Sunday, November 27, 2005

Two meters

Sarah and I bought our first car in May 2003. I had recently completed driver's ed in Utah and obtained my first driver's license at age 22. The same day I got the license, we went about an hour south to buy a lease-return 2000 Toyota Corolla LE. I say it's purple, Sarah says it's blue.

When we bought the car, it was about three years old and had 38432 miles on the odometer. This is between 12 and 13 thousand miles per year (I think it was a company fleet vehicle). Last week we hit 50000, going 4 or 5 thousand miles per year as a family.

I was going up a hill in Sardine Canyon, on the way home from Brigham City to Logan. I got to watch it turn over from 49999 to 50000, because I was pretty alone in my lane.

When we got home, we had something like 50016. I don't really remember the number. That's because milestones are curious numbers. We approach them, we mark them, even celebrate them, like a 40th birthday or Cal Ripken's 2131st consecutive baseball game. They stopped the game so Cal could take a bow, then he ran around the stadium high-fiving fans.

The same change happens the next year, the next game, the next mile, but nobody marks their 41st birthday, Ripken's 2132nd game in quite the same way.

Just over a month ago we passed a round number in Iraq. There was much fanfare about it, how that week there was a perfect storm in politics for the American President. I think Libby was indicted that week too, something else happened.

Today I read an article that mentioned in passing that more than 2100 soldiers have died in Iraq. All I could think was, When did that happen?

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