DIRECTIONS



Maybe something like this has happened to you. You're going to your family's place at the lake for the first time. You've never been there. And you're driving several hours to get there. You ask them for the address so that you can enter the information in your navigation system (most likely your phone). But your family member doesn't know the actual address. Well, either they don't know the address or they just want to withhold the information so that they can say instead, "Let me tell you how to get there. It's really easy to find."

And then. And then there's a really long narrative that includes phrases like "the second big curve" and "the new McDonald's, not the old one on Hwy. 69," and other equally vague (and frustrating) verbiage that alludes to points to watch for along your way to the new lake house. But you make the most of it and try to find your way using these "directions." Several phone calls happen next. Phone calls that sound like this: "Where are you?" "I don't know where we are. We were following your directions, and now we're in another town." "Oh, you must have missed the turn by the old Conoco station. Stay where you are and we'll come get you." "Where are you?"



This all happened a few years ago. These same family members have changed their view regarding directions. They're singing a new song. They demand, "Just give me the address with the zip code and I can plug it into my iPhone." Really? Now you're interested in actual physical addresses? Not just "down the road a piece pass the second big hill take the third right at the second flashing light?"

But there are still holdouts. Another dear relative just a few weeks ago said something like this: "Let me tell you how to get there. You know how Shady Brook runs over here? Well, don't go that way, go the other way over here. It curves around and then you can catch Shady Brook on the other side. You know it dog-legs back in there." I asked for the address. I got dog legs. The look on my face must have read as confusion, because my relative quickly added, "Surely you've gotten better at taking directions, Mike." My thought was: Better at taking directions? Have you gotten better at giving directions? Dog-legs? Really? Are you sure it doesn't squirrel-tail back there? Maybe it turtle-necks. Seriously.

And then there's the other extreme. The guy who enters his desired destination on his phone and then takes not Route A, not Route B, but rather Route C or D, because he's convinced that there'll be less traffic or maybe he thinks it'll be a more scenic route. My take on that - just be aware that you may find yourself cruising through heavy crime areas of the inner city. Just saying'.



I love the technology we use now to find out how to get to where we need to be. I remember using maps. I remember looking businesses up in the phone book and then calling them and asking how to get there. I can't imagine doing that now. I don't like to think about how hard it would be to figure out navigation without Siri or the nice Google lady who tells me, "In one thousand feet, turn left." Just give me the address with the zip code. Siri (or somebody) will do the rest.


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