Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Dasterdly Directions-Southern Style

Another thing puzzling about the South--you can't find your way anywhere without a native guide. Here's what directions sound like down yonder:

"Oh, sugar, it's so easy to get here. You go down Rocky River Road and pass Eddie's house. You remember Eddie with the old, blue pickup? Before you get to the Fire Station (Lord, bless those boys!), you turn right. After you pass that little church that gives the free hot dog lunches on Wednesdays (Those folks are sweet as marshmallow yams on Thanksgiving!), you'll see Lost Boy Road. (I wonder what happened to that poor, poor lost boy. Do you think they ever found him? Bless his heart.) Keep going until you get to that road that takes you to Bubba's Market. (Bubba's has the best pulled pork. Mm-mm, makes my mouth water.) Turn left. Then you'll get to a four-way stop of Hydrangea Church Road, Hydrangea Creek Road, Hydrangea Creek Church Road, and Hydrangea Hollow. You want Hydrangea Creek Road. After you pass the third magnolia tree, the name changes to Coonsville Road. Then you pass a big stump that looks like an owl scratching his armpit--that's where you turn in. The house is about a mile down. Now, there's only one lane, so if someone is coming, you have to back up to the main road. We won't get back until Henry John gets a deer, so, just let yourself in with the key in left boot on the front porch and make yourself at home. Just don't let the one-eyed raccoon in--he's charming as all get out, but he makes such a mess."

Just after Jay and I were married, my dad drove from the West to bring some of my things in a U-Haul and stayed a couple of weeks. Jay had to work on the first Sunday Dad was here, so Jay told us how to get to church. The directions were surprisingly easy to follow, and I was happy when we turned right off of Mallard Creek Church Road into our church's parking lot on time.

After church, Dad and I logically tried to reverse the directions Jay gave us. However, when we turned left out of the church parking lot, to our surprise, we weren't on Mallard Creek Church Road but on Prosperity Church Road. 

Confused, I called Jay, but the firefighters were out on a call, so he didn't answer. Then I saw a sign for Mallard Creek Road veering to the left and quickly told Dad to take it. It abruptly turned into Odell Road and then into Derita Road.

Finally, Jay answered his phone and said, casually, "Oh, I forgot to tell you. Mallard Creek Church Road's name changes into Prosperity Church Road two-thirds of the way down. And it sounds like you turned on Mallard Creek Road, not Mallard Creek Church Road. You have to turn around."

We did. There were two intersecting signs: Mallard Creek Rd and Mallard Creek Ch Rd. Like people could remotely catch the "Ch" tacked on the end as they're hurtling down the road.

We got on Mallard Creek Ch Rd and continued home. 

We were making good time until we tried to find Back Creek Church Road. No such sign existed. 

After almost an hour of driving aimlessly (I say "aimless" only because I didn't want to admit that our aim was to find a road that apparently no longer existed), we got a hold of Jay again. 

He replied, "Oh, yeah, I forgot to tell you. Back Creek Church Road is called Pavilion Boulevard if you're coming from the other direction."  


You might think that getting a GPS solved our location issues. Unfortunately, the South has driven our GPS (Michelle) to drink. Tipsy on moonshine, here are some directions she's given us:

"In 20 feet, turn right, turn left." Not even "Sorry. The truth is that in 20 feet I have no idea which way you're supposed to turn."

In the space of two seconds, she said, "Turn right, turn left, turn right," as we were driving over a bridge.

As we passed through a grove of tightly packed oak trees, she commanded, "Turn left now. Turn left now. Turn left now!"

Yesterday, we received a Social Security claim for our GPS Michelle citing disability caused by excessive and unjustifiable mental stress. 

Bless her heart.

Verse of the day:  (Isaiah 30:20-21) "As soon as He hears, He will answer you... Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a Voice behind you, saying, 'This is the way; walk in it.'” At least God's instructions are clear.

For previous stories about the South, see Bald Peanuts, Ready Set...Ready Again Set Again, The Mysterious "Poke Lawn," and Going Postal-Southern Style.


  1. Ha ha ha ha! Wait--why am I laughing? I lived on the corner of Colonial Court, Colonial Street, and Appaloosa Drive. Colonial Street turned into Appaloosa Drive right at my street, which was a cul-de-sac, because the road curved. So all 3 names were on the sign pointing different directions. This is in PHOENIX!!

    So not only did I always have to spell both my first and last names (with the "D as in dog" for all the syllables), but when I recited my address, I had to spell the name of my street (Colonial is a tough word for most of the population to spell, I've discovered) and yell "COURT--you HAVE to put COURT after Colonial because there's a Colonial STREET that connects to it. Court: C-O-U-R-T. Yes."

    For 14 years. E-x-h-a-u-s-t-i-n-g. However, I probably won't have any problems navigating around in the South when I visit! I've got experience, baby!! ;-)

    Lora (spelled "L-O-R-A, yes, that's right. No, not an 'I' on the end, it's LorA, not Lori. Yes, that's an unusual way to spell it, but it actually is spelled like it's pronounced. Laura is really pronounced 'Law-ra' not 'Lo-ra.' Yes, I have met one or two people with that spelling. Yes, most people say that. But now you can't say you've never heard someone's name spelled like that, right? OK, are you ready for my last name?" *sigh*)

    1. That's so funny! But I still think it's worse down here. Just wait. Even Ligi's GPS gave up.

  2. Too funny! It was even more fun since I know the roads you are talking about and could picture you and your dad driving down them. -Cheryl

    1. Someone replied by email saying people constantly confuse Mallard Creek Rd and Mallard Creek Ch Rd. You don't even notice the "Ch" if you're not looking for it. They need to mark the signs better. But I've been told they did that on purpose since before the Civil War so only locals could find their way around and haven't changed much!