By Judy Reiss
No one was more surprised than I was when, one day, I found myself unable to walk without a cane! A cane? Me? I had always thought that canes were for “old” people, so what was I doing with one? Actually, I have to tell you that a cane was really a compromise between me and my wonderful physical therapist. I promised her that I would be fine “cane-wise” when she really thought I should be using a walker. But a cane it is and of course, I have a cane sort of story.
When I first got a cane I just bought one at one of our local stores. It was blue metal, period. No fuss and no muss. It was just a cane that helped me to walk upright. But it certainly wasn’t any fashion statement. And then I had an idea.
The more I thought about it, I decided that I wanted a cane with a little pizzazz! I started to look for one. I went into all sorts of stores, including antique shops but couldn’t find anything that I liked. The more I looked, the more frustrated I got. And then I mentioned my wish for a “cool cane” to a friend and she asked me if I had looked on-line. Well, I had never thought of looking there but decided to hurry home and give it a try.
I wasn’t quite sure what to look for, so after a few flubs I put in “Fancy Canes” and you would be shocked at how many web sites come up. And so began an adventure in all sorts of canes. I found canes that looked like tigers and every sort of animal you could imagine. I found lots of canes that had very interesting handles, including ones that were made of silver, gold, ivory (or fake ivory), wood and just about anything you might want. And if price was no object, you could get yourself a cane that looked like it was made for the Queen. However, what I wanted was an inexpensive cane that looked nice and was fun. After a short search, I found just what I was looking for. I bought a cane that is decorated with lots of colorful flowers. When I got it, I liked it so much, I looked again and bought another one that also has flowers but bluer, which I think is good for winter!
I am sure you are wondering why I am sharing my cane stories with you. Well, the reason is this…since day one, since the very first day I started to use one of my flowery canes every single day, someone has stopped me and told me they like my cane. Not just a passing comment either, most people actually stop me to tell me how neat they think that the cane is and a lot wonder where in the world I got it! For over two years now, I have never met anyone else who has one like it. Why not? I swear to you my canes are inexpensive and certainly easy to obtain. Many times I have thought that if I had a trunk load of canes, I could sell them right out of my car!
I have never seen one, but I bet you can get one that looks like a snake or an elephant’s trunk or just about anything else you might want. For me anyway, the only question is will the handle be comfortable enough to use to actually walk with. Back in the day when a “stick” was considered part of your fashion accessory, I don’t think that they cared about comfort. But nowadays, a cane is usually meant for support and/or balance so a good comfortable handle is probably a necessity.
So, of course, I have advice, if you use a cane or are considering using a cane, take a few minutes and check the internet. I can’t believe that there won’t be some terrific cane that just fits your style and your needs. And think about it, isn’t it more fun to have a cane that says, “I’m old and I have to use a cane, so what? I am fun and I am still way above the dirt!” If you see me stalking along with my flowery cane, be sure to stop and say hello, and I’ll even let you give it a try.