Do Something About My Neighborhood–Just Not Yet

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.