Monday, September 6, 2010

Compass Directions

1994

"Are we going north, south, east, or west?" seven-year-old David asked from the passenger seat.

"Well, let's see," I said. "We were on 27, which goes up and down on the map, so that's north-south. We were headed toward a higher point on the map, so we were going north. Then we turned, let's see, left, and when you hold a map, left is farther from the Atlantic Ocean so that means we were going west . . . ."

I recapped our whole route like that, twisting left and right in the car seat to help me visualize the turns. It took enormous mental effort, but I eventually concluded, "So my best guess is that now we're heading west."

"Straight into the setting sun," muttered eleven-year-old Elizabeth from the back seat.

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