Most of the in-law stories you hear of are about Mother-in-laws. I’m not going to discuss anything about her–BUT, my father-in-law, now that’s a different story. Before dementia took it away, my father-in-law was very intelligent. And with his German back ground, very stubborn, (which unfortunately was not taken away). My mother-in-law died about 10 years after my father-in-laws’ stroke. She was his caregiver, later the rest of us sort of filled-in.
The most dreaded thing I faced was to drive him, somewhere, anywhere! I (not being stubborn-but liking to be in control) as driver, liked to choose my route, but, it had better be Merle’s route. He would always tell you where to turn, when to stop, when to go. After some years, I just gave up and if I went the “wrong way” would turn around and obediently retrace my course. (Well, there was that one time, when my wife had to take over the driving and I had to sit the back seat—–fuming, but I don’t want to talk about that.)
Those drives with my father-in-law, must have laid the foundation for today, yes, Merle still tells where to go. Today, I have this traffic information GPS. I’ve named it Merle, it tells me when to go, where to go, when to turn, when to turn around and re-trace my steps. I take direction from this Merle a little better than my father-in-law Merle, maybe its because I can see the map with this GPS-Merle.
However, Merle isn’t always good. True, Merle is great on straight stretches down the interstate. Get Merle in a strange town, and he (it) is just as confused as I am. I bought this computer program to update, Merle’s maps, but the first time I updated, the program wiped out ALL my favorites locations (thanking you so much Garmin!) As a result I’m “gun” shy about another update!
We took this trip to Jersey City, (yes, that’s in New Jersey), and we began by traveling on a new road–well, it’s really an OLD road, but I’ve never driven it, east of Ft. Wayne, In. old US 30, upgraded in Ohio to smooth four lane, with limited traffic, GREAT ROAD-(don’t tell anybody, about the limited traffic!!) Things were great all through Pennsylvania. (I used to dread driving in Pennsylvania…but then I realized Pa. is only 60 longer, east/west than Indiana is north/south!). It started out as a bright and sunny day, we were challenged getting into Jersey City. We had to get off the interstate, and take a “truck route”. We crossed a 1900’s lift bridge, the Pulaski Skyway, into a construction zone. Merle didn’t know about the construction, so we crossed that bridge——3 times! Tracing and retracing our steps. Yep, Merle would tell me to turn and instantly I’d hear RECALCULATING!! The bright sunny day, turned into deep BLACK clouds—all in side my van!!! I finally struck out on my own, getting away from the construction…then let Merle find me a new route!
The trip home was the same, Merle wanted me to go to the Pulaski Skyway, but told me follow the Rt 1-9 Truck Route, I did, turned where I should, RECALCULATING!!! I was headed north, on the wrong road!!
Needless, to say, since I’m writing this, we found our way home…but two things about New Jersey struck me; first, everyone in New Jersey, knows they have a car horn and they are very liberal with its use, and secondly, New Jersey, likes people and wants you visit, but not to leave! We entered New Jersey freely, but they make you pay to get out!
I see know how far sighed my ancestors were, they moved out of New Jersey, in the 1800’s!!!!!