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Saturday, July 12, 2014

Maps To Where We Are Going

Thursday, October 1, 2009

I am in the car quite a bit lately, but I am usually going to familiar places. When I load the car I don't even think about needing a map. I could draw one myself for most of my trips. When I am going to someplace unusual I am often traveling with a family member who has the responsibility to chart the course.

I love to look at the map while I am a passenger in the car when we are going to a place more exciting than up to Butler, down to Joplin, or over to Potosi. It is interesting to see what is coming up next and to try to figure out when the driver might be taking a rest stop.

Recently I was planning a trip to Poplar Bluff to attend a United Methodist Women's annual meeting. These meetings used to be in Columbia or Fayette, to be central to most members. Lately they have started having them in different parts of the state so that everyone can occasionally have one somewhat near them. Obviously Poplar Bluff is not very near me, but it worked out well with another commitment I had, so I decided to attend.

I got out the map and planned my route and didn't even go to the Internet to get Mapquest advice. The route seemed very simple and it was exciting to not be going on the same roads that I often travel. I am grateful for the state map that Missouri prints. It makes traveling very simple.

About this same time our church was having a two-week workshop called "Mapping My Exit." This study was to help those of us who plan to die some day, leave an orderly exit plan for our family to refer to at the time.

It included legal and medical information that you could fill in for those who will have responsibilities to settle matters. It also had places to list personal possessions that you wanted to be kept in the family. You could list who should receive them if you wanted to, or just give information so they will know why the item should be saved. Then the study got into burial plans. Suggestions for a service and names of those who needed to be notified were the last segments discussed. All of these things are contained in a nice sturdy notebook, which could be kept in a metal box somewhere that the family knows about. There was one section left empty. This was for each of us to fill in with whatever else we wanted known.

That was a disappointment to me. I thought that if we were mapping our exit that there would at least be some arrows pointing in a direction, if not a more detailed map showing where we were going and what might be seen on the way. The thought might have been that it is very hard to fold maps back up correctly and we might not be in a good shape to do that. Or, the realization that we may not all be going the same direction would make it awkward to have much detail prepared ahead of time. However I still wanted the comfort I get when I look at a map prior to a trip and get the routes clearly in my mind ahead of the actual day.

I tried Google but it came up with the information that the page I was seeking was not available. Since my Atlas is out of date, I considered buying a new one to search for direction but Lester suggested that I already had such a book but it wasn't called an Atlas.

That is good information. I will follow his advice since I understand I will be taking that trip alone.

Carolyn Gray Thornton
Middle Age Plus