Saturday, November 1, 2008

Reading Maps

Becky and I left for two days of R & R last Wednesday and drove six hours northwest to the little town of Galena, Illinois. What a time we had--beautiful weather, scenery galore, fine meals, and plenty of together-time. We had each stowed a few books away for the trip as well, and I had brought along the trusty atlas so that I could easily navigate our way.

Of course, reading maps can often be more difficult than reading a book, and, since I had left our GPS at home (I got one for Christmas last year but haven't opened it yet, and I'm still writing this blog on dial-up at home and figuring out how Google works) some aspects of our trip were dicey. In many ways I'm still old fashioned . . . as I enjoy pulling into a gas station and asking, "Hey, can you tell me how to get to Galena?"

This always results in twenty minutes of conversation near the gas pump, with some guy wearing bib overalls telling me, "You gotta go back ten miles and take a left at the fourth stop sign where the road veers slightly to the south and then you take that second road through the elm grove to the west, out past the Dollar General store (but don't go right) and then you go through two hollers and a flat space of about two miles and then hang a left at the bridge. You can't miss it!"

This results, or course, in my wife asking, "Why didn't you open up the GPS and learn how to use it?"

Answer, "Because I love you and want to have this incredible experience of getting lost and taking a long walk with you in the sunset so that we might neck for hours under that elm grove and walk the two mile flat space in our bare feet beneath an umbrella of stars . . . and I brought a blanket, too!"

"Just go back," she says. "You've lost more than your way. You've lost your mind."

All of this . . . just because of a map!

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