We had a great time visiting family and meeting our great-niece, Autumn, for the first time. She is a beautiful little girl and I don't say that because I am her aunt or she has some of my genes, but she is beautiful. I am being completely objective and if you fall for that I have some swamp land in Cook County Georgia I will sell you as beach-front property. All kidding aside, she is a beautiful little girl and we were so happy to meet her and hold her and kiss her. Lauren and Mark, you did good!
This trip also brought us into the 21st century travel mode. We now have a GPS we have named, Madam Garmin. We did not intend to make Madam's acquaintance but due to unfortunate circumstances we had to meet and invite her along on the trip. You see it all began with my lapse in memory and this is the tale.
The week before our trip, I settled myself in front of my laptop and researched our trip on Google maps. I carefully put in addresses in Houston and Arlington, found the best routes, carefully calculated the miles for the shortest route, and printed them out. Carefully I arranged them in order with Houston first then Houston to Arlington and Arlington back to Adel. I highlighted the route and marked places to spend the nights. I then stapled them together in 2 packets. We were set and ready to ride. Placing them front and center on the desk, I was ready to pick them up as we walked out the door headed for Texas.
We packed carefully, got all the snacks together, packed the drinks in ice and loaded the truck. I got my books to read, the laptop for Facebook and games, my crocheting and knitting to keep me busy and off we went. On arriving in Tallahassee, I reached for the maps to check the route and NO MAPS. They were front and center on the desk AT HOME. Panic time!!!! I knew we could get to Houston, but there was no way we could find our way to the Johnson house. Oh me, oh my what shall we do?
My first suggestion was to get on the Internet in our night's stop in Hammond LA, find the maps on Google, save them to the hard drive and pull them up when we got to Houston. The more I thought about it, the more worried I became. I could just see us calling Beth somewhere in or around Houston and asking her to come and lead us to her house. How humiliating to admit we were the country cousins or aunt and uncle come to the big city. We try to hide that as much as we can but not always successfully.
Finally after stewing over it for awhile, I suggested we stop in Spanish Fort AL and get a GPS. Now I have been telling my children for several years we didn't need one of those things for we didn't go anywhere we didn't know how to get there and back. We both can read a map and that seemed sufficient until this moment. It began to dawn on me that no printed map was going to get us to the Johnsons in the big city of Houston for I had driven there before and knew the obstacles we would meet - lots of toll roads, 6 lanes of traffic, crazy drivers who knew where they were going and nut cases behind the steering wheels of great big SUVs.
We were going to stop at Sams Club anyway to see a friend and that is where we met Madam Garmin. You see she was sitting on that display so calm and prim and looking so efficient we decided she just had to be ours. Actually the decison was based on the fact she was the cheapest and looked like the easiest to operate. So off we went with the little thing which we didn't have the faintest idea how to operate but thought we needed. I just kinda figured if I could use a laptop, cell phone, and digital camera I could learn to make that little thing work.
Now my objection to buying a GPS system in the past is I didn't want something that talked to me and wouldn't listen when I talked back. The idea of something way up in a satellite watching my every move also made me a little uneasy. Do you know that thing knew every move that our truck made, when we stopped, where we stopped, when we moved again and where we were exactly. I wonder what they saw inside the truck but we kept it rated G so whoever was watching wouldn't be shocked.
Now Roy had a great deal of trouble with the directions given by Madam G. She would say turn right and he would keep on going and when I asked him if her heard Madam, he said he didn't know she meant to turn right then. Isn't that just like a man? They always know how to drive better than a woman. He finally learned that when she said turn it meant now not later.
Now she was good to give us side trips every now and then to relieve the stress of I-10 traffic. We got off the interstate to go to a truck stop and it was not there but don't worry for Madam G. had it all taken care of. She carried us in a complete circle of about 15 miles through Louisiana cane fields. From where she began giving us instructions to get back on the interstate was only about 2 miles but she gave us the grand tour of cane fields, cattle and soy beans. Talk about considerate, she really cared that we got in a little sight seeing.
Now she wasn't all fun and games for she can say "Recalculating" in an awfully snooty voice when we don't obey her directions. She has a hard time facing the fact that sometimes we know better how to get where we are going than she does. We found her lacking in common sense once in a while and she had to recalculate a bunch and finally I just shut her off. It didn't take me long to cut her back on though and let her recalculate some more. I was afraid at times she was going to say, "Whatever, just do it yourself and see what a mess you make out of it." It would have served us right but after all, I did pay a price for her and she should listen to me.
It still bothers me she won't let me talk back even when I say excuse me. Maybe it's the way I say it like EXCUUUSE ME. I don't think she appreciates sarcasm but I am the Queen but I guess she thinks that Madam outranks Queen.
Whatever, we are now being watched by the eyes in the sky when we travel but only if we are going somewhere we don't know how to get there. Otherwise she is going to stay here and shut off. I still like to be in charge and don't like to share this with Madam G.
The Georgia Peach