: Recalculating the Berkshires :

an excerpt by Jean Halley anbd Lore Segal


How many minutes?” the child asked from the backseat. 

     Amy could have said five minutes or twenty-two minutes or forty minutes, but she was the kind of mother who didn't do lies.  She said, “I don't know.”  

     The GPS said, “Proceed 3 miles on River Road,” in her pleasant, digital voice, a voice that knew what it knew.

     “How many minutes?” asked Lena.  “Feathers needs to go to the bathroom.”

      Feathers was a stuffed white sock with two black button eyes and a black button for a nose.  Amy asked her mother in the passenger seat beside her,  “How come I find so many single socks in the laundry?”

     Kay said, “Luck,”

     “I like the DO NOT PASS sign,” Amy said.  There hadn't been a single car to not pass since they'd left the Middlefield summerhouse in its butterfly haunted garden.  On one side of the road they saw an occasional farm and a PICK YOUR OWN BLUEBERRIES sign.  On the other, the river, no more than a little stony, low-water trickle, had accompanied them for a while and now took its leave.

     The GPS said, “In .3 miles turn right onWhitherwhere Road.”  

     “That's funny,” said Amy.  “I was so sure Heresville is to the left of us.”

     Kay said, “The GPS sounds pretty sure, too,” and laughed when the GPS said it again: “Righton Whitherwhere Road.”

     “Okay if you say so,” Amy told the GPS and made the turn right.