Place & Practice Can Get One Lost

Today, I was driving to an event sponsored by my place of employment. It was a foraging hike about 80 miles away from where I live. It’s been a busy week, so last night I finally got around to writing the introduction I was going to say prior to hiking. As I drove, I was struck by a couple of different things.

One was that I live in a very beautiful state! I know that most people probably feel this way about their state of residence but the fact that I think it when I am a transplant here, is somewhat remarkable. I live in Wisconsin but am from Western New York.  The area I am from is very similar to here in terms of geography and topography. We have similar latitudes, deciduous and coniferous forests, a temperate climate (four seasons) which can swing widely between very hot summers and very cold winters.  Surprisingly, I also found out a while back that these two places – the one I am from and the one I now live – are also connected by the Niagara Escarpment! You can read about that revelation in a previous post but,  what I am trying to say is that while I’ve been lucky to call both places home, I think Wisconsin is much more beautiful than New York. (Sorry, friends and family back East!)

I am just constantly struck by the beauty here. Admittedly, however, it might just be because I am at a stage in my life when I notice it more! (New York is still beautiful!)  Still, this morning, while traversing the winding roads and greening hillsides, the aesthetics of Wisconsin impressed me yet again! While I had never been where I was going, I was certainly enjoying the sense of place that washed over me during my travels.

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With my cell phone GPS guiding my progress, my mind was free to appreciate the surrounding countryside. Casey Kasem American Top Forty Countdown from 1980 was on the radio. I was singing along to Pat Benatar, Frank Sinatra, and my favorite – The Carpenters! Let’s just say I was enjoying my morning ride.

But, I am a naturally anxious person. The mindfulness provided by the ride did not last long. I shut off the radio and decided to practice the introduction I had written the night before. After all, practice makes perfect! Right?! So, out loud I began reciting the introductions instead of singing pop culture songs from my past.

I ran through the introduction once, twice, three times. Not bad, for A Lady!  I had stumbled a little at the beginning but soon I felt a flow develop to what I was saying as I drove. Yes, I thought to myself, this will go fine.

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Wait! What?! I think I missed a turn! Sure, enough, I glanced at my GPS and it was recalculating!  I had missed Cross Cut Road! (Which ended up being an unnecessary diversion.) Anyway, I slightly panicked and turned around. The panicking was only brought on by the fact that my phone does not use data very well, and sometimes, when connection is lost – it is LOST!  But, I did have written directions, so if it did not recalculate, I would be okay – just a little later than I wanted to be.

Sure enough, I was soon back on a route that popped back onto my GPS. Whew! Good. I told myself, I would practice a little more but not until I had a stretch of road that lasted for over ten miles. Sure, enough after a few turns, I was on such a stretch.

There is a tiny bit more to the story, in that I drove right by the desired destination because I did not trust my  GPS. But, after another 2-3 miles out of the way, and another turnaround,  I was still the first to arrive to the event site.

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And, although my delivered introductions did not go exactly as I had rehearsed, they seemed to do the job. It was a beautiful day. I am glad I was outside to appreciate it!

 

 

 

 

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