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Lynna Clark: Always Lost

If you are one of those people who gets into their vehicle and heads out all willy-nilly without first considering very deliberately which route you will be taking, this will make no sense at all to you. Stop reading here.

However if you tend to contemplate the desired destination and with great effort calculate every turn betwixt where you are and where you’re going, then you may understand when I admit the following. You see… I am directionally challenged. In fact my condition is quite severe.

Even around Salisbury where I grew up… I can’t find my way. Very few things look familiar as I travel. In fact it’s all new to me. Like Jake Alexander Boulevard where I have recently discovered that if I pass Life Church and the Goodwill and Harris Teeter and Aldi’s and keep traveling I shall eventually wind up near the mall. Who knew? When I expressed my excitement over this well-kept secret to my beloved David he nodded his head with great joy at my sudden understanding. “Yep,” he said sweetly. “And you could go bowling…”

The man has patiently given me directions to the hospital and the doctor’s office and the drugstore for years… every single time I leave without him.

“Sooo… will I pass the Dairy Queen?” I ask without a clue.

“Yep. It will be on your right. Keep going but slow down so you don’t miss the turn and our drugstore is on the right before Statesville Boulevard in the Ketner Center.”

“No wait wait wait… too much information. Okay I pass the Dairy Queen… will I see Sonic?”

“Yes… just keep going. You’ll pass Krispy Kreme. If the hot light is on you have to stop. It’s the law.”

“So then Innes Street Drug is next?”

“Soon after… but don’t get turned around when you stop for hot doughnuts. Keep Krispy Kreme on your right and keep going til you pass the barbecue joint with the pink pig. Turn on the right side of the median into the Ketner Center where the florist is. You’ll see our drugstore on the left.”

“Pink pig… hot doughnuts… flowers… drugs… good grief… Statesville Boulevard… got it. Have your phone handy. Hey if I keep going will I be at the mall?”

“Nooo….” He looked at me and cocked his head sideways. “Do you need to go to the mall or is this just a happy conversation we’re having for no apparent reason?” His eyes betrayed him as they shifted past my lovely face to the football game before him.

“NO WAY!!! THAT WAS PASS INTERFERENCE REF! HOW DID YOU NOT SEE THAT?!!!”

Once the disputed play was reviewed to our satisfaction I inquired again of my beloved, “Hey honey… is there still a Cato’s in the mall?”

“I don’t think so… but there’s one over by…” He stopped for fear that he was about to undo the drugstore directions thereby missing hot doughnuts as well as his ballgame. But because he’s a patient man who adores the wife of his youth he tried again. My heart did a little happy dance because he muted the commercial. If you thought I was going to say muted the ballgame sorry to disappoint. He’s a saint but he is not Jesus. He did however look at me with love and understanding.

“When you come out of the drugstore parking lot take a left. You will be on Innes Street.”

“Hey! That’s good because it eventually crosses the square, right?”

“Yep. Keep going and you’ll pass Romo’s where we got the pizza that was so good… remember where Uncle Buck’s used to be?”

“Don’t tell me about what used to be somewhere. That doesn’t help. Pizza… with the white sauce? Yes! On the right! Okay so… keep going. Then what?”

“You’ll come to a stoplight just before the interstate. Stay in the right lane and turn like you’re going to Walmart. Get into the left lane past Bojangles and turn left at the light. Go to the end where they’ve made that little circle thing that you always turn in front of the wrong way and go toward Cracker Barrel. Cato’s will be on the left. You’ll see it.”

“Cool! So all that stuff runs together? Awesome! I can do this!” As I headed out the door I was happy to spot a Kohl’s $10 coupon card beside my keys. “This is gonna work out great. While I’m there I’ll just run into Kohl’s too. Now how do I get to Jake Alexander from here?”

Gazing toward the wife of his youth once again with lovingkindness, he rose from his favorite Saturday spot, turned off the television, and walked toward me. “I’ll take you honey.”

“NO no noooo… I can totally do this!” I exclaimed with great bravery.

He kissed me sweetly then added, “Maybe you should bring the doughnuts back here before you try to find Kohl’s.”

“Good plan darlin’! Jake Alexander here I come!”

“Innes Street honey… the one that crosses Main Street but you can’t turn left at the square so…”

We sighed simultaneously. Bless his heart.

So if you happen to see an old chick pausing longer than you prefer at an intersection please don’t honk unless of course you are expressing your love for Jesus. I will as usual be invoking the Almighty for help as I navigate my way home with doughnuts which may be stale by the time I get there.

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