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Hagerty Employee

Smithology: Homebound from the lost and found

I have two children. Little girls, ages five and seven. My sister, a charming, 35-year-old psychopath named Sarah, likes to come to my house and throw cards at them.


The first time this happened, I charted the pattern: The kids walked into the room. Sarah, playing solitaire on the coffee table, arched her eyebrows. She waved the kids over. They took the bait, because they are five and seven. You take a lot of bait at five and seven ...


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Hagerty Employee
Hagerty Employee

We should all leave our phones at home once in a while, shouldn't we?


Or even abandon the damned things altogether. I'll bet that VERY few could do that. 

We have willingly enslaved ourselves to our devices. 

Someone wrote "Wouldn't it be ironic if the downfall of civilization were brought about by our opposable thumbs?" 

Intermediate Driver

One of my favorite things to do to this day is jump on my 1982 Honda cycle and meandering through the country side taking a myriad of side roads attempting to get lost. Sometimes I succeed, sometimes I don't. But I always discover new places.


Welcome to the “Bermuda Triangle” where NC, TN, and Georgia intersect. Here you can get lost for hours if not days, on some of the best roads in the USA.


When I was a teenager mu group of friends and kin owned LBCs (little British cars). After church and and Sunday dinner we would get together and head for the Blue Ridge Parkway. There would usually be an Austin-Healey 3000, an MG Midget, a TR3, an MGA ,and my '65 MGB. We would be driving along the Parkway and whomever was leading the way would spot a gravel road and whip down it to just see how lost we could get. On those gravel roads we might even get a chance to 'drift' around some of those unexpected curves. What a carefree life. Just last year I bought another early MGB, same Primrose Yellow except 50 years later. Sometimes it seems I'm trying to relive my childhood. It's not quite the same but it sure is fun!

Intermediate Driver

When my 2 kids were young, a long time ago (before cell phones), we used to play a driving game.   After we had gone somewhere (anywhere), I would tell the kids that it was their job to get us home and that they had to tell me where to go, when to turn, etc.  At ages of under ten, they gladly played along, telling Dad when to turn, etc and I dutifully followed their directions, much to my wife's consternation.  It made for great fun, perhaps more for me than anyone else, but we inevitably got to see some neighborhoods and countryside that we wouldn't have ventured into otherwise.  BTW, we never made it home under their direction, and after a couple of hours of wandering (and my wife's pleading to "let's just go home now"), I would end the game and head to the house.  I don't think people would do that now, mostly because devoting a couple of hours to nonsense just isn't acting responsible anymore.  It's a shame!

I'm glad to see that Sam is still a free spirit.  Maybe next time he could take the kids with him and share the adventure.


The wife and I used to drive all over Michigan and Indiana looking for antique shops, museums or anything else we might find interesting. We would get lost again, have some fun and find our way home usually before dark.  


"Are we lost?"  "I think so.  I was lost once before, and it looked just like this."

Sometimes you have to get lost to find yourself.


I always enjoy your stories, and reviews, Sam Smith. Funny that you ended up where I grew up, and I've migrated to New England. I know what you mean about this need to wander out of the comfort zone. This plague has me wanting someone to throw a deck of cards in the air. You probably just did that for me. Thanks!

New Driver

Thank you once again for entertaining and bringing perspective.


Well, Mister Sam, you're tuned to the zeitgeist as always.  My zeitgeist anyway.  As a known introvert, the first months of "shelter in place" were fairly easy for me, but lately I'm feeling more and more like a prisoner.  I've gone to using words like "malaise" when I'm having conversations with myself.  What you've just written here, as you tried to find yourself by losing yourself, or at least tried to open pathways to such a reunion, resonates strongly.  It's not the happy music this time, but it has the value of creating a bond with your readers at a time when bonds with others are effing hard to come by.  


So I'm about to head out and enjoy shifting gears and accelerating into the apices.  See you on the road, my friend.  It may not keep me clean and free, but I hope at least that I don't wind up in Ohio.  Watch out for the federales; they are not always kind.


I take my dog walking in a local woodland. We first entered that place last summer. We went in me not knowing the territory at all--about 4 1/2 miles of trails, and each time I'd go a bit farther, or take a new trail. For five months there was always mystery of not knowing quite where I was, and once I even had to let the dog lead me back to where I knew where I was. Now I know the place as well as I know my neighborhood. I often like to remember the mystery I felt at certain points on the trails, but I miss the mystery.