Well. I had the best time this past weekend. And believe it or not, it had absolutely nothing to do with college football.
I mentioned last week that I was speaking at the Arkansas Women Bloggers conference, and that is exactly what I did. Friday morning I flew to Atlanta so that I could fly back over Birmingham on the way to Little Rock. And by the way, do you know how long it takes to fly from Birmingham to Atlanta? THIRTY-ONE MINUTES. I mean, yes, you have to make time to taxi and take off and descend and land and taxi again, but you are really only in the air long enough to watch one episode of your favorite sitcom – and you can’t even do that because for at least ten minutes of the flight all of your electronic devices have to be turned to the “off” position and stowed.
For some reason all of this fascinates me.
Anyway, the conference was at Ferncliff Camp outside of Little Rock, and the setting was absolutely beautiful. There were trees and hills and wide-open skies, and lo, my heart was full. The rooms weren’t fancy, but they were charming, and I really do think that I’m growing as a person because even though THERE WERE NO TELEVISIONS THERE, I did not panic. I took several deep breaths, reminded myself that there was plenty of wifi (even if it wasn’t powerful enough to live stream a football game), and remembered two words that can be very important during an unexpected TV-free weekend: CANDY CRUSH.
Listen. I’m as bad as it as I ever was, and it’s certainly not any sort of all-consuming thing with me. But it was a great way to pass the time on my flights, and I actually bonded with a woman in the Birmingham airport when we discussed some strategies that might help her get past level 22. I told her about combining the wrapped candies with the striped candies, and she was so excited that she nearly jumped up out of her seat. Obviously it was a special moment that I will treasure forever.
As it turned out (and a little bit to my surprise), I didn’t have a whole lot of time to play Candy Crush. I did, however, get to meet a bunch of blogging women who couldn’t have been more warm, welcoming, and fun. I got such a kick out of their DEEPLY genuine sense of community, and I loved watching how they support and encourage each other. My friend Stephanie started the conference a couple of years ago; she and her team have done a phenomenal job. I enjoyed my time there so much. And if all of that weren’t enough, I also got to see my friend Jennifer (we went to State together), and about six different times yesterday we laughed so hard that we couldn’t make any sound come out. My heart was so happy to see her.
So, in summary: Great conference. Wonderful women. Sweet friends. And the view wasn’t bad, either.
Thanks, Arkansas. For everything.
You made me feel right at home.