Larry's first trip to the store after his knee replacement was also his first time using a motorized shopping cart.
"How do you work this thing?" Asking me? I'd never driven one either, but between us we figured out how to start it. Immediately Larry backed it into a row of carts, then banged forward and almost hit me. "Whoa!" he shouted. Then, having figured out the basics, he took off, happy as a kid with a new toy.
An older lady sitting on one of the carts nearby was watching. She grinned and said, "I give lessons."
I stopped and spoke with her a minute. We talked about how useful the carts were to people with disabilities. Her cart was full of bagged-up groceries, but she surprised me when she said she'd been at the store for five hours.
"Five hours!" I wasn't sure I'd heard right.
"Yes. I had to come into town to get my dialysis. My husband drops me at the dialysis center, then picks me up when he gets off work for lunch. We eat lunch, then he drops me off here and picks me up after 5, when he gets off work."
"My goodness! What do you do in here for five hours?"
"I do my weekly shopping. I take my time, Ask me where anything is in this store, I can tell you." Her eyes twinkled. "It's not too bad. Usually I wait for him before I check out, but today I'm tired so I am ready to go as soon as he gets here."
The physical therapist was new to us, his first visit to our house. We talked about living out here and told him the story of the time our grandchildren decided to ride the hogs. Talk about some stinky kids! He said he'd always liked going to his grandparents' farm in the country.
"When I was a kid, we used to go visit my grandparents. They had a farm, had milk cows. I remember one time I was there and I got this idea.
"I'd seen on this on TV, and decided I'd give it a try. I got up into the hayloft, and when the cows came in I planned to jump down on them and ride them."
He paused. I had that feeling you get when you know something isn't going to end well.
"I got right to the edge of the loft, picked a cow to land on and jumped. Scared the heck out of that cow, and she jumped all around, bellowing. Scared all the other ones too, and they were all running and bellowing and bucking around. It's a wonder I wasn't trampled to death. I couldn't figure why it didn't work, the cows on TV didn't act like that. I never told m grandma what I'd done."
Story #3, from a neighbor:
"My wife's Dad came in after that derecho we had a few years ago, remember that? Knocked down a lot of trees, so he came with his chain saw to cut them up. He decided to cut this other one that was still standing, because he thought it was too close to the road or something. He told me to hook the winch on my four-wheeler to the tree--he was going to drop the tree so it would fall in a certain place, and then we could just drag it off with the four-wheeler. It sounded like a bad idea to me, but he seemed pretty sure it would work.
"So I hitched up the winch and stood back while he cut the tree. Only it didn't fall where he thought it would--it went the other way, and I saw my four-wheeler go sailing through the air and out of sight over the hill. Just stood there with my mouth hanging open."
Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.