Sunday, January 17, 2010


I got lost in a berry patch tonight and thought I’d never find my way out. I live in the suburbs where developers think it’s cute to name every street in a neighborhood around a common theme. My friend and I drove separately to a tea party/blogging tutorial where I was meeting her friend Nikki, an American tea goddess and blogger extraordinaire. Chara had to leave early so I needed to pay attention to remember my way back out.
As Chara and I left the familiar streets of our neighborhood, Dutchland Boulevard, Netherlands Court, and Tulip Drive, I grew more and more nervous as I followed her into this thorny tangle of streets knowing that I would have to forge my own way out.
We turned right onto Blueberry Way. (Blueberries. My family loves blueberries; we pick them every year at Rouster’s farm. I’ll remember blueberry). We passed Boysenberry Road and turned left onto Raspberry Lane. (I hate boysenberries – too seedy, but we grow our own raspberries and love them. Surely I’ll remember Raspberry Lane). We turned right onto Huckleberry and drove on that road for quite a distance. (I thought about Huck, Tom Sawyer and Injun Joe). We weren’t even halfway into this rat’s maze of berry streets and I’m dreading what may come next…Strawberry? Blackberry? Frankenberry? I was already dizzy. I’m a “special” person, but not a “spatial” person. I have trouble reversing directions to make my way home; rehearsing rights and lefts does no good because it’s all backwards. Chara and I parked our cars and had a wonderful time with Nikki. I learned so much about blogging and the finer points of drinking tea.
It’s January so when I left Nikki’s, it was dark. I got into my car and started on my way. I turned around in the cul-de-sac and saw a street going off to the right called Thornberry. I didn’t recognize that one so I kept going. I came to another cul-de sac and had to turn back around. This time as I passed Thornberry I decided to see where it would take me. Another cul-de-sac. The kids playing outside in the snow were getting nervous seeing a car in the night slowly creeping down their snowy sleepy roads. After a few minutes of wandering I had gotten so thoroughly lost that I fell into another development or “galaxy” you might say, as I roamed the streets of Jupiter Lane, Mars Boulevard and Neptune Circle. I decided not to do a “shout out” for help since the kids playing outside were already inching their snow games closer to the front door just in case I tried to steal them. I pulled over and turned on my dome light to use my 1st lifeline and called my husband to tell him I might be awhile. He told me to check the glove compartment for the GPS satellite unit he’d bought me for Christmas. I powered it up and waited what seemed like 10 minutes for the satellite search to find me. I almost shouted for joy as the sweet-voiced-robotic stranger called out cosmic street names and occasionally admonished me for a wrong turn with her charming phrase, “Recalculating…” It wasn’t long before my GPS gal was shouting out familiar Amsterdamish street names taking me back to my own country. After surviving this experience, I have vowed never to enter another berry patch or cosmic galaxy without my GPS.