Thursday, April 17, 2008

I'm Crazy!

My preference for backroads is renowned. My Iowa welcome pix reminds me of the bucolic Midwest, a place I will hopefully be in a few weeks.

If anyone ever needed proof that I was crazy, here ya go....

I just finished a 3-day stint in Boston where I had the joy of introducing our 2008 version of My Own Four Walls.

Thanks to the generosity of a high school classmate/friend of mine I had a great place to park "Tillie" while I worked the young homeless children convention. Jan and her husband, Paul, rented me a car so I could avoid driving Tillie into Beantown. That was a massive help, for obvious reasons.

Of all the major cities I've driven in (I do try to avoid the urban plunge but I've done Portland, Atlanta, Chicago, Little Rock, Las Vegas, and Dallas) Boston is by far the worst! Now for the reason I'm crazy....

Two years ago I was invited to meet with the editorial board of the Christian Science Monitor. Their headquarters sit smack dab in downtown Boston. I camped at a state park south of Boston and made arrangements with my CSM contact for a parking spot.

I left extremely early (that's where my good sense ends) for my 1:00 appointment. Armed with maps and chutzpah, I headed into the fray. Sometimes trauma blurs memories of reality for good reason. I do remember driving up and down streets that looked like I imagine Iraqi streets--totally destroyed. One-way streets intensified the challenge augmented by a profusion of overly-bold walking and bike-riding bodies.

All that was bad enough but when push came to shove after about 1 1/2 hours, I couldn't find the building. Now, to my credit I did cut my losses and retreat to a shopping center parking lot and parked Tillie, hopping on a bus. Yeah, why didn't I think of that before taking the plunge? I admit to being a tad frazzled at the onset of the meeting, but the warmth and the group's genuine interest in homelessness put me at ease (no easy task!!).

For the record, the next time I have to go into Boston, I'm renting a helicopter! I've never seen roads that bad--torn up, in need of being torn up, unmarked, pot-holed, teeming with double-parked cars and trucks. I could go on and on. I think Boston is an awesome city if you don't have to drive. (For the record, I tried taking the train from an outlying community but the parking lot was filled and no alternatives were apparent.)

My longing for rural roads of any persuasion is so strong that only nighttime is keeping me from climbing behind the wheel tonight.

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