When 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!