Sunday, September 22, 2013

Adventures via GPS

My new abode is in a challenging location. That's why, with my new-used car, I was happy to receive a GPS device for Christmas last year. I use it often. The GPS itself is sometimes challenged by my directions, but usually it gives me a good trip anyway.

In the last couple of days I've needed it. I had to run some errands in Kingston Thursday, so I set the GPS for the first address, out on Flatbush Road. Flatbush Road? Up here it is not a boulevard, as it it in Brooklyn, but it a road that goes on and on. The voice on the GPS went silent after a while and I decided maybe she had given up on me. I gave up on her because all I saw was signs to Rhinebeck and I did not want to go to Rhinebeck, so I began making turns...GPS found me and began directing me back to the route I had left, and to my ultimate destination. I got there and found it was not the place of business I needed, but got human directions there and headed to the right place at last.

It was a little print shop called "The Copy Hut," where I found a most helpful staffer who said they'd happily print a poster for my novel, and all I had to do was go home and email him the files. I said, "If this costs over $100, I'm not going to do it, and he said it would be more like $19, so we're in business. This is fun for me, working with printers, posters, and old-fashioned promotions like that. I've done it for years, sometimes in French. It's well in my comfort area--and by the end of the week I should have a poster to mail to the bookstore to help them promote That Was Tomorrow.

I have it in the back of my mind that I'm househunting. I love the condo I'm renting, and when my lease is up in January I'm going to offer to buy it, but if I can't I may well buy something else. There is the possibility something suitable will come up in this complex, and I'm looking at that. But I do check out houses from time to time on Craigs List. A couple of them came up that I thought I'd explore yesterday. One was said to be in New Paltz but an address I didn't recognize on a street I'd never heard of. I checked out the route and it's not that far from this address. So I programmed my GPS and took off for it yesterday afternoon. I was well past the time of the open house, and only intended give the exterior of the house a gander.

The drive was extraordinarily beautiful. A few turns, a number of hills, dozens of old-fashioned, elegant houses, through lanes and bosky dells whose trees showed early touches of autumn color--and I was in heaven on earth. The deeper I drove the more convinced I was that I would never be interested in owning this house, buried so far from civilization. I pictured the snowdrifts and ice that are sure to come in a few months, making my attractive drive not perhaps less beautiful, but certainly all but inaccessible for days at a time. And a house--I do not need to worry about the upkeep of a country house at this point in my life. But I can dream, can't I?

I took a different, non-GPS-guided route home, passing a huge farm with a gorgeous red barn, rolling hills with sheep and horses--breathtaking!

Thanks to GPS I'm more independent than ever, and can take drives with no particular purpose other than exploring my new neighborhood. I'm looking forward to more days like that one.

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