Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Where am I?

I was working on the latest installment of my autobiography as it pertains to cab-driving just a few minutes ago, when I just HAD to interrupt my thoughts with this post.

How many of you have ever been "lost", literally, not knowing where you were in relation to a map? I've never had that experience, I feel fortunate to say, but it's really because of my father!

All throughout my early childhood, and extending thru the teen years, my father had this propensity for getting lost. Somehow,I became the designated map-reader, which is kind of interesting, in and of itself, because I am not able to read in a moving ground vehicle without becoming physically ill! He'd have to pull the car over and stop before I could focus on the map.

Once stopped and focused, however, we soon were able to extricate ourselves from this latest 'lost' situation and continue onward to wherever it was we were trying to get to in the first place! It was laughable then, and for many years thereafter, but those experiences in map location served me in good stead. I developed a very keen sense of direction.

There is one story, in particular, that I'd like to share with you. This one comes from the '70s or '80s. I'm sorry, I don't remember the exact decade. ANYway ....

.... I was traveling south from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan (for the umpteenth time, it seemed) back to Houston ... going through either Indiana or Illinois, I don't remember which ... on the Interstate ... when

I got really tired of just driving on an Interstate and got OFF, deliberately! I was going to navigate on 'dead reckoning' and 'reason' .. you know, the sun rises in the east, sets in the west, ergo -- etc. and blah .. .

And so, I went on (my 'merry' way), until I was pulled over by some very official-looking vehicles. It seems that I was on government property. Actually, I think I was on an Army installation and training ground!

I explained to them what I had done, that I was simply 'self-navigating'. They were very polite, escorted me off of the property, and I continued south. Next thing I knew, I was in Shiloh.

It's so vivid in my memory!

It was September, mid-week, and almost no one was there. I wandered throughout the area, ducking my head as I would enter a cabin -- I'm not that tall (5'8"), but obviously they were somewhat shorter then -- , pausing to 'listen' to the battle raging around me at the various sites, absolutely in awe at the overall beauty and stillness of Shiloh.

I do not recall whether or not I said a prayer. I hope I did!

Sometimes, in our travels, we stray (deliberately or not) off course and wander into the most unexpected terrain.

1 comment:

Tammy said...

I read a book once where a married couple decided to go on a vacation....not the type most of us go on with maps, itineraries, plans and such. But they took the money and put 1/2 of it in one pocket and 1/2 of it in the other pocket. They wanted to drive whichever direction they felt in the mood to go each day and on whichever road looked good to them. Then when the money in one pocket ran out, they would head home, and not necessarily backtracking the same way they came. That kind of driving and vacation has always intrigued me..... It would be fun to see where the road takes you.