It was one of those mornings. A morning when the slight, cool breeze humming through the bedroom window, turning into a whisper that softens the brow and gently rouses one from sleep, joined the chorus of the light cooing of a mourning dove, and brought the promise of another fine day.
I joined my wife Brenda at the kitchen table for a breakfast of freshly scrambled eggs, Jimmy Dean sausage, and a glass of orange juice, a breakfast of protein and a hint of Vitamin C that, according to experts, was exactly what I needed to start the day on a healthy note.
Chubby Howard of Real Roots Radio in Xenia announced the morning was a light news day, with no reports of auto accidents or criminal activity in the Miami Valley, a welcome change to the volley of bad news which was the normal offering at the breakfast table.
Brenda had bought a scratch-off lottery ticket the evening before, and as I took my time rubbing off the opaque covering I found, much to my delight, that we had won $10, matching one of our numbers with the Holiday Numbers on the card.
Today, I surmised, was going to be a good day.
“Do you think we need to get some gas before we head to Columbus?” Brenda asked.
I told her we had enough to get there, but would check the prices along the way to see if the prices were any cheaper closer to the city.
The wind was at our back as we turned north toward Columbus on Interstate 71. Truck traffic was light, which is always a blessing when we travel, and the trip was a pleasant one as we listened to music and enjoyed good conversation as we rolled along.
As we approached London-Groveport Road, we noticed the gasoline price was 10 cents per gallon cheaper than it had been in Clinton County, so we turned into the gas station nearest the interstate. The station was busy, so we pulled along the back to await an open pump.
We sat patiently for almost five minutes before the pickup truck left the fueling pump, and we pulled up to the island on the north side of the building. As we stopped, a blue convertible sports car roared off the highway, heading directly toward us as I stepped out of our car.
The blonde with long-flowing hair honked her horn, screamed at us, and ultimately gave us a one-finger folk gesture, before speeding around a semi-truck parked along the side delivering gasoline.
We noticed her personalized license plate said, “U Wish.”
I had pumped just a few dollars of gas into our vehicle when I happened to notice the blonde was standing at the far end of the lot glaring at me and waving her hands wildly, as if she was giving me a tongue-lashing that only she could hear above the traffic noise.
“Brenda, do see how that woman who tried to ram us is acting down there?” I asked. “She looks like she’s going to come down here and confront me.”
As soon as Brenda heard those words, she hopped out of the car and said, “Let me take care of this. If she comes down here and causes trouble, it’ll be one of the biggest mistakes she ever made.”
I told Brenda we had enjoyed a wonderful morning so far, and not to let the incident bother us. The woman evidently thought better of confrontation, turned around when she saw the look on Brenda’s face, and jumped back into her sports car, squealing her tires as she departed the gas station.
I spent a large amount of my career in law enforcement, but ironically, I guess I didn’t look as intimidating as my wife when the woman pondered taking me on. To say the least, I was relieved she was gone.
We soon resumed our trip to Columbus and within minutes entered the endless construction zone on the outskirts of town. Traffic was heavy when our vehicle’s computer system alerted us to an upcoming traffic stop on the side of the berm.
We slowed down as we noticed an Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper taking the license and registration from the familiar scowling, blonde-haired woman sitting in the blue sports car.
At the very same time, Brenda and I said, “That’s the woman from the gas station who was acting crazy!”
We waved and honked as we drove past. The trooper nodded.
I took a quick look back as we sped along, and once again saw the license plate emblazoned with, “U Wish.”
Well, smiling to myself I thought, sometimes wishes do come true.
Pat Haley is a former Clinton County (Ohio) commissioner and former Clinton County sheriff.