On December 5th, I drove along the main road in Troy, Miami county Ohio, listening to NPR in my friend’s car. I stopped at something called Tim Hornton’s to acquire coffee and a croissant. Next I decided to stop outside one of the numerous Protestant churches in the area.
The churches there, like probably most places in America, stand out architecturally from the everything else. Nearby people picked parking spots and walked to their respective workplaces, gyms, and breakfast joints. It was colder than Massachusetts. My coffee functioned effectively as a handwarmer for 50% of my dorsum manuses. I continued walking around the center of the town.
People walked. Cars drove. I’m so used to automatic walk signals that I spent several minutes waiting for the light to change before a kid on the other side pressed the button. I made my way back to the car and drove in the direction of Springfield.
I stopped at Lost Creek Reserve just outside of the town. I parked as I listened to a few jolly folks make facetious references to a TV show I’ve never heard of. No one else was there on a Monday Winter morning
Any and all of my biases regarding the flat terrain of the Midwest have been confirmed. Except for a few birds, I was in solitude. I was later told that the trail I walked along runs six miles and is usually trudged by dog-walkers.
The most ostentatious object in the area was this barn.
Dozens of birds chirped and flew to higher ground as I approached. Beyond that, it was empty.
“Yep” my friend said later when I met up with him. “This is country.”