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Skip the directions and give me landmarks

Skip the directions and give me landmarks Skip the directions and give me landmarks

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I freely admit, I am not good at giving directions, at least in the sense of, “take a left turn onto County Hwy. S, then head west 3/10 of a mile and turn right onto Sawyer Road, until you get to fire number 2222.” No, it’s more like, “turn when you see the blue shed with the cheese head on it, then go until you see the herd of cows by the three oaks and the place with the tractor flower bed is where you want to turn in.”

Hey, what can I say, I’m a farm girl and Dad always went by landmarks. I’m afraid I do the same and around here, it’s no problem. But when I hit big city roads and traffic, I’m a wreck (poor choice of words all around).

GPS is great and all – when it’s accurate – but if I don’t know where I’m going, sometimes, it doesn’t tell me to get over or turn in time. I either end up stuck in a lane where I can’t turn/get over or I careen onto the road/ramp I want.

As I said, that’s when it works.

I’ve learned it is not good to use GPS in some areas – actually, all of Holcombe. One time, I typed in an address to visit someone for an interview at her home on County Hwy. D. So, according to the GPS, I headed to Holcombe. However, 20 minutes later, the addresses I saw weren’t even close to what she had given me, and I ended up farther and farther headed into the “boonies.”

Thankfully, I had service and put in a call to the lady I was supposed to meet with and she informed me – through her laughter – that I was headed in the wrong direction. I was practically to Chetek and she was located near Boyd, on that County Hwy. D.

Long, painful story short, I whipped the car around and was more than a little late for my interview. The lady was a sweetheart about it and I learned my lesson about GPS in Holcombe.

Or so I thought.

Another time, I had an interview in Holcombe with a lady. The address seemed pretty straightforward, but I typed it in my GPS anyway and started out. By the time I was again headed to Chetek (seriously, why does the GPS keep sending me there, am I missing something?), I figured out I had been mislead and whipped the car around.

After turning off the GPS, I easily found the lady’s house, right where my common sense had told me it would be.

I’d like to say my adventures ended there, but alas, I depended on GPS with yet another delayed outcome. I’d like to start off by saying, DO NOT try to use GPS or Google Maps to get you to the Dodson Memorial Rec Area in Bruce. You won’t make it. Just follow someone who knows where it is. Trust me, you’ll thank me.

Anyway, I ended up wandering around Bruce (fun fact, it is not in Bruce, but some miles before the town), with a dazed and confused look on my face. I know, I checked the mirror. I stalked the school, hoping someone would be in the parking lot I could ask. I just missed a teacher, who zipped back in the building before I could flag him down (hopefully, not to alert the authorities there was a weirdo going in circles around the parking lot).

I also ended up at the football team’s practice site and on a dead end road where a bus was dropping off a couple kids. I asked the slightly panicked-looking young mom, who I could practically hear shouting, “stranger danger” in her head, if she knew where the cross country site was, but she hadn’t heard of it, nor had the fellow walking his dog.

“Gee, you’re the second person to ask me that,” laughed the guy.

Yeah. Hysterical. At least I didn’t have the distinction of being the only one on the planet who couldn’t find the dang place and passed several other cars driving aimlessly around Bruce.

I finally did discover where the meet was, when on the way home (yes, I had given up by that point), I noticed a badly-printed sign, stating “CC Meet,” with an arrow. After slamming on the brakes, backing up and turning onto the road before I got hit by a semi bearing down on me, I wound my way through several back roads and there it was.

On a side note, if you get the chance, you really should go see the rec area, it is a beautiful, well-maintained outdoor space!

So, GPS, get your act together and for goodness sakes, speak in a British accent like I told you. Quit reverting back to boring English when telling me to turn in 100 feet.

Apparently, it’s not just physically finding places I struggle with. A few days ago, my co-worker mentioned that new crossing guards were going to be installed in “the village” on Riverside Drive. Riverside Drive, I mused, I wonder where that is. Never heard that one before.

She went on to describe how the guards would be positioned, because the railroad runs north to south. I turned around in my chair to stare at her quizzically and kindly informed her that the railroad actually runs east to west. She returned my quizzical look and asked me if I was sure that was correct.

I assured her it was. “OK,” she said, which really meant, “Clueless idiot.” I turned back around, shaking my head and thinking internally, how could anyone be a full-grown adult and have such a bad sense of direction, that they can’t even tell north from east?

A couple days later, she put a story for me to edit on my desk and I almost died laughing when I read that railroad guards will be installed at the crossing on Riverside Drive in Gilman. I assumed the “village” she was talking about, was Cadott, as that is the board she regularly covers. I had forgotten that she covered my Gilman board meeting for me when I had a conflict.

Once I explained what happened, the two of us had a good laugh about it and she admitted she also thought I was a dolt for not knowing north from east.

It just goes to show, if she had used landmarks, I would have recognized that we were talking about two different towns. Example: Yeah, it’s on the road with the really pretty rose arbors, not the one with the house that got torn down.

See, problem solved.

Now if only I could get my GPS accent figured out for when I stupidly use it again. I say, turn a jot up the road, what?