Monday, October 31, 2011

Walking the Walk

In  a time that seems quite long ago, I joined neighbors and friends in support of  filling the empty commercial space at Thunder Hill and 175 with a Walgreen's store. I had, for 12 years, kept all of my prescriptions at the Bolton Hill Pharmacy in Baltimore because Oakland Mills had no neighborhood drugstore.  I was happy to champion the cause of a much-needed business located "within walking distance of my home."

It's true that I even threw a party at my home when they broke ground, with many of the refreshments purchased at (the River Hill) Walgreen's, just for fun.  I normally get my groceries at the Food Lion, and that certainly hasn't changed. Friends of mine from nearby villages pointed out that it would be more convenient, and a savings of gas, to come to the Oakland Mills store when it opened.  And of course, I crowed, it would be"within walking distance of my home." 

Walgreen's opened on a Friday in mid-June.  It has been a wonderful addition to Oakland Mills.  I have moved all my family's prescriptions there.  And can you guess how many times I have walked there?

Creative people can have a thousand ideas, but fear and uncertainly can kill every one just as fast as it is born.  It had to be" warm enough, not too hot, not rainy, not too cold."  I had to have "new walking shoes, enough time, someone to watch my daughter, no appointments, no commitments."

It turns out that I needed only one thing, or actually, a lack of something: excuses.  This blog post from
Sarah Says about the value of the pathway system to Columbia's citizens reminded me of my Big Talk about the Walk to Walgreen's.  Combined with posts by Miranda, Denise, and Sandy about loved ones running the Marine Corps Marathon, not to mention TJ's updates as he actually ran it, I realized it was time to fulfill my promise.

On a crisp, clear morning on the 31st of October I laced up my shoes, zipped up my jacket, and put down my fear.

(Starting Time)
Home:  9:36
Sohap: 9:43
Walgreen's:  9:49
Walgreen's 10:04
Sohap:  10:10
Home:  10:16

In just 13 minutes I had put to rest the notion that I was too old or out-of-shape to do it. It wasn't the easiest thing I have ever done, nor the hardest. I made some observations about the route as I walked.  The most crucial: why is there no crosswalk at Sohap? In order to cross in the safest and most legal way, I would have to go away from my destination to the crosswalk at White Acre. 

So now I have a new goal--who do I talk to about that?

***Well, if you must know:  hand lotion, a bottle of water, a cheddar cheese snack stick, and the Christmas issue of Victoria Magazine.



  1. Congrats. I'm learning that those small accomplishments are what leads to great success.

  2. Great accomplishment! And a super great idea to take notes on the walk as you go. You may want to engage your local Village Board (wink), the local group of citizens that were able to persuade the State to rebuild a road (wink wink), or even a local County Council rep (hug) to help with better pedestrian access at intersections. Next big hurdle; what needs to be done to allow your kids to able to walk to the store safely?

  3. Thanks for the shoutout!! This is such a great post!

    Piggybacking on Bill's comment-- the Owen Brown Village Board advocated for crosswalks across Cradlerock Way and hey, there are crosswalks across Cradlerock now. Definitely push for them!!


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