The tall, sturdy man with a stellar smile skidded to a halt in the Lowe’s Garden section and said, “Can I help you find something?” I paused in my wandering and advised that I needed soil for a citrus tree. He gestured to the far wall. We stood next to each other staring at the barely visible shelves holding sacks of soil. Finally, he spoke again. “It’s a long way, isn’t it?” I allowed that it was.
He made the trip twice because he brought the wrong bag the first time.
In the main part of the store, I went up one aisle and down another before finding a clerk. I asked if the store carried folding shelves. “I don’t think we do,” he muttered. Five minutes later, I ascertained that he was right and went in search of glue.
“What kind,” asked a stocky clerk with a long snow-white pony tail. “To glue an angel’s wings back onto her shoulder blades,” I responded. He gaped at me. “Because you can never have too many angels,” I explained. We studied every package before I finally picked one which didn’t caution against using it on little statues that came all the way from St. Louis only to lose their wings in a suitcase at the Oakland Airport.
A little while later, struggling to find a cart with straight wheels at Safeway, I landed on my weak right side next to the display of blueberries. A small woman who turned out to be a Mommy and Me fitness instructor darted around a corner, rescuing my hat, cautioning me not to move. The man who scurried over to lift me from the floor spoke very little English. He didn’t need words to communicate his concern. A third guy called 911, ignoring my entreaties not to do so. I sat in a chair that someone dragged over from the lobby bank. “I’m fine,” I assured the group. The guy talking to the Stockton EMS said I seemed okay. “Do you want an ambulance,” he called over to me. “Goodness no,” I replied.
The fitness instructor brushed dirt from my hat as I rose. I took a few steps. A woman said, “Look, she’s hurt”, and I saw the two of them conferring, the yoga lady telling her that no, that was just how I walked. Somebody brought me a functioning cart. I kept repeating, “Thank you all so much,” until everybody drifted away.
An hour later, pulling into the park, I waved to several neighbors. One called out that I’d been gone a fair bit. I smiled and thought, “I’ve missed this place.” I hadn’t even felt ashamed, dusting myself off in the grocery store.
It’s the sixth day of the fifty-first month of My Year Without Complaining. Life continues.
P.S. I am FINE. Nobody needs to comment or message asking, “Are you okay?”
I blog about falling only when all is well. If I hurt myself, I never mention anything. So you can be assured that I am fine. Thank you.