Monday, September 29, 2008

Traveling With Women

Grand Rivers, KY
I just got back from a long trip with three women. There was my bride of 37 years, my mother in-law, and Lena. I only had real trouble with one of them.
I think everyone has disagreements while traveling but my wife and I do okay. She lets me think I’m right. And I had very little trouble with my mother in-law. I would have to occasionally remind her that “You know, we’re a long way from home to be saying stuff like that.”
Then there was Lena. Lena is the name we’ve given to our GPS device. She can talk, and we have begun to think of her as another person in the car. Lena is fairly reliable, she’s opinionated and she is not always correct when we’re on the road. Unlike myself.
For instance there was the time in Amarillo when she directed us to a J. C. Penney store. When we arrived at “Your destination on right” I couldn’t help but notice it looked similar to a single story ranch home complete with stucco and a tile roof and a two car garage. It looked just like every other house for as far as I could see. I parked in the driveway and began to get out. My wife asked me what I was doing and I told her “I thought we were going to buy a dress.” “Stay in the car, you know darned well that that’s just a house.” Well, I had just about had it with our fancy little device that day but we later found out someone’s thumb had brushed the screen and changed the address that Lena was looking for. But the aggravating thing for me was that she knew that we were looking for a clothing store and should have known better than to take us into a residential area. She can even talk for crying out loud.
On our recent trip we were in the Grand Rivers, KY area, we had just eaten dinner and we were headed to our hotel. Darkness was upon us and as I got back out to the highway I began to turn right when Lena and my wife and my mother in-law all said to turn left. We were trying to find our hotel. A ’debate’ began about where our hotel was located. I said “there is nothing south of here but trees, it’s a state park, and we were just there two hours ago, our hotel is north of here up on the interstate.”
I lost the ‘debate’ and we went south until we heard Lena say “arriving at destination on right.” I pulled off the highway and up to a tree. Well, actually it was several hundred thousands of trees. I said “Hold that thing up to the window and show her the trees and ask her if that looks like a hotel to her.”
When we checked into our hotel my wife mentioned to the lady that we had had trouble finding the place. The lady behind the counter calmly said, “You must have one of those GPS devices, they don’t have our location correct, they think we’re in the state park south of town.”
All of this takes me back to when times were simpler. To when all we had was an out of date map and I could wonder aimlessly until I succumbed to one of my wife’s requests to please stop and ask directions. But I know we must advance with the times and these little mapping devices are pretty handy. However ours has been wrong a couple of times and so we question everything she tells us. However she does add a touch of uncertainty and excitement to an otherwise long, boring drive.
But then again, so would diarrhea.
~From the Midwest Producer Magazine and the Burt County Plaindealer. ~


Jim said...

My kids got us one for a combo Mother's and Father's day present.
I hadn't thought of naming it.
Mike said they had to make sure they got one that had a woman's voice because I'm so used to taking directions from women.

We were in Blackwell, OK, on our way up to Blogstock. We stopped at a KFC but we had to go way back in and work our way around to get there.
Before we got to the eating place, our little lady said, "there is a better way." Big help that was.
Cliff, the picture below? I can't imagine you could have your arm around some one so young who wasn't your sister! You could have been arrested.

EV said...

Every time my travels involve a "Farm to Market" road, my GPS device announce the road as "Federated States of Micronesia" [insert number here]. As many times as I've heard it, that still cracks me up.

Janell said...

You need to get rid of Lena and get a horse. All you have to do is give him his head and he'll get you where you want to go... okay maybe he'll only get you to where HE wants to go - which is back to the barn, but at least you won't be lost.

I definitely think you should keep Marilyn and her mom.

Live Well, Laugh Often & Love Much said...

Now that is FUNNY !!!

I think I have had this talk with someone befor.

Stay out of the car with Ralph and Tom ....LOL

Great Post !!!!!

Sue said...

My GPS is Garnet, a female name close to Garmin, the brand name of the GPS. It also gets lost at times. In Lincoln for an anniversary party it took me to a dead end. I could see where I was supposed to be but there was not a road. Switch to plan B. Ask the guy mowing the lawn. Problem solved.
She also does not know that there is a 4-lane bypass around Hooper (home of Jordan Larson, Nebraska's outstanding senior volleyball player). Garnet keeps telling me to turn left to get back on old 275 when I know I need to keep going and turn right. Luckily Garnet has a mute button and I can turn her off until I get closer to my destination.

Granny Annie said...

This is a very, very funny post made even funnier to me because half the people at our reunion had GPS devices and had named them and all were led astray more than they were on target. I thought I wanted one but think we'll stick with the Road Atlas.

Cliff, you must have the patience of a saint because my spouse would have put all THREE ladies out at the curb.

bobbie said...

I don't have a GPS. But I've tried going by computer maps from time to time. They usually take me to the brink of the Atlantic and tell me to keep going. There are those who say I should try it.

Peter said...

G'day Cliff, if you would be interested in a breeding program for Lena I think her perfect partner would be Fred (Flaming Ridiculous Electronic Device) who adorns my Hyundai I won't go into his blood lines here, but let me assure you he can match Lena and probably raise the stakes a bit.

Ramblings of a Villas Girl said...

Hi Cliff! Very funny. I think I'll stay in the dark ages a bit more. I have a hard enough time finding places. My luck I would get a Lenny and he would tell me "you went the wrong way moron". Do I have to tell you what I would say and do to Lenny? Lisa

Jamie Dawn said...

Trust your instincts, Cliff, and ignore Lena whenever you feel in your gut that she is wrong.
BUT DO NOT ignore Marilyn unless you KNOW beyond all shadow of doubt that you are right, or you will pay a heavy price for it.
We don't have a GPS system in our car. My parents do. Maybe they are for old people.


John Goerzen said...

I knew one of your posts named "Traveling with Women" was bound to be funny. I didn't expect the GPS angle!

I have a couple of devices with GPS (including an actual GPS). I find that they are helpful in presenting a street-level map at times. It beats carrying a whole bunch of paper ones that you can never get folded back up the right way (and a road atlas just doesn't have the detail to navigate downtown). I have only one device with the navigation features, and I rarely use it for just the reasons you've mentioned.

Miki said...

Oh, cliff, I know who you mean in the car! The kids laugh at ours, "Calculating ROute." My daughter says, "There it goes again, I don't like that thing!" We just laugh at my husband, who even sets it up for local driving. He wants to prove the lady wrong. My father in law talks back to his, "Yes, Dear," he says as he makes the correct turns.

Lucy Stern said...

Cliff, I am old fashioned and I will keep the out dated map. You can keep Lena because she would have been thrown out of the car by my husband when she lead him

Sounds like you had a good time on your trip.

Gette said...

Good stuff. We just use a handheld GPS for Geocaching, and google maps before a trip to compare routes, or for street level navigation. Once we're on the road, we just use the old fashioned paper maps to find our way. It's more fun to plot our own course.

Shannon said...

So cute! We are getting one soon, what would you recommend? The funny thing is I can't read maps and the hubs doesn't like to "just ride", lol. Could you see us on Amazing Race?

possum said...

I got one this summer to help find my way around the city where I was going to be in class for a week... It does not recognize many one way streets or streets with Jersey walls down the middle of them. My GPS is named Maya - Hindu for Illusion of Delusion (depending on the context) Her favorite words are "Rcalculating..."
What's bad is when you start talking back to her...

JunieRose2005 said...

:) We were thinking of getting one of these things ....but after reading this I have to say ,'I think we already have enough confusion in our lives to deal with!!' :)


Maria said...

Our GPS is named Melba and she too can make a mistake and sound very virtous about it. However, we did have her sounding hysterical the time we were headed onto a Navy Base. Not knowing the exact address we cleverly chose an address close to the front gate. We drove through the Base gate and had to laugh at our hysterical Melba who was saying "Turn around immediately. Turn around immediately and head out the nearest gate." We had to turn her off to stop the protest. On thinking about it, we should have stopped at the Officer's Club and bought her a drink.

Shannon said...

Yeah, the crops are backwards aren't they? What type of beans do y'all plant. We plant Group 4 and Group 5's here. The hubs says y'all probably do 1's and 2's, is that right? We have been harvesting corn since the first of September here. It has been so wet, so it is taking forever. We have to dry the corn in our dryer, so you can imagine what the propane is costing us this year with everything so darn high. Do you dry your corn too? Beans haven't even turned yet.

LZ Blogger said...

Cliff ~ So Marilyn (as you put it) "lets me think I'm right!" WOW! Talk about a FULL TIME JOB! ~ Here's to full employment bud! ~ jb///

Rachel said...

Shannon is speaking in a foreign language with her comment. A dryer for corn?

I hope your visit to KY was wonderful. I think I will pass on the GPS thing for now! I have enough confusion on my own without any help!

Ralph said...

I travel with Mandy (my Tom-Tom) a lot. Yes she has gotten me lost a few times and there was that one time she wanted me to circle the block three times but for the most part she has gotten me where I want to go.
The upside to all of this is she has stopped a lot arguments between Char and I while traveling. You know Char, she likes to thing she is right.