Shouting Doesn’t Help

The road trip to my sabbatical location wasn’t much different from watching “I Love Lucy.”

SCENE: 70 mph, five lanes, one fork, two exits, lots of traffic, freezing rain, and slick road conditions at dusk. Oh, and did I mention the frequent bounding of mule deer across the highway?

LEN says: “There’s a fork in the road up ahead. When you veer right, stay in the left lane because the road we need to take is across from a shopping mall on the right.”

LAURIE shouts: “What?!”

SIRI grumbles: “Recalculating route…” (but I’m sure what followed under her breath was “Ay-Yi-Yi” with a Ricky Ricardo accent) as we missed the turnoff.

Hint #2 — The cat where I’m living during my sabbatical is usually indoor/outdoor. However, because wolves are down from the surrounding mountains hunting for food—one seen as close as the neighbor’s porch—he’s strictly indoor at this time.

“I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I’m not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.” —Robert McCloskey, American author and illustrator of children’s books

Can you relate?

Reminder, the caveat of the Looking for Laurie game stipulates: “The first person to type the accurate city and state of my sabbatical location into the comments section of the Mar 28 post will receive a personalized copy of Note to Self: A Seven-Step Path to Gratitude and Growth for themselves or as a gift to someone else.”


45 thoughts on “Shouting Doesn’t Help

  1. More and more intriguing. Mountains and wolves… I usually don’t have a copilot, but still manage to get lost even with the satnav… (oh, the dreaded recalculating the route!)

  2. Hi Laurie, I think I might know where you are can you say it now or what until march. Hope your having a nice time. Peace Mary Jakob

    Sent from my iPhone


    • Mary — Try to be the first one to type your guess in the comments section on March 28th. The first person to type the accurate city and state in that post receives a copy of Note to Self, inscribed to them, or a person of their choice.

      Great to see you here 🙂

    • Fatima — I’m here, loving it, and hunkered in for the long haul. Your SatNav must be the across-the-pond equivalent to our Siri. And I’ll just betcha that SatNav and Siri are cousins — pains in the wazoolie, but they definitely come in handy 🙂

  3. Now that it’s over, this is so funny! Though I’m working, still, to get rid of the tenseness in my jaw and the flutter in my chest after your perfect description of weather and road conditions!

  4. Pre-Garvin and google maps, and often with them now, my family expects my at least one wrong turn on each new long distance trip taken. In my defense, I simply say I’m exploring the territory. Fortunately, I’m usually driving solo so no one loudly gives me directions. I now love the re-routing feature. My “explorations” are shorter and less tense! ☺

  5. I have come to hate the word “recalculating!” Loved the setup as a scene from I Love Lucy, a household favorite when growing up and a similar reference is included in my memoir. Love your sabbatical journey you’re sharing with us!

  6. I have no idea where you are, Laurie, but I enjoy the clues and the game. My inborn GPS does not exist. Rather, it seems upside down and inside out. So I love my Google map companion. We call the voice ” Betty,” not Lucy. But we do get in some scrapes on the road even with her help.

  7. Hi Laurie,

    You and Len have very similar issues to Ailsa and I. Ailsa doesn’t think in 3D. She is an atrocious navigator.
    I read what you wrote that Len said, and I constructed a 3D image in my head. It worked perfectly for me.

    Ailsa won’t do that for me.

    We have had several meltdowns on road trips.

    I have learned that if she is driving, I need to give only one instruction at a time, like move to the left lane now. And not say anything more until that one is complete.
    That doesn’t work for me.

    I try to have a mental model of where I am going that is as accurate as possible as far ahead as possible, which means at minimum 2 minutes ahead. Usually I commit the entire route to memory before starting a journey – even if it is a journey of 500 miles. I already have all the major roads in this country (every corner for most of state highway 1 – 1200 miles) committed to memory, so only need to deal with the minor roads we want to travel.

    I recall my flying instructor saying to me about 25 years ago – any time the plane gets some place that your mind wasn’t at least 90 seconds ago, you are in trouble.
    Once taking that message on-board, I won the local, regional and national precision landing competitions that year.

    • Ted — Clearly, you and Len were cut from the same bolt of cloth (as are Ailsa and I). When we come visit you in New Zealand, you guys can drive in a one vehicle and we’ll follow along.

      I’m going to cut-and-paste your instructor’s advice into a text message to Len, he’ll love it 🙂

  8. 2017 will be a bonus year for you Laurie . Where there are wolves there are red riding hoods and teeth and …and … oh yes I can relate 😄

  9. Laurie, I hope you are still at your post that offers WIFI connection as I am late in commenting. Well, yes, I’ve had the problem of not being as plainly spoken as I should have, and then again, I have been accused of being “too subtle”. It seems to change as each person receives my spoken word according to their sensitivities. My husband, a Californian, tells me I have pronounced Southern accent, something I’ve never noticed myself having lived most of my life South of the Mason-Dixon Line. Yet it never fails to tickle my funny bone when being introduced to some of his Western or Hispanic friends to have them smile encouragingly and nod their heads as if in agreement to my words, only to have them turn to Dennis and whisper politely as if I were not really there at all….”What did she say?”.

    • Sandi — I’m laughing at your comment about some of Dennis’ friends having to ask him what you said. I love your accent (yes, you definitely have one!), and I understand perfectly what you say 🙂

  10. You and Len might need a GPS. However, they often have to recalculate, just like we do. Great metaphor. Seems like your sabbatical also needs to be safe to for all 2 legged and 2 legged residents.

  11. I totally relate. My wife is directionally challenged and is notorious for pointing to the left as she says “Turn right.” Even using GPS, she doesn’t trust the car’s GPS and likes to use her phone GPS as backup/confirmation. Still, she’ll sometimes disagree with both of them at key junctures in the trip and try to talk me into taking a third route! Ay-yi-yi …


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