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Confessions of a Cart Person

My internet connection was spotty during the FPEA Homeschooling Conference last week.  And on top of that I was having a good deal of fun.  And then add a blender, Margarita Mix, some festive miniature cocktail umbrellas, and, well….

You can understand my silence.

For years whenever I report on our annual homeschool convention, I start out by telling you about the stink eye that befalls The Cart People who run over my feet.  Or the colorful literary terms I whisper as I trip over their mobile death contraptions.

Honestly, The Cart People have been the bane of my very existence during conventions past.  As for myself, I prefer to carry an over the shoulder bag that I can keep close to my person, so as to aid me in becoming more aerodynamically compact so that I may move more stealthily in and out of curriculum exhibits.

And order any needed curriculum to be shipped so that I don’t have to haul anything unnecessary.  This plan has worked very well for me for all these homeschooling years.

Until 2010.

I’ll tell you right upfront that I do own a cart.  I bought a sporty model from Office Depot some years ago, so that trips to the library would be less strain on my back.  And I’ll even tell you that I actually bring my little collapsable cart with me to the homeschooling convention.  I use it to haul the requisite food cooler bag up to my super swanky room.

(mine did not come with the snazzy lid)

There are none as thrifty as the homeschooling conference attendees.  As I checked in, I spotted large rolling carts of luggage and loaves of bread.

Add 4 or 5 fish, and it would be enough to feed a few thousand.

But I have never, EVER, taken my cart down to the exhibit hall.  That would have gone against my homeschooling creed of never becoming a Cart Person, or a Denim Jumper Wearing Homeschooler.

So.  On Thursday night, I perused the exhibit floor.  I ordered the needed curriculum from Accelerated Christian Education (they ship FREE) and then settled in to order what I needed from My Father’s World.  (Some things I have found used, but most had to be purchased.)

I discovered that MFW had the curriculum all boxed up, and that conference patrons were buying their curriculum and hauling it away in their Carts.  To, you know, save on the shipping costs.  Which can be considerable if you try to lift the box.

Which I did.  To see if I could actually carry my purchase up to my room.  Which was 4 miles, one escalator, an elevator, and a long Twilight Zone-ish hall away.  I couldn’t budge it.

A dilemma.  The only way I could save boocoo bucks on shipping was to hike back to my room, get my Cart, return to the exhibit hall, and haul it all back.

Breathless, I arrived back at my room where Trish greeted me with a cocktail.  Which gave me just enough energy to hike back.  With the cart.  Trish said she would accompany me, just to make certain that I didn’t hurt anyone.  I was wearing all black, so I figured I could move about like a shadow, and no one would be the wiser.

After loading up my cart, and paying for my purchases, WHAT LUCK, a sweet reader, Brooke (I posted her photo on my earlier convention post) recognized me.  And she spotted my cart.  She whispered to me that she knew where I could find A LID for my cart.  Because the lids are good for stacking things on top of your cart.

I filed the information away.

The next day, I found myself eyeing The Cart People.  But not with the customary stink eye.  I was experiencing CART ENVY.  Why, there were tall carts, short carts, lidded carts, and some even had CART APRONS.  That way, you could organize your convention supplies in neat little pockets and some even had CUP HOLDERS.

Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I’ll tell you that my knee was a mess, and I should have been on crutches.  But had forgotten them.  I was carrying my purse and bag, and limping, and developed a muscle spasm in my back.

Honestly, I thought that someone should have just put me out in the pasture and ended my misery.

I thought of my cart.  And how nice it would be not to have to carry anything.  And how heavenly it would be to prop my foot up on the lid during seminars.

So I bought a lid.  I was just one credit card swipe away from purchasing the matching apron for my cart, but I controlled myself. Yet I began to daydream about adding a bumper sticker and horn as well.

And so, for the rest of the convention, I became A Cart Person.  And yes, I ran over a few toes, and nearly took out a pack of 20 or so who were unfortunate enough to ride the escalator behind me.

I’ll definitely be resurrecting my cart at next years convention.  And I was thinking.  A denim jumper might be just the thing to assure that I don’t overpack.  Denim goes with just about everything.

Homeschool confession: Are you a Cart Person?

And just in case my pastor is reading this:  Please note:  Trish and I seldom drink.  Honest.  Please do not get the idea that we are a couple of lushes.  One or three Margaritas a year is about all we can handle.  And the only thing I had to drive was the cart…The end.

12 Responses to Confessions of a Cart Person

  • I am NOT a cart person. But all my friends will tell you how annoying I am asking for space in their carts and having to constantly go back and forth to my car. But since I haven’t had surgery on my knee I can afford to carry heavy loads. I probably look way more ridiculous than any cart person, but hey, I have my priorities in order, right? I am so bound and determined to not look like a homeschooler I got my nose pierced right before the 1st convention I ever attended. So I totally appreciate this post.

    I’m curious. What did you order from MFW?

    I ordered the student pages for Jensen for Kindergarten. I found the TM used at Vegsource.com. But I bit the bullet and ordered Exploring Countries and Cultures new, with extra student pages for Cailey. We only have one more really good used curriculum sale next weekend, and I’m not sure I can make it. And since we start back to school in July, I didn’t want to take any chances not finding it. Also, I was surprised how NOT CHEAP the used MFW curriculum is on e-bay. Good golly, it certainly retains its value!

    I am excited to begin using it. It looks VERY user friendly. Emme is already hoarding the books and is excited about the change for Science, History, and Social Studies. I’ll be posting a curriculum round-up in the next week or so, because I want to see what everyone else is doing. And I’ll go into more detail about our upcoming school year.


  • I’m only a cart person at the library. Oddly enough, most of our patrons just lug around a huge stroller and load it up instead.

  • No, we don’t own any carts. But one double stroller can load up a lot especially since the conventions we’ve gone to don’t cover childcare for ages 0-3 (and we always seem to have one or two). (And we both want to go, no grandparents willing to manage all 4 of our kids for the weekend.)

  • Too funny. My parents are lucky enough to live on a resort in CA. A lot of conventions take place there and my father simply refers to the whole lot as, “Badge People”. Some of them probably have carts too!

  • Um … cart is okay. Necessary, actually, as the knees age 🙂 But the denim jumper? NO WAY. Can’t see you in that attire.

  • I believe my thoughts on this subject have been made perfectly clear. Carts = Not cool.

    And the only denim that should be worn is a pair of sassy, non-mom jeans.

    But you get extra points for imbibing while Homeschool Conferencing, so you win. 🙂

  • I fall firmly on the cart side! Both at the library and the convention. I do get strange looks at the library, especially when they see how full it gets, but we check out a LOT! How am I supposed to carry all the books for 5 voracious readers for 3 weeks?

  • No carts. Actually, dh went with me last year…it was our first time at a convention, and we couldn’t figure out why everyone had carts. EVERYONE had carts. No one seemed to be selling them but people were walking down the sidewalk in Cincy with their little carts…a very strange sight. However, Cincinnati is kinda strange all the time, so, whatever. This year dh suggested we should have purchased one, but I really like having it shipped and most vendors ship free at conference.

  • At the Homeschool conference I went to earlier in the month, they actually don’t allow carts. But they do have a book check room. I saw that there were families that would take stuff back to the book check room, and then use carts to lug everything to their cars at the end of the day. It’s crowded enough as it is without adding carts to the picture, so I understand why they do it.

  • I’m just glad I now know what a cart person is! I have been trying for the last 3 years to get to our Florida Homeschool Covention and have had a conflict every year. Sigh…….maybe next year.

  • The LIBRARY! Why did I not think of that! Must take cart to the library! My aching back thanks you!

    I have to admit, I’m suffering from “cart envy”. The ones for sale at the convention are bigger and have LIDS and the handle is taller. My current cart might just have an “accident” before next year’s convention. Yea, an “accident”! hahahaha 😉

  • Do you want me to start sewing you a denim jumper?

    Would you mind? You’d have to use a rather stretchy denim fabric, as my weight is fluctuating wildly. HEY! Maybe we could wear matching denim jumpers at next years convention, since you’ll officially be a FLORIDIAN AGAIN! WOOT!!!!