Tuesday, August 16, 2011



It's my birthday today and you'd think Gaia might take a chance on me and drop a bit of sunshine my way? Not a hope.

The best birthday gift I get every year is another year of this precious life. The next is the Grandgirl who never misses it. She arrived late last night and between the RFD and the moose (we counted four on the roads) it took us till nearly 2 in the morning before we got home.

And this year daughter sent me a birthday gift of a GPS for the car. Something I have coveted for a long time as I have a problem I label geographical dyslexia. I can never tell you what direction I'm facing in unless it's a well known landmark like Lake Ontario and I always knew how to get there from just about any point in Ontario. Here in Newfoundland, St. John's is confusing as it's not laid out like a grid and streets and roads keep changing names just to laugh at me. And though I've learned a pile of these name changes there's still the odd one thrown out of the blue which in turn throws me.

Directionally challenged, that's me. I come by it well. My father hadn't a clue and when we would travel together we would pore over maps pretending we had inbuilt navigational skills, hardy-har. I remember one spectacular night in Quebec City where we (I) drove down cul-de-sacs that were an armslength apart in width and then I would have to reverse back again, confounded and baffled. At around three in the morning, after hours of this maze-like meandering seeking our hotel which neither of us could remember whether it was in Lower Town or Upper Town or even the name of it, Gawd help our simple Irish souls, when the Da looked at me and said, "OK. Next time we will tie a long string to the back of the car and the front of the hotel before we go anywhere." I remember us laughing ourselves silly at the thought, just before finding a gendarme who spoke English and drew a map on a page of his notebook for us.

The Da would have dearly loved my GPS.


  1. Happy birthday you young thing you!

    Wishing you a rainbow
    For sunlight after showers—
    Miles and miles of Irish smiles
    For golden happy hours—
    Shamrocks at your doorway
    For luck and laughter too,
    And a host of friends that never ends
    Each day your whole life through!

    (I remember one day in Dublin, shortly after I got my Irish drivers permit, when I started down a long one way street going the wrong way but not realizing that until the light changed at the other end. I just pulled up on the sidewalk at various intervals until I got to the other end. Not sure I'd have the nerve to do that now! LOL)

  2. Have a wonderful Birthday and enjoy your visitor ♥

  3. I hope you have a fantastic Birthday with your Grandgirl to share it. may the GPS wive you many happy years of driving.

  4. I drove all over Ireland in a VW bus that had no insurance, a Dutch license plate and I had no driver's license. It was called the Meerswenchen which I was told is Dutch for guinea pig.

    Rainy here last two days but we have had a hot summer. It's been a crappy no fun summer for us though for different reasons.

    ah well, maybe autumn will be better.

    happa birthduh!

  5. I'm very capable of maze-like meandering to elusive hotels as well. Which is very irritating to drivers stuck behind me, desperately trying to overtake in narrow streets as I consult the map yet again.

    Hope you had a fabulous birthday!

  6. Happy Birthday, lovely lady!

    Your blog is one of my absolute favourites. Your entries often make me want to visit Newfoundland, which I have never done. The landscape shots they show on the Newfoundland-filmed Republic of Doyle just entrench that desire even further. I don't like the show (I want to, but can't help it), but apparently Nfld is as gorgeous as it's claimed to be.

    Out here in Saskatchewan in farm country, I always know what direction I'm facing. But put me in the mountains or anywhere that curvy roads are required, or there are forests, and I'm lost.

    I'm glad you're still around to celebrate your birthday, too. I'm 52, and every year on the first warm spring day, I send up a small prayer (to the sky) of gratitude that I'm still here to experience this beautiful planet.

  7. Many Happy returns, WWW - Big hug!!!

  8. Happy Birthday, WWW! Enjoy your time with the grandgirl and testing your navigation system. I also have no sense of direction and easily get lost. It's one of my charms.

  9. Hope you had a fantastic birthday - we had a blizzard to celebrate!

    I like the phrase 'geographically dyslexic' - my husband keeps on asking me if I'm sure when I tell him to turn left - it usually ends up with "No, your *other* left!"

  10. Happy happy birthday in spite of weather and moose! It seems like birthdays are happy and precious events when one is very young and when one is not so young; inbetween folks would just as soon not be reminded of the passage of time. Here's to not being inbetween!

  11. Happy birthday! Your gift to the rest of us is your delightful writing!

  12. Happy birthday WWW. May you have many more and keep us entertained for many more years.

  13. Happy Birthday!

    I had to laugh at your reference to knowing where you were when faced with a landmark such as Lake Ontario. My husband and I are from southern Ontario and have lived in Thunder Bay for six years now.. we still get turned around after spending most of our lives knowing that the lake is always south and everything else is north. Here in Thunder Bay the lake is east! how confusing!!

  14. Happy belated from another directionally challenged one ;)

  15. Happy happy birthday Wise - thanks for your gifts of words.


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