Because we were going to have a short drive today, less than four hours, we did a few errands in Auburn before we started driving: Carol went to the Salvation Army store to look for a hat, and I went to get the oil changed in the car. The workers in the oil change place were perhaps the nicest, friendliest, most courteous workers you could imagine. They finished the oil change so quickly it surprised me, and I drove over to wait for Carol. While I waited for her in the parking lot, enjoying the cool, dry air that followed the cold front, I heard a child’s voice ask, “Can we get pizza, ma?” and a man’s voice replied without emotion, “Shut up.” I watched the family walk past our car to another parking place: a man, a woman, and three children between the ages of five and eight, none of them saying a word or looking at each other. I decided not to make generalizations about the people of Auburn, Indiana, based either on the nicest workers imaginable, or on the father who told his child to shut up. People are about the same everywhere: some are very nice, some are the opposite, and most of us are a mixture of both.
We stopped at a rest area outside Toledo to eat lunch. I bought the Toledo Blade, which bragged on its masthead that it is one of American’s great newspapers. But the Toledo Blade left no impression on me whatsoever.
As we ate, dark clouds moved in and a wind whipped up. Soon after we got back on the road, it began raining so hard that traffic slowed down to thirty miles an hour, and once there was enough water on the roadway to engage the antilock braking system (ABS); our old car had not had ABS, so it was a new experience for me to feel the brakes pulsing while I kept a steady pressure on the brake pedal. At about this time, the odometer clicked over to 100,000 miles; I had meant to watch for this singular event, but the visibility was so poor, and the driving required so much attention, I missed when it happened. I hope this car lasts another 100,000 miles; we like it, and it has delivered up to forty miles per gallon for us.
We arrived in Macedonia, Ohio — a few minutes before another thunderstorm passed through — checked in to our motel, and went to have dinner with my aunt and uncle and cousin, at the retirement community my aunt and uncle live in. The day was relatively uneventful, but the evening was filled with family conversation.