My soon to be 23-year-old granddaughter just finished teaching English to French high-school students for the last year, and suggested the possibility of joining her on a European road trip. We’d never been through southern France, Switzerland and Northern Italy, and her grandmother and I leapt at the opportunity of a couple of weeks with a grandchild who actually wanted to be with us.

I rented the car in Paris not even asking if the vehicle was equipped with a GPS device because I don’t have one in my car and pride myself as an excellent map-reader. Turns out all new cars have them and it would have been a logistical nightmare to travel without one. The GPS a stunning tool, you input your current location, your destination, and whether you want to use the toll roads or not. The device asks what language you prefer and then “Tim” an Englishman then asks you if you want to use the toll roads are not then talks you through the trip while providing visual guidance as well.

I don’t have a GPS system in my car, and you already know that I don’t have an I Phone or handheld computer, so I couldn’t even have turned it on, much less programmed it. My granddaughter however did it in a millisecond, and it soon became clear that without the device, it would have been nearly impossible to get to the obscure destinations we sought out.

The GPS was a godsend but it was exceeded by the human GPS… my Granddaughter Providing Support, because without her we would have been toast. And it was not just the technical capabilities, she knows were slowing down and is had to deal with our growing lessening capacity is like forgetfulness and my inability to hear.

In the best of circumstances my hearing is diminished but in the midst of the allergy season and my upper respiratory stuffiness and spending 11 hours in an airplane going up and down four times I could hardly hear anything with my ears plugged. She knows are limitations, we’ve been old ever since she is no less but this was a bit more than she’d anticipated but her response was what a great situation I’m in I can’t lose she said one of you can’t hear me and the other one forgets what I’ve said, I can’t lose.

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