Inspirational thoughts and random writings from the alumni and friends of Quad-Cities Christian Writers Conference.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Have Car—Will Travel?

 By Marie Tschopp

I have a peculiar problem. It takes me five whole minutes just to back my car out of the garage.  No matter how careful I am when I pull my vehicle inside, I cannot back it out straight.  I had no trouble exiting when I drove a compact car, but my width and depth perception vanished when I purchased an SUV.  I start backing out and realize I’m too far to the right and about to smash into the door jamb with the right side mirror. I pull up and try again.  This time I am too far to the left and in danger of disembodying the left side mirror, so I pull in once more.  To anyone watching, my car is performing the cha-cha.  And the dance continues for four minutes more.  

Finally, I make it out of the garage only to face the sloping driveway.  My SUV is much longer than my former hatchback, and I have trouble seeing the tilt of the driveway over the backseat.  I look over my shoulder and notice I’m about to back into the mailbox. I adjust the wheel and head straight for the culvert.  I adjust the wheel again.  If my neighbors judged my tire tracks, they’d say I have a drinking problem. 

Okay.  I am out of the garage, down the driveway and on the road, but all is not well.  I get lost easily.  “Directionally impaired” is the term I use, and  I’m thinking of petitioning Congress about this condition to request funding—God knows I need it with all the gas I burn.  When I bought my SUV, my husband noticed the compass on the dashboard. “Look!” he said. “You will never get lost again!”  Yeah, right.  Giving a directionally impaired person a compass is like giving a dyslexic a dictionary.  To us, the “N” means “Not this way.”  “S” is “So sorry.”  “E” stands for “Exactly where you don’t want to be.”  And the “W” is “Wrong again.”  

Directionally impaired people need directions with landmarks such as, “Turn left at the pink house with the plastic pig lawn ornaments.”  Without landmarks, people like me drive in circles until we run out of gasoline.  That is, of course, if we manage to make it out of the garage, down the driveway and onto the street. 

On and off the road, I’ve learned to rely heavily on GPS—God’s Protective Surveillance.  God knows where I am, where I’m going, the best route, and what time I’ll arrive.  All I need to do is look up, relax and enjoy the ride.


  1. Marie, this is so funny! Good definition of GPS.
    I hate backing out of the garage. Because it's winter, my sons must keep their cars in the driveway to avoid the plow. I have to maneuver out of the garage and around the car close behind me. It takes a dozen tries, an inch further to the right each time, don't hit the wall, don't hit the car, don't hit the garbage can, don't get stuck in the bank. Who knows what amusement I provide for my neighbors? I finally talked the fellas into parking behind my husband, who can do it in one easy pass.

  2. Love your GPS description as well as the "N,S,E,W". I can sooooo identify.
    Thanks for the laughs!

  3. Congratulations on your news coverage Marie regarding your Laura Ingalls Wilder presentations for churches, schools, libraries and events. You are amazing. Love the devo cause I can relate to two things: 1) I get confused using the mirrors when backing out 2) God Sees! Amen.

  4. Really funny until you consider that there so many on the road with the same problem. Driving is a serious endeavor not to be undertaken lightly while texting.

  5. Robin, I am so glad to hear I am not the only one! My husband sounds like yours--can do it so easily. The men at my house don't have the cleaning gene, but they have the driving gene!

  6. Gail, I tried to post directly underneath the posts, but couldn't. You'll have to explain again! Thanks for your comment, I knew we had a lot in common.

    Lori: You're a sweet encourager. My daughter kept knocking her side mirrors off. Finally, Brian used duct tape (or is it duck tape?)

    Daniel: You know what they say, Honk if you love Jesus, text if you want to meet Him.

  7. Oh, my--I can drive across the state, but have a hard time making more than a few turns and get totally discombobulated. I feel for you! The first summer we were married, I knocked the mirror off our brand new car going into the garage. Thankfully my husband laughed.

  8. Lisa: We're soul sisters in more ways than one! Sounds like we both married great guys, too.

  9. Marie - Glad to see this piece seeing 'print'! Look forward to more!