I am doing the A-Z challenge; today’s letter is U for Ukiah.
Do You Know the Way to...Ukiah?
I am the most directionally-challenged individual, I or the universe, has ever encountered. Therefore, I am the most astonished fellow, indeed, to discover that I have mastered the art of being able to drive the streets of our county seat, Ukiah, with the confidence of a taxi driver.
When did this all take place? After all, I have lived in Mendocino County for almost thirty-one years, and I certainly spent the first thirty of those years, being chauffeured about by my sweetest of apple blossoms, partly because I am directionally challenged, but more because Annie gets car-sick (or at least she used to) when she rides shot-gun.
In any case I have been making weekly sojourns down to Ukiah, for quite some time now, and have made three forays there this week alone. One thing about aging is that one often has to seek medical care, or provide support for someone else. All those years of being ferried about, happily ensconced behind the daily newspaper, left me no more familiar with the highway-or the byways-of Ukiah, than those of Timbuktu.
Then came Dr. Mark, my therapist, and the need for me to see him on my own, last September. Actually, I was not forced to see him; rather, I chose to see him in my first step to gain the favorable attention of my sweetest of apple blossoms, back in September, when I was busy stepping on my-well, never mind. Let us just say that I thought it wise, beyond my years, that I attempt to gain some modicum of independence, if I ever wanted to be viewed in a favorable light again.
My initial efforts, though not overwhelmingly successful, certainly led to other baby steps, and eventually to great success. It was acknowledged, early on, that efforts to achieve a more independent status, would indeed be viewed favorably, and that incited my efforts. I began to request the pleasure of driving, every time we went anywhere together. This included trips to Eureka, Santa Rosa, and even the queen of all jewels, San Francisco.
So now, when we venture to Ukiah, I can not only find Dr. Mark’s office, but the Veterans Affairs clinic as well. If we wish to dine at El Taco Loco, or Star’s, or even Ellie’s, as we did on Tuesday, last, I am able to find our way there, without assistance. If I find it advantageous to pay the AAA insurance bills, or even the B of A bill, I can also find my way to either of those two worthy establishments. I can get to Raley’s Grocery Store, infinitely preferable to either Low-Bucks or Safeway; I know right where it is.
Who would have ever thought it? And after this week, I can add Ukiah’s hospital to the list, Annie having had to see to a couple of minor procedures this week. And did I mention, that if I want to stop in at U.S. Cellular, or Comcast, that I eminently qualified to accomplish this as well? Now, you may be thinking to yourself, I don’t remember wanting to visit a single one of the aforementioned establishments. That is beside the point, and neither here nor there. I can. And what’s more, I can do it effortlessly.
So if you are in the neighborhood, and need a handy guide to get around in Ukiah, do look me up. I would love to show off my skills. And if you decide on Ellie’s, be sure and try the veggie sandwich. Simply delightful!