Thursday, September 3, 2009

Google is not God (Castleton)

It is a little scary to think of how heavily I rely on Google. My primary email account is Gmail. My iPhone navigation system is Google Maps. My website operates via Blogger, a Google brand, and I host all my pictures on Picasa Web Albums, Google's photo service. In many ways, my motto might be "In Google I Trust."

However, there are times when those we trust let us down. Thursday was one of those. Luckily, Diane Dooley was there to provide the small human kindness that technology can never offer. In the reverie of another beautiful day I had sailed well past Brian & Diane's house in Castleton, blinding following the little green pin on my map indicating where my Google overlords thought they lived. My saving grace was Brian's email the previous day saying that Diane would be home around 4:00pm and could meet me on the road to walk the last stretch with me. Thinking I was just where I needed to be, I proudly called her around 4:30pm and announced my whereabouts, only to be met by a polite hesitation.

"You're about a mile and a half past our house," she told me. Whoops.

Given that I could no longer rely on my green locator pin, I had two options. I could curl up on the grass, rock back and forth and whimper in existential fear, or I could follow Diane's instructions. I chose the latter. She told me to to retrace my path and walk back up Brookview Station Road until the intersection with Brookview Road (memo to Castleton: mix up the street names a little bit). She would meet me there. Sure enough, as I crested the last hill and came to the intersection, there she was, walking from the same direction I had come from about an hour ago. I happily followed her home, content to banish my iPhone to four hours in my bag without dinner for its intransigence.

The small kindnesses didn't end there. That night they shared a dinner with me that was packed with local flavor. Vegetables from their garden, chicken barbecued on the grill and local peaches and apricots backed together in a crusty goodness that some people like to call ... PIE. Loyal readers of this blog already know my feelings about pie. Therefore I thought it only appropriate that our picture capture that moment right before our first bite. The second picture, well, that speaks for itself. I don't just eat pie. I attack it. Yep, I got problems.

All these small kindnesses afforded to me by the Dooleys added up to something much bigger, something I don't quite have a name for. All I know is that it is something a Google app will never be able to provide. Thanks Brian and Diane.