Having Google mapped directions to places many times before, it was natural to do so in regards to our first Author Festival. We figured that of course the Google map directions were accurate when they showed that it would take a mere 30 minutes to drive from Phenix City to Tuscumbia, Alabama. This translated to a mere 10 minute trip from Auburn for Kathie.
Four days prior to the Helen Keller Author Festival- which had been on the calendar for three months- we were both having conversations with our husbands in regards to the time frame. Kathie and I insisted that we were right, until they both pulled up the more accurate… real accurate… Google map directions showing a 4 hour and 22 minute estimated time of arrival! Our phone call to each other was filled with laughter and disbelief as to how this could actually have happened! Kathy still cannot forget the much shorter 30 minute red line that had previously appeared on her screen, as she was the one who had Googled the original directions!
Since the festival is a two-day event, booking a hotel was the next priority. To make things more difficult, whenever we attend any type of event or meeting with each other, we always have to transpose the time frame into, “my time” and “your time,” even though we live 30 minutes from each other. Phenix City is on EST time and Auburn is on CST, which always provides a scenario for a comical interaction between us as we both repeat the “time” phrases several times prior to ending the phone call.
Well, knowing we would be leaving at 3:30 A.M. from Auburn, I became extra focused on communicating to Kathie what time we would be leaving in “her time.” I inadvertently ended up setting my alarm an hour earlier than necessary and after the first few sips of coffee, I realized what I had done! So consequently, the dishwasher got unloaded, I was able to curl my hair and enjoy a full cup of coffee prior to my departure.We had a great time talking and laughing on the trek up as always! Cold Water Books, who hosted this annual event, is simply a beautiful bookstore. Tuscumbia is actually the birthplace of Helen Keller, for which the city is understandably very proud. Meeting the authors whose books sell there as well was a profound blessing. They were all so genuine and kind and we shared a love for each others’ books and passion! We acquired many new fans of our book as we signed their copy. One grandma was leaving for Hawaii the following week to see her grandchildren. So as far as we know, this will be our first book in the Aloha state!