Friday, January 12, 2007

Surviving The Good Life State

The other day, my hunny swung by home before heading out the door again to do an estimate.

"It's on 48th and Adams so I shouldn't be too long," were his words as he headed out the door.

I contemplated 48th and Adams. The particular roof he was estimating could be on any one of the four corners of that intersection. Even more confusing was the fact that the roof he'd be on, could be anywhere in the vicinity of 48th and Adams.

That's one thing I learned after I moved to Nebraska. Every building you go to is on an intersection. Every address is like a 48th and Adams: everybody lives on a corner.

Or so you'd think by the directions they give.

I used to imagine whole sections of a city blocks, vacant and bare of buildings. But the corners would pile high with Walmarts, Targets, Gas Stations and Starbucks.

For instance, Target is on 48th and O street and so is TJ Maxx even though they're both about a block away from each other and TJ Maxx is a good 2-3 blocks away from O street.

When people ask us where we live, we tell them, "On 19th and Superior."

The truth is, we live on 20th street and not at all on a corner. But, if you said 20th street, they wouldn't know where you lived. So, you have to lie in order to truthfully tell them where you honestly live.

If you asked anybody around here how to get to their house, they'd tell you a crossroads or intersection. But, when you'd get to their house you'd find that you probably never even saw the crossroads or intersection let alone had to drive through it to find their home. And they usually never live right at the intersection.

Another thing I learned and I hope to put into the "Moving To Nebraska Survival Guide For Dummies" is the absolute need to install a compass in your car. They really should make that as necessary as license plates.

The risk of becoming lost and stranded and possibly causing your very own death which in turn would cause grief and sadness for your loved ones because of your death but grief would also be caused by your funeral because of the hacked up funeral bills that your family would have to pay all because your vehicle was not equipped with a life saving compass, you should get a ticket for not having a compass.

I would go as far to suggest that maybe you should even wear one on your wrist like you would a watch. Believe me, it would be more worth it for you to actually sell your watch and use the money to invest into a wrist size compass because you would use the compass way more than you would ever use a watch.

Plus, many banks and other business will keep you well informed of the time and temperature as you drive around. But, no one will inform you of the direction you're going. Unless you happen to spot a weather vein on the top of a barn.

While using your compass, learn your directions. Everything is North, South, East and West. Left and right are good to know if you visit the other 47 continental states but they will do you no good around here. People don't know how to use left and right. It's like the city of Ninevah in Jonah's time -- folks can't tell their left hand from their right. It's really sad.

If you get directions to go anywhere, you would be told whether their house or building is on the North, South, West or East side of the street. NEVER left of right.

If they mentioned the garbage cans on the side of their driveway as landmark for you to use, they wouldn't merely say, "side of driveway." Instead, they would give you the exact direction from the driveway that the garbage cans stood. So, make sure your compass is working.

A few days after Toby did the estimate on 48th and Adams, we happened to drive past that location. He pointed the roof out to me and sure enough, the house was several doors down from the exact intersection of 48th and Adams.

It makes me wonder how he found the exact house due to the fact that many homes in that area needed roofs and it wasn't like there was a sign out front that read, "roof repair needed here at 48th and Adams."

My final conclusion is that the home owner probably said he was so many houses North, South, East or West of 48th and Adams. And being a loyal Nebraskan, Toby knew the exact location.


Bethany said...

LOL!!!! That is so true! I don't think I'm a very good 'true Nebraskan' though -- as I use 'left and right.' (I'm still trying to figure out the west, south, east, north thing!)

Anne said...

That was so funny:o) And I thought Pennsylvania was different;) Now I know...:D

Valerie said...

That's funny, Courtney. Know what? In all my travels I don't think I've ever found a city as well laid out as Lincoln. How can you go wrong with numbered streets going one way and lettered streets going the other? So simple!

I guess my opinion just shows that I'm a true Nebraskan at heart- it is the rest of the world that seems messed up to me! :)

Valerie ;)

Coeur d'Court said...

That's a good point Valerie! I would say that I have to agree that it sure makes learning the city a lot easier.

But, I'm still getting used to driving clear out in the country on a road that actually turns into a city street, several miles down. That just seems weird to me. Where I come from, streets, roads, etc., usually have a name change somewhere. If anything, at the county line. Thanks for your comment, Val. :)

I think every state has it's little quirks and strange traits, Anne. :) It's amazing how one country can have such variety and diversity simply by crossing a state line.

Bethany... I wondered if you had noticed these things or not. Considering you were born and raised here but have spent a lot of time away from home, I assumed you would've noticed some of these things too. And N, S, E and W are still things I'm learning in Lincoln. I honestly use my compass like most people use their clocks.

Pauline said...

Saw you visited my Xanga site! Decided to leave a comment for you and let you know I visited your site! :) Stop by mine anytime.

P.S 2 of my sisters are due in June-right around the 17th and the 29th-.I'm SO excited!

sve said...

That was SOOO true. I still can't figure out the north south thing here. I get it al wrong most of the time. Matt is still working on me.
I didn't know you had a blog. I will have to keep checking it to see how youare doing since we are " long lost friends".

Joy Andreasen said...

Make that the "other 46 continental states" ! Arizona is very much like that too, and was hard for me to get used to, but its better now that I've lived here for 13 years. Phoenix is laid out very much like that too...numbered streets going one way...and on one side of Central it is streets and the other side it is avenues. And the other direction it is names. I have gotten to where I think other cities are very disorganized!
Oh, and thanks for your comment on my blog! Yeah, the finished roof is such a relief! As for yours, I guess it holds true that it's the cobbler's family that goes without shoes! They don't have time, or don't feel like coming home and doing the same thing they were doing all day!
And I do miss my sis very much...but I'm also glad it's going well for her. TTYL....

Anonymous said...

Actually, I think that using N, S, E, and W is a male thing, regardless of state. Somehow they seem to have an inner compass, instinct, or something!

~Kayla~ said...

Oh wow, it has been awhile since I lived in NE. I laughed through your entire post, it brought back some memories.