The Long Way Home


Kay Harper 


© Copyright 2019 by Kay Harper 



Photo of a Wrong Way sign.

I was sailing right along on the familiar I-75 between North Georgia and my home in Florida. With limited stops, my ETA was better than it had ever been. Then came the critical point when I thought I was taking a shortcut, only to realize as soon as I exited that I was heading down the wrong road.

Not only was I racing down this detour, it was the same one that I had mistakenly taken a couple of years before—thinking I was making that same “shortcut.” So I wasn’t surprised when it took me 11 miles to get turned around, then 11 more to get back to my starting point.

I shouted, “No, no, no, no!” Then I made a quick recovery and said right out loud, “OK, Lord, I’ll just do this and not get bent out of shape. It was my error. I’ll take the consequences.” I have to admit I was a little excited about my budding serenity. So, I drove on in peace.

But when I got back to the Interstate I missed the loopity loop to get back on I-75 South, and Oh Boy, I ended up back on I-75 going north! That took another bunch of miles up and back with another round of pep-talk prayer so as not to slide into impatience. “OK, keep calm. The turn-around is somewhere up ahead. Just keep going.” Trying desperately not to pay attention to the sinking feeling I was experiencing, I pressed on and made it back to I-75 South!

I finally got to the correct exit and thought (with a good bit of triumph), OK, NOW I know what to do! But then I got so engrossed in listening to a CD that I flew past my exit, which just so happened to be the last one before the Sunshine Skyway Bridge which would take me across Tampa Bay—a beautiful ride, I might add, but one I did NOT want to take on that day! Noooooo!

When I pulled up to the toll booth and admitted my predicament to the friendly toll-taker she laughed and waved. “You won’t believe how often this happens.” After paying the toll I was directed to still another turnaround—up and back—here, there and yon! FINALLY I was on the right road! A good hour had transpired with all these maneuvers, but by now my inherent optimism had had a chance to kick in. I was actually beginning to pat myself on the back. I thought, All those roundabouts and I still made it back! Surely the next time I won’t be taking the long way home! Well, that’s the plan anyway…smile!

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