Good Directions


Turn off the paved road . . .

If the US Navy should, for whatever reason, wish to deposit a Tomahawk cruise missile on my front door a la the First Gulf War, they will be, as the teens say, S.O.L. because Tomahawks are guided by GPS navigation and GPS will not get you to my house. The crazy thing is, I don’t even live up in Montana or North Dakota where they go ahead and TELL you GPS won’t work. I live in South Cackalacky, BUT I live in The Sticks, The Boonies, BF Egypt, etc. Yep, GPS is pretty useless out here.

Well, I guess I should say that “civilian” GPS is useless out here. Main reason? Two words: road names. Two More? Turning directions. See, to give directions to my home place, you must have at least a passing knowledge of the history of my particular dot on the map. For example, if you don’t know where the Old Williams’ Place that burned down once stood, you’re going to get lost when told by one of my erstwhile neighbors that you need to “turn by the Old Williams’ Place that burned down a while back.”

Likewise, if you aren’t sure which of the seemingly endless monolithic boulders dotting the pastures around my rural homestead is “Dove Blind Rock,” the knowledge that you have to turn left two miles past “Dove Blind Rock” isn’t going to be much use to you. Also, as I alluded to earlier, most of the roads around my house don’t have “official” names and the “unofficial” names can vary slightly depending on which generation of folk is giving you the directions.

Finally, sheer distance will defeat all but the most intrepid adventurers who seek Wham land. The citified term “block” as in “go two blocks” has no meaning at all around my stomping grounds. Our addresses don’t change at the whim of a side road. Mama’s house address (or 911 address, since she gets her mail at the post office) is 526 Darby Circle. Meanwhile, my grandmother and great-aunt’s childhood home, which is Mama’s closest related building is 498 Darby Circle. No houses lie between. Out here, the addresses tell the distance in feet from the nearest intersection.

One person who followed me home from the school where I taught told me, upon getting out of his car that I, “lived in another Twilight Time Zone!” Despite having made believers of some, most people laugh when I tell them, turn off State Highway 14 and drive until you are CERTAIN you have gotten completely lost and at that point you’ll go about another two miles and turn right by Dove Blind Rock onto Old Hog Pen Road.

They’re the ones who just laugh and say, “I’ll just punch your address into my Tom-Tom.”

Yeah, good luck with that one, Goober.

Love y’all! Stay cool and keep your feet clean!

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