
Listen folks, I swear I am no Pollyanna. Just ask Greg, he’ll tell you what a grump I can be. But some days you’ve got no choice but to see the world through rose colored glasses – or in this case pink bromeliad’s. xoxo, Jenn