" Why do you say that, Dale-Harriet?" How good of you to ask. Let's talk about maps. I don't read them. I'm sorry - I've looked at them, but those blue lines that show you the outlines of the states? They're imaginary ! There AREN'T really blue lines dividing Wisconsin and Minnesota. And the roads are not red, and those little pictures of tents? They apparently indicate someplace you MIGHT find a campground, and not someplace there actually IS a little tent. Plus they write things in such tee-tiny letters that I need my magic eyeball (actually a Magnabrite ) in order to read them.
Allow me a slight digression here. (Not that THAT ever happens!)
This is Evangeline with glowing magic eyeballs. Not particularly pertinent, but I love the picture.
Magnabrite (TM, probably)is a clear, round, acrylic thingie that draws light in. You put it right ON the page you're looking at, and BEHOLD! A clear, sharp, bright magnified image of even the tee-tiniest of print or pictures or whatever you have. I had a serious eye problem some years back (and NO, I'm not going to digress from the digression -- just now) and had pretty limited vision for a while; virtually none in my left eye. NOTE: had a herpes ulcer in the eye...yeah, I KNOW!...followed by a corneal transplant. 'Nuff said. ANYway. At that time, I found and bought my first "magic eyeball", and I love it very much. Amongst other things, it allows me to see, up front and personal, the names of the towns and other miniscule information on a map.
Only - not while driving, you see. So when I decided to come to the Twin Cities to visit Auntie Barb (oh, the stories!) I did what any insecure Little Old Lady (yeah, I know, "LOL") would do in this, the 21st century: I got on Mapquest. And I got a map, but only instead of imaginary stuff, it says things like "Go to the corner and turn RIGHT onto Yiffniff Boulevard and go 3.7495 miles. Then turn LEFT onto Oldburntchurch Road and go 124 miles." THAT I can do.
NOTE: You know those little blue-red-and-white shields with big numbers on them you see on the map? THOSE are real! There ARE shields like that along the highway that say "90/94" and "94W" and like that. The Mapquest page has pictures of those shields, and they are right where they're supposed to be! How cool is THAT?
But when you ask someone directions and they say "Oh yah, sure, you go west on State County Road HP North till you come to where the old Olsen farm was until the '50s when they sold to Oesterhus, that was before old man Oesterhus ran off with the waitress, remember? and then turn south for about 1200 feet..." That I don't do very well with. "North" and "South" are arrows on a map to me, and I don't care HOW you drive, there's no way you can go straight up like the "North" arrow points.
So anyway, the shortened long story was that I religiously followed the Mapquest directions, even when confronted with terrifying road signs that said things like "ALTERNATE Route 94W" and I wondered if -- or WHY -- I should maybe consider taking that alternate.
Now, I admit it: when I drive, I talk to my pal, my buddy, my co-pilot , Earnest by name. (I talk to him out loud, by the way - you wanna make something of it? He sings along with the radio, too, but nevermind.) So he says to me, he says "It doesn't say 'DETOUR', now does it? It says 'ALTERNATE'. That means that you CAN take it, to avoid all those threatened possible delays and lane closures and so on." Well, of course, that made sense. And so I ignored the alternates, stuck to the Mapquest plan, and you know? There really weren't any delays or back-ups or so on. And I drove merrily to Auntie Barb's door as though I knew where I was going. Now, do I not ROCK? Am I not a Bold Adventurer?
As it turns out, I *do* have access to the wonderful innerwebs here, and can report that we have been talking a great deal (I remembered the name of a mutual friend from oh, I dunno, 1964?), knitting a fair bit, (Auntie Barb has added needle-felting to her roster of skills, which is sizable) and EATING. Have I mentioned eating? Suffice it to say, we dined on perfectly-prepared barbecued ribs, delicious cole slaw, wonderful potato salad and warm rolls. And now I'm going to take a nap. Or knit. Or both. (Hah! Gotcha!)
There is much to be said for visiting a Kindred Spirit with a Shared History. If the opportunity arises, go for it! (And watch this space for further developments including, eventually, the Trip HOME!)