Editor’s Note

When planning a trip, making a list is one of the most important tasks. If an item is written on a notepad, it’s hard to leave it behind. One simply drops the object in a bag, crosses it off the list and moves on to the next item. It’s a fairly easy, stress-free process and helps people – like me – who tend to forget things.

The problem with relying solely on a list to make sure nothing is left behind occurred to me last weekend when my girlfriend and I were traveling. It turns out a list is only as strong as the list maker. This time, unfortunately, I was the creator of the trip list.

As I wrote last week, we were visiting friends from college on Keuka Lake. I had driven there before, so we made it to the cabin without much difficulty. From there, we hit the road to Watkins Glen International for the NASCAR race. I have also previously driven to Watkins Glen. If you’re still with me – and thank you if you are – you might be wondering what the problem was.

Well, I had never driven from the cabin on Keuka Lake to WGI before. For most people, I’m sure, this wouldn’t have been an issue. I am, however, what you might call “directionally challenged.” Getting from a cabin in the middle of nowhere to racetrack in the middle of nowhere is a problem for me due to my poor sense of direction.

My father – bless his heart – bought me a GPS for Christmas a couple of years ago, and it’s very helpful. Of course, I forgot to put it on our list, meaning it was in a drawer in Falconer when I needed it.

We got a little lost and a little stressed out, but avoided any major disasters. As my dad and stepmom waited to meet us at the track’s gate, they got directions from a worker and passed them along to us over the phone.

The worker offered my dad a suggestion. He said, “You should buy your son a GPS for Christmas.”