Princess Muse

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Musings about Getting Lost

My ability to get lost is almost legendary.  I can't read a map to save my life.  Actually, that's not true.  I can read a map.  I can plot out a course.  I can find the best way to get from Point A to Point B.  I can even find interesting things to see while getting to Point B.  However, when it comes to taking that piece of paper and applying to the Real World... yeah, that I can't do.  I even have a hard time following verbal directions.  You can ask Duey.  I went up to Richmond to visit him Saturday and couldn't find the salon he works at, so I whipped out my trusty (but seldom used) cell phone and called him.  "Duey, where am I?"  Took him 5 minutes to get me to turn in the right direction and find him.  When it was time for me to go home, Duey gave me very good directions on how to get back to I -195.  I still got lost.  Drove around in Richmond for a little bit, found Shockoe Bottom, and then Rt. 5.  Drove through Varina before I finally hit I-295 and could get myself back to my parents house. (I kept consoling myself with the thought that by going South, I was heading in the right direction.)

When I got my Toyota Sienna, I called Arlyn to tell her that it had a compass.  Know what she said?  "What good is that going to do you, Missy?"  I replied, "But, now, when I get lost, I can tell you what direction I'm going in."

When I was in junior high (what most people call middle school, now), I lived in West Germany (yeah, that's how old I am.... Germany was two countries).  Twice a year, we would have some sort of fitness day and walk to the local fitness park (it was called a fasanerie, but I'm not sure how that's spelled) and run an obstacle course (hey, we were Army brats.... this is what we do).  And, twice a year, I'd get lost coming back to school.   It was usually the same group of kids.   We'd just wander around until we found something that looked vaguely familiar and then somehow we'd end up back at school.

One time, I had a friend from college visiting DC.  I went down and we had a great time hanging out.  Finally, I had to drag myself back up to Glen Burnie (this was in the days before I got married), so off I went.  Yep, got myself lost trying to find I-95.  Ended up in Southwest DC.  At 2 am.  Not a good time to be lost.  I was stopped at a light and some people were crossing the street.  Next thing I know, there are police officers, with guns out,  running after the pedestrians.  I hunched down in the car and muttered a quick prayer that I'd make it out okay.  Someone was listening, because the light changed and I was able to get out of there before I heard any gun shots.  I also found 95 pretty quick after that.

On our honeymoon, my husband and I went to the UK.  It was a driving trip.  Since Chawton wasn't that far from Heathrow Airport, we decided to drive down and see where Jane Austen lived while she wrote many of her novels.  After we, had a lovely lunch and then it was time to go to Salisbury.  Going from Heathrow to Chawton, I drove and Ken navigated.  No problems getting there.  From Chawton to Salisbury, Ken drove and I navigated.  I think I got us lost three times.  Now, in my defense, I was pretty tired, since I don't sleep well on airplanes.  But, after that day, I did the driving and Ken did the navigating.

Now, at some point, you've probably thought to yourself, Missy, just get a GPS.  You won't have to worry about getting lost.  Yeah, but you see, I kinda like getting lost.  Sometimes you find the coolest things.  A little garden where you don't expect one.  That cool funky store with the bracelets.  The bookstore where you find the book you wanted to read.

I also like to travel off of I-95.  Except for  16 years, I've lived within 10 miles of 95 my whole life.  95 does make my life easy.  When I go down to Florida to visit my dad's family, I know that Florence, SC is about halfway between Jacksonville/Orange Park and my parents' house in Colonial Heights, VA.   I don't stop at South of the Border, but I love to see the billboards.  I remember when 95 wasn't completed in NC and you had to detour onto Rt.1.  We used to stop in Wilson, NC at Parker's and have the best barbecue.   And that's why I like to drive off of 95.  Yeah, it takes longer, but you can find cool places to visit.  I used to go down US 301 and US 1 (which is the same road for a long stretch in VA) to get to my parents' house.  One of my favorite places to drive through is Frog Level, VA.  Who can't love a town called Frog Level?  I don't go down US 1 in VA as much.  My mom is too impatient to see her grandchildren, so I have to hit 95 at Ruther Glen, VA.  A GPS wouldn't let me go down the backroads.  Oh, I know I can tell it to find an alternate route, but it wouldn't be happy.  And then it would talk to me.  And I'd have to talk back to it.  And then we'd have a stony silence as we try not to talk to each other.  No, just better not to have one and save ourselves the aggravation.

Well, I guess I better I'd better go aMuse myself.  Maybe I'll get lost on Google Earth and try to find the fasanarie....


  1. Missy, you MUST get a GPS. They are awesome. Sometimes, they send you on a exhibition. It's fantastic! I often set mine to speak in a foreign language. Totally fun.

  2. I don't know, Ar...I usually end up arguing with those things.... and the last time we came down to Orlando with my folks, it told us to get off at an exit that only took "Sunshine Pass" thingies....

  3. I love wandering which is my term for getting lost. I will never get a GPS. If a car we buy has one, we will never turn it on, ever.