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Saturday, December 02, 2006

I'm Lucky to Be Alive

I am looking forward to Monday's Carnival of Genealogy, to be hosted by Lee Anders at A Matter of Life or Death. The topic is genealogical blunders—something I really have no experience with. The closest I can come is this:

A few years ago, I was out scouting for cemeteries in Oxford County, Maine—a part of the state known for its lovely scenery and poor road maintenance. I had located several promising graveyards beforehand, and plotted my course in the Maine atlas I keep duct-taped to my steering wheel. The yards lay in two adjoining towns with no tarred road between, but the map showed an unpaved shortcut that would save me fifteen miles.

I set out in my 1991 Geo Prizm to follow the shortcut, but soon discovered that the road was not so much a road as a series of ruts, moose wallows, and very pointy rocks. After driving half a mile, I determined that the 1991 Geo Prizm is a vehicle ill suited to off-road travel. After another half mile, I decided that I would never see civilization again. I steered with one hand and with the other scribbled my last will and testament in the dashboard dust.

The road offered no opportunities to turn around, but I had no intention of turning around. To turn around would be to admit defeat, and a real man will never admit defeat while there is still a chance of failing even more spectacularly.

After miles of slow, jaw-crunchingly bumpy driving, I saw signs of hope. First a hunter's cabin, then a summer camp, and finally a year-round home. I wept and kissed my atlas as the road turned from dirt to tar. I saw a sign to my left. Looking over my shoulder as I drove past, I read: "Road Closed."

[Photo source: The road to the cache by Steve Burke]

Lee Anders

Thank you for the plug, Chris! The story ain't none too bad either. Actually, as usual, it made me roll with laughter, and I appreciate that part of it too.

~ Lee

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