Under the Maple Canopy

Singing Union Songs Since 2009

More Car-Free Journeys – The Library (twice) and Some Groceries

The Library – February 23, 2009 – ~2.5 miles one way
We finally made our trip to the library last week. We decided to make our trip on Monday since it was reasonably warm in spite of the 5 inches of snow we received on the previous Saturday. I was a little bit afraid that if we waited until Tuesday the warmer weather would mean that we’d have a number of puddles to deal with.

Instead of puddles, what we encountered was what one can probably call a typical suburbian encounter – unshoveled sidewalks. City ordinances say that you have to have your sidewalk cleaned within 12 hours of the storm. We were easily outside of that window in that the storm had ended almost 48 hours previously. At the start of our walk I decided to keep track of the number of times we had to leave the sidewalk and walk in the street because either the sidewalk hadn’t been cleaned or the outlet to the street had a snowbank in front of it. I easily reached 10 within the first 1/3 of our walk and soon lost count thereafter. I would say that there were easily 20+ instances where our path of travel had to change. In one particular instance the homeowner was actually outside getting their mail and glared at us – as if to say “how dare you walk across my unshoveled sidewalk!” I resisted the urge to inform her of the sidewalk ordinance as I figured very little good could come of it. I suppose she could have been looking at us like we were crazy for walking (since who in their right mind would elect not to go by car?).

About half way into our journey both J and L were fast asleep. At first we stuck with some of the busier roads (that still had sidewalks), but eventually decided to head to quieter side streets. We figured we’d be inhaling less car exhaust directly that way and the quieter street made conversation a bit easier.

It took us about an hour one-way. We probably spent around 45 minutes at the library so both J and L could play in the children’s section before heading back home for another 1 hour walk. In the summer I think we’ll likely pack a picnic lunch and make a grand excursion of the whole deal.

The Credit Union and the Library – March 2, 2009 – ~3 miles one way
In spite of our best hopes it was actually a bit cooler when we made our second library journey on foot. Adding in a stop to the Credit Union made the journey a bit further, but we really needed to make a deposit and it only added at most a half mile to our journey.

This time I planned ahead better and we packed a lunch as well as some snacks. On the ground floor of our library there’s a little cafe where they sell sandwiches, donuts, and coffee (mostly from other stores like Dunkin Donuts and such). I’ve seen other people bring their own food, but was still a bit uneasy, thinking we’d be thrown out or something. We weren’t…and as much as I would have loved to support the library, it just isn’t in our budget. Both of the kids had a blast and it really did me some good – last week we ended up eating lunch much too late and felt a bit ill. Not a good thing when you’re going on foot.

We made a stop at McDonald’s for a restroom break on the way home and had a hot fudge sundae – not the healthiest snack, but it was a nice treat.

Once a Month Grocery Shopping at the Co-op – March 3, 2009 – ~1.5 miles one way
Our local co-op has a once a month sale where members get 20% off. We do all of our shopping there once a month. I don’t think we could afford to shop there if it weren’t for the sale. We took along a vintage granny cart I picked up at the flea market last year for $15. It’s missing the front wheels which ended up being a bit of an issue. Not a huge issue, but an issue nevertheless. It brought to mind again our thoughts on possibly getting some bigger backpacks or a new granny cart that was maybe a bit taller (or had the front wheels). Hubby thinks we might take the wagon next time, but neither of us are all that thrilled at that prospect.
Miles walked to date: 19.1
Most things carried to date: $191 worth of groceries after our $50 dollar discount (eggs, oodles of produce, nitrate free lunch meat, fresh ground peanut butter, flours, cheeses, nutritional yeast, lentils, raisins, chicken legs, 5lbs of ground beef, and a couple of bags of chips)

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