Tag Archives: Lost

OMG, It’s Monday! Prayer: Corn Maze Camaraderie

O Lord, getting lost in a 10-acre corn maze, looking for Bigfoot, could be pretty scary — except, OMG, thank You for such excellent company! 

Less-than-Perfect Pilgrimage

Years ago, I attended a Christian writer’s conference at a California camp located in redwood country. Before Palm Sunday services, worshipers made an early morning pilgrimage to a cross atop a mountain.

I skipped it. The drippy morning didn’t inspire my jet-lagged body to rise.

Later, though, I set aside the hour I’d been told would suffice for pilgrimage. I spiraled up the mountain road, marveling at enormous redwoods and giant ferns. Homes perched on mountainsides. No sleepwalker, this Hoosier observed, should attempt slumber here without wearing a parachute.

Image by Simi Luft from Pixabay.

Higher elevations made my head throb, but I inhaled evergreen fragrances and a spring tang that still eluded Indiana’s leafless forests.

As GPSes were not yet common, I carried a map. When the road reversed, then reversed again, I searched the map in vain. What to do? I walked and walked, huffing and puffing like my asthmatic coffee maker back home. Finally, I admitted I was lost. The only directions I felt sure of? Up and down.

Perhaps I’d trusted a pantheistic mapmaker who believed all roads led to the same destination.

Image by Jörg Möller from Pixabay.
Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay.

Supper aromas emanated from houses I passed. My stomach, unstuffed for the first time in days (“starving writer” doesn’t apply to writers’ conferences) demanded I return the way I came. But I’d climbed an hour and a half to view the cross.

No turning back.

I spotted a fellow writer jogging, hoping he descended from my destination. Smiling, he ran toward me.

I considered tripping him. But my mission drove me to civility.

“Did you find the cross?” I gasped.

“That way.” He pointed, still jogging. And smiling.

Eventually, I spotted the cross.

It seemed to dwarf the cerulean sky. Its thick, wooden beams looked like they could hold a Man in their deadly grasp. Jesus carried something like that through streets of jeering people and up a hill called the Place of the Skull to atone for the sins of humankind.

I carried a water bottle.

I rested on a bench, thanking Him for His sacrifice. For my salvation. I savored alternating lush and dry vistas in Scotts Valley and beyond to Mount Umunhum and Loma Prieta. Then, unlike Jesus, I left the cross.

But because of Him, I, despite energy drain and grouchy stomach, went back full.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: Have you attempted a pilgrimage? How did that go?

The Amazing Corn Maze Adventure

In autumn, we Midwestern grandparents like to complicate our lives by taking our families to corn mazes.

On our first outing, my husband eyed me. “Some people need 12 hours to find their way out.”

“Ha!” I say.

But that’s all I can say. Maybe, I’ll exit before Thanksgiving. Or Christmas?

Like my mother before me, I possess zero sense of direction. Unfortunately, our daughter inherited something of our deficiency.

Her husband and mine took over. “No way are these kids getting lost with you.”

One grandson wailed, “I don’t wanna get lost with Mommy!”

His brother backed away. “Grandma’s trying get rid of us!”

The men hurried the kids into the maze. Onlookers, fingers poised to dial 911, glared at my daughter and me.

The maze looked friendlier. I have always liked rustling cornfields, with thousands of leafy stalks whispering autumn secrets. Once we entered, though, other participants vanished. Where, exactly, were we?

My daughter said, “Let’s retrace our steps. We went this way, didn’t we?”

At the next intersection, I boldly pointed the way. “We came from this direction.”

“You think so?”

“Uh …”

Cornstalks moaned with the wind. My skin prickled, but I summoned the confident tone that faked me through years of parenting. “As long as we see the barn, we’re fine.”

The only problem: the barn kept moving. Farther and farther away.

Suddenly, from the opposite direction, it pounced on us like a daytime goblin.

My daughter, who once hitchhiked a Mexican highway without fear, halted, eyes wide.

I checked my phone’s GPS.

“Recalculating …” The GPS Lady snickered. “Recalcu — bwahahaha!”

My daughter’s GPS Lady joined in. They loved the corn maze.

Us? Not so much.

We switched off those annoying voices. But those of our family? No. This corn maze tale would be repeated at holidays forever.

Even if we never returned to eat pumpkin pie. (Sniff.)

Finally, my daughter straightened her shoulders. “We’re going about this all wrong.”

“We are?”

“Sure. Let’s walk away from the barn. At the next fork, close your eyes. Pick a path, any path. At the next one, I’ll do the same.”

“Right! That always works with interstate ramps.”

We found an exit. Before relief gave way to gloating, the guys emerged from another.

“Grandpa and I figured the way out from the sun’s angles!” one grandson crowed. “Did you do that, Grandma?”

“You used a GPS.” My husband sounded as if we were running a Ponzi scheme.

No, we had used our own special system, based on navigational instincts those guys couldn’t begin to understand.

My mother would have been proud.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: Have you ever experienced a corn maze adventure?