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December 2nd, 2016

Reiss’s Pieces

By Judy Reiss
I had planned to share with you my transition from walker to canes, but after having lunch at Maynard’s Snack Bar in Moretown, I have changed my mind! However, I do want to encourage you folks who have been able to really get along well with your walker, let me tell you what I did…in the very short version! First, let me assure you that I love my walker. I could go anywhere and had no problem with it. And dragging in and out of the car was really no problem. I decided to try a cane, but was convinced by my PT and also my daughter, who is a PT, that regardless of how hard I tried, I was “listing” to my right. So I decided to try two canes and let me tell you they work great! Not only don’t I list to either side, I can walk fast and more upright than I ever was with my walker! Now I do keep my walker for that rare day when I am going to take a much longer trip. My walker still allows me to sit down when I need to rest and this is something that I can’t do with my beloved canes! So, don’t give your walker away, just put it in a handy place where you can get it if you need it. But try two canes. Keep them close to your hips and use them as you would your legs. In fact, move them with the leg that they are close to. Take it slow at first and when you need to increase your speed, go for it. And be sure and let me know how it goes.

But what I really want to discuss is the snack bars in Vermont. First and foremost, I have to tell you that I love snack bars! And my Malcolm still talks about a snack bar that we used to have in the Valley called Phyl-Dens. He rates every snack bar in the world with Phyl-Dens and their fantastic cheeseburgers. Keep in mind this historic snack bar has been gone for at least 45-46 years, but he just can’t put it to rest!

Now I personally just love a snack bar! What could be better than to stop and see what a neighborhood snack bar has to offer. It doesn’t have to be your neighborhood either. Nope, it is a lot more fun to see what is new and different in other people’s neighborhoods. Now if you can’t make up your mind what you want to eat, ask the proprietor what their specialty is and then be real brave and try it! You will be surprised at what wonderful treats you will have. And just remember that no matter how clever you think you are, a hamburger is only a hamburger!

So why should you try a snack bar rather than a regular sit-down restaurant? There are many, many excellent sit-down restaurants in Vermont and even around the northeast. And the ones with good waiters and waitresses are probably worth trying. But you can try these eateries any time of the year. A snack bar is usually seasonal. And of course, this is because usually we have a cold and very snowy winter. And no one wants to work in a small unheated building that was built specifically to house a seasonal snack bar. And I am willing to bet that in your town or area you have a snack bar that everyone waits for with bated breath, for it to open in the spring. In fact, the snack bar is usually one of the first harbingers of spring.

If you have a local snack bar near you and if it has been your favorite for years but now you have a hard time getting around, take either your walker or your two canes and go visit it again. This summer is the first time in ages that I have done that and I want to tell you that I couldn’t be happier. And I will share a secret with you. I am always surprised at how kind and nice people are to me and believe me it makes using your two canes easy, easy, easy! No one wants to be thought of as an old man or woman but, believe me, I have found my two canes have allowed me to feel younger, it’s easier to get around, and most people are willing to help you without making you feel like an old fart!

So, take your walker or your canes and while there is summer left, go to your local snack bar and enjoy every single minute of it.

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