Getting Lost in My Own Backyard
Someone with lots of time of her hands asked, “When was the last time you got lost?” Hoo boy. If only she knew that I don’t have to try to get lost.
If you are geographically gifted, consider yourself blessed. My husband is one of those fortunate people with an inner GPS. Traveling in unfamiliar territory, he usually can find his way to our destination without a map.
Then there are people like me who are what our kids call geographically challenged. My mother used to say I would get lost in my own backyard. That’s an exaggeration, of course. As long as I can see the house, I’m OK.
“Just look at the sun,” my husband offered helpfully. “Take your position from the sun.” That’s about as helpful as being lost in the woods and knowing that moss grows on the north side of trees. Compass points do nothing for people like me.
In high school, the student council president and I traveled together to a county-wide event at a mega-school half an hour away. I thought I knew how to get there. We got lost and made it for the final 20 minutes of the activity.
I have been turned around on gravel roads, major highways, interstates and cow paths. I’m not kidding about the cow paths, either.
The irony of this is I’m a part-time taxi driver for the horse-and-buggy Mennonite community. I’ve gotten turned around on gravel roads, and had to ask directions of the people in the backseat. When my passengers say, “Turn north at the next crossroads,” I don’t have time to look for moss on trees. I have to say, “Tell me left or right, not north or south.” They kindly stifle chuckles at my confusion.
When my husband becomes exasperated as I creep in the door 30 minutes late, and he says, “How could you get lost going there?! It’s so simple!” my only reply is, “It’s just a gift I have.” Accompanied by a sweet little smile, it’s my only defense.