Sunday, May 22, 2011

The (Happy) Mapquest Misdirection

Last Friday night I drove about ninety minutes to attend a dinner gathering for pastor’s wives. I had dutifully printed out Mapquest directions and then, as I am wont to do, added a couple hours to the trip time so that I could engage in some miscellaneous meandering. (Because there are few things worse than going on a solo jaunt and not factoring in that all-important miscellaneous meandering time.)

As it turns out, I was glad I had done so because when I arrived at my destination town, I happened across a most fabulous consignment store. Since bargains are my hobby, I have been to hundreds of consignment/thrift stores; however, I don’t think I’ve ever seen another consignment store as unique or as beautiful as this one.

When I got back in the car, clutching my little bargain, I looked over my directions once more to confirm that I was only 5-10 minutes away from my dinner location. Since I still had another hour free, I drove away from the store intending to do some small town exploring. I had only been meandering miscellaneously for mere moments when I struck gold. I struck gold of the sort that caused me to shout, “Eureka!” It caused me to do the happiest of happy dances. It even caused me to holler hallelujah.

What was the reason for my joy? What was the source of my unmitigated ecstasy?

Simply this. I had stumbled across a fabulous photographic opportunity. An elegant old church. Gorgeous grounds. Intriguing cemetery.

I passed the next hour in something close to bliss. The weather was perfect and the early evening air was clean and cool and still. There were birds making merry and squirrels making tracks along the limbs of towering trees. The real world receded and I was happily alone with my camera and creation—both God’s creation and man’s creations.







IMG_4190 IMG_4195 IMG_4297

IMG_4184 IMG_4231 IMG_4338 IMG_4374 IMG_4388


When it finally came time to head down the brick path back into the real world, I felt a smallish regretful twinge; the time I had spent in that lovely place was positively Edenic. (Which seems appropriate since the town is called Edenton.)


As I left, I said good-bye to a new squirrel friend . . .


. . . and then I got in the car and began to ponder my printed directions. And then I pondered them some more because directions—and their following thereof—is not my gift. After I had sat for awhile trying to unravel the miscellaneous rambling I had done, I finally put in a call for help to the pastor’s wife who had organized the dinner. When I told her where I was she replied, “Edenton? You’re in Edenton? Hmmmm.” (Hmmmm-ing is not usually a good sign.)

As it turns out, for some inexplicable reason, my directions were instructing me to drive through Edenton and keep on going to some mysterious location on the other side of the town; however, my intended location actually turned out to be ten miles before Edenton and I was never supposed to have gone into the town at all.

But you know what?

As I got my car pointed in the proper direction and drove off to dinner, I was grateful for those (happy) Mapquest misdirections. I was thankful for a lovely, memorable hour so full of serenity and quietude. I was grateful for time alone to amble through beauty and to remember that despite all the ugliness in this world, there still exist places of peace for our hearts.

18 Had Something To Say (Just click here!):

Anonymous said...

Becky: You owe Mapquest bigtime for their lousy (mis)directions! That location looked like my idea of perfection with a camera and time to wander! I LOVE settings like that!
PS...Mapquest has messed me up SEVERAL times in the past (without the excellent results you received!) Jojy

Danette Baker said...

Isn't God good to take those human mistakes, in this case a computer not yours, and turn them into a wonderful bliss filled gift. Those pictures were lovely and I found my heart gasping when I saw what you had found. I'm so thankful you shared them with us. I am curious to know if this church is still an active church or just a historical setting now? Love your squirrel picture!

brooke r. said...

LOVE! old cemeteries! and i've been doing genealogy recently and have discovered how much my mother's side of the family is all over currituck, princess anne, coinjock, etc.. you may have seen a headstone of one of my ancestors.. maybe.. it was the northeasterners (RI) that were episcopalian, so if you were in an old episcopal cemetery in RI i'd say you definitely saw headstones of some of my relatives.


Anonymous said...

I thought all the pictures were lovely, but my favorite was the last one w/ the bird in flight near a cross.

You have such a gift for photography. A lady from our church takes her photos, makes note cards out of them and sells them. I'd buy a packet (or 10) of yours!

Glad Mapquest misdirected you !

love deb

Chris P. said...

Becky, you have a wonderful "eye" for beauty. Thanks for sharing your photos!

Anonymous said...

Those are beautiful photos. They warm my heart.

Anonymous said...

Edenton is a wonderful, absolutely gorgeous little town. Hope you get a chance to go back and explore some more. Thank you for the lovely photos - they made my day.


Anonymous said...

Are you sure you were not in Mitford?

Anonymous said...

I read a wonderful auto-biography by a female Episcopal priest of a very old church. I don't know if it was St. Paul's. When I saw your photos, I remembered the book, BUT not the name. And I'm not sure that the church was in NC either. I'm going to put my thinking cap on, and see if I can jar my memory.

mapquest does sometimes give wrong info. I have learned that it is also wise to print out reverse directions for getting home. A couple of weeks ago I was singing downtown in a nursing home in not the greatest neighborhood, and got mixed up on the streets coming home, and went several miles in the wrong direction, which was a little unnerving. Finally saw a name of a park that I knew was in the south, and I needed to be north. I am definitely not a fan of getting lost at night!!

mrs pam

Anonymous said...

googled and found that the church was in Georgia.

book: Leaving Church by Barbara Brown Taylor

Anonymous said...

You need to check out! It is a graves registration site, and it could definetly use your contributions! It is easy and FREE to use!

Kyna Petersen said...

Those photos are amazing, but the
12th and 15th down are two you should definitely enter in a photo contest. They are so amazing. You have a special talent. So glad you found this wonderful church!

Anonymous said...

Since I went to college in Elizabeth City (Mid-Atlantic Christian University) better known as Roanoke Bible College, and grew up in Pamlico County, I have been through Edenton HUNDREDS of times...only usually just took the by-pass! Your pics were beautiful and made me homesick for the Old North State!
Will be heading home the end of June. Can't wait!
(Carmel, IN)

Anonymous said...

I use to use Mapquest, but I got lost more times than I can count. Streets that had been renamed were not listed. Now I use either Rand McNally or Yahoo. Glad you finally found your destination though.

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