A Beautiful Day in this Neighborhood
In broad daylight I got lost–not far from my house, no less!
I didn’t have my long red and white cane with me since I had been running at the track. When I run, I don’t take it because I want to go faster than my cane allows me to go. So if I plan to run, I leave it at home.
Not smart today. I took a different route home. It should have been a matter of a following a square plan home–a right. Another right. Straight to end of a road. A left. Two blocks. Home sweet home.
But it didn’t turn out quite like that.
I left the track, turned right where I thought I should, as if on remote control. I knew this neighborhood like the back of my hand.
I walked and walked. The side road didn’t let out where I thought it did. I was looking for a particular brick house as my landmark.
Where was it?
Come on! I grew up around this neighborhood. I should know where this street lets out. Which side of the main street was I on? Did I get turned around?
Sweat crept up the side of my neck and my t-shirt started to moisten under my armpits. I plucked the shirt away to give myself some air and swiped my hand across the back of my neck. With my thumb and forefingers, I tried to work the beads of sweat into my palm, then wiped it on the front of my running shorts.
The neighborhood looked perfectly harmless. Quiet. Peaceful. Everything in order. The flowers waved gently in the breeze. An occasional robin hopped onto the green grass of someone’s lawn and pecked at a stray worm, one that it would carry back to its young.
Even the mama robins knew their way back to their nests.
What was wrong with me?
The thrum of a loud engine drew my attention away from the bird. I saw an older man on his riding lawn mover. I should ask him. But the form disappeared behind the side of his house before I could gather courage to ask such my seemingly obvious question.
What if the man knew my family? He might have even thought that I suffered from early onset dementia!
If I had had my cane, I could have asked.
See, you think you know so much and you chose not to bring it.
I ignored that inner dialogue. Focused on the timing. Yep, waited too long.
A sudden shade fell over the street. I lifted my sunglasses off my face and perched them on the top of my head, only to slide them back over my eyes a minute later. With them on, the shadows clouded my vision but with them off, the sun blinded me. There was no perfect medium. There never was.
Two female voices caught my attention. I whipped around in that direction but the voices were replaced by the whiz of pedals pushing past me and the chatty voices disappeared — along with the cyclists.
My shoulders slumped.
I squinted into the sun. Lynn’s mother should live on the corner house of … maybe … this street. Where was the wheelchair ramp? But if this were the house, where were the two front trees that were supposed to be here? Or were they bushes?
Come on, cars! Where are you?
If a driver came in my direction, I’d stop and ask where I was. Just my luck that the roads were empty, the leaves on the shade trees didn’t even stir on the sidewalk…
On the sidewalk?
Oh, I guess I was on the road, on the lookout for the next set of signs plunked at the corner of some grassy lot.
I’d better get out of the road!
The heat beat down on me. I bit my bottom lip. Jutted my head. Stopped. Started. There it was–Riley and Miles. Okay, I was on Miles Ave. I stopped to think think for a moment. Did Riley or Miles come out at the brick house?
I’d walked for thirty minutes in what should have been a seven-minute walk home, tops.
Finally, I took out my iPhone and spoke into it.”How do I get to …. ? ” and gave my address. To my delight “Siri,” (the voice on my phone) gave me instructions. “Go 10 feet southwest…”
I took a guess as to which direction was southwest, and yup, before long, there was the brick house! Okay, I knew where I was. Then I crossed onto my street, walked the last few blocks and voila — my house. When I walked into my driveway, Siri said, “Approaching …” and read back my house number.
I never dreamed I’d receive help from my phone.
But getting lost in my own neighborhood sure gave me a start!
Oh the irony of traveling the world and yet getting lost a few streets from my home!
All I can say is I’m glad it was a beautiful day in this neighborhood…
You have just read “A Beautiful Day in This Neighborhood,” by Amy L. Bovaird. Copyright July 11, 2015,
When have you found yourself in a potentially embarrassing predicament too close to home? How did you handle it?