Last night, Susie and I were walking the few blocks from the Northside branch of the library back home. Kitty-corner to the library is a Dollar Tree, with a Kroger across the street from it. On our short walk home, Susie and I counted four shopping carts on the sidewalk, taken from Kroger's lot and abandoned.
I was shaking my head and clucking my tongue about this, another new arrival in Weinland Park wringing his hands about the detritus in the neighborhood--the trash, the ditched shopping carts, etc.
And yes, I do want these to change, and I will lend a hand in whatever way I can. But tonight I was grateful that the clean-up has yet to begin.
Our union handed out an early Christmas gift to each member today: a $50 gift card from Meijer. I immediately emailed Steph with this news, and asked her to email me back a small shopping list. She did. Payday's a week away, so it's good to be able to stock up on groceries for free. The only trouble is, the only Meijer store I could reach was over an hour away on the bus--way out in Gahanna, on the east side of Columbus. (Any resemblance between that name and "Gehenna", the Valley of the Son of Hinnom used as a metaphor for Hell in the Bible, is purely intentional, I'm sure.)
Distance or no, I realized that I needed to restock our larder. I bought milk, cereal, bread, meat, pop, hot chocolate mix, and some things for Susie, and when I reached the self-checkout, the bill came to $50.12! I have to hand it to Steph--she planned the list almost right down to the penny, except for the 12 pennies I had to pony up on my own!
Laden with Meijer plastic bags, I crossed the parking lot and waited less than 10 minutes before the westbound 95 arrived. This is the bus that goes back and forth on Morse Rd., a trip through a sewer in a glass-bottomed boat. I had packed the bags myself, so I'm sure I probably didn't distribute everything wisely. (The loaves of bread I bought are all kinds of funny shapes.) I managed to load everything on the bus, and it was a pretty uneventful ride west on Morse until I got off to transfer to the bus that goes south on Indianola. The handle on one of the bags broke, and I barely managed to catch the gallon jug of milk before it hit the bus floor and possibly burst. A teenage girl sitting in one of the seats in front of me helped me organize things enough to get them off the bus.
I had to make two trips to get everything onto the southbound bus, and I dreaded the two-block walk from where the bus let me off to my house. I looked around and, sitting under the streetlight, there stood a shopping cart from Kroger, the same shopping cart I had derided in my walk with Susie last night. I was overjoyed to see this. I loaded all my bags, all of them bursting at the seams, into the cart and pushed it home. I was afraid the entire time that I would be the one person a police officer would arrest as an example to people who habitually steal shopping carts. I must have engaged my cloaking device somewhere along the way, because I made it without incident to my kitchen, heaved a huge sigh of relief, and then began unpacking everything I bought at Meijer.