Monday, October 17, 2011


Life is full of wrong turns.

A friend of mind said she’d be so lost if she were driving. Truth is so would I without a GPS. Then again, I manage to get lost even with Chatty Cathy hollering at me to turn left, turn right, and giving me fair warning ahead.

That’s not surprising when I often become disoriented in a mall. Many is the time I come out of a side store and think I’m heading toward the end cap and wind up at the food court instead. I grab a doughnut and coffee, justified by the additional steps I’ll have to take to walk back to where I wanted to go in the first place, and start the journey over.

Back in the days when I first started driving, we used road maps. When I wanted to take a trip, I pulled out my Atlas, wrote down the directions and headed out. Problem is, I don’t know North, South, East or West when I’m on the road. I suppose I should have installed a huge compass on the dashboard. I’d read the road map only to realize, I read it upside down and ended up ten miles north instead of ten miles south.
Just like Chatty Cathy recalculates and eventually turns me around, I always managed to get to my final destination…eventually. Sometimes I found little treasures I would not have found if I hadn’t become directionally challenged.

Where’s the fun in always knowing where you want to go?

Sometimes I take a purposeful, spur-of-the-moment, side trip…not knowing where I’m going or where I’ll end up—and with no GPS or road map. Just trying to remember what street I turn onto when and retracing my steps. Obviously, I’ve always managed to find my way back…unlike Charlie on the MTA, I did return.
On one of those unplanned excursions, I ended up at a flea market barn…huge one…and I bought a picture. I still have it and display it prominently—a landscape of a turn of the century town…much like I imagine any small town in America would have looked like on the eve of the automobile. I like to put myself into the town and imagine what my life might have been like if I’d lived then.

Sometimes a wrong turn or an impromptu adventure can bring a taste of fond memories.
Have you ever taken a wrong turn and wound up in Adventureland? I’d love to hear about it.  


Carol McClain said...

Oh yes--look at my blog--for the one entitle LOST (Madrid style) oy vay--the ol' gps had no clue where she was headed.

TNeal said...

Long before the Internet and GPS, Ellen and I were returning to seminary in Kentucky from Wisconsin. In Indianapolis we must have had a good conversation going because, miles and miles after our exit for Louisville, we read, "Welcome to Ohio." Ohio? Ellen grabbed the travel atlas and we did a lot of recalculating.

Linda said...

@ Tom....yep...been there done that

Diana said...

When I first relocated to Asheville NC I grabbed a map and set out on an adventure- purposely choosing a road other than the interstate to ensure I would enjoy a more scenic route. Well, I learned around here it is best to stick to the interstates. I ended up going round and round and up a mountain,not sure if I had entered SC or if I would have enough Gasoline to get me back to civilization. Shortly after that a friend drop shipped me a GPS and I never leave home with out it. But I did see incredible beauty along the way :-)

Stephanie Rae Pazicni said...

Yes Linda - One time I was in California, driving from San Francisco down to Sequoia National Park. A couple hours into the drive as I studied my map, confused and pondering the fact that if I was headed NORTH, shouldn't the Pacific Ocean be on my left?