My Robert Frost GPS


My GPS may not be state of the art, but it is a literary and poetic scholar. I’ve concluded that Robert Frost is the GPS’s favorite, because it is always trying to take me down the road less traveled. With a screaming child and no bathroom in sight, it really does make all the difference. Sometimes the highway and most traveled road is just that for a very good reason.  It could be worse; a dear friend’s GPS is run by a serial killer with a sick sense of humor. Post office searches take her to strip clubs and the middle of fields next to industrial tool shops. Chainsaw massacre? You have reached your destination.

It’s no secret that a woman undergoes major physical changes during pregnancy; a lesser-known change is that saliva changes composition to become 409. Great grandmothers of more than 5 can spit into a napkin can take rust off a bumper.

The other important but under-acknowledged change is that the uterus becomes a GPS. Whenever anything is lost, someone calls a mom. Half a mother’s day is spent locating missing items or reaching in front of a searcher’s face to grab the item that must have been stolen. Just be careful not to overwhelm a mom or she’ll tell you right where to go.


Today my internal GPS has been above average. For days my parents have been searching through boxes trying to find where the valuables were packed. They were certain that every box had been opened and looked through twice…but it just couldn’t be in the back where I started looking. At 9 am I decided to brave the Texas heat in the garage and open the boxes on the bottom myself in an effort to force peace talks and just make the angst end.  

There was one bottom box whose tape mocked me after an unsuccessful opening attempt. I now returned and  I took to that thing with scissors. After moving one item of clothing, I literally located ‘pearls of great price’ (which I will someday inherit). Victory! After a quick holler my father ran out to retrieve the box, hugged me, and declared, “I love you! You are my favorite child…today!”

10 minutes later he was rummaging through the missing dresser drawer in search of the missing house keys. I walked in, took 30 seconds, and held up the two gold keys. “Kaitlin, you are on a roll today!” my darling father affirmed. I asked him, “What else is missing?” Well, only one more item; out of a box with three rings, a class ring was gone.

It’s the least valuable ring, can be traced, and has a name in it. It’s from Iowa for goodness sake! The thief must be the same renegade who stole the old remote, Hawaiian themed Christmas tie, and the tape player.

At the end of these searches, my dad declared that he felt the need to read the parable about the woman who lost her gold coin. (Hey! I blogged about that!) I was thinking a bit more of the pearl of great price. In order to find buried box, we sacrificed hours of searching in non-air-conditioned areas and some peace of mind. U2 hits are catchy anyway, but it only takes one utterance of “I still haven’t found what I’m searching for” to implant it firmly.

I wish everything could be located by GPS. It seems that some valuables are buried and take a lot of effort to find. Sometimes we bury them ourselves and it takes some effort to unearth what we know we have, but have put away somewhere. (Self confidence? Good judgment? Humility?)

When you finally find something that is missing and feel that wave of relief, how do you celebrate? My family favors happy dances that puts any NFL receiver to shame. Well, not usually my father—but rarely does he feel the need to read a parable immediately. I lost things (keys, sunglasses, wallets, phones) all the time. I know it’s at the bottom of the diaper-bag. Mothers spend about 30 % of their time locating that which is lost (to include children). Maybe it’s the practice that perfects our GPS.

If only I could hear my GPS say, “Locating: Sanity. Turn right. Go forth. You have reached your destination.” Oh well. I searched first in the area that the box was least likely to be and unearthed treasure. The greatest inventions, ideas, and treasures usually are where people haven’t looked. Pioneers may have a harder time, but they see things that others do not. Search the road less traveled; it makes all the difference. Just get gas and make a tinkle before you leave…and a good knife isn’t bad to have handy.


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