Seriously, How Many Miles Does a Shopping Cart Log?

English: Jewel-Osco - monster shopping cart truck

Image via Wikipedia

 

Today is one of those days when the weather inspired me to write.  The opportunity clock woke me at 7:00 a.m. and I looked out upon a white Frankfort. It snowed last night. By 9:00 a.m. I was holding a bucket begging for money at the front door of the Frankfort Jewel Food Store. My Lions Club agreed to beg for money to feed the needy at Christmas. Our local Jewel sponsors a program where they offer the meals with donations from their customers. They have a can atop each checkout counter, but on weekends they ask local groups to help. The Lions is one group they rely on. Since we also distribute food to the needy on the holy day and we buy some of it from Jewel they are comfortable with our helping them in this cause.

So what does this have to do with inspiration to write? Well the temperature was a cool twenty-five degrees this morning when I arrived at my post. I dressed for the occasion and felt comfortable for about an hour, but the cold  finally penetrated my layers and I was dancing to stay warm. To pass the idle time in between shoppers, and there is a lot of idle time between 9-10 on a cold snowy Friday morning. Shoppers are smarter than old Lions who are out to put the touch on them. The smart ones stay in where it is warm. I played drums by tapping my thumbs on the bottom of the plastic collection bucket, and watched the Jewel employee collect shopping carts from the parking lot. I held the door open for him as he  wrestled a long line of telescoped carts into the store.

The engineer in me jumped into action. I asked Zak the cart collector if he ever wondered how many miles on a typical shopping cart. I got the dumbest, longest look I ever received from anyone. I would love to have had an audible readout of Zak’s mind from that moment. Of course, his answer was “I never thought about it.” I don’t think any one alive ever has either. Seriously, how many miles does a typical shopping cart log before it goes to cart-heaven?

My calculated estimate is 15,000 miles. What is your guess? Leave your answer in a comment.

Send Money

On this Memorial Day Weekend let us not forget those who have defended our flag and the people of Joplin Missouri who have suffered great losses as a result of the tornado.

As a member of the Frankfort Lions Club, I appeal to the people of WordPress , and all my friends to consider sending donations to the address listed below.  Here is a copy of a letter I received from the District 1B Governor  Lion John J O’Brien.

1-B Lions, Lioness, and Leos,

A Forwarded Message from Our District Governor John O’Brien and MD-1 on assisting in Joplin, MO

After a few calls from club members in our District asking what we can do to help in Joplin, Missouri, I was able to get thru to the District Governor in Joplin to ask what we could do to help.  She thanked us for the offer and she went on to say that seven (7) Lions in her district lost everything the owned, cars, houses, computers with years of photographs stored on them. They only had the clothing on their backs. Her Zone Chair and her husband went to the crawl space of their house only to emerge to open sky.

If Clubs in our District or individual Lions wish to help or contribute financially, below is the mailing information you need.

If you want to help out personally, the Lions Club House on the edge of town in Joplin,  suffered minimum damage and has become a gathering point in town.  They will be cooking food all weekend at the club house. Volunteers are able to stay at the club house, but there are no showers available at the Lions Club building. She asked if you come down to help, to wear your Lions Shirt or vest or bring your lions ID card to get past security.

Those wishing to offer monetary relief; please makes checks payable to:

MD26 M6, Joplin Relief Fund,

and mail to:

PDG Jim Wilson, Cabinet Treasurer

1551 E. Powell

Springfield, Missouri 65804

Thank you in advance for any help you send.

Great STRIDES

Blogging on Grumpa Joe’s Place  became second to my other activities this month.  It has been a busy LIONS activity month. A parade, Candy Day, a walkathon, board meeting, regular meeting etc. the list goes on. After the Lions activity, my garden needed to be put to bed for the winter. Fall always makes the garden look tired and ragged. Leaves get into everything. Dry flower stems abound, and the pond fills with debris. Lots of work, in other words.

I started a new website this summer for the Frankfort Lions Club, and posted to it frequently to promote club events and to inform members about our activities and needs. It has become a very useful tool for the club. I posted more on the WE SERVE blog than I did on GJP. One reason was my involvement with the STRIDES: Lions Walk for Diabetes Awareness. This was the third time I ran this walk, and I set a goal to make it a success. The past two walks were mediocre at best. We learned from each, and this time we made it better.

Last winter, while surfing the net in Arizona, I learned that walkathons are popular with schools. Late this summer, our Lions District Governor came back from a convention and related the Lions Clubs International Foundation goal to involve the youth of community in local Lion activities. That convinced me that I was on the right path.

I scheduled the event for next spring to  give the club plenty of time to plan. The first step was to get on the high school calendar. In the process, the Student Activities Coordinator recommended that we partner and hold the walk on Make a Difference Day on October 23, 2010. So much for long term planning. We were seven weeks away at this point, but excited at the prospect of partnering with a prestigious school like Lincoln-Way East. The rest is history. This walk became the most successful of all three.

Part of my effort went into creating online registration, and the website produced 20% of the total income. It also gave us a feel for what the participation might be.

Why was this walk so important to me? Diabetic retinopathy is a leading cause of blindness in the world. Lions are committed to eliminating blindness and to serving sight impaired people. I also have a personal reason for the interest. One of my family members is a type one diabetic, and  I am committed to finding a cure for the disease.

Diabetes is not new, it is well over five thousand years old.  There are ancient Egyptian petroglyphs depicting flies swarming around the sweet urine of a man taking a whiz. One would think that by now we would have a cured it. A cure is getting closer, but still light years away for the people affected by the disease. Progress is happening. Until the discovery of insulin in the early nineteen hundreds, people with diabetes died from starvation, and many organ failures.

Diabetes is still a scourge and the reason for so many health problems that they are too numerous to mention. As progress is made to cure the disease, the world is becoming more diabetic. What’s with that?

If you want to help my cause go to the WE SERVE blog and donate online to the STRIDES walk.

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