Today, I went out to a little pumpkin patch in Taylors with my friend Sarah and her family. We had altogether a lovely time in the bright sun. Audra was feeling a little insecure and is in the process of trying to get rid of the morning nap that she refuses to believe she really does need in order to not be a fire-breathing dragon all day, so she was basically glued to my arms the whole time.
Except, of course, for the short time that she was glued to the arms of Sarah's husband.
Then back into mine.
Audra was essentially apathetic-verging-on-miffed about the whole process. There were roosters that made noise and at one point one of them crowed and when she turned around, I had moved less than three feet away and that meant I wasn't right next to her and that was not okay. Then, her evil mean mother had the utter gall to insist on being within six feet of a pair of llamas that she was pretty sure were planning to murder her.
Although she did enjoy pretending to vacuum the little playhouse, which is sort of hilarious since I'll tell all of you, that child has never seen me vacuum.
That's her father's job. Mommies don't vacuum - we leave the house when the vacuum is on or hide in another room because vacuum noises were invented by the Devil.
She did cheer up for the hayride, where we went in a circle learning all about the farm animals. Our guide at one point had to defend the idea of pigs eventually becoming sausage to a little girl who was profoundly disturbed by the idea. It didn't help that this farm's pigs were exceptionally cute. I think I may have seen a vegan in the making in that little girl's face when the hayride ended.
In order to get to the pumpkin patch, I had gone to Sarah's house and then followed them out there. When we decided we were done, we went our separate ways.
"Are you okay to find your way home?" Sarah asked.
"Oh, sure," I replied. "I have GPS."
I put my trust in Google Maps, pulled up my home address, and followed the directions it gave.
I should not have trusted Google Maps.
Instead of heading straight back to my house, or at least as straight-back-to-my-house as the windy hilly roads-in-the-foothills would allow, Google Maps decided that what I really needed was a scenic countryside drive in a direction that, if I went long enough, would eventually end up putting me on a road I recognized as being connected to a road that's connected to a road that leads to another road that would lead me home.
I don't know the other side of town all that well. I could see Paris Mountain, so I knew that as long as Google Maps had me headed in that general direction, I'd be going the right way.
Google Maps proceeded to take me around the other side of the whole damn mountain.
Luckily, Audra fell asleep right away. I drove in silence (except for a quiz show on NPR) through the hills and down into little valleys and then back up again, around sharp curves, taking rights and lefts as my phone told me what to do.
Every once in a while, I'd catch a brief glimpse of Paris Mountain, not at all where I expected it to be.
I'm sure it'll take me in the actual direction of home eventually, I thought to myself.
Then, when I came up to a four-way stop with no one coming or going, I idled for a moment and looked at the map.
Oh, sure, it was going to take me home. By taking me north and north and north, depositing me on the other side of where my house was, then turning around.
So I turned Google Maps off, stared long and hard at Paris Mountain, took a deep breath, and decided my poor sense of direction and I could only get so lost before I ran out of gas and had to ask for help anyway.
I somehow ended up coming out in the middle of Travelers Rest, which is fine since that's at least roads I know and it's only about five minutes from my house. Audra woke up just long enough to drink a couple ounces of milk and then went back to finish up the long nap she so sorely needed.
And... to be honest, I think I kind of did need that countryside drive.
The leaves are starting to turn, finally. I couldn't go too fast and had to take my time and enjoy the view.
Plus, Audra now has her very own tiny little adorable pumpkin.