|Sometimes, I turn old maps into envelopes, like these in the 365 Letters Etsy shop.|
It was an evening seminar, starting at 6 p.m. The same team had presented a similar seminar at another small town about 30 miles down the road earlier in the day.
When I arrived for the seminar, I saw two women getting out of a car in the parking lot. As I mentioned, these are small Texas towns, so it's fairly easy to spot the out-of-towners, especially those from the "big city." When I got into the meeting room, I saw that I was correct in guessing that the two women in the parking lot were the presenters. I was curious why they were just getting there. Typically, the presenters would arrive early and be all set-up before any of the guests arrived.
Immediately, the two women started explaining to everyone around them that they had been driving for four hours, trying to find the town. It had taken them four hours to drive 30 miles from one town to the other, a route that has only one turn on it.
It seems they were relying on their GPS device to tell them how to get there, and, in their words, "it kept sending them down non-existent roads."
I suspended logic and refrained from asking them how they got lost on "non-existent roads." And, they were running so far behind, there really wasn't time for them to explain how they took four hours to drive 30 miles. But, the entire incident reinforced the benefits of the seemingly obsessive habit I have of checking and re-checking maps — online and printed versions — before I take a trip. I have an old-fashioned road map in my car, and before I embark on a venture, I usually spend quite a bit of time on online map sites, checking out the various routes and then printing out my final plan. The great thing about the online maps is that I can zoom in to street-level and make sure I know every single detail about my trip.
The situation reminded me of 21st century personal communication. Sometimes, digital (email, texting, social media) is fine. Other times, a handwritten letter on paper is better. And, sometimes, a combination of the two...a computer written letter printed out on paper and sent through the mail system...works best. Choose the method that is most appropriate for each situation!
Happy letter writing!