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After a sketchy night’s sleep, I woke at 4:45 to get ready for the big day.  I was ready by 5:30 and called my prospective ride and learned that they weren’t even close to ready and had changed their etd to 6:30.  Whaaat? Gates open at 7 a.m. and my main goal was not to sit in the back so I went downstairs to catch the supposed hotel shuttle. Shut down there, also.  No one in sight in the lobby or outside.  I already knew that the train wasn’t running that early on Saturday.

I had been told that it was perfectly safe to walk, and I expected to see all sorts of women flocking to the Conference Center so I took off.  Of course, I saw no one but men and one cab driver who was only two blocks from destination…so I just walked purposefully and finally got to a street where there was a lot of traffic.  Sure enough, the center was in sight.  As I was walking past the first few buildings two buses pulled up to the curb.  I started hoofing it.  No way was I getting behind 100 people.

My walking partner, Carma

I passed a young woman walking and told her to hurry, that the busloads were on our tail…and off we went.  Dr. Oz would have been proud.  It was a good heart rate walk for at least a mile up and down stairs before we reached the line.

Suffice it to say that serendipity strikes again. Neither Carma nor I were alone anymore. And we immediately struck up a

Waiting in Line

conversation with Carla, Shelley and Honor, three women just ahead of us in line.  By the time we had waited another half hour, we were new bff’s, planning to sit together in all possible situations, and unified in our desire to get everywhere fast and in the best position. (Btw, I would have taken these women to be in their 30’s and a couple of them in their early 30’s. Turn’s out they are all in their forties…some approaching 50. Gotta love that gorgeous skin.)

I won’t belabor you all with the details of the seminar.

After the party’s over (with our Oprah bags)

It was fun to see all of the gurus.  There was a lot of free stuff in our gift bags.  And in spite of how much I read about philosophy and self-help, I still had moments of clarity and renewal of resolve.  I always love Dr. Oz, Martha Beck and Lisa Ling.  Nate Berkus is still cute as a button.  I gained new respect for Suze Orman. And I am now a disciple of Donna Brazile due to her great spirit and down to earth approach.

And then came Oprah…

OMG!  She was a real person. She was gracious, inspirational, humorous and yet serious.  It seemed to me that her comfort with being among people of the South gave her latitude to be herself.  She appreciated her capacity to speak her spiritual truth in Atlanta and in return shared more of herself than I have ever seen in her shows. She wasn’t Oprah the television talk show host.  She was Oprah, the woman who has learned to believe in herself and her truth.

I feel blessed to have been there for that.

My feet hurt.  My face is red from garlic, etc.*  I am exhausted.  And I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

I’ll be up in the middle of your night heading for the airport.  See you all soon.

The Wanderer

*Had to finish off the day with catfish and grits.  The last southern food hurrah. Delicious!

P.S.  I realize my photos are a bit repetitive..but I didn’t think you all needed to see photos of the gurus.