short excerpts...other writings...upon occasion or as prompted...
The tiger in the water? A representation of my life -- spirit and environment!


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Maps in the Head (Key #3)

When Mommy remembers the keys and does get the car started, she often goes to new places. That's where rule #3 comes in: know where you are going.

One day she took a new colleague from her office in Washington, D.C. to Annapolis, Maryland for a meeting. They had a very good meeting. Both had to be home for other meetings in the early evening, however, so they left in the late afternoon. That was good timing. They could miss rush-hour traffic (although there is not much rush-hour traffic in Annapolis) and be back in Washington, D.C. in plenty of time.

They drove out to Route 50 and headed for home. Mommy drove and drove. Washington should be showing up pretty soon. Sure enough, buildings came into sight.

"Look," Mommy said. "We're almost there."

"But those don't look like any Washington buildings I've seen," her colleague said. Of course, he was new to Washington, so he did not really know what all the buildings in Washington looked like.

"I don't recognize them, either," said Mommy. "But we're coming in from a different direction than I am used to."

They drove further, and the buildings got nearer. None of those other buildings looked familiar, either. Suddenly, there was water—and ocean—in front of the car.

"Hey, Washington isn't on the ocean!" said Mommy's colleague.

"But it's not that far from the ocean," said Mommy.

Pretty soon a sign appeared. Mommy's colleague said, "I think we're in Baltimore."

He was right. The sign said, "Welcome to Baltimore."

"One little mistake…" answered Mommy. (That one little mistake meant that they got home really late and missed their meetings.)
Mommy also sometimes goes long distances. Once she and a colleague drove from Pittsburgh to a conference at Northwestern University north of Chicago. Mommy sort of knew the road in general, so they took off and drove for a couple of hours. Somewhere inside the state of Ohio, Mommy asked her colleague to look at the map.

"Where is the map?" asked the colleague.

"I thought you were bringing a map," Mommy said.

"No, I thought you were bringing the map, " her colleague replied.

Oops! Well, they did make it without a map and without mishap all the way to the exact building where the conference was being held.

Mommy was quite pleased. She was also pretty certain that she would find the road back just fine. She should not have been.

As they were driving along, her colleague said, "I think we're in Michigan." (Michigan was not one of the states that they were supposed to be going through.)

"That cannot be," said Mommy.

"So, why does the highway sign say Michigan Route 94?" asked the colleague.

"Because that exit goes to Route 94," answered Mommy.

They drove a little further. Then Mommy's colleague had another question.

"The exit there says Gerald Ford Expressway," she noted. "Wasn't Gerald Ford from Michigan?"

"The exit must go to the Gerald Ford Expressway," Mommy explained patiently.

They drove still further. Soon there was a big highway sign with mileage to Battle Creek, Kalamazoo, and Detroit. Mommy admitted that they were probably in Michigan. My Mommy's colleague probably thought that Mommy was crazy. She may have been right.

Conclusion: Maps in the car are better than maps in the head!

This story is excerpted from a collection of vignettes that I helped Doah, my severely mentally challenged youngest son, to write and publish several years ago (copyright 2003). It was my attempt to help him understand literacy and the purpose of writing and reading.

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About Me

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I am the mother of 4 birth children (plus 3 others who lived with us) and grandmother of 2, all of them exceptional children. Married for 42 years, I grew up in Maine, live in California, and work in many places in education, linguistics, and program management. In my spare time, I rescue and tame feral cats and have the scars to prove it. A long-time ignorantly blissful atheist converted by a theophanic experience to Catholicism, I am now a joyful catechist. Oh, I also authored a dozen books, two under my pen name of Mahlou (Blest Atheist and A Believer-in-Waiting's First Encounters with God).

My Other Blogs

100th Lamb. This is my main blog, the one I keep most updated.

The Clan of Mahlou
. This is background information about various members of the extended Mahlou family. It is very much a work still in progress. Soon I will begin posting excerpts from a new book I am writing, Raising God's Rainbow Makers.

Modern Mysticism. This blog discusses the mystical in our pragmatic, practical, realistic, and rational 21st century world and is to those who spend some or much of their time in an irrational/mystical relationship with God. If such things do not strain your credulity, you are welcome to follow the blog and participate in it.

Recommended Reading List

Because I am blog inept, I don't quite know how to get a reading list to stay at the end of the page and not disappear from sight. Therefore, I entered it as my first post. I suppose that is not all that bad because readers started commenting about the books, even suggesting additional readings. So, you can participate with others in my reading list by clicking here.
I do post additional books as I read them and find them to be meaningful to me, and therefore, hopefully, meaningful to you. One advantage of all the plane traveling I do is that I acquire reading time that I might not otherwise take.