As those who read this blog and follow me on Facebook know, I'm recovering from a broken ankle. My specialist has, as of yesterday, allowed me to start putting weight on my left foot. I have been on crutches since my release from the hospital, October 23. And for that reason, a rant I express in some form on a yearly basis has taken a new meaning to me.
In addition to the plate and 9 screws I had placed in my left ankle this past October, I also have an artificial left knee. I had the knee replaced February 22, 2001. I credit that to 2 things: heredity and me not taking care of myself as I should over the course of my life. Anyway, for most of the past 10 years, according to my doctor, I have had the legal right to use a handicap parking space. Many people do and it comes in handy on days when your joints are barking at you and you need bread and milk. Other days, the extra steps you need to take do you some good. Since I broke the ankle, I have had the moral right to use these spaces. Walking on crutches 100 feet on an uphill incline takes the best out of you.
Yesterday evening, coming home from work, I had to stop at the store for a few items, mainly some cough syrup as I have this cold coming on (Cliff Note: In northeast Ohio, colds usually last from late November to about April.) Anyway being about 8:20pm, the closest handicap spot to the door was available, so I took the space. I got in the store and the greeter brought me a motorized cart, and I went about my way doing my shopping. After I got my items, I checked out, took my cart back, got my crutches, got my bags out of the cart and proceeded to go to my car. The Salvation Army bell ringer offered to help me to my car. After I thanked him, and declined and showed him where my car was, he then told me that out of everyone he saw using the handicap spaces, I was the first one he saw that really needed one.
During the Christmas season, there will be many folks who really need the spaces, but will not be able to do their shopping because all of them will be taken up. That is a pet peeve of mine. I see many who have the permits on their car and sometime it's not issued to them, but to another member of their family. They just use it because they are too lazy to walk the few extra feet.
There are others who decide that the handicap spaces are to be used as cart returns. Once again, this is tying up a space for those who need it the most. And finally when the snow starts flying, there will be the inconsiderate snow plow operator who will deposit a pile of snow on-you guessed it-a handicap spot.
Since this is the season of giving, give to those who need it.