Old people have a bad reputation for being surly and dissatisfied. Whenever I see parodies of people from my age group in popular culture, I hear silly phrases like, ‘Back in my day…’ and ‘Kids these days…’ But what people don’t realise is how sad ageing is, especially when you lose abilities to do things that you used to be able to do. It’s not just frustrating but depressing.
For instance, until recently I was able to do all of my own gardening. I had a beautiful flower bed at the front of my house, with creeping roses on the porch and geraniums near the gate. I had a great big vegetable garden out the back with tomatoes, pumpkins, green beans and more. There was nothing in the garden that I couldn’t do from the weeding to the hoeing…. until last weekend. What happened triggered the onset of my incapacity as a elderly person.
I never expected that I’d have to call tree removal. Melbourne is a tree loving city and there was a big gum growing next to the house. It was getting so big that the roots were disturbing the foundation of the house and had to be removed. I thought, ‘I’ve done this before, should be simple enough’ but I was wrong. First off, I tried climbing the ladder to dismantle the large branches but I slipped and nearly broke my neck. Then I attempted to saw the trunk of the tree but suddenly my equipment was weighing more than a tonne. I looked at my once-strong arms in dismay – now weak and feeble.
It was a sad day when I had to admit defeat and call an arborist. Melbourne has top notch tree fellers that could get the job done quickly, but I felt so defeated watching the young men do what I was once able to do on my own, knowing I’d never be able to do it again… At least the price was reasonable and it saved me having an accident.