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Marg-Ins Hope For The Future
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You're probably thinking what that title could possibly mean, since there really are a lot of topics we could cover with that type of blanket statement.

And it does allow me to talk about all the 'random thoughts' going through my brain.

As I put these words down, the final out has been recorded for the San Francisco Giants 2009 baseball season and while I take quite a bit of ribbing in certain circles for my devotion to the Giants, there is no arguing with the fact that they were definitely entertaining and very competitive this year. They had a winning season, 14 games over .500 and had a chance at the playoffs headed into the final week. My daughter got caught up in the excitement as well, and we had the chance to attend a game with some friends in late August, getting to see a masterful pitching performance from Barry Zito in a Giants win. What this season gives me is that hope for the future; that 2010 will be an exciting one for my team as well, as they build on success.

Locally, our sports teams are off to good starts, with wins already on the books for Oakdale, Riverbank and Escalon in football and a variety of other fall sports. Oakdale and Escalon are to be expected; Riverbank getting on track with a new football coach and a new attitude is great for that community, as the Bruins won their own Homecoming and also got a non-league win on the road at Waterford. Escalon and Oakdale have both been impressive and one of the things I love most about fall is getting out there on Friday nights, in the cool air and with the fog coming in, watching the kickoff through my camera lens.

We've also put our first tournament in the books for the Oakdale Insanity Under 14 girls competitive soccer team. In that regard, my hope for the future is that I find a GPS device under the Christmas tree so I can get to those far away tournaments without the other parents having to form a search party to come and get me.

Our first tournament this season was on Labor Day weekend in Roseville. As we often do, the coach and assorted parents formed a caravan and, with the coach leading the way, headed out early on that Saturday morning. I had gotten directions on line as well, figuring you can never have too much information when it comes to finding your way.

Well, I was next to last in line. They kept the 'trailer' car on me because I am well known in soccer circles to have absolutely no sense of direction. Things were going along pretty well until somewhere just outside Sacramento, our comfy three lane freeway expanded to six and that gave our coach the incentive to hit the turbo boost and with six lanes in front of me, I soon lost sight of him and all the other vehicles in the caravan that I had been watching. The 'trailer' driver realized this and he sped up, got in front of me to lead me, but by that time the panic had set in and I resorted to the printed directions. It seemed like it would be okay; it gave me the name and number of the exit to take. Unfortunately, the name of the exit that was coming up was not attached to that number. So should I take right name, wrong number? Or wait and see if there was a right number further down the road, with or without the right name?

I veered to the right to take the exit; my 13-year-old co-pilot was watching the 'trailer' car that was now our leader and told me they were going straight, that I shouldn't take the exit.

It had the right name, I told her.

They are not going that way, she told me.

Well, at 75-plus, I was committed to the exit but the 13-year-old was right. I should have gone straight.

A few wrong turns later, after some head banging on the steering wheel and a couple of frantic calls to the coach, they turned the trailer car around and we were in phone contact so I could rendezvous with them.

It seems so simple when you have someone to follow. But what I want to know is whose big idea was it to have the same name on two exits six miles apart? What is the deal with that? Why don't you warn us that you are going to do that?

And why do the directions tell you to 'bear slight right' when you can only go straight or to the left?

Inevitably, I choose the wrong way. It just doesn't matter. Give me two ways to go and I'll go wrong. Thank goodness for cell phones and a daughter who is much calmer in those situations and doesn't see quite the need for panic that her mother does.

We made it to the field safely and with just enough time to spare for her to get checked in and ready for the first game.

However, the entire sideline was by then aware of my wrong turn and one parent quickly approached me, letting me know there had been a vote and I was being banned from driving to tournaments for the rest of the season. I must find a ride.

Works for me. I can be a good co-pilot.

Just don't ask me which way to turn.

Marg Jackson is editor of The Escalon Times and The Oakdale Leader and assistant editor for The Riverbank News. She may be reached at or by calling 847-3021.