Geographically challenged (and ugly as ever 🐽)

I wanted to say (but forgot) yesterday that one of the things I enjoyed about reading “American Dirt” (on my phone with GooMaps a swipe or two away) had nothing to do with the story or subject or controversy or whatever. It was that it turns out I have only a vague map of Mexico in my head and I cannot tell you how many times I looked on GooMaps to figure out where this or that city was. Acapulco? Guadalajara? MEXICO CITY? See what I mean by vague?

This particular lack of geographical knowledge became hilariously apparent (and almost bit us in the you-know-what) back in October 2018 when we made a rocket trip to Florida, bumpity-clunking our way into Bradenton with our back wheel bearings on their last legs. Something like that. We were standing in our brother Mr. Ed’s house and he said, “I don’t know if you guys have been watching the weather but there’s something going on in the Yucatan.” Yucatan? Say what? Where the heck is the Yucatan and what does it have to do with us?

Well, I am here to tell you that I quickly figgered out that the Yucatan Peninsula is right across the Gulf of Mexico, pretty much south of good old crazy old Fla and the “something” he was talking about was none other than Hurricane Michael. We had planned to spend the better part of a week down there taking care of bizness. Instead it was a wild scramble getting the Frog Hopper fixed, everybody packed, and various forms of oxygen obtained and set up. We did get outta dodge before Michael made landfall. Although Bradenton was not directly in its path, we were concerned about bad weather in Georgia. I was very relieved to post a pic of blue skies as we crossed the Tennessee River. Made it!

When I was a little kid, I was pretty good at geography, although my knowledge was limited to the United Snakes. This was thanks to a colorful wooden puzzle of the states that I had as a kid and put together about a gazillion times. Below each state’s shape was the state capital so I learned those too. That puzzle now resides somewhere in the Landfill Dungeon and I think it is actually intact except for maybe Connecticut or Rhode Island.

My other memory of learning geography was fifth grade when uber-teacher Mrs. Ward led us through a long prodject of making our own maps of each state (by region with New England first). We drew in major cities/towns, rivers, and maybe some roads and did a little write-up detailing natural resources, industries, and other points of interest. I loved that prodject and sure wish I had it now. It is long gone and I’m sure it was meeeee who deep-sixed it.

Anyway, I am nowhere near an expert on Mexican or Central American geography but I am a bit more educated than I was before reading the book.

One Response to “Geographically challenged (and ugly as ever 🐽)”

  1. Margaret Says:

    My geography is shakier than it should be, as the mom of someone with a PhD in geography. However, she does human geography, more like anthropology and culture. So, I’ll use that as an excuse!