Thursday, June 3, 2010

All Turned Around

I am directional dyslexic. When I need to make a choice of going either right or left, north or south, there’s a 99.99 % chance I pick the wrong way.

It’s happened to me twice in two days. Yesterday I exited the freeway to go to the gym. I took the south exit and was two miles down before I thought, “Home Depot isn’t supposed to be there.” I made a U-turn. Today, I exited the freeway to go to the library. I turned right instead of left and had to make another U-turn.

I have made more U-turns in my life; if I counted them all up I bet I could have crossed the country twice by now. Yep, I have dyslexia of the driving kind.

It’s no wonder then that I love maps. They are my safety net. I have a folder of maps in my car as well as one of those road map atlases for the whole country. When I’m on a trip with someone who is driving, I read the map every step of the way. I like to know where I’ve been, where I am at the given moment, and where I’m going to be down the highway.

Once I went to Amish country with my very dear friend, Kathy. Amish country is like stepping back to the days before cars existed; when the way you got directions is with a “Go down that lane right there. When you get to the Raber farm, turn left, etc….” Kathy and I were in possession of a crude map with the dirt roads and family farms labeled. Heading to each of the farms where we could purchase an array of goods such as quilts, baked goods, and the like, I was in charge of the map. First Kathy looked at me curiously and then she broke out in hysterical laughing as she watched me. To read the map and know which direction to go I would turn the map appropriately; you know, turn the map to face the direction we were headed. What’s wrong with that? It worked; we found every farm we looked for. I haven’t lived that one down yet.

I think I come by my problem genetically. While traveling in Italy a few years back, we visited the coast of Amalfi. There in the town is a statue erected to Flavio Gioia. I’ll bet I’m related to this famous man.

Guess what he invented? The compass.

Well, from my research it appears he invented a refined version of the sailor’s compass. I wonder how many U-turns this possible ancestor made back in the 1300s.

Whether it’s my advancing age, too much on my mind, or a genetic disposition, I get lost a lot. I used to say I want a housekeeper and a cook. Now I think I will wish for a driver. Then I could read all the maps I want from the safety of the back seat. I would get to my destinations on time.

Better yet, maybe I’ll just stay home where I’m safe and sound. That is until I find myself making U-turns on the way to the bathroom.


Tammy Butner said...

I'm so glad I'm not the only one who turns the map in the direction of travel! :-) I used a friend's GPS for my recent road trip to Washington, DC . . . but, while it was very helpful for getting from Point A to Point B, it didn't seem to have a setting for "Route Tammy will find most interesting". I found myself wishing for local maps on a regular basis - maps always make a trip better. Incidentally, I turned off the GPS when I went through Amish country on the way back home and relied solely on my Pennsylvania road atlas and simple wandering . . . it was the best part of the trip.

Paty said...

Hi Lisa, nice to meet you! Thank you for your visit in my blogs and your comments. I´m following yours too. Have a wonderful Sunday!

Vegas Linda Lou said...

I'm like you--I can't get anywhere without having to make a U-turn! I now have a GPS, and I can hear the woman's eyes rolling back in her head every time she says, "Recalculating route" because I've somehow managed to screw up her directions. Yes, a chauffeur should be in my future. "Driving Miss Linda."

flwrsisk said...

Happy blogging anniversary! I'm directionally-challenged, too ;)

I like all the neat features you've added to your blog, the interactive checkmark boxes, and the nifty graphics, i.e. mammogram mash-up humor. Thanks again for being my first follower. (After 11 months, I have one more.) Thank you for the inspiration. Keep in touch! Fill me in on your projects as of late.