Last week, I stopped by Orb K for my 44 oz Diet Coke. It's a nice little change from the daily grind of drinking only gas station chicken store 44 oz Diet Coke. Besides, it's about half the price, stays cold longer, and is almost as good.
I parked in my customary parking space, by the little sloped section of sidewalk edge. I can clamber out of T-Hoe, let the synovial fluid redistribute itself, and hobble (trying to walk without a limp from the right knee that doesn't straighten all the way) on into the store without having to step up on the sidewalk. Let the record show that this is NOT a handicap parking spot. Mrs. Hillbilly Mom would NEVER park in such a spot, even though her own mother occasionally encouraged her to ask their mutual doctor for a handicap permit. Nope. Not gonna happen. The day I do that is the day I get one of those stand-up old people chairs. Oh, wait...
Anyhoo...I may use the handicap stall in restrooms if nobody less-abled than me is waiting for it, but I would NEVER park in a handicap spot. The Orb K has only one handicap spot. Unlike the Country Mart, which has at least 10. Orb K's handicap spot is across a little yellow-striped walkway painted (and almost faded-away now) by the sloped section of sidewalk edge where I park. I NEVER park in the handicap parking spot. Even though the blue handicap paint is faded as well. Lots of other people park there, probably unaware. But not me.
So...last week, after purchasing my 44 oz Diet Coke and a few lottery tickets, I came out the front door to see a sedan parked in the real handicap spot. A lady was getting out of the driver's seat. She was a-movin' kind of slow. Like Uncle Joe at the Junction. Petticoat Junction. In a rocking chair on the porch of the Shady Rest Hotel.
I carefully shuffled down that sloped section of sidewalk edge and unlocked T-Hoe. That lady was still getting out of her car. I wondered if she needed help. I climbed up on T-Hoe's running board and dragged my legs inside. As I wrote the location of purchase on the back of my lottery tickets (I like to keep track of where the winners come from), I snuck another glance at that lady. She was barely standing now. Swaying.
I kind of wanted to ask if she needed help. Maybe she had multiple sclerosis. Was recovering from a hip replacement. Or had bad knees. I could offer to get her soda for her. Or buy her lottery tickets. I'm kind of a professional at those two things. But maybe she was traveling down the highway, and only stopped to use the restroom. THAT would be embarrassing. So I put T-Hoe in reverse, and left.
As I drove past that lady, she was rounding the trunk of her car to get to the sloped section of sidewalk edge, rather than going from her driver's door directly ahead into the store door. She had two of those metal canes with four feet each. She was VERY unsteady.
I felt bad for parking in my space. It would have been a more direct route for that lady. To get out of her car, and walk straight up that sloped section of sidewalk and down to the store door. Technically, though, she WAS parked in the handicap spot.
At least I had been limping when I came out.