Trips with grandpa should be something that grandkids remember for a long time. I do my damnedest to meet this challenge.

For example:

On a recent trip to Hilton Head, South Carolina, I took our youngest granddaughter, Cristiana, to an animal shelter, fulfilling a promise that during our stay the two of us would go hang out with some dogs. Cristiana is 14 and has been pestering her parents to buy a dog for quite a while. So far she hasn’t been able to persuade them to say “yes.”

A couple of days before Cristiana and her parents arrived in Hilton Head I checked out the Animal Shelter run by the Humane Association and made, I thought, a mental note of where to turn off a main road to get there.

Approaching my mid-80’s, I forget things and recently started asking Irene if she would marry me. As Cristiana and I set out for the shelter, I pressed the WAZE app on my phone. The phone was on my knee when it fell between the driver’s seat and the console, in a space too tight for my chubby fingers to fit. I pulled over, got out of the car and reached under the driver’s seat, managing to touch and then nudge the phone to the floor where I could pick it up. Cristiana praised my effort by saying, “Good work.” She has inherited the McCoy passion for sarcasm.

Back on the road we went, with Cristiana in the back seat holding my phone now and relaying the directions provided by the GPS screen of WAZE. But wait. I started seeing familiar territory from a visit earlier in the week to the remains of Fort Howell, built by African-Americans in the Civil War to protect a nearby community of recently freed ex-slaves. As we passed the gate of Fort Howell, a voice on WAZE announced, “You have reached your destination.” Like hell we had.

We reset WAZE and motored on. My guess is that in retrieving the phone I hit the WAZE icon and it reverted back to the directions for Fort Howell. Eventually, I spotted the corner where I knew to turn for the animal shelter only 100 yards away. Just before we turned, Cristiana said, “Being a GPS is not easy.”

The animal shelter folks were wonderful. Cristiana got to play for 20 minutes or so with the dog of the day in a metal enclosure and later took the dog for a walk in a yard. She loved it.

Surprisingly, I did not get lost on the drive back to the condo where we were staying nor did my phone disappear again in some hard to reach place in the rented car, and that was good because it was time for lunch and then my nap.

(Posted April 28, 2022)



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Larry McCoy

Retired newsman, author of “Grandma Told Me to Never Believe Anything Grandpa Says” published by Covenant Books. It’s his third book. He’s yet to be sued.