With Food Lion Issue Resolved, Carts Can Roll On
One of my first memories of being in a grocery store is riding around on the bottom of the shopping cart, steering around corners as my mother pushed the cart, loading it with groceries.
I had ridden in the cart hundreds of times, but this was one of the first times I got to ride underneath. Mom thought it not a good idea, but after much discussion and promises to behave from yours truly, the will of a 6-year-old won out.
As we rolled through the store, I would put my arms out like airplane wings and guide us around the aisle endcaps, trying not to knock anything over. It was a great time, until I lost my balance and started to fall off as we whisked around a corner. I put my hands on the floor to steady myself just as Mom turned the corner. The cart rolled over my finger. I squealed in pain.
The next few minutes blurred past me, washed away amid my mother's anger and my tears. We left the shopping cart, still filled with groceries, at the front of the store. I'm sure I screamed all the way home, but the next thing I remember is soaking my now purplish finger in a bowl of ice water.
The throbbing pain in my finger eventually subsided, the fingernail blackened and fell off, and eventually everything was good as new.
In Whispering Pines, the development of a Food Lion shopping center has been almost as painful a process.
For years, residents clamored for a new shopping center, but when Food Lion decided to come to town, many residents opposed it. The store wasn't good enough for them. But after many meetings, details of the plans for the new store emerged and opposition to the grocery store eased, if not disappeared.
But getting from paper to concrete has been a long, slow process. The Whispering Pines Village Council and village staff have steered the the Food Lion shopping cart through the process, with JDH maneuvering it around the corners, careful not to hit anything. Most of the groceries were in the cart, and all involved moved down the couple of aisles, headed for the check-out line and the Sept. 8 grand opening.
Then the cart wobbled. An easement to property forced a late revision to the site plan, which needed approval by the Village Council and the Planning Board. After a flurry of meetings in the span of a week, the new plan was a no-go, due largely to the perceived safety issues.
At this point, it was easy to empathize with all sides. The -reasons why can be argued, but I think all involved will tell you that they were trying to do what is best for the citizens, without harming their own interests.
Sometimes, the best laid plans, like my designs to navigate the store from the bottom of the cart, don't always turn out so good.
But after a little bit of quick work, the easement issue appears resolved. Sure, it may have taken some bruised egos or hard feelings to get us to this point. And yes, we aren't quite to Sept. 8, and there is still work to be done to get the store ready to open on time, but I suspect that will -happen.
And it will happen because this is a good thing. The shopping -center will be a boon to Whispering Pines and the -surrounding community. It will give consumers another shopping option, and it will boost the village tax rolls.
And that should be the ice-cold water that salves all the immediate bruises And time, and a nice new store - hopefully with no children performing airplane spins from the bottom of the cart - will heal all.
Tom Embrey is a senior writer with The Pilot. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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