We've moved from Baltimore, Maryland USA to Venice, Italy in pursuit of living our dream!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Living the dream- My Grocery Cart

Living in Venice requires a bit more stalwart spirit than I have been used to…. Or, perhaps I should just say I have had to learn to be much less spoiled. Yes, I wanted, craved the simpler life, and now I have it. Don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining one bit. Merely explaining how I have had to adapt, and in doing so, give up some of life’s little conveniences.

In the US, I would happily hop in my car to go a few blocks to the grocery store, load up the trunk of my car then drive back home. Once home, I’d commence on the “unloading” process- hauling all those blue, white or tan plastic bags, ( most with torn handles) from the car into the house. Yes, this was modern convenience, and I did love it. Was I spoiled—God, yes. There was a grocery store less than a 5 minute walk from me, but the only tim I ever dared walk was in the winter when the roads were bad and I needed some milk desperately!

That being said, you can see by looking at my grocery cart that I am a changed woman. When we were visitors in Venice over the last 6 years, I would see people hauling their grocery carts off to the market, and I would actually wish I could go buy one for myself. Having arrived in January of this year for permanent occupation, one of the few items on my list to acquire (we’re in a furnished apartment, so didn’t need much) was a grocery cart of our very own!

We went a couple of weeks without one, carrying the bags back from the COOP or the Punta over the bridges between the shops and our place. Then one day we actually bought more than just a couple of bags worth of stuff, and it became clear it was time to find our grocery cart. I shopped around- I didn’t need the 100 Euro variety- I’m really not a top-of-the-line kind of girl. I’m way too frugal for that. My requirements were simple: not gaudy, sturdy enough, decent wheels, lightweight, and I had a price range in mind.

Our grocery cart has a place of honor near the front door now. It goes to the market down the street, it goes on the Vaporetto to the Rialto markets with us, and it even goes on the bus to the Panorama when we do a bigger shopping trip. For me, it’s way more than just a grocery cart, it’s a symbol which represents to me that we really live here now.


Shannon said...

It looks really cute. Any plans to personalize it with patches or glittery puff paints? :)

Anne Vance said...

Ciao Karen. After such a great day, and several discussions about your blog, I thought I'd reread from the beginning - and it is such a treat! I can hear you as I write, and it adds a new dimension to a blog I enjoyed so much the first time round. I've almost commented on several posts, and wanted to say how much I love your writing, and then I found this post - hello Karen's carello! I know you now, and this is how you looked when you were just a baby! Grazie cara for your friendship, it's a joy every day.

karen said...

Anne- oh Mamma Mia, you are re-reading! So not necessary! But I must thank you for this one. When your comment popped up I had to go back and re-read this blog myself. What a great memory for me! Yes, that was our carello's early days. It's been used, well loved, and now has wobbly wheels, a few stains, and even a hole or two near the bottom. Just about on it's last legs, as we'd say in the US! I will break down and replace it when a wheel falls off I think, and then I'm still not sure I will be able to part with it. Don't be surprised to find it in our magazzino one of these days, storing garden equipment!

Today was another one for the memory book's, wasn't it? This blog has served me well, it's brought you into my life!

Anne Vance said...

Not necessary, perhaps, but so enjoyable! Love your writing... When you blog about your new carello, and reminisce about the elder carello's noble legacy and many adventures, don't forget the trip back to Sant'Elena with NYE dinner! It's part of the January 1 entry for this year - and it's a hoot!!!

karen said...

Oh geez, now I hafe to go read that one!

Yes, I promise I will blog when the carello gets it's sendoff tomthe great beyond!