Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Which Way is Up?

So last night was the first night of our conference. Awesome start by the way. But I'm sitting there and my phone buzzes. The display says it's one of my best friends and my former pastor's wife. She's in Alabama, but her husband was on his way here. She knew I was in church, so I could only assume this was an emergency.

When I slipped out of the auditorium to answer the phone, she told me that her husband had just gotten to town, but the hotel had no record of his reservation. Turns out he was at the wrong hotel. I told her the name of the place where we had booked his room, and then described the surroundings a little so he'd know what to look for.

My friend called me back a short time later. Hubby wanted to know what exit he needed to use to get to the hotel. And here's where I had a problem. That particular exit has an "A", a "B" and a "C". I live around here. I don't pay attention to which exit I use. I just know where to turn.

Fortunately for me, I had been driving over in that area just a few days before. My boys had a big discussion about which exit to use so I could confidently tell her that he should take exit "B". That would have been correct if he'd been driving west.

He wasn't.

I went back inside the church to play the organ for some congregational singing. When I finished, I got a text message:

"Still can't find it."

So I headed back outside and called her again. "Jill, you've got to help find that hotel. He's getting pretty frustrated. He finally said he's going to pull over and get something to eat while he waits for someone to call him with directions."

One of the men in our church is a deputy sheriff. I figured if anyone could talk the man through some directions, it would be him. My friend gave me her husband's phone number, and I gave him a call.

"Hey, this is Jill. How're you doing?"

"Well, I'm lost."

My wicked sense of humor kicked in. "Okay. Let's start with Romans 3:10. We'll take you through the Romans Road and have you saved before the end of the night."

The deputy sheriff thought it was funny. My former pastor did not, so I quickly got down to business and asked him what road he was on.

"I don't know. I took that "B" exit you told me to and drove for a long time. I finally got off at Exit 50 and now I'm sitting at a gas station. I had to pay a toll to use the exit!"

I think the toll aggravated him as much as the faulty directions did.

"I don't even know what road I'm on. I'm at a gas station and there's a Wendy's and an Arby's across the street."

Now, his hotel was about 10-12 miles from the church. At that moment I realized he'd driven so far he was less than 2 miles from the church. And he had apparently been driving around for over an hour, trying to find the hotel. I quickly put the deputy sheriff on, and he gave detailed instructions how to get back to the hotel. He did finally reach his destination, but I don't think he's too happy with the accidental detour I sent him on.

I'm going to put together a peace offering before I see him today. A butterfinger, some Twizzlers and a few other favorite things. Oh! And fifty cents. I think that toll still bugs him.

So how directionally challenged are you? Are you always turned around yourself, or are you one of those people who know how to get there but couldn't tell anyone else? Or do you work a second job as a GPS unit? As for me, I think I'll include a map in that peace offering. It couldn't hurt.


  1. I hope he's calmed down this morning some. Did you notice he had his wife call for directions. Must be like most men who won't ask for directions, they just wonder around. I mean you know that's why the Children of Israel wondered in the wilderness for 40 years don't ya. Cause Moses wouldn't ask for directions. lol

    Hey I didn't know you played the organ for church. I play the piano for our church. Wouldn't it be cool if we could get together sometime and play for a service or something?

    Have a great day.

  2. Oh noes, poor guy. Situations like that can be so frustrating!

    I'm the same way. I can drive it. But now, telling someone else how to drive it is more difficult. I can never convey it too easily.

  3. I have no sense of direction. At all. It makes my husband nuts because he goes somewhere once and can remember it 15 years later. I have no problem asking for directions though. And I try to pay attention so I can give them if needed. I need landmarks though...I hate it when people tell me east or west.

    Twizzlers would make me forgive : )

  4. You're so funny! I'm terrible with directions...I mean, way worse than what you described. I got a man lost trying to get to church one morning. He showed up in the afternoon sometime after finally finding the church. Thankfully we also lived there, so didn't come to just an empty building. He also had a wonderful sense of humor and didn't even feel like killing me. I never gave anyone directions again.

  5. Seems like I did alright with directions when I was younger, but used landmarks a lot. I moved to CO and EVERYbody used east, west (before gps)which drove me crazy, but grew to love! However, didn't work very well IN a snowstorm, cause you couldn't SEE the mtns!

    Now that I'm, uh hmm, a bit older I love having a gps that tells me to turn left and make a U turn as soon as possible! ; ) (in her interesting British voice) Being new in town, having a GPS is a must!

    Oh, I spent some $ on a local toll rode a few weeks going to see a friend of mine (name drop)Kim Hill sing. I didn't like paying either, BUT it was a very nice road and not crazy crowded like I 4.

    Since I missed your name drop post, here's another...I was friends with Point of Grace (now only Shelley & Denise are left from OBU) Love the POG girls. They have a new CD coming out...now!

    I got the chance to preview and comment on a book by Lisa Whelchel...my name is in the back...seen her many times too.

    Do you like Julie Barnhill, if you're nodding yes, then read further, if she's too crazy for you STOP now.
    She's my friend.

    Well, to come full circle here...I hope and pray those Twizzlers work!

  6. Too funny! He sounds like my dad! I love that you will give him money for the toll! :)

  7. I can do pretty well getting people to our house, but anywhere else and I'm doomed. I pretty much never know the streets and have to say "turn left at the KFC, turn right at the library" if trying to send them to the mall or something.

    ~ Nan

  8. Ok, when I saw your status on Facebook, I figured you'd have an interesting account of the story written up here on your blog! Lol!

    I'm not very good as far as a sense of direction (like knowing whether I'm going North or South, etc.) but once I've been to a place once or twice, I can usually remember the way.


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