Saturday, July 2, 2011


~"Parting is all we know of heaven and all we need to know of hell"~Emily Dickinson

 When I was a little girl, my parents had one of those large cabinet stereos. The kind that stood on four legs-with a turn table on one side and a place to store your albums on the other. On the bottom right hand side of it was a little red indicator light. I used to lie on the floor and try and stare into the light-because I thought that there were tiny people behind it, making the music and I wanted to see them.  I don't know where I got this idea-but, I always did have an overactive imagination..At least that's what my imaginary friend Gengi told me at the time..

Of course I don't believe that anymore! I mean, I have an MP3 player and there is no way that many people could fit inside of it.  BUT... I am starting to wonder about our GPS system.  I bought it two years ago as a Christmas present for Omar.  He does a bit of traveling for his work...AND because no matter what..whenever we go someplace new with the herd-we ALWAYS get lost.  ALWAYS.  So I thought it would be a good idea to have one.  I named ours "Sheila"..she has an Australian accent (which for some reason amuses me)  Sheila for the most part has become a wonderful addition to our family.  Very rarely has she ever made a mistake i.e. directing us to drive into a field..or down a dead end street. She usually gets us to where we are going in good time...Until last week. I'm not quite sure what has happened-but..*sigh*  Sheila seems to have lost her mind.

  We were on a mini family vacation-a weekend getaway.  A friend was celebrating a birthday and invited us to his party.  It was a pretty straight forward trip-about a eighty miles or so straight down the coast.  We knew how to get there-it was when we got into town that we needed directions. I plugged in the address of the hotel and hit "go". THAT is when things got crazy.."In zero point three miles, turn right on Bow street." We got to Bow St. and made a right. "RECALCULATING"...Recalculating? Hadn't we turned where she told us to?.."In point one miles make a right on Maine st"..So-we made a right.."In point three miles make a right on Ocean st." so we turned right on Ocean...""In zero point three miles make a right on Bow St."..What...didn't we just do that?  I wasn't about to argue with we made a right on Bow St. "RECALCULATING" ..Huh? "In point one miles make a right on Main St."  But we just did that!  Again...not wanting to argue with Sheila..we turned where she told us..three more times. Until finally I had had enough. You have to understand-I am not a violent woman by nature..but it was pouring rain and pitch black outside.  I had been in a car with four hungry tired children for over two hours.  I was a tad bit on, when Sheila RECALCULATED and told us to make a right on Bow street again...I lost my temper...I smacked her the GPS-yelling.."Whose RECALCULATING now Bi**H??" and shut her down(none too gently ) Oh how powerful I felt!  But then..(because we were hopelessly lost-and the herd was stunned by my outburst) *sigh* I rebooted her..put the address in again..and arrived at the hotel five minutes later. It wasn't anywhere near on or around Bow St...or Main..or Ocean..

 At the end of the weekend, when it was time to go home..we thought that we wouldn't need the GPS -as we now knew (really well) the way out of town.  The only problem was that I NEEDED coffee-badly.  So we plugged her in and programmed her to take us to the nearest coffee place. She led us the correct way out of far so good..she informed us that a coffee place was less than a mile away..great..right?  Except that Sheila, instead of leading us to the coffee shop-directed us into the parking lot of an orthodontist ...and then to a flea market...and a furniture store... I don't understand it.. could  my GPS be holding a grudge? RECALCULATING our relationship?  Kind of makes me rethink the possibility of tiny singers in stereos...kind of...

  This past week seems to be all about recalculating. Our cat Joe has disappeared..vanished...poof..he's just...gone. I find myself at a loss as to what to tell the herd. . They have of course noticed his absence-Zoe especially..and I don't know what to tell them.  There was no body..he just up and vanished.  What do you say to that?.  A year and a half ago, when both my father and my sister died-it was simpler .. Sickness, age..those things are easier to explain. Death was not unexpected.  I could prepare them, talk to them.  Joe's disappearance has thrown us all..I hate to admit it..perhaps because I am not ready to accept it myself-but, I told them that he probably decided to take a trip, or have an adventure...I don't have it in me to tell them that he is probably dead..because they will want a explanation..and I don't have one. It has been a week now..and I keep expecting him to come in the window..or find to him on the stairs waiting for me to walk by so that he can stick his paw through the railing and grab me..I miss my sweet boy.

  So, it looks as if I, like Sheila am going to have to recalculate. Figure out what to tell the herd...find a way to explain the unexplainable....and definitely look into getting a new GPS.  


Kim Wombles said...

:) for the GPS story. Definitely holding a grudge if it wouldn't let you have coffee.

(((())) on Joe. We had a cat, Sadie (looked a lot like Ibit, actually), back in the 90s, who got outside accidentally and never came back. I was devastated. I spent more than a month looking all over the neighborhood, calling Sadie over and over. Neighbors must have decided that cemented my crazy cat lady status. Our animal friends ground us, don't they? Anchor us, and when we lose one, especially like that, we feel untethered and lost, like our world has been tipped off balance.

Lizbeth said...

I was laughing at your mini-vacation mess and Sheila thinking she was the female version of that horrible man on the Outback commercials.

Then Joe. Why do cats have to go off somewhere to die?!? Ours did that when we were little and it was devastating. We found her (dead as a post) under a car. I wish you guys had the solace of finding him and putting things to rest.

Amazing how our animals are family.

Looking for Blue Sky said...

I knew I was right to avoid GPS systems :) As you know I don't like being told what to do, and I would be incandescent if I was told what to do by an Aussie voice coming out of my dashboard! Oh and I can go one better than the cat story - lost my brother this weekend. Though he did turn up this afternoon....

Floortime Lite Mama said...

you write so so so so so well
I have felt the same way
After DH deliberately ignores the Garmin's advice i REALLY feel that her voice starts to shake

Stephanie said...

I've never had a GPS, but just about everything is made to be replaced within a year or two nowadays. Planned obscelence.

I got a cat when I was 12. When I got married we moved to a place that didn't accept animals, so Krissy didn't join my new family until we moved again. So far, so good. But, after Ben was born, we moved again. And Krissy came with us for about two weeks. Willy opened the sliding door and Krissy shot out the door, never to return. I hope she found a nice, quiet lonely person to keep company, as she kept me company throughout my teens. Perhaps the new, hectic life with kids was too much for her. I retain that belief/hope, though facts don't support it.

Maybe Joe found a family that needed him more, too.

danette said...

LOL about the GPS... we named ours "the Conch" (like the Spongebob episode, where they do whatever the Conch tells them to). We always joke about when it says "recalculating" if it really would rather chew us out for missing the turn, haha. Although in your case, you made the turn and it still said that... weird!

So sorry to hear about your cat... they are such a part of the family. (((hugs)))