| Granted the area where I live has changed a lot in the last twenty years. But every time I go somewhere, or if I go with my my father who has lived here continuously for over 80 years, I get lost. Now I lived away for 20 plus years, came back, and then didn't get out much while I was unemployed. I have an excuse when I go to parts of town I don't usually travel to find the whole area completely renovated and small roads are divided highways.
For instance, I now park on a spacious road with bike lanes and walk six blocks to a bus stop to get to my job where there is no parking. This road used to be a narrow road in a seedy part of town. You didn't want to walk there alone. Now there are beautiful buildings, outdoor artwork, lots of lights, carefully planted trees, and thriving businesses.
In August we went to a child's birthday party in a public park. I thought my dad knew his way around the county. We spent 45 minutes going down the wrong roads in the wrong direction and asking strangers how to get to this park.
Today, we went to the renewal of someone's wedding vows (a wedding after 25 years of marriage) at a county church, with reception following at a summer camp. It was my dad's friend. He got directions which sounded simple. Then he whined about us being late. Well, it turned out, they were simple, but it was much further out of town than explained. It was in the next county. We did get there on time, but a lot of folks were later than us, so it started late. Then to go to the reception, we just asked a stranger in the parking lot, "Can we follow yo?" Good thing, because that was complicated, down windy roads, narrow passes between lakes and uphill curves. I drove out because I have better night vision; it was a little tense.
But I'm learning. Never trust a man to get directions. They think they know. And get landmarks. If he had been told it's near the county high school, that would have helped allay our fears. From now on whether I go alone, or escort my father, I will check map quest in advance or make sure it's on GPS, which I do not leave in the car. I did make one practice run for a Saturday event in early October. That proved helpful. But I will not rely on anyone else for directions.
And I've got to get out more, outside of my usual routine, and go places I don't usually go. If all I do is just locate area parks, big stores, and try roads I haven't been down in 5 years or more, that will be an improvement. I should know my own area.