The Recovering Farmer

Thursday, August 4, 2016


Much has been said about GPS (Global Positioning System) in the last few years. Where I first began noticing the use of GPS was in agriculture. Farmers talked about it. They used it. It was amazing to see the straight lines made by tillage equipment. I remember when I used to drive tractors the lines were anything but straight. Now that is different. Must be boring me thinks.

For Father’s Day my kids gave me a Garmin watch. For those that have no clue what that is it simply is a watch that I wear when golfing. It, quite frankly, is amazing technology. It provides me with yardages from wherever I might be on the course. I switch it on when I start my round, pick the course I am on, it has the coordinates for 3000 courses, and the rest is automatic. As a matter of fact I can get a yardage distance to every green at Kingswood from in my office. Like I say, incredible technology.

Earlier this year we purchased a convertible. Something that had been on our bucket list for a while. A week ago my wife and I took it on a road trip. We traveled east to Ottawa, down to Niagara Falls and then back home. Over 5000 kilometers of beautiful scenery, busy highways, and interesting destinations. Each morning my wife would punch in the address of our destination for the day on the GPS in our car. Quite interesting to have someone other than my wife telling me where to go and how to get there. As we approached Ottawa my wife decided to overrule the GPS. After all she still had a map in her hands and felt she knew where would be better routes to take. Imagine my consternation when I heeded the directions from my wife and the GPS kept telling me to make a legal Uturn. Who to listen to? Actually a no brainer. I listened to my wife.

Found out in a hurry that GPS can also lead you astray. Good thing we had a backup. After the built in GPS took us to a residential area, we were looking for our Hotel, we switched that one off and pulled out the backup one. It took us to the other side of town to another residential area. At that point I was calling the voice from the GPS very bad names. We then each took out our Iphones and used the GPS on them. Even they showed different routes to our destination. 4 GPS’s and two hours later we found the Hotel. Turns out we were a mere few blocks from it when we first pulled into town. Interesting how often we still went wrong in spite of this wonderful technology.

I mulled over that for the rest of the trip. Except, of course, as we traveled past Toronto, or did we drive through the city. Not sure. With multiple lanes going every direction it was tough to really think about anything except survival. Check the speed limit, add 20 kmh plus 10% and there is a chance you will actually keep up to traffic. With conditions like that it is not surprising we missed a few turns. Except on those roads you don’t make turns. You veer right or left depending on what the wonderful female in GPS land is yelling at you. Sorry. I digress.

It seems that my brain’s built in GPS also, at times, takes me to destinations I don’t care to visit. Why is that? Perhaps I have programed it wrong. Used the wrong coordinates. Wrong street address. The lesson is not to despair. There are various means to finding your way back to a life that makes sense. A life filled with happiness, satisfaction, and contentment. And as our trip showed us it may take a while but eventually you will get there and when you do you will realize and understand that it was worth the trip. Make it a good one.

“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again” Thomas H. Palmer