Before I leave home I print out MapQuest instructions for every combination of destinations I can think of. I put the addresses in the Maps app on my iPad. I forgot to do both those things in Houston last month and we got very lost. I'd try to figure out the next turn, and Art would tell me his opinion, and I'd choose one, and sometimes it was right and sometimes not. When I was right Art was silent, and when I wasn't he told me I never listen to him. I have always thought of myself as having a pretty good sense of direction and of Art as being a not very good navigator. I think Art sees me as wanting to make all the decisions. At least that's what he tells me, with his voice raised, in moments of supreme frustration on the road.
This week we're in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and we've had an especially hard time getting along in the car. So yesterday I said, "Okay. For the rest of this trip I will do exactly what you say when I'm driving." Our first challenge was going to a family meal at China Star Restaurant, with our grandson Alex in the back seat. Alex knows how to get to China Star, and he was telling me how to get there, but I was listening only to Art. That's how we ended up on a dead-end dirt road two blocks behind China Star. Then today, he told me to get in the left lane, and I did, and he said, "Well, this isn't the right street." Which I already knew, but I was listening to him. He got us to the destination without a cross word to me.
Today we decided to take a geocaching scavenger hunt around Santa Fe. It's a two-mile course visiting the landmarks in the old city. When we got to the GPS rental place I said, "Art, will you please learn how to use the GPS?" So the guy taught it to him rather than me. For the next two hours, Art was on a mission to get to all eight destinations. He walked several feet ahead of me as he scoped out the streets around us. We took several wrong turns. I was silent, because Art was the navigator. Again, no cross words were spoken between us pertaining to navigation.
I've heard the question, "Would you rather be right or be happy?" I'm learning, in the area of getting around by car and on foot in a strange city, it's better to be happy that Art is in charge of the navigation. He gets it right most of the time, and when he doesn't we just spend a few extra minutes picking up the trail again. It doesn't matter whether I knew how to get there or not.
We've learned a lot in our explorations of the area in the last week. But my biggest lesson has been to not think and to let Art figure out where we're going. It's easier on both of us that way.