Costco in the Snow

I love grocery stores. There, I said it. I love wandering the aisles and letting my mind wander through its internal recipe box and catalogue of food magazines. I like foreign grocery stores even more - they're fun.

I also love Costco with its big containers of maple syrup, yeast, vanilla, coffee and  peanut butter.

On Monday, Hunter took a flying lesson in a two-seater plane (which meant that I couldn't come). So I hoofed it over to Costco where I could wander the aisles without the usual barrage of sighs emitted by my husband.

I wandered...the first thing I picked up as a 55lb bag of dog food. Wisely, I stuck that in the front of my huge Costco-sized shopping cart. I kept going, adding things like 10lbs of coffee (still decaf, yick), 5lbs of chocolate chips, 15lbs of Milk Bones, 8lbs of environmentally-friendly dishwasher detergent, 25lbs of canned goods...the list went on.

To turn corners, I had to corral the cart, giving it a heave from the back and then racing up to direct the front. I developed a system. It was good. At the check-out I parted with what felt like a month's salary, then started to push my way out the door. It wasn't until I got across the front driveway and less than a foot into the parking area, that I realized that I had a problem. A very big problem.

There was about an inch and a half of gravel-covered snow in the parking lot. That really didn't mix well with the near 200lb load I was trying to push on inch-wide wheels. Of course, I had a cart with bum wheel. I ALWAYS have a cart with a bum wheel.

I pushed. Nothing. I pulled. Nothing. I tried to wiggle it sideways and take a run at it. Nothing. My cart was stuck in the snow. The little gravelly bits had jammed up the wheels. Of course the truck was clear across the uphill lot AND I was blocking a line of traffic.

A couple of gentlemanly Costco employees came by with an automatic cart hauler. They took a run at my cart, hoping to knock it out of it's stuck position..nothing. The cart hauler came off its back wheels. In the end, it took five manly Costco employees to get my cart out of the snow and up to the truck.

I learned a couple of valuable lessons yesterday. First, don't put the heaviest thing in the front of your grocery cart in winter, that'll just get you stuck in the snow. Second, even if they're not in the bush, Alaskan men still love a damsel in distress.