Whatever you think about aging, it is not going to be that way when you reach that point! (That’s something like Murphy’s Law…) Take landscaping your gardens, for example.
I specifically wanted this 1952 home because it is one floor and the property is nearly an acre. I envisioned that we would be older and then need one floor. We do have a full basement, though. The gardens were designed by me to enable a walker or wheel chair to go around the house to see it all on a brick walk.
We moved here is 1996 and the neighbors behind us have a raised patio with 3 steps down in a tight space. The elderly man had fallen down those steps and broken his hip. I was glad that we redid our walks and smoothed out one awkward step on the side. Here, almost all is complete of the brick except the parking area side which will be done this year or next. It was also the simplest way to raise the grade with those concrete walks that were existing.
At the time that we moved in, I already had severe osteoarthritis and was hoping that in 10 years all would be completed. I thought that this would be the amount of time until possibly I couldn’t do a lot. It took 12 years due to some contractor problems but basically all the major plantings and beds got done. Unknown to me in 1996, was while I planned this for use when we got into our 70’s and 80’s, it was needed by me sooner in my 60’s.
I’m happy that we did this and completed the gardens for major work. I had the foresight in that despite the many obstacles at hand. In 2010, I no longer could walk with just a cane at times and had to use it all the time. Then I went to a walker as the doctor said that was better/safer. That whole thing is just depressing. Having 3 desiccated discs in my back, which are herniated in all directions, lumbar spinal stenosis, pre-osteoporosis condition, no tendons or ligaments now attached to either shoulder, carpal tunnel syndrome in both wrists, and lumbar scoliosis, on my list (none of which are from gardening!), it just gets me depressed.
As a result, I keep as busy as I can here. Though I no longer get out shopping but rarely, and don’t visit others at all, I find that can do things in the garden with many innovations and assists. Glenn has to pull the cart out with my tools and things but I can sit in the wheel-walker or on the bucket seat and still garden. I have a Wheel Sprayer for the weeds and made a tall, tool carrier from an acetylene tank wagon, used for welding, for the garden tools.
I get it done. The deck in front of the cabin was built in the fall of 2010 to my design with a long ramp. It’s much safer than the ramp that came with it in 1998. We have fire pit back there and more. This is our Camp Rest-a-While and Lost Lake. It’s a ‘vacation’ from the house that you may have read about when people built their outside structures. That’s the purpose.
In the summer of 2010, when I injured the other 2 discs and couldn’t walk much at all, I started researching and even better mode of transportation around the gardens. This will enable me to cross the street and visit my neighbors, too. I had not talked to any of them in 2 years until the yard sale this June 2nd. It is just too far for me to walk even with the walker. I’ll save that for this coming week’s topic…
When I retired in October of 2000, I had loose plans. The financial parts of my plans were made 20 years before. Five months later, in Jan. 2001, Glenn’s truck was hit in the rear as he went to work. He was not seriously injured but the truck was totaled. That changed our plans for a couple of years. I was glad that I had loose, retirement plans and had not committed myself to anything monumental.
Again, I say, as my advice:
Whatever you think about aging, it is not going to be that way when you reach that point!