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I Can Always Find My Way Home

I know how to read a compass but I never use one. The stars are just pretty twinkle lights in the heavens to me, and I’d rather reprogram my universal remote control than try to use heavenly bodies to help me find my way.

We have friends who have spent lots of money on GPS (global positioning satellite) systems to help them find their way, but the fact of the matter is - I've never been lost. Oh sure, I’ve been turned around, but using a map, GPS or other directional aid is kind of like cheating. I’m fairly certain that any “real man” reading these words would agree.

As I said, there were times when I didn't know where I was, but that's completely different. I mean, we're on a globe and it is my belief that if ever I became lost, I could simply continue in any direction and sooner or later, I would wind up back where I started.
I once did repair work for the phone company long before E911 addresses. When people gave me directions to their homes, it sometimes went like this: "you know where John Darrow's' barn used to be? Or, you have to turn near the witness tree and go a spell till you get to the rusty part of the fence and then bear off to the left until you smell goats." The weird thing was, I always found my destination and back.
I have this uncanny sense of direction....well actually it would be more truthful to say, I hold the belief that I have an uncanny sense of direction. Jilda, on the other hand, would beg to differ. She doesn’t view the exploration of strange new neighborhoods, or backwoods byways as an adventure. When we get “turned around” out in the sticks, she rolls down the windows and listens for banjo’s. She would love to be in the movies; just not “Deliverance.”
Several years ago when my mother-in-law was in good health, we invited her to fly with us to San Francisco. We had been there a number of times and it was fun giving a woman who at that time had never strayed far from Sumiton, Alabama, the grand tour of the San Francisco Bay area.
The day before we headed home we traveled north through Napa Valley, and drove through some of the most beautiful countryside on the planet. As the sun slowly began to sink into the Pacific, Ruby was ready to turn around and head back the way we came. I had decided to take another route we had never taken before. After some time, Ruby turned to Jilda and asked, "Does he know where he is going?" Jilda looked at me for a moment and then at her mother and said in her Stepford Wife imitation, "yes, he's never been lost." Ruby then settled back in her seat and enjoyed the sights as we approached the city from the east.

Next year, Jilda and I celebrate our thirty-fifth anniversary and through the years, there has always been give and take. I never questioned her taste in art, food, music, or why she has so many shoes. In turn, she never questions my ability to find my way home.


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