By: Lisa Hoffman, curator of education on May 27th, 2015

Destination: Sanibel Island and the best beachcombing in Florida.LisaBlogSanibel5-27-15

My inaugural Woodson Wanderings blog post won’t be rife with tired “waves-crashing-footprints-in-the-sand-beached-shells-tossed-back-into-the-sea” metaphors. Nor is it conjuring Robert Frost’s path or Jack Kerouac’s road.

Instead – befitting a web log – I‘m writing about satellite navigation.


I entered Sanibel’s coordinates into our Garmin and in less than a minute, our trip was calculated at a daunting 1,601 miles/24 hours 24 minutes. But spanning that time and distance, every exit, construction zone, and speed limit glowed from the window-mounted digital prophet. Arrival guaranteed.

My family roadtrips well – thanks to a minivan with space enough to avoid all sibling contact. We enjoy one another’s company . . . until we don’t; then three Kindles, four iPhones, and one DVD player work the room.

Most important, should the adult male member of the family try to outsmart the thousands of other freeway lemmings – tagged with Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan license plates – and avoid the Greater Atlanta parking lot, Garmin calmly declares, “recalculating.” One simple verb ensures no pothole, wrong turn, construction zone, or overconfident driver diverts us from our destination.

Somewhere along I-75, I began considering my personal coordinates. My life’s work was in this van . . . a solid, twenty-six-year marriage and two amazing kids. I wondered what my next career destination would be. What advanced degree or second degree would I pursue?

Ironically, around mile 800 of the return trip, a good friend texted me announcing a shiny new job offer in the city where her husband recently relocated. I was so happy for my friend and her family. And, I was a bit envious. She has coordinates.

Once back in Wausau, luggage unpacked, data plans exceeded, and washing machine churning through mounds of laundry, it was revealed that my friend Jayna’s destination set my new coordinates at the Woodson Art Museum . . .  curator of education.

Recalculating . . .

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