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  • Writer's pictureJane Leder

Has It Come To This? Googling Contraptions for Seniors

Catchy name for a website dedicated to seniors--even for those of us not yet gray. Well, not gray enough that hair dye doesn't still do the trick.

So, how did I get to "Graying With Grace"? Google, of course. I was searching for garden kneelers. Yep, one of those contraptions that "old" people use when they want to keep on planting and weeding but whose back or knees or shoulders scream, "It's time to hire a gardener."

I am a proud member of at least three generations of gardeners: my mother before me and, before her, my great uncle Joe whose roses took First Prize every year at the Michigan State Fair, and my great uncle's sister who happened to be my maternal grandmother. I don't remember any of them using a garden kneeler.

So, what exactly is a garden kneeler, you ask? Well, according to "Graying With Grace," it's a "gardening stool for seniors to make working in the yard fun again!" (The exclamation point is theirs, not mine.)

OMG! (That exclamation point is mine.) Has it come to this? Is my aging body too compromised to have fun in my garden without using a garden kneeler? What's next? One of those electric chairs that slides down bannisters? A shower power chair? An easy-pull sock aid?

A friend in my dance class (Yes, I can still dance) tried to lift my spirits. "Just think of the kneeler as a tool--you know, just like a pruning shear, a trowel, a rake." She had a point, I wasn't getting "old"; I just needed a few "tools" to make my life in the garden easier and, yes, more "fun."

I guess I should be grateful for all the inventors out there who spend their waking hours dreaming up products to make senior life active forever in the garden and everywhere else. And for the time being, I should be relieved that all I need right now is a garden kneeler--and a physical therapist.

P.S. Speaking of gardening, read about this 100-year-old woman who asked friends to plant trees instead of giving gifts. Love it!

Update: When my garden kneeler arrived, it was raining. In fact, it had been and would continue to rain for several days. When, at last, the sun came out and the mud had dried, I put on my gardening gloves, gathered my other garden tools, and headed outside with said kneeler under my arm. Anxious to try out my new toy, I stood to survey Garden #1 (my husband's and my designation) and realized much too quickly that the kneeler was too damn big. Sure, I could kneel on it but, in the process, the "legs" would crush all the other flowers around it. There was no way I could maneuver in between flowers to plant or trim or weed. I was out of luck. With regret, I boxed up the kneeler and am waiting for a return mailer before sending it back from whence it came. I don't know: maybe this a good sign. Maybe I don't need one of those gardening stools to make gardening fun again. By extension, maybe I don't need any of those other clever tools so that seniors can live long, fulfilled lives. My 74th birthday is coming up. Please, no trees--just get together with a few friends and all chip in for five massages at a discount or recommendations for good body workers.

Thanks in advance.


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