Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Getting Where You Want to Go

Grant . . . navigating.
With granddaughter, Rini.

My husband has iron boogers.
And in Canada, we have The Dominion Land Survey.
These two are connected.
Maybe I should explain.
First:
My husband's favourite program on TV was the Tim Allen show, Home Improvement.
In one episode, Neighbour Wilson told Tim that men are actually endowed with minute bits of metal in their noses that aid in navigation.
Tim, putting his twist on it, called them 'iron boogers'.
A term that my husby whole-heartedly embraced and endorsed.
And:
When Canada was first being mapped/documented, it was divided into a perfect grid.
Or maybe an imperfect grid, but a grid, just the same.
We were raised in an area where the roads were straight and regular and one mile apart.
If one road was blocked, you could find 113 other ways to get where you wanted to go.
It was a perfect system.
People growing up in that environment developed an unerring sense of direction.
Thus, my husby.
See the connection?
Moving on . . .
We were travelling in Ireland.
Have you ever heard it said that there is no green quite like the green of the Emerald Isle?
It's true.
But I digress . . .
We had just driven into town and were looking for our bed and breakfast.
Our map only covered the specifics of reaching said town, not the particulars of what to do when we got there.
There was a woman walking down the street.
Grant pulled over and we asked her how to reach Thus-and-So Bed and Breakfast.
These are her exact words, "Oh that one. It's rather difficult to describe. You need to go up that hill (pointing) and turn right. There is a hotel there and they can direct you."
We thanked her and did as she directed.
Except for the 'turn right' part.
My husby turned left.
At which time, I gave up.
He drove around for a total of one minute, then pulled over to the side of the street. "Why don't we just stop here?" he said.
I looked out of the window and gasped.
Thus-and-So B&B. Right there.
In front of us.
I gasped and turned to stare at him.
He merely tapped his nose and looked at me significantly.
From then on, I used the map merely to get us to the next town, then tossed it into the back seat.
Grant was much better at finding our destination when he wasn't hampered by such distractions as maps.
Old Iron Boogers.

8 comments:

  1. I would have found that extremely irritating. Actually, in our family, I'm the one with the iron in my nose. Or as Dad would have said, "I"m part humming pigeon".

    ReplyDelete
  2. We are big fans of "Home Improvement" as well! I hope someday I get to go visit Ireland! I have always wanted to visit that country. :)

    That's a bit how we give directions around here... go to the light... turn right... go a little ways and you'll see a red barn, turn left there... :)

    I've lived here my whole life and still don't know the names of lots of streets... you have to tell me who lives on that street and I'll know where to go. lol.

    ReplyDelete
  3. That made me laugh:-)
    Thanks for sharing with NOBH!
    Stefanie

    ReplyDelete
  4. How funny, Scott and I often quote that particular episode! He's the one with the iron boogers, I navigate by landmarks. I never knew which direction I was going until I moved out west, and then I just made sure where the mountains were and I was ok. In my defense, there are no straight roads in the Maritimes, and people say left, right, no your other right, and turn by the giant _______.

    ReplyDelete
  5. lol that was funny. Can you imagine lol

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hahaha! What a delightfully bizarre concept!! But I prefer to think of my genetically incompetent sense of direction as natures way of helping us find unusual spots ...

    ReplyDelete
  7. So funny! I think I'm the one with the iron boogers in my family. Maybe that's why my nose is so big?

    ReplyDelete
  8. Diane, I can tell you now that no member in my family has iron boogers. As a result, we're left to consult maps, rely on navigational aids (whose mission seem to be to get us to turn right, which usually ends up being a body of water, a no right turn area or a dead-end), and we make more stops for instructions at gas stations more times than anyone should be allowed. It's a nightmare to not have iron boogers, I tell you. :)

    ReplyDelete

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