I drove down to Long Beach Island early yesterday evening with my brother Tony. The plan is to do a Big Lebowski later this morning with my sister Laura’s ashes, which Tony has been holding since her death last March. Tony has persuaded me that Laura would have preferred to be scattered under the shadow of the Barnegat Lighthouse (which she came to love as a result of our family’s frequent summer vacations in Beach Haven and Shipbottom) than in my parents’ cemetery plot in Wilton, Connecticut.

A problem happened on the way down with the Dollar rental car I’m driving. Within minutes of leaving the car lot I could feel something wrong with the left-front tire — a misaligned or unbalanced vibration of some kind. It got really bad (and particularly noisy) on the Garden State Parkway. We pulled over in Asbury Park with the idea of taking the tire off and then putting it back on with re-tightened lug bolts, but there was no lug wrench in the trunk. So we limped down to L.B.I. and called AAA for roadside assistance this morning.

The guy said there’s definitely something wrong with the wheel bearing or the motor mount, but that the wheel won’t fall off if we drive back to Manhattan.