A Rose by Any Other Name

imageWhen we moved to this neighborhood in Virginia Beach six years ago, I was excited to have so many things within walking distance.  I can walk to the dentist, to the doctor, the library, the drugstore, Dairy Queen—not a good thing—and many shops.   But what I was most excited about was that I could do my grocery shopping without taking the car out of the garage.  We have a wonderful gourmet market about 3/4 of a mile from the house, and Whole Foods is less than a mile away.

Shortly after we moved here, my mother-in-law was cleaning out her basement and found an old grocery cart someone had given her.  It was one of those wire ones with two big wheels in the back and two little wheels in the front.  She didn’t want it and asked if I had any use for it.  My husband was about to say no, but I jumped at the opportunity.  “Absolutely!  I can take it to the market and do my grocery shopping.”

My husband looked at me skeptically.  “You’re really going to push this cart to the store?”  I assured him I was and couldn’t wait to get the cart home.  Where it sat.  And sat.  And sat.  One day my husband was cleaning out the garage and saw the cart hanging on a hook.  “I thought you were going to take this cart to the market.”

“I had all good intentions, but whenever I thought about doing it, I was afraid I was going to look like one of those old women pushing her little cart down the street.  I kept chickening out.”

I saw those old women with their scarves tied around their heads and their thick stockings bagging around their ankles, hanging onto their carts like the carts were walkers.  Now I want to make it perfectly clear that this post is not denigrating old people.  Some of my best friends are old people.  I just don’t want on-lookers to get confused and think I am one of those old people.

Anyway, a couple of weeks ago I was at Whole Foods and saw a cart they were selling.  It was exactly what I needed.  It was made of bright red canvas instead of wires and only had two wheels.  You pull it behind you instead of pushing it.  I could picture young urban professionals using it.  Very hip and modern.  Finally, I would feel good about walking to the market.

Last week I set out on a trip to the market on a crisp Friday morning, pulling my little cart behind me.  It was breezy, so I wrapped my scarf a little tighter around my head.  I walked at a good clip, only stopping to pull my knee socks up a few times because they were pooling around my ankles.  I felt invigorated.  What a great place I lived in!  The last barrier to being nearly independent from my car had been removed.

After I got my groceries, I slowed my pace so I could look in some of the store windows on my way home.  In one window I glanced up and saw reflected in the glass an old woman.  She had a little red Whole Foods cart just like mine.  How wonderful!  It’s catching on!

About Coming East

I am a writer, wife, mother, and grandmother who thinks you're never too old until you're dead. My inspiration is Grandma Moses who became a successful artist in her late 70's. If I don't do something pretty soon, though, I'll have to find someone older for inspiration.
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28 Responses to A Rose by Any Other Name

  1. lulu says:

    I complement you for walking. So many times we jump in our cars for the simplest and close errand.

  2. pattisj says:

    The 4-wheeler has the option of providing a place to sit should one need to stop and rest. 😉

  3. I am still laughing! How wonderful! I loved this and am so glad you are back writing! You have your two posts in this week, don’t you? Very good… I have one down….. ❤

  4. Linda says:

    Since I am your older friend…..I wanted to let you know that I loved the story, but cannot relate! I do not where a scarf on my head…..just the fashionable ones around my neck……and my ‘smart wool’ socks from REI would never bag at my ankles…..my fleece lined boots hold them up! And, finally, I live in the ‘burbs’ and drive my car to the ‘rails-to-trails for exercise. No red carts for me!!! I love you anyway!

  5. Helen C says:

    Hello, Susan. I want to thank Amy who sent me here. I enjoy reading your story a lot.
    I used to feel a little hurt when someone let me have his seat on bus. Now I appreciate it. 😉 Helen

  6. sweetpea2love says:

    Thank you for the laughter this morning.. I too have one of those little red carts with two wheels. I bought it after Wal-Mart decided to change their shopping carts to locked wheels, if you planned on taking the cart home, or into the Mall. Yuppers, into the mall…But, the funny thing is I’ve yet to use the pretty red cart for the same fears as yours.. And here comes another but, I am one of those older ladies whose socks won’t stay up.. alright, not quite 60 yet, but darn close…

    Great post my dear, and love your humor
    Take care & happy blogging to ya, from Laura ~

  7. Amy says:

    Welcome back, Susan!!! I was so thrilled to see you! Very hip and modern, then the window… Enjoy so much of reading this post, love your wonderful sense of humor.

  8. Adorable post! How lucky you are that you live so close to so many places.

  9. Oh, how I’ve missed your great sense of humor! I love to chuckle while I read and this post found me doing so. And you with your knee socks, scarf, and little red cart – who knew you’d be such a trendsetter?? 😉

  10. Oh Susan, you are too funny! After 12 years in Maine I have been on a purging binge of all of the things I was sure I couldn’t live without when I moved to Maine from Pennsylvania. Salvation Army, Goodwill and the dumpster have been reaping the benefits! Then you caught me at the end. Love, love, love the store window reflection!!!

    • Coming East says:

      We have almost no storage here, so I have had to purge. Luckily, I am not a pack rat by any means. Oh, except for the birthday and anniversary and Mother’s Day cards I’ve kept for forty-something years.

  11. Good for you! In cities people walk, elsewhere, we’re wedded to our cars and if we do anything out of the ordinary we’re considered odd. My problem when I walk and shop is that I overbuy and can’t carry it all– so there’s some discipline involved in shopping, probably a good thing too. And since you’re getting all that exercise, why not reward yourself with a stop at Dairy Queen on the way home?

  12. Dianna says:

    Your post made me laugh!!! And I suggest some garters for those knee socks – or at least rubber bands like we used in school….! 😉

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