I'm not new to talking, sharing ideas, or stating my opinion, especially stating my opinion! After all, I taught elementary school for 30 years! However, my audience has typically been smaller,just family, the classroom, or just talking to myself!

My blog has two goals: be an outlet for sharing thoughts on writing children's books and the path to publication (got my fingers crossed that I'll get there) and a place to chronicle my journey of losing my sight. Sometimes I imagine these two paths will overlap .

Friday, January 15, 2010

Visualeyes 11

Okay, before I start this story, you need a visual of the carrier I will be talking about. This is my new "shopping cart" with canvas sides and a cover for the top in case it's raining. (If it's snowing, I'm NOT going to be out shopping!)

  You can't see it but it has umbrella handles, like a stroller. Usually, the cover is tucked inside so that you can quickly fold it up.

Storytime.... Mass Transit Chronicles chapter two.

I was going to Midtown Atlanta  for a meeting at The Center for Visually Impaired (CVI). I brought the cart for "show-and-tell" as an aid that can be helpful for us VIPs (Visually Impaired Persons). In addition, someone was bringing some large print magazines to donate to an organization I worked with.

I had to leave the meeting early because my book club was also meeting that day. There was little room for error in the timing as I had to walk back to the subway station, catch the train, then get the bus, then walk home from there. If the planets were alligned, Mercury was in retrograde (whatever that means), and my luck was holding, I could be home in an hour with about 5 minutes to grab my stuff, make a pitstop, and be ready for my ride out to Gwinnett County for the book club. [You thought doing more than one thing in a day was easy????]

I left CVI on time-good. Walked to the subway station-good. Got through the gates to go down to the train-good. Looking for the escalator, because I had the cart partially filled with magazine- no good. There's only stairs going down. And of course, I could hear the train arriving although I didn't know if it was going the direction I needed. The elevator would take too long, so I grabbed the cart by the metal bar on the side, yanked in up off the ground, and raced down the stairs-holding onto the handrail- as fast as my bad eyes would allow me. Didn't want to miss a step and stumble butt over cart you know. Now with RP, you lose your peripheral vision so things out to the side of you just disappear from sight. In this case, that was a good thing, because, apparently there were 2 women who thought I had a weird baby carriage and was recklessly dragging a poor child down to the train! How do I know this if I can't see? Well, when I hit the platform and found out the train wasn't going my direction, I headed over to the bench to sit and wait. These women walked past me, one with a look of shock still on her face and the other giving me those mommy dagger eyes! I couldn't figure out what was their problem, at that point, but shortly after that, it came to be clear.

I got on the train with my cart in front of me and the train pulled out. Just before the next stop, it jerked suddenly and the cart, which I barely was holding, headed on it's own down the aisle of the car. I jumped up, caught it about two feet away and jerked it "angrily" back to my seat and my backpack I left there in order to snatch the cart. The guy sitting diagonally from me asked: "Is there a baby in there?" I guess he wanted to be sure of his facts before he stopped the next security guy walking between cars! Of course I immediately said:  "No way! I wouldn't treat a baby like that!" He seemed relieved [and so would those women if they'd bothered to get on the same car as me!]  That's when I realized what the women must have been thinking. It made me chuckle but I guess I'm lucky neither one tried to beat the snot out of me. That really would have wrecked havoc on my timetable!

Anyway, now that I was on the same wavelength as the rest of the world-who thought I was an abusive woman- I decided to have a little warped fun with it. When I got off at my stop, again there were only stairs to go down. [For those of you who've never been on Atlanta's subways, some of the tracks are above ground and some are below but we still refer to it as subways.] As I approached the steps, I though of shouting, "Hang on!" but I didn't :-) I just put the cart next to me, held onto the handrail with one hand and the umbrella handle with the other hand and bump, bump, bumped haphazardly down the stairs...with a smile on my face. At the bottom of the stairs, there was, again, a couple of shocked and perplexed looks. I sweetly turned to them and said," Good thing this is a cart not a baby stroller, huh!" I left that thought percolating as I carefully pushed my cart down to the gates to exit the station.

Hey... nice, kind people can have a little wicked fun too!

Lessons learned:
Put a sign on the cart saying This is a cart not a stroller.
Be more careful with the cart because some zealous mom (or cop) might take it out on you.
Don't talk or coo at the cart!                               


  1. it's a good thing I wasn't there... imagine two healthy women letting a someone struggle that way... unthinkable if they thought you had a baby in there. Come live in Florence were there are no subways and people like me out number people like those three people. A simple "can I help you" was too much for them!

  2. Haha...might as well have some fun when you're rushing from place to place, right? Love it!

  3. hilarious gail - i can jus picture this :)