The Hubbard Hall Writers' Group met today in Sandgate, Vt. at the home of one of the other writers, Rachel. That meant a two-hour trip for me down past Rutland, Manchester, and Arlington to Sandgate. I had never heard of Sandgate. Needless to say, I got lost.
When I finally arrived at the meeting late and breathless, our mentor made some comment that concluded with me not liking to travel and not thinking I readily agreed. I lied. I love to travel. Most of my time, in fact, is spent in the car either traveling on writing assignments, headed to events such as pug socials, friend's houses, or on leisurely drives with my friend, Joan.
When I was younger I would have said I didn't like driving -- I was 17 before I got my license -- but even that has changed. I enjoy my time in the car, listening to the music, audiobooks, composing stories in my head. I love the change of scenery and I love the possibility of what might be around the next corner. I love stopping to take pictures.
I don't like driving in cities, places I don't know or in bad weather. Today, the sun was shining and I was definitely not in a city, but I was in a place I didn't know and while my GPS typically gives me a measure of confidence, today I found myself not just lost, but very lost! It didn't look so bad at the beginning. I knew that Rachel lived out in the country, so I wasn't concerned when "Mother" (my nickname for my GPS, because she tells me what to do) led me down a dirt road and I still wasn't fazed when the road narrowed. I even happily proceeded to climb the steepening hill. What did deter me was the sudden lack of a road -- suddenly I found myself on a cowpath, no road, just a thin line of dirt amidst a mountain field. At the top of the narrow path, which disappeared into nowhere were two hunters decked in camouflage and rifles. Not at all inviting!
I managed to call Rachel and get new directions to her house and arrived there unharmed if flustered, not a fascinating tale, but an important one. Any good story needs a setting and it is important in understanding mine to know just how much of my time takes place in my car. I do not have a house of my own, but I own my car and I find myself frequently in it, often with the pugs strapped into their car seats in the rear. On most days Mother guides us well to dog parks and photo ops, and we are seldom lost except in the realm of possibility. And, of course, every once in awhile a cowpath is the road that takes us there.