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rescuing a shopping cart

I feel very proprietary about the boardwalk near our house because I helped it get built (in a roundabout way--I didn't actually help build it). So, when someone leaves a crumpled-up can of soda or a Dunkin Donuts coolatta cup on it, I pick those things up, and I try to keep the marsh it goes through clear of rubbish, too. I love the marsh even more than the boardwalk.

When I saw some mischief makers had managed to push a shopping cart over the boardwalk rails and into the long grass in the marsh, I was frustrated. It would be very hard to fetch the shopping cart back out: everything's overgrown right now, including the sharp-thorned rosa multiflora and the poison ivy.

This was the situation:

The sides of the boardwalk are chain-link, so it's extra hard to get the cart up (and it must have been hard to push it over into the marsh, too)--you can't just reach it onto the boardwalk; you have to get it up over the guardrails, which are about my chest height.

I thought that if we had metal hooks and ropes, maybe we could get it up. So I bought some at the hardware store, and the healing angel and I cut the cord and threaded it through the holes in the hooks.

Then we tried fishing for the cart, and we caught it! And we were able to turn it rightside up. But it was VERY heavy. Heavier than I was bargaining on. So I checked, and seeing that there wasn't any poison ivy or other pernicious plant in that part of the marsh, I went out to the road, climbed over the guard rail, and went under the boardwalk into the marsh. I was thinking maybe we'd have more luck just pushing it out from underneath the boardwalk, straight onto the road, rather than trying to lift it over the boardwalk's rails.

Here's us fishing for it. The healing angel is actually rail thin, not beefy the way I've drawn him, whereas I'm more middle-age rounded than the aspirational me I've drawn.

Fortunately it's been pretty dry this summer, and where I was walking was muddy but not actually flowing. I was wearing flip-flops. Once underneath, I trying pushing the cart in the direction I'd come, but it wouldn't move. Hell, carts can be hard to push on smooth supermarket floors if their wheels get jammed, and there was plenty of long grass and mud to jam its wheels there.

So we were back to our original plan. We realized we could inch the cart up bit by bit if I lifted and he pulled, and in between pulls he tied the ropes to the chain-link. We got it up pretty high, and at just the right moment a family came walking by, and the father was able to grab the handle, and between him and the healing angel, they got it back onto the board walk.

Here's us before the family came along

Then I pushed it back to the supermarket while the healing angel rolled up our cords into the neat bundles in the photo.

I felt so deliriously pleased with myself! I saw a problem, thought up a solution, got the bits and pieces needed for the solution, and tried it, and it worked. I don't know if that's ever happened before--not with some mechanical, technical thing, anyway. I know it's a stretch to count this as mechanical or technical, but I do. And the healing angel seemed pretty pleased too. And we did it together! And we enlisted help from passersby. It was good, very good.

And now the marsh is no longer hampered by a shopping cart. It's all just long grass and song sparrows again. Yay!


( 49 comments — Leave a comment )
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Jul. 29th, 2015 02:03 am (UTC)
Excellent work!
Jul. 29th, 2015 11:41 am (UTC)
Thanks! I felt elated.
Jul. 29th, 2015 02:04 am (UTC)
Yay! Yay!! Very much yay!! \o/ \o/ \o/

It definitely counts as technical/mechanical! Ropes! Levers! (You were being the human lever from below.) Pulleys! (The fence-and-guardrail were being a pulley, when you pulled over them - at least, I expect so.)

also,not just that you enlisted help, but that they helped! Cheers for wonderful human beings, and for the breathing-free-and-lovely-again marsh. :)

Thank you for much-happiness-providing story. :)
Jul. 29th, 2015 02:23 am (UTC)
Oh, and a query: when the healing angel was in Kindergarten through second grade, did his classes emphasize Simple Machines?
(no subject) - asakiyume - Jul. 29th, 2015 11:44 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - amaebi - Jul. 29th, 2015 02:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - asakiyume - Jul. 29th, 2015 11:43 am (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 29th, 2015 02:12 am (UTC)
Excellent! All of it! ❤️👯
Jul. 29th, 2015 11:45 am (UTC)
:D :D :D
Jul. 29th, 2015 02:22 am (UTC)
Brava and bravo! Molto bello!
Jul. 29th, 2015 11:45 am (UTC)
Thank you ^_^
Jul. 29th, 2015 02:59 am (UTC)
That's quite impressive.

Was it still useful as a shopping cart?
Jul. 29th, 2015 11:54 am (UTC)
Sure! It wasn't damaged at all. It's not that far a drop from the boardwalk to the marsh, and there was all that grass to cushion the fall. In fact, I think someone took it right after I wheeled it back.
(no subject) - yamamanama - Jul. 29th, 2015 06:19 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 29th, 2015 03:03 am (UTC)
Seems plenty technical and mechanical to me! It used physics!

Jul. 29th, 2015 11:56 am (UTC)
I dropped out of two physics classes (one in high school and one in college), so that fact makes me feel all glowy inside (which is probably biology rather than physics, but still).
(no subject) - amaebi - Jul. 29th, 2015 02:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - pameladean - Jul. 29th, 2015 09:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - asakiyume - Jul. 30th, 2015 11:28 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - pameladean - Aug. 1st, 2015 03:48 am (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 29th, 2015 03:14 am (UTC)
Hooray! Good for you! And good for the marsh, too. :)
Jul. 29th, 2015 11:56 am (UTC)
Definitely win-win :-)
Jul. 29th, 2015 03:22 am (UTC)
You are so ingenious! Congratulations on a mission accomplished!
Jul. 29th, 2015 11:58 am (UTC)
It so rarely happens! That made this success even more joyful.
Jul. 29th, 2015 03:26 am (UTC)
Solving a problem is such a delight!
Jul. 29th, 2015 11:58 am (UTC)
It really, really is.
Jul. 29th, 2015 06:53 am (UTC)
I saw a problem, thought up a solution, got the bits and pieces needed for the solution, and tried it, and it worked.

That's wonderful. I love the illustrations. Thank you for telling the story!
Jul. 29th, 2015 12:00 pm (UTC)
The "it worked" part still fills me with wonder and glee.

You're welcome--thanks for reading!
Jul. 29th, 2015 07:14 am (UTC)
We live close to a river.

Why DO people do this stuff?
Jul. 29th, 2015 12:03 pm (UTC)
Boredom? Or for a version of the pleasure we got by rectifying the damage? (i.e. a sense of accomplishment)

I wanted to get the cart out asap because a big item like that tends to attract more. I'm hoping the reverse will also be true: that if a big production is made of keeping the place clean, people won't dump stuff there. At the very least, I'm hoping it empowers other families to do the same.
Jul. 29th, 2015 07:49 am (UTC)
An amazing effort! I like the way you planned first, then adapted in order to succeed.
Jul. 29th, 2015 12:05 pm (UTC)
Having the planning result in success seemed like such a miracle, when in fact I guess it's just the logical result of a sound plan--but I have so little experience of creating sound plans (at least, this sort of technical plan) that I'm still amazed.
Jul. 29th, 2015 10:01 am (UTC)
Well done you! I quite often pick up stray wrappers or bottles, but this takes litter picking to a whole other level!
Jul. 29th, 2015 12:06 pm (UTC)
I just hope they don't make a habit of it, as it would get kind of exhausting to keep doing it.
Jul. 29th, 2015 11:50 am (UTC)
Good job!

Do you have deposits for shopping carts? We do most places and that's definitely limited the amount of stray carts (or trolleys as I like to call them). Same with most bottles. :)
Jul. 29th, 2015 12:07 pm (UTC)
We do have deposits for bottles, but not for carts/trolleys. I bet you're right, that it would cut down on the amount of mischief done with carts/trolleys.
(no subject) - mnfaure - Aug. 4th, 2015 07:40 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - asakiyume - Aug. 5th, 2015 12:36 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 29th, 2015 11:57 am (UTC)
Hurrah for the splendid effort you both put in to rescue the cart (or as we would say, "trolley") and return it to its rightful home.

Interestingly I remember reading about a river clean up operation here in the UK where they removed all the shopping trolleys (and other rubbish), and then they discovered that fish stocks actually went down. It turned out that the submerged basket part of the trolley made a good safe place for fish to lay eggs and for small fish to hide where bigger fish couldn't get them. So they had a dilemma! The could hardly put the trolleys back because they made the place look awful. The solution was to make willow baskets and sink them into the water to serve the same purpose.

Jul. 29th, 2015 12:09 pm (UTC)
What a remarkable discovery! And what a great solution. And--not that I'd ever condone littering/polluting--it's kind of cheering to think that a careless or mildly malicious act can actually have a good effect. Go, team Positive Outcome!
(no subject) - amaebi - Jul. 29th, 2015 02:11 pm (UTC) - Expand
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