I have to admit it. I miss Janet. Well, maybe not miss, but feel that her calm, knowledgeable guidance might have come in handy a couple of times recently. Janet is the name we gave our global positioning system device during a trip to Disney World last spring.

I have to admit it. I miss Janet. Well, maybe not miss, but feel that her calm, knowledgeable guidance might have come in handy a couple of times recently.


Janet is the name we gave our global positioning system device during a trip to Disney World last spring. It was our first time using GPS. Getting a GPS system was the wish my husband expressed for the trip when I asked everyone what they really wanted to do during our trip to Florida – visit Pirates of the Caribbean, ride Thunder Mountain, spot some princesses, get a rental with a GPS.


We named Janet since my sister had recently purchased a GPS, even though she lives on an island, and dubbed it Gloria. Ours had to have a name, too.


But Janet was trouble from the start; calmly reciting directions from the airport to our hotel from her perch on the dashboard. Her directions differed from mine, which were culled from several months of trip research. I had always been the family navigator, the person studying up before we traveled.


Who did the family think we should follow?


Janet.


It would not be the last time. Throughout the week whenever Janet and I disagreed, my husband and kids took her side. The GPS must know better than us, my husband protested.


Janet’s voice was always calm, but I found her a bit vague warning of upcoming turns and rather non–communicative between directions. My family found her perfect.


Janet had her positive traits. She knew where the nearest supermarket, Red Lobster and Olive Garden were located and got us there no problem. She got us back to the resort each night and also remembered the way back to the airport.


Too soon our vacation was over and we headed home, bidding goodbye to Disney, Florida — and Janet. In the weeks that followed reliving our vacation memories, my family still sung Janet’s praises. My son, hoping to get under my skin, called her the “finest woman he’s ever known.”


I must admit, having Janet around from time to time may not be such a bad thing. During a spur-of-the-moment trip to the Cape this summer she probably could have directed us to plenty of little-known beaches. While camping in Vermont, we might have found Walmart quicker with her aid, but we managed OK with the help of a guy at a gas station.


Janet may have won a place in their hearts, but she can’t make pancakes on a Saturday morning, wash their dirty socks, mend stuffed animals or get them to baseball practice or dance class. (Well on that last one, maybe she can.)


As Janet’s memory gradually fades among my family, I only have one more thing to fear – my husband’s Christmas wish list and a good sale at Best Buy.


Donna Whitehead is editor of the Mansfield News, Norton Mirror and Easton Journal. She can be reached at dwhitehe@cnc.com