Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Red Seas Part

           Some of my canes are missing from this picture.  The original was a nondescript folding cane that Norm picked up at the local medical supplies store years ago when I had a twisted ankle.  It cost $15 and it was great – snapped open to full size with a satisfying thunk as soon as you took it out of its plastic bag.  Fitted nicely into shoulder purse, briefcase or suitcase.  Some years ago it started traveling with us everywhere “just in case.”  But it’s gone – left behind in a taxi in Manhattan a few years ago.
Then there was the heavy steel one Avi bought when Norm pulled a muscle while we were in Vancouver.  Anna  took that one back to Manhattan recently, for her knee surgery. 
And I couldn’t find the black one when I started rounding them up this morning for a group portrait.  It’s probably out in the car.  But that’s no great loss – I trust you can envision a black cane for yourself.
That flowered one is in my opinion sort of tacky.  It was the only folding cane I could find in the catalogs as a replacement (see taxi above) and it requires a lot of tugging to get it open or closed.  In those days I still liked to hide it whenever possible.
But these days I’m reconciled to appearing in public with a cane, and I have started matching them to my outfits.  They’re cheap and they’re sort of fun.  The purple one garners the most comments, but I like the bright green best.  That blue one, which was described as “denim” unfortunately turned out to be faintly greenish.

Recently I found – or rather it found me – a catalog devoted to nothing but canes, and it is chock full of information.  Practically a whole seminar on canes.  Some of it I already knew – the cane should be adjusted or cut to proper height, about to one’s wrist.  And it’s for balance, not for support.   (If that’s so, how come the advice that it should be used on the opposite side from the weaker leg?)  But the catalog – which of course I can’t lay my hands on now that I want to tell you about it – has canes with egonomic handles, horse’s head handles, US Marine corps handles.  Silver collars, mother-of-pearl collars, brass collars.  Lucite canes, ebony and ivory canes, $20 canes, $200 canes.  Walking sticks, hiking poles.  Little dissertations on things like the utility of the shepherd’s crook handle, which is my favorite.  That inexpensive plain wood one  is so nicely finished it’s a pleasure to hold, and when I need to use both hands for a moment it’s easy to stash on something or even hook in to my pocket.
          And when someone shows up with a cane – the Red Seas part!
Can I help you?...Why don’t you go to the head of the line?...Let me reach that down for you…Can I carry that for you?
          You bet!  Go right ahead!



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