A Lost Art

September 1, 2016

 While on our latest adventure (which we are currently still on) I came face to face with the realization that a lot of handy and important skills have been lost to this new generation. We are on the mainland right now where we had the honor and privilege of watching my youngest son graduate from Air Force Boot Camp (future BLOG post) and are currently on our way to Virginia where our oldest is going to be graduating from his Coast Guard "A School". Since we had the time and we love road trips, we decided to rent a car and drive from San Antonio to Virginia by way of the back roads. We stopped at a truck stop and picked up a map of the United States to help us with our trip planning. When I got to the counter the young lady at the register looked at me like I had 2 heads. She then asked me if I had a smart phone to which I replied I did and it was in the car. She then asked me why are you buying this (meaning the map). You know you can get directions from your phone and also information on hotels, restaurants and local attractions. I told her I knew this, but we were more interested in the journey than just the destination. We knew where we wanted to end up, but weren't sure how we wanted to get there. She seemed confused, but I paid for the map and left. I have nothing against smart phones or GPS's, but they are limited in use and don't always work. You put in your destination and it gives you the fastest route from point A to point B, which is usually the boring major highways. If all you are interested in is getting somewhere as fast as possible, you might as well fly. With the map, we were able to see all of the smaller back roads and plan our trip our way. We saw a lot of interesting things, and it didn't take too much longer than the highways. We were on some small roads in Texas where the speed limit was 70 or 75 mph. The same roads in Vermont would have been 35mph (I felt like I was on the Indy circuit). We also had no cell service through most of Texas and some of Louisiana (Good thing we had a map). I found the major limitation with the "Smart Phone", is that with no cell service it is not very smart. We had GPS signal, but with no connection to the cell tower the phone knew where we were, but not how to get us where we wanted to be. At one point, we had no cell service and the road we were on was shut down (due to the flooding that had taken place). There was just a sign that said "Seek alternate route". What would you do if you were relying on your Smart Phone with no signal? We found an alternate route on the map and never skipped a beat. Technology is a great thing and does make our lives better most of the time, but there is a lot to be learned from the old ways. Whether it is reading a map, writing a letter (by hand in cursive), cooking from scratch or changing a tire. You may never need to do these things in your everyday life, but if you ever do, you will be glad you knew how to do them. Get off the main roads and enjoy the journey and stop worrying about the destination (It will be there when you arrive).

 

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