Saturday, March 30, 2013

Lost on an island: I'M GOING TO DIE!

There are no street lights on Bainbridge Island roads except in downtown Winslow.
Not many people like to take a ride with me. I skipped driver's education when I was in high school. In fact, I skipped a lot of things when I was a teenager. I even talked my way out of more physical education classes by pitching a logical argument that ping pong was not really exercise.

I live on an island roughly the size of Manhattan. While the downtown portion of the city has streetlights, the roads on the inner part of the island remain unlit and hence preserve a rural feeling. Sometimes I forget I live a short 35 minute ferry ride to Seattle. I am a country girl. However, back to my driving.

My new friend Sue and I decided to go for a walk last week. I have driven to the south part of the island several times so it's hard to exlpain how we got so lost. My decision to drive and not take her car with a great GPS system was about as logical an idea as driving into a mud wall.

I know I am completely lost when I keep circling around and see a view of downtown Seattle three times. I gaze at the Columbia tower building and all I can think of are lawyers. I think it is a well-known fact I want a lawyer in my life about as much as I would like to be dragged through the mud, burned at the stake or thrown into a river to see if I am practicing witchcraft. There are more lawyers in the Columbia tower in Seattle than all of Japan.

I am not saying lawyers aren't great for intellectual conversations, I am saying I never want to need a lawyer for any legal snafu I might encounter. Just today I saw a couple sitting with a lawyer in Poulsbo, Washington discussion their prenup. I am presuming after having this discussion they don't have any reasonable reason to get married other than shared health insurance.

My now 13-year-old Saturn reaches a speed of one to thirty-five in ten minutes. This was most excellent as we climbed up toe jam hill. She is small which was beneficial as we hit roads narrow enough to risk running head on into another vehicle. The south shore of the island is not stable and given the massive slides on Whidbey Island this week, I was getting more scared. Mounds of dirt on a Saturn will not save one's life. Without a long straw for air and a rescue team with an immediate response, I knew it was going to be bad.

Sue grew up in Queens. She knows how to remain calm. I have never mastered the art of calm. Islanders are a very laid back group of people. It must be the negative ions in the moist air. A nice woman with a dog the size of a minature horse gave us directions back to downtown Winslow. We arrived quite alive and well. I don't blame Sue for suggesting she drive next time. Worse, I had forgotten to bring the lovely book listing all the wonderful walks on the island.

If anyone has a spare GPS just collecting dust out there, please do send it to me. Not only do I need it in my vehicle, I need it on my body. I get lost all the time. Then again, is one ever lost? Perhaps one is always where one needs to be. Nah, that's some new age crap I just wrote. Oftentimes we are just plain lost, lost and lost. -AW