486 A Tale of Two Canes
Was it Andy Benedict or George H.W. Bush who said getting old was not for wimps. In any case, the quotation is correct. (Actually, H.W. didn't speak in complete sentences, and Andy never spoke in short sentences, so maybe it was someone else.)
Now, to one of the vagaries of the human body at "this" age. Arthritis. Yeah, yeah, we all get it. And yeah, yeah it's sometimes painful, even disruptively painful. And there isn't a whole lot to be done for it. And sometimes it goes away, sometimes it goes away and comes back for a later visit. And sometimes it just doesn't want to leave. Hospitality is a beautiful thing.
Oh. Back story. This household follows an Asian tradition: no outside shoes inside. A nice idea, and a good way to keep floors clean. Sometimes it can take twelve different changes of footwear to, say, take the garbage out and then head to the basement to do laundry. You get used to it. There's a sense of history and tradition to it. And you get to buy and keep footwear in sizes that guests are likely to have in addition to your own stuff.
Now the hard part: two canes. One for outside, one for inside. One for use outside the house and in the garage, and another for use inside the house. Well, most of the house. What eludes, so far, is what to use in the basement, where separate pairs of shoes are the norm. If you use the inside cane downstairs, is it still the "inside" cane? The basement floor is unfinished concrete. Technically, it's inside. But emotionally, it isn't.
To use the outside cane downstairs, the outside cane would have to come inside, long enough to be transported downstairs. There aren't enough hands to do that and still carry the laundry. So the short term solution is not using a cane, or maybe using a broom handle downstairs.
But a cane is not JUST a cane. It is a fashion statement. And you never know who you're going to meet in your basement, and wouldn't want to be there with a broom handle -- so peasant-like.
But owning three canes, somehow, has an air of permanence about it, that one or two don't.
--It's nice to know the Chicago Trib will still be on the doorstep despite its bankruptcy filing. Yes, there it is, right on the doorstep. And we live 570 miles from Chicago, so this is no small feat.
--Nice to know that in a period of high unemployment that some people still have jobs. Jay Leno comes to mind. And soon, we won't even have to stay up until almost midnight to watch a show he tapes at 5:30 in the afternoon.
--Everything is losing value. Long Island home prices are down about ten percent. Even worse, no one's buying recycled bottles, cans and newspapers anymore.
I'm Wes Richards. My opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.(sm)
(C) WJR 2008