Monday, March 23, 2009

Looking in the Dark

Despite my reservations last week, I managed to pack for my trip reasonably well. However one thing that I forgot to pack was directions to get from Boston to my sister's house. Luckily I remember at the airport and was able to get online and hastily scribble some rough directions on the back of my boarding pass.

I had a general idea where I was going, so the vague directions were working just fine all the way from Boston to Hanover. By that time it was after 10pm and I realized that I didn't actually know the actual house number where my sister lives. I've been there once before, but it was several years ago and my recollection seemed pretty good so I soldiered on.

10 miles outside of town it became clear that it was a lot harder to tell houses apart out in the country, set back from the road behind stands of trees apart in the dark then it was during the day. So I drove all the way down the road into Lyme (about a 30 mile trip). I did slow passes past a few houses, and one in particular but eventually chickened out and passed by. Upon reaching Lyme I decided to try coming from the other direction to see if anything looked familiar.

Again I saw a house that looked very similar but just wasn't positive and passed by. Now the thing to remember here is that there is not really any cell service, and even if there had been my battery was dead due to roaming in and out the whole way from Boston. So in the end I decided to continue on back to town and use the wireless town internet to try to look up the address.

After some e-mail searching I found the old 'hey we bought a house e-mail' and got an address. So I headed back down the road looking for numbers, only to realize that at this point in the winter almost all of the houses have had their mailboxes savaged by the plow, and most only had partial digits displayed. Eventually I found a house with the right number, except it was on the wrong side of the street.

At least as far as I could recall. So I circled once or twice thinking about it, but it just didn't feel right and so I eventually continued on down the road. Much further down I found another house with the right number and it was one I had stopped at twice prior, so I felt much better about pulling in.

In the end I found the house, though the extra driving around added about an hour to my total trip time. I did learn an important lesson about bringing the house number with, rather then just bringing a list of all the roads leading up to a 30-mile stretch of country road where there are two sets of houses with the same numbers. Especially if you are going to try to find the house in the middle of the night with no street lights. Plus the experience provide endless entertainment for Linzy, Sarah and John as they relived the image of me driving slowly up and down the road trying to find the right house in the middle of the night.

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