We Took A Wrong Turn Today
unglasses perched on my nose and hands firmly planted on the wheel, I stamped on the gas a little bit harder to save us from the perilously close tractor trailer.
"Left lane," my husband shouted."
"I am," I shouted.
"No, exit left," he corrected.
"What?" My brain was more focused on the tractor trailer behind us and the cars zooming beside us to notice the exit he was talking about.
And then it was gone in the blink of an eye.
Yep. We were going the wrong way.
.I would love to say this was a rare event, that getting lost on the way home from the state poetry competition was a rare, new experience.
It's not, though.
One time, we drove two hours in the wrong direction to go to the Pittsburgh zoo because Chad punched in the address for the elephant reserve instead of the actual zoo.
We got lost going to DC because I was playing with the gps and accidentally touched the screen...and didn't realize it until an hour later.
We've gotten lost dozens of times, sometimes for five minutes, sometimes for an hour.
I'd love to say we are supportive in these times of random roads and unfamiliar sights.
But we are not.
We curse at each other. We blame each other. We bicker, and I swerve in anger. I scream, and he screams. It's not pretty.
Getting lost doesn't typically make us stronger or better as a couple. It doesn't challenge us in a positive way or push us to laugh off small situations.
Usually, it just ends with us being huffy and ignoring each other for a long time, vowing we'll never take a trip with the other again.
Finding the Positives in Wrong Turns
was not a lot different.
I screamed at Chad for waiting until last second to tell me go left and for saying left lane instead of left exit.
He screamed at me for...well...really no reason (Hey, it's my story, so I can say what I want! :) ).
But then, a silver lining.
We somehow ended up in Amish country.
I know, you're thinking what's this have to do with anything?
It doesn't. It was an odd place to be, an odd sense of timing.
But it was also beautiful. In high school, I went through a period of loving Amish literature. Lurlene McDaniels wrote a story about a girl who falls for an Amish boy, and I was crazy about it. I've also read a ton of books by Beverly Lewis. I've always found the Amish interesting.
So here we were, on a random Monday, driving through Amish country. We got to see five horse and buggies. We saw an adorable Amish couple walking on the road. Amish children were playing by the road, and there was even a small boy playing with his gray cat. There were sheep and horses, and rolling fields for miles.
Was it an astounding, once in a lifetime sight?
It was simple. It was plain. But it was also much cooler than the sight of the highway.
I got to see a glimpse of the world I'd read about so many times. I told Chad about memories I had of going to the Belleville market as a child, and we chatted about it.
It was just a nice reminder of something that interested me at one point and of simpler lives. It made me think about how in a world surrounded by noise and connections, we often feel lost. Here were people who ride in a horse and buggy, yet they probably have a better sense of community than most of us.
Most of all, it reminded me that sometimes a wrong turn can be okay. Sometimes, the sights are a little bit better when you miss your exit.
The Lessons of Being Lost
We like to believe we are always in control, one step ahead of life. We plan ahead, look ahead, live ahead.
Sometimes, though, life forces us to take a wrong turn. Sometimes we miss the exit or sometimes we just can't make it over.
A lot of times, these "wrong turns" frustrate us. We get mad that we missed the path we planned on taking.
So many times in life, though, the wrong turns end up being right ones. Whether it's a career or your love life or even a vacation, sometimes the wrong turns along the way make things more scenic. Sometimes they help us create better memories than if we'd just followed the right path all along.
So, I've learned a few things today.
1. Don't let Chad hold the GPS. Ever.
2. I'm a terrible driver.
3. Chad and I may be good at communicating, but not in a car.
4. Horse and buggies drive quite slowly.
5. Farms are pretty to look at, much prettier than the highway.
6. Sometimes taking the long way home isn't such a bad thing.