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Anne Wallingford, WordSmith


A Solo Trip to Golf Mill
March 31, 2005

The weather was beautiful for a solo outing and I was going to get myself a chocolate Easter bunny from Fannie May!

The med van trip was only a half hour, but it's a good thing I asked the driver the name of each street we traveled en route to the Golf Mill Shopping Center. The driver coming home asked me for directions! It seems that PACE drivers cover all these northern suburbs and "learn as they go." Yikes! Me, giving directions!

Unfortunately, the Fannie May candy store was out of bunnies. They were out of almost all their Easter candy. It seems that the Greek Orthodox Easter was close to our Easter this year, and the store was cleaned out of all Easter items. Oh well, I bought a half pound of toffee as my consolation prize. No bunnies this year.

But the candy store was not my only destination. My next goal was to reach the Golf Mill shopping center, across Milwaukee Ave. from the Fannie May store.

Because I've had some experience in maneuvering around city streets, I found a wheelchair-doable, albeit circuitous route, to the mall. But crossing Milwaukee Avenue was…interesting. Just south of Toys R Us there is a stoplight that allows cars to enter and exit a small strip mall. I got in line with those cars, waved to the drivers to make sure they saw me, and when the light turned green I zipped directly across the street to the mall parking lot.

I don't like parking lots. They are dangerous for people in wheelchairs because we are below the driver's line of vision. So I took the long route around to Target so I could stay on the periphery of the lot and cut down on the risk of cars backing up into me. (I couldn't go directly across to Sears because there was no way for me to open the mall doors. Target has electric eye doors.)

Once safely inside the Target store, I decided I'd go through the mall first, then come back to Target. My pick-up was scheduled for 2 p.m. and it was only 11 a.m. so I had lots of time.

I had fun riding up and down all the aisles, window-shopping. I stopped at American Optical and had my glasses straightened. I stopped at a nail salon and had my nails painted. I looked in all the small stores. I stopped at Gloria Jean's and had a cookie; I would have loved to have had a cup of coffee—it smelled heavenly—but since a rest stop wasn't on the agenda, I didn't want to drink any liquids. On the way back to Target, I stopped in Kohl's, and found a cap to wear this spring!

I finally made it back to Target, and had the most fun there because the aisles are wide enough for me to browse easily. And I found an even cuter hat there, too! It was a seersucker newspaper boy cap, white, with very narrow pale pink pinstripes. I like it. Before leaving Target, I stopped and had a hot dog, then went and sat outside to wait for the med van—which was right on time.

Of course once I got in the door, I dropped my coat and bags in the kitchen, changed clothes, and took a two-hour nap. All in all, it was a good day!

Copyright © 2005 Anne Wallingford All Rights Reserved

Thursday, August 25, 2005 (rev. 08/27/05)

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