The Sage Connection

Having no sense of direction has brought me great joy here


I have no sense of direction. None. Zippo. I consider this lack a birth defect and have come to terms with it over the years.

When I lived in the Dallas, Texas area, I nearly lost my mind a number of times when I was directed to go North on Highway 35 East. I consider it a point of honor to this day that I never physically attacked anyone who attempted to send me off the edge of the earth.

Having spent most of my life in California, where the powers that be were sensible enough to name and number their streets with one direction (meaning no combinations like SE or WS) It came as a bit of a shock when I moved to Washington. The first time I saw my own address had NE attached to it I had only one thought – I’m doomed.

Yes, I have a GPS, but I have long suspected that it was hacked by one or more of the major gas companies as a way to increase their sales. I never seem to be sent the same way coming and going – so of course I never can remember how I got anywhere until I have traveled the routes numerous times. And I do mean numerous times.

After two years of wandering around, unable to find my desired destination, I have found an upside to this adventure. I have discovered some beautiful and interesting places.

Now I know you long-time Thurston County folks know all about these wonderous places but I suspect that there are several retirees and newcomers who may not, so I am going to share with you some beauty my ‘new’ eyes have enjoyed.

Number one on my list is Priest Point Park. Every time I visit here it takes my breath away. The majestic trees and lush greenery bring me a such a sense of peace I don’t even care if this was where I am supposed to be.

Another small but wonderful spot is the Swan Town Sensory Park. This little bright spot was designed for visitors with vision deficiencies. Aromas are the story here – herbs and plants to sooth the soul.

The Legislative Building (the Capitol) is not offering tours at the moment but when they start up again go visit. The interior is amazing.

Hands On Children’s’ Museum is a must for grandparents to take their little ones for an outing. Everything is as advertised -- hands on -- and fun for all ages. It’s very close to the South Sound Senior Center which is how I found it while looking for something else.

I love the old shops and architecture in downtown Olympia and the newer and more familiar stores in Lacey. Tumwater is waiting to be explored and I am looking forward to the end of COVID-19 to start that adventure.

I loved the fact that Ralph’s Thriftway used their billboard to wish a happy birthday to one of their original customers on his 80th. And the Olympia Farmers Market is to die for.

 I have even found that the one-way streets are easy to navigate but still have visions of spending the entire day driving in circles on our roundabouts, trying to figure out where to get off.

The long and the short of it is I love everything about this area. The people are warm and welcoming, the scenery is awesome, the weather is always interesting and so what if I am always lost?  It’s a birth defect I can live with.


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  • susankibbey

    Thank you for this hysterical article. I have the same birth defect which I too have learned to live with. My daughters, from the time that they were little, developed an acute sense of direction so that they could always re-direct me. They are both adopted so that I did not pass on the defect to them, thank God!

    Wednesday, January 6, 2021 Report this

  • mbharrington

    A year ago on February 14 we moved her from Dallas, Texas and have loved it here even with all the rain! Good to know we are amongst former Texans. By the way, my husband has the same birth defect! We love telling the story of how he always ended up in Fort Worth when driving back to Dallas from DFW Airport despite the large signs that said DALLAS! Luckily he has learned the difference between Seattle and Portland!

    Thursday, January 7, 2021 Report this