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Right now because of Chris’s evening job as a newspaper editor he has to find wifi by 6pm or he turns into a pumpkin… or rather he can’t get his stories assigned to his eager writers. This has been a challenge while we’ve been driving across the country this summer! There is only so much you can do to control your travel time. (Especially with all the necessary antique shop stops!)

We had been making pretty decent time on our way from Missouri to Chicago but mid way we stopped in Springfield to photograph family graves and that futile search ate up a couple of precious hours. (We stopped on the way back and did actually find the family plots.)

By the time we hit Coal City Illinois we were both grouchy and watching the clock with anxiety. It was nearly four O’clock and we were not going to make it to our place in Chicago in time for Chris to get to his news stories or for our host to let us in. A quick stop in at McDonald’s was really our only option. Chris could get the stories assigned early and then we could visit his Grandpa in Glenwood to avoid rush hour traffic going into Chicago and meet the host later that evening.

So we spot the magical wifi sharing arches in the distance and  take the exit for Coal City. We get into the McDonalds and order a coffee because caffeine cures road trip grouchies and restores peace.  Still the world of technology is not on our side as Chris’s Laptop battery is drained and we don’t have a nearby plug-in anywhere in sight. It was in this moment that everyone in the restaurant seems to take notice of us and our plight. Two older gentlemen tell Chris that the plug-in is in the corner booth which is currently occupied by a woman talking on her cell phone. They tell him to go over and plug in his computer because she wouldn’t mind.

Not wanting to invade her booth Chris waits patiently for the woman to get off her phone so he can ask her. Two random older ladies at another booth encourage Chris to just go ahead and use the outlet. The lady in the booth acknowledges Chris, even while still chatting on her phone, smiled, and then gave up her place so we could sit there. Everyone in the restaurant seems pleased that order is restored and they go back to their conversations and happy meals.

Maybe it was just the happy caffeine flooding through my veins but I felt touched by everyone’s concern. They had no reason to notice or care but for some reason they did.

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