Dawn Reader

Dawn Reader
from Open Door Coffee Co.; Hudson, OH; Oct. 26, 2016

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Waiting ...

Because I could not stop for Death -
He kindly stopped for me -

So wrote Emily Dickinson once upon a time. The poem goes on to talk about a carriage ride--Death and the speaker on the way to the cemetery. A happy poem. (Actually, it is kind of, I don't know, hopeful? I mean, riding in a carriage with Death is better than dodging the scythe of the Grim Reaper, right?) Anyway, the speaker is not waiting for Death, she/he is too busy to stop for Him/Her/It. There's a difference.

We all spend lots of time waiting. Sometimes it's pleasant (our flight to Belize), sometimes not (root canal). Sometimes it's worrisome (a hospital waiting room), sometimes just mildly annoying (the Post Office line).

And sometimes it's a combination of all of the above. Today, for example, it was time to take the 2012 Prius to Don Joseph Toyota (Kent, Ohio) for its routine maintenance. I like Don Joseph. I've been buying/servicing cars there since, oh, 1975. My dad, who'd been in WW II, was not too crazy about our driving Japanese cars, but we love the mileage, the reliability ... so we've bought nothing but Toyotas since the 70s. (Our current Prius routinely gets 50 mpg in the winter, near 60 the rest of the year. We're cheap.)

The ride over to Kent required some doing. There is road work all over the place: roads closed, construction/repair equipment beeping while backing. You know ...  So I took some back roads but had the joy of school buses all the way--it seemed, I joked later, that each bus had synced its GPS with mine. I got to stop a lot of times to watch kids "creeping like snail unwillingly to" the bus. (Thank you, Mr. Bard.)

But I got there in time. Checked in. Headed to the waiting room. Where I could smell ... chocolate chip cookies. Yes, Don Joseph bakes them (well, not Don himself!) for the waiting customers, a service that is a great incentive for people to come in and, you know, get their cars checked out. (Not long after I arrived I got a text from Joyce asking if the cookies were out. I took that as a command to acquire and guard one until I got home.)

People waiting at a car-repair place are in all sorts of moods. Relieved, shocked, depressed, angry, frustrated. (Today, I was among the first--just routine, about $45.) Some waiters stare at TV sets; others, at books; others chat with anyone nearby. Still others (me!) head for a place where they'll be left alone (and, coincidentally, be nearer the coffee and cookies).

Don Joseph has some little work tables set up away from the TV set, and that's where I sat for my hour. I worked on some writing, checked Facebook, texted Joyce about cookies, overheard some conversations. (One woman was telling some folks that she had just dropped her daughter off for the first day of kindergarten; she also said she had a son who is 26.)

So, as I said, the news was good. They'd also washed the car (a service I really appreciate). And soon I was home--no buses!--talking with Joyce.

Mentioning a certain cookie ...

(Emily Dickinson did the baking for her family, by the way.)

our Prius, freshly washed, happy to be home

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