Moss, is humor writer from Tennessee. She writes a
weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny
things that happen to everyone.
She has written for the Daily News of Kingsport, Griffin Journal,
Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton
Advocate, and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News
Journal. She has been
published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks
at Guidepost Books. Her articles have appeared in
numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.
She is a
former board member and past Editor of the Columnists.com, website of the National Society of Newspaper
oldest and largest professional organization
for columnists. She is the Web Editor of
Humorists.com and a founder of the Southern Humorists writers'
organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of HumorColumnist.com.
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Online Since 1999
a man, I know how to ask for directions. Also, unlike a man,
I follow the directions even if they get me lost. I proved
it this week.
I had to go to Fall Creek Falls, a Tennessee State Park. I'd
never been there before so I wanted to be sure I knew where I was
going. I got directions off the State Park's website.
Then I went to one of those Internet mapping sites for really
What I didn't think of is that the closest way is not always the
best way. Women who are great navigators don't worry about things
I slung my suitcase into the trunk and off I went, two sets of
directions and a map right beside me. I watched the odometer
carefully. Mileage was exactly right to the tenth of a mile
at the first cutoff. I was exactly where I was supposed to
be. I congratulated myself on being so clever.
It was easy as long as I was on the Interstate.
Unfortunately, Interstates donít run through State Parks.
I left the Interstate at Exit 288, just like the instructions
said. Highway 111 was a four-lane road. How lucky
could I get? Being a navigator who follows instructions sure
pays off. What I didn't know was my luck was running out.
According to the Internet instructions, I was to turn left onto
Highway 30. There was even a sign at the cutoff, Fall Creek Falls.
But the park's instructions said to go straight. What to do
when instructions conflict? I did what any great navigator
would do. I followed the signs.
I soon had a hunch that something was wrong. The road became
narrow, winding, and steep. "Funny how there is no one on this
road except me. Where are all the other cars?" But I followed
the road and the instructions. This had to be right. It is
I wound around curves, S curves, U curves, reverse curves, hair
pin curves and curves for which no descriptive name had previously
I finally came to a curve that was so sharp I could see my own
tailpipe. "This just can't be right. But I've come too
far to turn back now. Nothing to do now but go on."
I was grateful for one thing. At least it was daylight.
I'd sure hate to do this road at night. Even great
navigators have their limits.
"I'm surprised they do any business at all with a road this
bad to travel." I was starting to feel a bit nauseous from
all the swinging and swaying around the curves. By the time
I saw the entrance sign, Fall Creek Falls North Entrance, I was so
dizzy that I really didn't much care any more.
I continued on for what seemed like miles and miles. "There
has to be a lodge in here somewhere." The signs were
rustic, but I thought I was reading them correctly. Finally,
at long last, I saw the lodge on the other side of the lake.
"How do I get over there?" Drive around it, of
course. Good thing I knew how to navigate.
I arrived at last, my nerves rattled and my car nearly twisted in
half. I didn't get lost after all. I only thought I
was lost. I found out later that what I used was the
"old road." There is now a new entrance on the
other side of the park, and a nice wide road to get there.
You don't need to go over the mountain at all - you can go around
I wonder if other great navigators have the problem of following
directions too well?
Copyright 2005 Sheila Moss
Nashville, TN 37219
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