Sometimes not feeling my legs provides serious comic relief. I will look for hours for my keys, only later to discover they fell in between my legs and I simply didn't feel them. Or I will get all the way to my car and realize I forgot to put on my shoes. These discoveries always leave me laughing, never upset. I guess I could get frustrated and overwhelmed, but usually what happens is so hysterical it outweighs any sadness that may cross my mind. Mostly, the mistakes are small like missing keys or shoes, but sometimes not feeling my legs causes huge, frantic mixups, leaving me in a fit of hysterical laughter. Like the other day on a regular trip to Biggs. I go to a few grocery stores because of the way I eat. I work out a system for each store based on what type of carts are available, how high the shelves are, the distance to the parking lot, etc. I go to Biggs to stock up on sparkling water. I am addicted to fizzy water...just the plain, no flavors. I was a long time devoted addict of Diet Coke and one day, after reading an article about the toxins in Diet Coke, I decided to give it up cold turkey. I bought a bunch of sparking water and reached for one every time I wanted a Diet Coke. I quickly realized I was on addicted to carbonation, not the Diet Coke flavor. Biggs usually offers the best deal on the water I buy, so I shop at Biggs about once a month to stock up on water and any household items like dish soap or laundry detergent. So, I pulled up in the spot I prefer, not right in front of the store, but down a little bit. There is too much traffic right in front of the store to put together my chair, so I always park down a bit. This particular day, I put together my chair, grabbed my keys and my wallet, putting them both in my lap and headed into the store. I selected a large, standard size cart because that is all they offer. Some stores offer smaller, mini carts, which are a dream and a whiz to wheel around. I don't usually bring a purse or bag because that is just one more thing to carry. My wallet and keys usually sit very nicely on my lap and I don't have to worry about them. For some reason, I was in a hurry this day and wasn't paying as much attention as I usually do. I zipped through the aisles, collecting the few staple items on my list and headed straight for the sparking waters. I push the cart with one hand and wheel with the other and constantly look down at my lap to confirm that my keys and wallet are still resting comfortably. But, then I became distracted. I started worrying about my dog sitting in the car and fretting about being late for some activity or other. So I started whizzing around, making large, sweeping turns on the freshly waxed floors...I was feeling pretty fancy and like I had it all together. I lifted six twelve packs of water into my cart and pushed the now heavy metal basket on wheels to the checkout line. I unloaded everything and waited for the cashier to scan my items. As she was scanning, I decided to get out my wallet and credit card so I would be prepared to pay. But, I looked at my lap and a sinking, blood rushing feeling came over me. No wallet, only my keys. I looked all over my lap, in between my legs and to the side of my legs, making sure it wasn't lodged somewhere. My face turned white and my mouth became as dry as sandpaper. I very nervously said to the cashier, "I lost my wallet." I was panicking, but trying so hard not to show it. The sweet cashier said she would finish ringing up my stuff and put the order on hold until I could figure out what happened to my wallet. I immediately began frantically wheeling around looking for it. I retraced my entire shopping trip, going up and down the aisles and looking thoroughly through the shelves. I still could not find it. I knew I had it because I remembered putting it in my lap and I had my list in my hand, which I always keep in my wallet. So it had to be in Biggs somewhere. I started getting very nervous and very upset, allowing my head and thoughts to venture into the worst scenarios possible...like I dropped it and someone picked it up and stole it and ran off with it and now I was going to have to renew my license, cancel my credit card, and oh all of that missing cash and my cute Kate Spade wallet. I kept in my emotions, but continued to wheel around Biggs as if I was a contestant on Super Market Sweep. Several employees were now assisting me and an announcement was made over the loud speaker...everyone was looking for my black, Kate Spade wallet and not finding anything, not even a trace of the wallet or anything inside of it. I was beginning to become a royal mess, but then I decided to go look by the sparking water one more time. I have to lift the water, so I only assumed while lifting I knocked it off and it was maybe tucked between two waters on the shelf. I took off by myself because I didn't want anyone to see the hot tears starting to well up in my eyes. I knew on the grand scale of what has happened to me in my life, this was nothing, just a scratch that could be easily repaired, but I was allowing my emotions to get the better of me and I was embarrassed. As I was wheeling towards the waters, I hit a small bump and lurched forward and had to brace myself on the lower bars of my wheelchair. As I did this, my head flew forward, catching a glimpse of my lower legs and feet and shoes. When I looked down at my light grey running shoes, I saw it, a large, black wallet staring up at me, almost grinning. There it was, just resting on my shoes this entire time. And then I reacted in such a goofy way, I still can't believe what I did. I grabbed the wallet, while still bending over and quickly and very lightly I tossed it under one of the shelves, exclaiming, "Oh there it is, I found it!" My cover up happened just as the other volunteers, searching for the wallet, rounded the corner. Someone picked it up and handed it to me and I gave an Oscar worthy performance of shock and surprise. Inside I was relieved and giggling and it was all I could do to pay for my groceries and get out to the car without falling into a fit of hysterical laughter. And I did fall into that fit of laughter, the entire way home, the next day, I am still laughing. Not having the use of my legs is a cross I would prefer not to bear most of the time, but it is days like these, moments like this, well it makes it all go away and it becomes just a funny part of my life. And I also know where to look now when I can't find my wallet. My legs may not be good for walking anymore, but my feet sure know how to hold onto a wallet and for that I am forever grateful.
P.S. I can't thank you enough for all of your kind and thoughtful comments. Your encouragement is priceless and your words invaulable. I learn so much from you all. What a loving and giving world this is. I will stop back by tomorrow night with a French Onion soup recipe that will knock your socks off and put them right into the dryer. (Paula Deen once said this about her Not Yo' Mama's Banana Pudding). The soup recipe is courtesy of Ina Garten with a little bit of Wolfgang Puck via the Splendid Table. I have yet to have better onion soup. I hope you all will enjoy it just as much.
Have a Happy Happy Weekend,