I’m now doing a commute by car to Long Island, an hour or more each way depending on traffic. There are a number of alternate routes, some more obscure than others. I was aware of a few of them but I’ve learned a great deal in the past few months from the Traffic
Alert function on my GPS. It’s nothing fancy, a refurbished Garmin Nuvi, but I’ve learned to listen when it yells, “Severe traffic ahead! Recalculating!”
It has taken me on scenic tours of parts of the Bronx to avoid traffic jams, some a lovely surprise like Pelham Bay Park or the Moshulu Parkway, which winds around in back of the Bronx Zoo, and others where I wished I had an armed guard riding shotgun with me. It sent me through Queens in a snowstorm, winding through a few ethnic neighborhoods and then ending on the LIE (Long Island Expressway, for my non-New-York readers.) I found out later it avoided a car fire on the Cross Island Expressway.
All in all, it’s a learning experience, if an exhausing one sometimes. My favorite function of all is the button on screen labeled “Go Home.” Wherever I may be, I can touch Go Home and the satellite will guide me, around traffic and obstacles, the fastest way home that it sees.
On these long drives I get into a contemplative mood (unless someone cuts me off) and I have started wishing for a “Go Home” button in my life. Sort of like Dorothy clicking her heels in the “Wizard of Oz,” but I’d like to be able to go through time and space to places, times and sometimes people when I felt safe and loved, or pleased and happy, or just content, and revisit them again.
I guess that’s a function memory serves. But I would like to see Mother frying chicken, walk with Daddy to the tobacco barn, my dog trailing behind and startling birds or rabbits, or listen to my uncle Jesse (known as Fatty because he was so thin as a boy) playing guitar and singing old songs. I’d like to eat my first meal in Paris, in a faded bistro with a fat old German shepherd eyeing my dessert. I’d like to be back at Bear Lake in the summer on the pontoon boat with the cooling breeze of the boat’s motion. I’d like to be there.
Until someone invents a time machine I’ll have to keep working with memory, and trying to add more to that vault of good feelings, and trying to forget the bad ones. Peace out, and have a good week.