Going on a Butter Run

Everybody knows what a beer run is. This is Wisconsin, after all. So, it was déjà vu when recently talking with my friend, Betty, recalling our long ago, wild college days in the 1960’s. That quickly lead to my declaration: by the way, I’m going on a butter run.

For the last month, I hadn’t been able to leave my apartment, let alone get into my car and go grocery shopping. In fact, this latest MS flare had rendered me unable to walk from the bedroom to the kitchen. I’d wondered if life would ever return to normal. The second month was better but I still had doubts.

I’d grudgingly adjusted to my niece kindly getting my groceries.  When you’ve been healthy and independent it’s really hard to ask for help and depend on others for the simplest things.  Trying to be self-sufficient, I’d researched the various home grocery delivery services advertised on the internet; the thought of navigating a cart up and down the many aisles of my neighborhood store was unthinkable.

My angst intensified the day I looked in the refrigerator and realized I was almost out of butter. I know. That doesn’t sound like the end of the world but this simple task had morphed into a simulation of climbing Mt. Everest. At that moment, in my situation, it was a jolt. So, I was at a crossroads which leads me back to my conversation with Betty.

As we talked about my progress and how I wanted to do it myself, I told her I was thinking about going to the grocery store to solve my butter problem. I said I was only going for butter and knew exactly where it was in the store. We both lamented how dairy products were in an obscure aisle at the far end and what an inconvenience that was when all you want was a carton of milk or eggs. Or butter.

I recalled my therapist thirty years ago when I’d first been diagnosed and how he’d helped me readjust back to normal life. He taught me to visualize myself doing each step of a new activity. Then doing it.  I meditated on this trip to a grocery store as though it was a vision quest and clearly saw the whole thing.

I’d walk in, get a cart and take the shortest route to the butter.  Betty encouraged me to use the electronic check-out rather than risking standing in a long line. She gave me a short tutorial. It’s easy, she said.

It felt really weird driving my car since I’d only attempted short trips in the last few weeks. As I drove the parkway, I marveled at how good it felt to be out in the world just like a regular person. I’d missed it. I channeled Jack Kerouac and meditated with Willie Nelson for their wisdom on taking trips.

While my modest little adventure couldn’t compare with the magnitude of their saga, it was pretty monumental to me. I even got cocky and diverted, stopping for my favorite lemonade on the way to the check-out. I arrived back home with a real sense of accomplishment. And a plan.

Adjustment is the name of the game and adjust I will. I accept that I’m relegated to small shopping trips at least until I’ve built up my strength and stamina. I’m going to go shopping again and only pick up two or three things at a time. A butter run is only the beginning. There’s the Chai tea run. The ingredients for chili run. The stock up on frozen dinners run. Even a brandy run. I guess that means life is getting back to normal after all.




2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Diana Schramer
    Aug 24, 2017 @ 21:59:31

    I so enjoyed this, Karin. As I do all your posts. You truly are a gifted writer.

    I’m replying to my email version of your post because I want you to see the formatting. I’m guessing you didn’t intend for the extra spaces between the lines?

    I hope that you’re feeling better with each passing day. 🙂

    Hugs, Diana




  2. Beverly Newman
    Aug 27, 2017 @ 19:43:20

    Your writing is so descriptive, I feel like I was there. Bev.



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