March 2019 SOLC–Day 31
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It had been a long satisfying day. I’d begun the day at sunrise at the river watching an incredible natural display of spring exuberance. Then, I’d come home to write and was thrilled by some unexpected new visitors at the bird feeder.
After that, I spent three hours gallery sitting at the last day of an exhibit of my photos at a local art center. I returned home to finish off my blog post and pack, and then we were off to drive to Massachusetts for a celebratory dinner with my son and his fiancee and her family. Instead of trying to drive the 2+ hours back home, we’d decided to stay overnight.
After dinner, we were both more than ready to get to our motel, check in and settle into bed with our books. We left the restaurant with hugs and goodbyes, and headed toward our destination: a Motel 6 about 30 minutes away. On the way, we recalled Tom Bodett reciting their quaint welcoming slogan, “We’ll leave the light on for you.”
I hunched over the wheel, working my way through the unaccustomed traffic, following the narrated GPS directions to the hotel, eager to arrive. As I merged across multiple lanes of traffic and made various quick stops and turns, I remembered how much I don’t like driving at night and in the city. Around us, to my country eyes, our surroundings looked increasingly ugly and somewhat sketchy.
Where was this hotel anyway?
Finally, we saw the Motel 6 sign up ahead.
“There it is!” Kurt said.
Ah, relief was at hand!
“Stay to the right, then make a sharp right onto Popes Lane,” the GPS voice directed.
In the midst of the unattractive suburban concrete sprawl, I turned as directed and then maneuvered into the motel parking lot.
“Go that way,” Kurt said, pointing.
“Slain,” the GPS voice suddenly announced as if she were a tour guide on some grisly sensational murder tour.
“What?” I asked, looking at Kurt. He looked as confused as I felt.
The voice continued, “to kill violently, wantonly, or in great numbers; broadly, to strike down, kill.”
We both turned and looked at the motel, trying to make sense of this unsolicited announcement. Why was the GPS suddenly narrating the definition of slain? To make things even odder, Kurt doesn’t even have voice activation on his phone, and this was simply the default GPS narrator.
“Well, that’s a bit alarming,” I finally said.
Kurt and I looked at each other and then again at the waiting motel. What!?!
As I moved the car forward and into a parking spot, we eyed the hotel with growing trepidation.
The helpful GPS voice then intoned, “You have arrived at your destination.”
We looked at each other and burst out laughing at the strangeness of it all. Then, we both glanced at the motel again. Suddenly, that famous Motel 6 slogan, “We’ll leave the light on for you”, seemed a bit less charming than it had before.