Monthly Archives: August 2010

Grocery Shopping by Bike

This post has been brought over from my former blog so that other’s may read the post.

Full to Overflowing

This is what you would have seen today as we came home from the grocery store. We had numerous supplies to fill and so the poor Wike was loaded to capacity.

I must say it is a pleasure navigating around the store with the new third wheel!

Hanging off the back of the Wike were our breads and my purse (double bagged in a reusable shopping bag. Total cost of our trip was $133, which does not include a % amount for the cost of the bike and trailer as my accountant brother might suggest I add! Nor does it include the calories I spent pulling it and it was heavy.

Take a look inside:

Full Wike

As you can see there is need to think when packing. At the very bottom, which you can’t see was 10kg of flour, 10 lbs of potatoes, 9 lbs of apples, 5 lbs of onions, 4kg of white and 4 kg of brown sugar. Strategically placed upon them was a full stocking of canned goods. Most of them seen here:

Inside the Pantry Cupboard with Labels

Now we didn’t buy anything on the top shelf but you can see a large portion of goods that were all brought home by bike. No, I didn’t take pictures of all the vegetables, meats and dairy we bought, that would just be silly now wouldn’t it? Although… we did really clean out the fridge just lovely when we came home.

The best part of owning this system? Unlike when you car grocery shop, you don’t have to unpack everything out of the trunk and make multiple trips back and forth from the trunk once you get home. You don’t even have to unload the grocery cart into the trunk at the store. Nope…

just…

Backing the Wike up into the house

back the Wike up and pull it into the house :), down the hall and… into your kitchen where you can unpack the entire lot just one time. Talk about economy of effort! 😉

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A Change of Perspective

Recently I learned that I have allergies.  Quite severe allergies, to grass pollen, tree molds and ragweed (this is the severe allergy).

It actually makes so much sense.  As a child I lived overseas and one of the things I dreaded the most was the yearly Iowa Basics Testing that we had to take.  After which we had to take the Presidential Fitness Testing.  The Iowa Basics were fine.  I’m a nerd and I like school and reading happens like breathing here so I always scored well on the multiple choice tests.  I also love debating and so the short answer essay and oral exams were also fine.

But we had to run a mile.  Outside, in the sun, the hot tropical sun.  With the trees, and the huge field of grass.  I’d start running.  I’d start strong.  I have a runner’s body, underneath the fat.  I’ve been blessed with the genetics of a really good runner.  Want proof?  She is one of my cousins.

And yet as I ran I could see the sky get darker.  I would be clenching my sides trying to breathe.  Sometimes I fainted.

Or how my family has always cycled.  And yet no matter what on hot summer days I’d be panting and gasping.

The thing was that my parents always just said, “well it’s because you’re more sedentary than your brothers.  You don’t get outside enough.  You’re clearly not fit.”

If you’d just exercise more.  And the mantra sunk in.  Like a lead balloon.

In university I was determined to ‘get fit.’

I worked out a lot.  I’d spend 45 minutes three times a week doing circuits in the gym.

I played squash for 1 hour 3 times a week on the other days.

I used my bicycle as my transportation, or I walked.  I worked off campus in a hilly area and I got around.

Still I huffed and puffed.  One day I cycled to the doctor’s for an appointment.  My red face and struggling for breath 20 minutes after getting there concerned her.  I said, “Oh I cycled here and I’m just not fit.”

She laughed,  “I know how much you work out, you are fit.  There’s another reason here.  We’ll deal with this after your pregnancy.”

But I never did because I knew I was not fit!

Then there was the fact, as my mother-in-law had put it, that I was sickly.  Every year I got these colds.  These horrid colds that started in the summer and then lasted well into the winter.  I can cough like no one else I know.

Many people I know have used the phrase, “Oh, I see you’ve got another one of your summer colds.  Sick again, eh?”

And words, they sink into the psyche.  Not one of those people were trying to hurt.  They seemed aptly descriptive.

Not one of us said hey, wait a minute there might be another explanation.

This summer one of my friends that I meant over the internet and via Twitter said to me, you know I really think you have allergies.  Sure I thought I  know I have ragweed allergies.  I knew that.

But her words sank in and one day as I was getting another cold I thought that I should just go and get tested.  If I did have allergies than I might be able to look forward to a season of not getting sick!

Now I go outside and I have to admit I look around and think, wow, this has been so hostile to my health.  I could have done something about this.  Seriously why?!  And myself image has changed.

Last night I got an e-mail from my mother.  Several people in the extended family have severe asthma.  She wants me to get tested for that.  Oh, and several people have severe allergies too.  Apparently a relative died from an allergic reaction to grass.  Her lungs collapsed and they couldn’t get her a transplant.

Sigh.

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Crossing the Bridge

A phrase I often hear myself saying to my children is this, “You know there are more ways to cross a bridge than just one!”

Sometimes I’ll tease and ask if they’re hopping, skipping, jumping, crawling or leaping across the bridge.

Tonight, after some tearful conversation, I thought about that proverbial bridge once more.

There are two sides to every bridge.  The bridge connects.

Crossing from the left bank to the right bank isn’t right.  Just as crossing from the right bank to the left bank is wrong.

Choosing to swim across the river under the bridge isn’t wrong either.  It’s more work than is called for and to most a fool-headed choice destined to doom, but it is a choice you can take that isn’t right or wrong.

But most importantly, crossing the bridge isn’t wrong until it takes you away from your destination.  And then it is only wrong because of your choices and not because the bridge exists.  Again, it isn’t wrong because I told you it was wrong because I don’t know where you’re headed.

Even if you told me where you were going and I told you about a bridge up ahead that got you to your destination more rapidly, if you choose to take this bridge and still got to your destination then you were not wrong.

Even if you did cross that bridge and were heading away from your destination and I pointed that out to you, I can not assume you were wrong.  Nor can I assume that your choice is wrong.  But I can decide that it is a choice that I choose not to follow.

I guess what I’m saying is that in my shoes, I am not able to say that you are right or wrong.  I can say that I think you’re crossing away from your destination and that I think there is a better route.  I’m also saying you can go ahead and cross that bridge.  I also wish you’d take the time to listen and question why I feel the way that I do about you crossing that bridge.

But never once am I saying that you’re wrong.  I’m saying, “I disagree.”

And I’m glad that the bridge still connects the left bank to the right bank.

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