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I’ve come a long way, but not the right way

I’ve never considered myself directionally challenged … until now.
On our recent trip to Michigan and southwestern Ontario, my rusty navigational skills using an old atlas got us lost twice. And both times, I had to get out of the car and ask for directions. That, I believe by macho male standards, is embarrassing.
I’ve always been pretty good at directions. You know, the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. Standing with the early sun on your right, you are facing north. Cloudy days pose a slight problem, however.
Anyway, we’re driving to a relative’s place in Michigan. He gave us good directions and getting there was no problem. Getting out of there, however, made my internal gyroscope spin like a top. He lives in an area much like “The Woods” in Glencoe.
So when he said just go to the first T-intersection, take a right, then a left and then another right, it sounded great. The problem was which was the first T-intersection?
We managed the T-intersections until the last turn. It didn’t feel right to me, so I convinced my wife to turn the other way.
Bad idea. Despite Karen’s intuition that we were on the right road, she turned around and followed my instincts. When we were supposed to be going south, the signs indicated we were heading north. It became painfully obvious to even me that I was wrong.
So we stopped at a convenience store in the middle of nowhere, and I asked for directions. Soon we were heading back the way we came.
The same thing happened in southwestern Ontario. The turnoff from one of the main Ontario freeways was at Highway 19. But my handy-dandy atlas indicated no such exit. We zoomed past our turn and went another 20 miles before it dawned on me we were not supposed to be entering London … Ontario.
So back we went and discovered the exit was actually Highway 81, which turns into 19 several miles north.
It was then I had to make a second humbling exit to ask for directions after I navigated another wrong turn. After a few expletives, I entered another convenience store in the middle of nowhere. After the young clerk looked confused, I opted to buy a more detailed map of the area and found our way.
When we arrived in Stratford, Ontario, the logical question from our Canadian hosts was “Why didn’t you use your GPS?”
“Ah, is that new technology?”
“No,” they replied. “It’s been around for awhile. Do you have a cell phone?”
“No,” I replied.
“Does Karen?”
“Yes, but she was driving.”
Here’s where I had to explain I can’t even turn on the dang cell phone without asking my wife for a tutorial.
It’s the same thing with the VCR, DVD or whatever remote-control device is in my hand at the time.
“How does this work again?” I often shout.
Disgusted, my wife often replies: “How many times do I have to show you?”
“Is that a rhetorical question?”
So to expect me to handle a GPS system is out of the question. That would be technology overload to this retiree. Looking back, it’s amazing I functioned when I was forced to change from a manual typewriter to an electric.
I’ve come a long ways, but apparently not always in the right direction.