Do You Drive The Same Way Home Every Day?
A few years ago there was a dude that worked here that we affectionately called A-A-Ron. Aaron was always coming up with these almost rhetorical questions and theories of hyperbole. This one has stuck with me all these years.
We were sitting around the office-kitchen table having lunch as we did most days, a few of us, when he said "Do you guys always drive the same route home, or do you change it up and take different roads once in a while?"
I'm almost OCD in my comfortable routines. At that point in time, I had been taking the exact same route to and from work at least five, often six days each week. It never changed.
Exit driveway, turn on 67th North, Rogers Lane to Ft Sill Blvd, past Gore to D Avenue, park on 7th next to whatever church is on the South side of the road. Going home, I would swoop through the church parking lot, and go exactly the same way back.
Every. Single. Day.
In the years since we had that conversation, I've moved to a different place that doesn't have that easy access to Rogers Lane, so I've changed my routine drive. In fact, as if I grew in that conversation, I drive a different way home almost every day and I've discovered a lot of Lawton's hidden curiosities because of it.
You know how the Waterford Drive neighborhood behind Sam's Club has that sign that says "No Thru Traffic" at each entrance? There's is totally access to thru traffic in there. It goes straight through. I realize that's not what the sign meant, but still... my tax dollars maintain it, I'm driving it.
There's a street North of the Homestead and Cache Road Taco Bell where rows of extremely cheap old military duplexes literally butt up to the iron gates of The Enclave. As you can see right into the exclusive Boomer hood, it's quite the juxtaposition to see both the cheapest and most expensive homes in Lawton literally next door to each other.
While it seems impossible, there's a way to drive from Downtown to my West Side home through the neighborhoods. The road winds through some places that will have you convinced everyone in City Hall is designing streets on the booze, but you can make it almost 100% between my work and home on residential streets. You briefly have to zig-zag down 38th for two-tenths of a mile.
Some days I'm back to the boring old routine.
Lately, I've been all-business to and from work. Mostly because I'm tired I suppose. With the new year came a new schedule. I've had to Spring Forward months before Daylight Savings happened because I'm so dang good at my job, my boss is convinced I'm not working if he can't see me doing it. So putting in hours is now more important than my efficiency.
Oh well, life goes on.
Perhaps, as it is Friday, I'll hop out there and explore my way through another neighborhood. Try to make it across the neighborhoods between 11th and 52nd. As I've driven those roads before, I'm not confident there's a route between Sheridan and 38th, but I won't know if I don't try.
I could just pull out the old Google Maps, but that defeats the purpose doesn't it?
Maybe next week you'll join me in this personal whatever-it-is. Time to change it up a little bit. Take a page out of A-A-Ron's book and destroy the routine, try something new, explore a new part of your commute. In Aaron's case, it was a bit ironic since he lived in Wichita Falls and drove to and from the studios the exact same way every day, but it makes the boring elements of everyday life a bit more interesting.