The tale of a shopping cart.

Yesterday, wearing all black, Lane and I walked into the woods at the end of our road and stole a shopping cart.

“Stole” is a dramatic word, really. We simply took the little, black shopping cart out of its natural resting state and rolled it down the road towards home.

You’re thinking things. I know you are. You’re thinking we walked into the woods and stole a shopping cart from someone who is probably experiencing homelessness. I should state the facts: There was nothing in the shopping cart. No people in sight. And, because I am creepier than you know, I watched that shopping cart for four days before rescuing it. It didn’t move from its place. Every day, on my afternoon walk, I would stop by the woods and look to see if my shopping cart was still there. There it sat, untouched.

Actually, I walked by one morning and thought I saw the shopping cart moved to the side of the road. At a closer look, this wasn’t my shopping cart but another shopping cart– clearly from Petco. Word around the neighborhood (because I asked people) is that a man with back issues uses that shopping cart for walking support every day. So I am not really sure why we have a collection of shopping carts scattered around our home but I can promise you– I DID NOT TAKE HIS SHOPPING CART. 

“It’s a Petco shopping cart he has,” my neighbor told me. “Always a Petco shopping cart.”


So now you are wondering, why did you steal a shopping cart? Truthfully, I don’t have an answer yet.At first, it was just a shopping cart that someone probably stole from Kroger. Then it morphed into a black, minimalist shopping cart. Then it became a Pinterest fixer-upper shopping cart. And then, finally, it became my shopping cart. I fell in love with the petite shopping cart the more I thought about it. I imagined filling it with things.

I am pleased to find out Lane didn’t turn me down when I called him at work to tell him about the shopping cart we needed to rescue from the woods. As if it were a puppy we were thinking about adopting, I gushed about all the reasons why we needed a shopping cart in our apartment. We could put blankets in it. File folders. Storage. A makeshift hamper. Possibilities = endless.

He followed me out the door after his yoga class. We walked casually down the road. We lifted the cart down the hilly path. We rolled it home, beaming with pride. He cooked salmon and asparagus on the stove while I had the job of cleaning our shopping cart with spray and a rag.

“This is like our first pet,” I exclaimed.

“No,” he said. “It’s actually a shopping cart.” 

Surprisingly, more people talk to you when you are rolling a shopping cart down the road. They are intrigued by you. We had more conversations with people in the span of 10 minutes it took to get our little, black shopping cart home than we’d had in our neighborhood in the four months of living there. Something about a shopping cart brings us all together. 

I actually don’t know if this is illegal. If I should even be writing about the shopping cart now sitting in the middle of our apartment. I have to tell myself there are a lot worse things I could be doing in the world than stealing an abandoned shopping cart.



I told Lane I was going to write about our shopping cart today. I didn’t know what I would say but I am tickled by its presence and I wanted to say something. And then it occurred to me: this is probably very strange. This is probably not common.

And then I thought to myself, if you’re reading this blog then you’re probably a bit strange. You are probably not all that common. That’s just the vibe I get from people who read my things. They’re dreamers. They’re people who make stuff happen. They’re people who see the good, the potential in shopping carts.

Maybe people wonder how your mind works or why you see the world as some place to make big things happen. I know what it is like to have people judge you or look strangely at you because they don’t understand you. I know it’s painful to feel shut down for seeing the good in this life and trying to be positive about it. I can tell you, though, that the world needs you more than you think. We need more people who see the good in the world, not more people to shut down dreams. 

When it came to our cart, I saw something Lane couldn’t see, my mother couldn’t see, and my neighbors couldn’t see. And it’s okay to have vision. Don’t let anyone shut you down for having a vision, either. You just do your thing and keep your head up. You only need one person to believe in you. It only takes two people to carry a shopping cart down a flight of stairs.

I know you might think it is important to have all the support or backing of everyone in the world but I can assure you, you don’t need it. More people doesn’t equal better. The coolest and best things start because a small band of people is crazy enough to invest in them.

So go right on with your crazy, bad self. Roll that shopping cart home, baby. Don’t watch it from the woods, looking to see if someone will grab it first. If you want that thing, go for it. Go after it. Don’t wait for the world’s approval and don’t let fear tell you someone else is supposed to get your dreams first.

I can promise you this: most of the things I’ve done in my life look a lot like this shopping cart story. I get an idea. I doubt it. People don’t always see the vision. I do it anyway. It’s been the most valuable thing of my career and my existence to be someone who doesn’t see life as a mud pit or a problem. Life is a beautiful thing and I’m lucky to dance inside it. I’m always going to be the girl who sees a bigger purpose for a shopping cart and goes after it. I think we need more people who see potential where other people see nothing special. I think we are all capable of opening our eyes and seeing something different, something more beautiful than what we saw yesterday.


Step one: steal the shopping cart from the woods.

Step two: figure the rest out as you go.

22 thoughts on “The tale of a shopping cart.

  1. I LOVE the philosophy talk you had in this post, I couldn’t agree with you more. The world already has plenty of people who will bring you down. Now it’s time for the dreamers and the people who will lift you up. Sometimes you don’t need anyone’s support other than your own. Nobody other than my brother knows about my blog, but we don’t talk about it. Flaunt your inner crazy 😉

  2. Hannah, you rock! I love reading your thoughts and feelings. You are a true inspiration and you make the world a better place. Keep dancing in this world.

  3. Love it!!! I would of taken it too. I am a Kindergarten teacher. That’s what happens when you are with five year olds all day. It is refreshing!!!

  4. It’s not like you went to the store and took the cart; that would be considered stealing. You rescued something that was floundering in the woods as a piece of “trash” and brought it home to give it a new life.It’s not pollution; it’s a solution!

  5. Thank you for encouraging me with this cute (and charming) story. I am already imagining what I could/would do with a shopping cart resting in my lounge or on our porch. Flowers? Books? Paint? Perhaps this story is so charming because, well, we don’t usually see potential in shopping carts, or the many forgotten pieces we walk past on the street. We don’t usually see the potential in ourselves either, but sometimes loved and placed with care- we too become something unique and quite lovely.

  6. I love this! Thanks, Hannah, for encouraging me to look for the beautiful things in life. I think for me, I love to see the hidden potential, the hidden beauty, the hidden dreams, in the people around me. We need more humans like that, to are willing to look at the good in people, draw it out, and let it blossom. I’m choosing to do that with my life.

  7. Still smiling here !! I once fell in love with an antique china cabinet. Not sure why. It wasn’t elegant or particularly well made. After making a small down payment I visited that china cabinet every week until it was paid for. Found the perfect spot for it amongst all our hand me down & second hand furniture and filled it with glassware & teacups and family bits & pieces. Seemed a very grown-up thing to do. It’s all just stuff in the end which I came to realize when the moving van with all our belongings crashed on the way to our new home. The china cabinet was destroyed but strangely enough all the contents survived — different part of the truck I guess. The replacement doesn’t have half the charm of the original but I often stop and look in at the bits of history inside. Makes my heart happy. And thanks Hannah for sharing your crazy bad self Hannah !!!!

  8. Wow, your timing with this is impeccable. I realized this morning that I can’t talk to my boyfriend about anything that makes me happy. Anything at all. Things that make me happy include bettering myself and working towards my dreams, such as starting a nutrition blog that I can turn into a consulting business once I finish my internship and pass my credentialing exam this summer. In any case, if something comes up he becomes sullen and shuts down. Our relationship is moving to an inevitable end as I anticipate moving from Colorado back toward the southeast and my family this summer. This morning’s realization just removes any further doubts I may have had about that separation. And then your email nearly brought me to tears with the support it offered in return. You always touch my heart in such wonderful ways and I just wanted to comment and say thank you.

  9. I have had a shopping cart in my bedroom for the last 6.5 years. In high school, my best friend and I found a Pet Supplies Plus shopping cart in a CVS parking lot. I decided I needed it and it has housed shirts that I don’t hang ever since. My mom still teases me about it. I love that this happened and you decided to share.

    > > >

  10. | | | |

    | | | hi Hannah i hope you are doing great am fine too i just wanted to ask you how exactly you discovered your puporse in life just that thanks and your blog posts are superb                                                                                                                    cheryl |

    | | | |


    | | | | Yahoo Mail Stationery |


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