Finding a parking spot at the hospital/clinic is more difficult, now that the other local hospital closed. The one Farmer H used to frequent. Not that I can specifically pin its closing on any one thing having to do with Farmer H. You'd think he could have single-handedly kept it open, what with his doctor ordering every medical test known to man for him over the years. That doctor retired, though, and Farmer H's new nurse practitioner is not as diagnostic-test-happy as the old doctor was.
Anyhoo...I arrived for my own nurse practitioner visit in plenty of time to find parking and get inside 15 minutes before my appointment. This hospital has an old man who drives a little trolley around picking up parkers and dropping them off at the door. Or vice-versa. Meaning he picks them up at the door and drops them off where they parked. Not that the parkers pick HIM up and drive him.
It used to be a trolley. When the boys were little, we'd ride it. Because that's easier than carrying one not-walking-yet boy in your arms, and dragging a toddler by the wrist, meanwhile juggling a purse and diaper bag. That trolley was open-air. We always took the flat seat across the back. It had a little platform for your feet, and a mini wall so nothing (like a kid) rolled off the end.
Now that trolley is more of a little mini bus. I don't take it. It's easier for me to walk on level ground than to climb a step to get on and off to ride. My mom never took the trolley, either. Because she was independent like that. And when I took her to the doctor a time or two, I let her off at the door.
That trolley driver is a volunteer. For a while, they didn't have money to pay him, I guess. That's what he told Mom the time she asked where he'd been, taking up his valuable time without making him feel needed by riding his trolley. Though that kind of blurs the meaning of "volunteer" if you ask me. I suppose maybe they didn't have funding for his trolley gas and upkeep, or maybe insurance. Anyhoo...since the hospitals consolidated, the parking lot is always pretty full, and the trolley is running again.
I found a spot on the fourth row, near the middle, and pulled in before somebody older with more insurance could beat me out of it. I'm never ready to jump out of T-Hoe and run inside. I have to gather my insurance cards and ID and phone. Put valuables out of sight. This time, I took my movie purse (not because I wanted to sneak in a baggie containing half a box of Sno*Caps and some butter salt) with just the essentials inside. Not all of the other stuff that weights down my regular purse that is pretty much unnecessary that I don't want to take the time to sort through. I only have all day, every day, to do that, you know.
I'll be ding dang donged if that trolley driver didn't pull up behind me and sit there. I saw him out of the corner of my eye, and I waved him on. But still he sat. Lurking. Like a vulture waiting for my final exhale. Sweet Gummi Mary! I was NOT going to rush and get out and tell him. Nor was I going to ride his trolley. It probably took me five minutes to get my stuff in order. And thankfully, at 4:59 of it, he trolleyed off down the aisle.
Sometimes, that guy targets you like a heat-seeking missile, and follows you on foot, to pull up and ask if you want a ride. Even though you may be striding purposefully toward the main entrance, not standing and waving a scarf and hollering, "Yoo hoo, Mr. Trolley Man! Can you pick me up?"
Thankfully, this day, he did not. I chalk that up to my resolve to put my head down, refuse to look in his direction, and cut through the parked cars. There's more than one way to shun a trolley. Okay, actually, there's not. This is pretty much it. But it worked for me.