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Lessons Learned

Ugh. The Cart. (I stole this from Elvia’s Facebook!)

I’m falling into my old habits again, but I promise I have good excuses this time! However, I should have posted Sunday after my shopping excursion with Elvia, one of my roommates.

Before I got to DC I wondered how in the world I’d grocery shop. I like to go on Sunday to get everything I need for the week so I don’t have to think about it anymore. At home, I go to the store, load up my cart, transport it to my car and take it home. But there’s one vital thing missing from that formula here: my car.

Now, I suppose I could carry the bags back home. But then my fingers would probably be bleeding before I got back and my arms would be disjointed from my shoulders. So someone invented carts. Not like grocery carts, just small, squarish carts you can use to put your bags in and wheel back home. Problem solved, right?

Ha ha, no.

Try wheeling that thing through the store, keeping in mind all four wheels are stationary. We could tilt the cart back on two wheels to get some kind of a turning radius, but the cart was overflowing with stuff so we had things falling out. We had to kind of scoot the back wheels around when we needed to turn.

Then you should try taking that thing on an escalator because the elevator was out, of course. We had to balance the cart on two wheels on one step and kind of lean back to counter the weight to keep it from toppling.

Then you should try pushing it onto a train. In case you haven’t been on the Metro, there’s a two or three inch gap between the concrete edge of the platform and the metal frame of the door and the two edges don’t line up. So I have to use my knee to get the cart up and over the bump while annoyed people behind me are trying to get on the train.

And then the wheel fell off. Almost literally. All the scooting made the back wheels get all out of whack and one of them was about to fall off. Fortunately, whoever engineered the thing realized that may be a problem and kind of spring-loaded the rear axle, making it easy to pop the wheel back in place. It still wobbles a little though.

The best was yet to come. There are four or five narrow steps up to get from the sidewalk to the front door of the apartment. Elvia and I had to get the cart up those steps. She took one side and I took the other and we heaved and hoed and lifted and barely got the cart up the first step. And then we did it again. And then we briefly considered asking a strange guy walking with his girlfriend to help us, but we ended up finishing it ourselves.

And when we finally made it inside, we swore we’d never use that darned cart again.

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I’m something you don’t see every day: A person under 80 who walks around with oxygen everywhere she goes. I have Sjogren's Syndrome, an autoimmune disorder which, with the help of my stubborn refusal to go to the doctor, caused some pretty deep damage to my lungs. My lack of breath slowed me down for a while, but I'm back to adventuring - just with Gus, my little oxygen tank, in tow. This year's goal is to complete the 52 Hike Challenge and get myself into a healthier state of being. Join me on my quest to become oxygen free!

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