It has been ridiculously hot in Northeast Ohio. For the last three days, the temperature has been in the nineties, and the heat index has been averaging about 105. It is not the kind of weather someone wants to languish in, unless said person is poolside.
Needlesstysay, Maggie wanted to go to the West Side Market today. We were out of smokies, we needed some fruits and vegetables, and she knows that whenever we go, she gets a chocolate covered pretzel. I love going to the Market so much, it did not take much to convince me, and because Tom does not work on Saturday, he was able to join us.
We did not linger, however, Neither building is air-conditioned, and the meat building has less open air areas; thus, it felt hotter than it did outside. Oh, did I tell you are car read 101 degrees?
We got our scrumdiddlyumptious treats– raspberries, blueberries, pineapple, and more– and we made our way back to the car. Everyone was a little cranky because of the heat, and I wanted to get home to get some water. We got on the highway and just as we were about to get on 176, we got a flat tire! I was on the turn off of I-90 to get onto 176, so there was nowhere to stop. I turned on the hazards, slowed down to 30, and drove another mile to the first exit after the turn: Jennings/Steelyard commons.
Peeyou! Burning rubber has a distinctive, toxic I-may-develop-cancer-for sucking-in-the-fumes odor. Because the car is six months old (and has less than 5,000 miles on it!), we have free roadside assistance through Toyota. Tom called and we were guaranteed someone would get to us within forty-five minutes.
Forty-five minutes? In 101 degree heat? Lucky for me, we were near Stealyard Commons. Lucky for me, an Applebee’s was in walking distance. I would not have to sit and listen to the girls complain. I could get them something to eat and drink and get them out of the heat. The girls and I ditched Tom and the car.
Just as we started our ten minute walk, a tow truck getting on the highway stopped.
“What’s wrong?” the driver yelled out the window.
“We have a flat,” I yelled back.
“Are you walking to get help?”
“No,” I said. I motioned toward Tom. “We have someone coming. My husband is staying with the car. We’re going to Applebee’s.”
He chuckled. “Enjoy it,” he said and he waved.
I was so touched that he wanted to help. In general, we are a non-trusting society. We are told to beware of strangers, but I believe in my fellow man. Thus, this man reaffirmed what I already believed: the majority of people in this world are good people– people who empathize, people who care, people who want to lend a hand to a stranger.
Anyway, we walked to Applebee’s in the scorching heat. After two glasses of water, I indulged in a Miller Lite. The girls had a couple of appetizers. 45 minutes later, Tom arrived. He said that two other people pulled over and offered to help.
Two hours, a bit of sweat, a beer, and one ripped up Goodyear later, I felt warm and fuzzy because of the kindness of strangers.