By Frank J. Buchman
Somebody said it’s called “mazeophobia.”
That’s a big word for fear of being lost.
Probably not actually a fright of such so much as it sure is easy to not know where one is.
It’s happened a jillion times from the big chain store parking lot several times to a dozen airports and a handful of major cities.
As bad perhaps worse than getting lost in a metropolis is in a multi-section Flint Hills pasture. When there’s native prairie as far as can be seen everywhere it’s difficult to know which direction is which.
Fortunately, ranch managers have that keen sense, while bewildered wannabees sometimes ride in circles.
Worse case urban scenario was in the Boston, Massachusetts, rented car trying to find the horse show grounds. That same coin-throw-toll bridge was driven over a handful of times before making the correct turn.
Another nightmare memory was trying to find the Seattle, Washington, airport for a 3 o’clock morning flight. Repeated calls to the show manager kept responding: “It’s right there.” No, it wasn’t, but fortunately figured out where it was, just before the stewardess closed the airplane door.
Can’t help but reflect, too, 1968 when lost in the state fair parking lot. Had ridden with neighbors to the best groomed boy contest, and was meeting at 4 o’clock to come home. Obviously lost was found.
Semblances occurred twice in recent weeks trying to locate horseshow arenas in small northeast Kansas communities.
Maps, the internet and show bills all provide directions, but they’re vague or incomplete. “Get a GPS (global positioning system),” several others have advised. Well, there’s one here, but knowing how to operate the gadget is something else.
So, called ahead and the show manager wrote out a “text,” which was indecipherable. Fortunately, an email printed out with a map worked. “Left about a block, right at the stop sign, left about 100 yards, past the co-op, over the tracks.”
Directions given over the phone this past weekend to the farthest northeast Kansas county seemed simpler. That is until the small highway wound through the city six times, facing the eastern sunrise every other turn.
Man on the corner’s directions worked, but finding the fairgrounds became another dilemma, solved too.
Reminded of Proverbs 2:22: “They’ll keep you from making wrong turns and getting lost.”