tomtomSomething irritating happened on my way home from Port Aransas in November: the fuse that powers my cigarette lighter in my car blew. Unlike my uber-fancy 1997 Chevy Astro, which had 6 such outlets, this is my car’s only power source available to technological products.

Granted, on the way down, we’d been using it to charge Daphne’s MacBook while she wrote, which might not be the intended usage, so I can see why it might have happened.

Regardless, my GPS ran out of battery juice (yuck) just about the time I got to where I knew where I was, and I haven’t thought about or bothered to replace the fuse yet.

Something interesting has happened during this time: I’ve gotten to know Austin a lot better. Without having that little bossy box to tell me where to turn, I’ve spent more time looking online at my route before I leave the house.

Did I mention that I’m also out of printer ink?

Yeah. So either I write out directions longhand, or I just try to remember how to get there.

Before, the whole system of highways that stemmed off of my most-traveled Ben White did not make sense to me. I didn’t understand where they went, or what they crossed, or really even that Texas North Loop 1 IS Mopac Expressway, even though none of the directional signs tell you that (the frontage street signs do, but that’s not a lot of help when you’re trying to get onto Mopac from another highway and it is all but invisible.

I don’t even have to look up directions for some places now. If I see a street number, I’ll often just “get” where it might be.

There have been some mishaps, for sure. There have been a lot of second-guesses, u-turns, and over-driving. But I’m learning. I’m getting it.

And when I ever get around to replacing that fuse, I won’t have to use GPS so much around here. It’ll practically be “my city” by then.