I had things to do today. I’m not good at doing several tasks in one trip, I generally don’t have the stamina to do more than one at a time, but things do pile up don’t they? And you get a little desperate. Despite the fact that I was already a little wobbly in the pins and it was 31 C (88 F) as my Dad would say, “I put my foot in my pocket and set out.” I have no more idea than you what that means, but not all of Dad’s idioms made sense.
I had to go to the pharmacy, well, you know "pharmacies" these days. Yes, they dispense your medications but they also carry everything else from cosmetics to footwear to mops, motor oil, frozen food, and everything in between. Ours gives points with every purchase, even prescriptions, and since we take a suitcase full of expensive medications every month we rack up a lot of points. I needed to replenish the laundry soap, dishwasher detergent, mouthwash, and articles along that line. There was a sale - so much the better. It was time to cash out some points!
I needed a cart, but that meant I needed a loonie (dollar coin) and all I had was a handful of quarters and toonies (two dollar coins). I ventured into the store and asked the first clerk I saw if she could give me a loonie for four quarters and she ran to the till to do so. I ran into one of the identical twin brothers who own the store, like two peas in a pod, in an aisle, and asked for a supplement they keep behind the counter. No waiting in line. Yay!
By the time I checked out, with almost $100.00 of stuff for $20, I was beginning to see through a grey Scottish mist, and I must have looked as wobbly as I felt, as one of the clerks followed me out to the car, unloaded my two bags, helped me into the car and told me to wait while she brought me my loonie from the cart. I sat in the little red oven with the windows down until the AC cooled it down, then decided I’d better go next door to the Burger King, sit for a while and get some food and potassium in me before I passed out.
In the BK the young man who took my order said, “I’ll bring it to your table, you should go sit down.” Maybe the fact that I didn’t have the strength to open the door to get inside was a tip-off. LOL (It’s a handicapped “powered” door, but you still have to pull on it after you punch the button.)
Next stop, the bank. Not a single ATM working. There was a lot of colourful language, in several languages, in the foyer. The line-up inside was about 40 people long. Ahead of me in line was a gorgeous African man, maybe 50. His boot lace was trailing by about 16”. I brought it to his attention. He retied his laces and then urged me to go ahead of him. I declined saying I was younger than I looked, being only 110. He said he was 111, and we should call the Guinness Book of World Records and they will come take our picture immediately, us being so old and both so good-looking still. He was a cutie.
But little by little I got pushed to the front of the line, no one would take no for an answer. All these people, tired from a day/week of hard work, many in overalls and hard hat, and some in office wear, smiling and saying, “No, you go you go, you senior, your time for respect, our pleasure.” Not superficial, not simple politeness, but real kindness, and as the last woman at the head of the line said when she insisted I go in front of her said, "It makes me feel good to extend kindness to someone else. I do it as much for myself as for you."
When all you hear on the news day after day is how awful people are, and what terrible things they do to each other, and after the outright nastiness directed at me here in the building in the last few weeks, their kindness was enough to almost bring me to tears.
As I came out of the bank a neighbour was just pulling into the handicap spot just outside the door and we talked a few minutes. He’s a very nice man, someone I put up a fight for when our last management company charged him a large unfair fee. He always has a big smile for me.
My last stop was the grocery store. Thank goodness I didn’t have much to get, because halfway through my potassium took another dive. I was spaghetti legs. I grabbed a bottle of water from a cooler and popped a potassium fizzie in it and started drinking but the water was too cold to drink very fast. I was still drinking it as I checked through. The checker packed the bags light enough so I could easily lift them and one of the stockers went out with me and loaded the groceries into the car. I appreciated this a lot and gave him a nice tip.
I sat in the car and finished my potassium, by now the temperature was 33 C (91 F) and I still had to drive home, unload the purchases into my granny cart and get them inside. But I did it, or I wouldn’t be here, now would I?
I ran my little marathon and finished. Right now, if it don’t hurt, it don’t work, but you know, it doesn't seem to matter.