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.

Humor is a key ingredient to success
The humor did not escape me.

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?

A Beautiful Day in this Neighborhood
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8 thoughts on “A Beautiful Day in this Neighborhood

  • July 12, 2015 at 3:26 am

    You have a great attitude. I remember when my dad got lost. We were traveling to New York City. He was originally from New York City, but I was not. It just looked like chaos to me. Apparently, it did to him, too. He drove past Yankee Stadium three times. Each time, he was a little bit more grouchy. At the third pass, he was positively cranky. Eventually, we made it to the World’s Fair. Then, I got lost. Separated from my family. I was eight years old. It was terrifying. Somehow we managed to find one another again. I think that I got a treat, but I don’t remember that. I do remember the terror…

  • July 12, 2015 at 6:10 am

    i get lost of times in new city:) but then rely on my google map or friends to get back to a spot which i could identify

  • July 12, 2015 at 10:24 am

    Oh, Amy, this is so well written. I suffered all your fears, indignities, worry, and sweat right along with you. You’re so brave. Keep your chin up, girl.

  • July 12, 2015 at 1:02 pm

    Hi Alice,
    Thanks! NYC IS huge and frightening and I imagine when you are eight and lost, it’s pretty awful! I remember myrea brother-Mr. Calm and Collected–driving around NYC trying to find a parking place. He kept saying, “What’s the purpose of this?” He finally parked in an illegal area and after getting back from lunch, he found a $200 ticket waiting for him!

  • July 12, 2015 at 1:04 pm

    Hi Amar,
    I’m wondering if you mean a Google map that you can see on your iPhone? Friends are a great help!
    Thanks for reading and taking a moment to comment.

  • July 12, 2015 at 1:05 pm

    Thanks so much, Francene!
    And Thanks for sharing it!!!

  • August 12, 2015 at 11:13 pm

    To dear amazing Amy, thanks for writing about your challenges. Your attitude and courage is inspirational. xo

  • August 13, 2015 at 1:23 am

    Good evening, Virginia!
    Thank you so much for taking time to read my neighborhood adventure.
    I’d love for you to come back and read more of my stories!

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