This fits in perfectly with my proposal for better living. Delightful, no?
In a nutshell, I evaluate what I own and might own by noting how it is powered. If it plugs in, requires batteries or consumes fuel, I think twice. Instead, I try to use more things that I make go. Use more things that you make go and you will have worked exercise into your life. Do this enough and you may never need to work out again. Bicycles obviously fit the bill, but there are so many other examples.
Got the idea for working exercise into my life, and even some of the tools, from my grandmother. She lived a long and healthy life despite the fact that she never worked out a day in her life. Her life was a workout because of what she did and the the tools she used. This is off topic but I still laugh when I remember that she never used the microwave we bought her to heat things. I don’t think she even plugged it in. She did use it as a very effective breadbox, though.
She lived on her own for the 35 years I knew her. Her husband had passed away and she, well, didn’t. Most of the time I knew her she mowed her lawn and shoveled her walks. Turned over her garden soil with a shovel. Climbed a ladder to pick cherries from her tree (which died before she did). I will never forget watching her make milkshakes by placing the ingredients in a mason jar and shaking the thing until it was 100% blended. Wow. This is one of her jars.
I really need to see if I can shake a (coconut) milkshake like my grandma did.
She was moved into a nursing home because she left her house a couple of times and was found out and about without a good reason for being out and about. She got confused. It was a hard decision to make, moving her out of the home that she loved, but it was done to protect her. I kind of wish we had not decided to protect her, but that isn’t useful. I really wish that the times she was found she would have said she was taking a walk. Might have been, it would have worked, but I think one time she wasn’t wearing a coat and it was winter. In Nebraska. Where coats are not optional. Unless you are tough as nails.
Like so many, in the nursing home grandma went downhill pretty fast. She was in an alzheimer’s ward. The doors were locked so that she wouldn’t leave. It didn’t seem right when we visited her. She was all there and conversational, while most of the others were not. She didn’t have anything to do, though. I think this is why she went downhill so fast. People quit working and they die. Why stick around? She had told me she was ready to die decades earlier. She had done all she wanted to do, but her body just kept going. I only half believe her. I think she liked life and the little joys it brought to her. I know I liked living life with her.
So I try to live like grandma. I try to leave the the stick blender in the drawer (even though I am so in love with it not only because it works super well but because I got it at Goodwill for $0.98) and instead use my grandmother’s hand powered beater. While it won’t transform chunky stews into a smooth soups (under my control, anyway), it blends pretty well and requires me to do more than push a button.
When I make bread, I grind my own flour using this gargantuan device. Not only do I get 30 minutes of cardio and upper body, I strain pretty well just lifting it to the counter. I just weighed it. Fifty pounds on the nose.
Then there is this little marvel. It holds so much more than most that you find and the inside is rough, easing the process of grinding things into powders and pastes. Using it reminds me of watching grandma mush potatoes on Sunday. They were 50% air by the time she was done.
All of my efforts together probably don’t equal the single act of my pallies Lagusta and Jacob pedaling their laundry clean. A couple of years ago they hooked up a recumbent exercise bicycle to an antique tub washer and have used the set up ever since. Lagusta admits she might wait a bit longer to deem a garment or linen ready for the wash, but isn’t that the right result anyway? Lagusta and Jacob are completely working exercise into their lives
None of these items are as fanciful as the furniture that inspired this post, except maybe bicycles and pedaling laundry clean, but they all help. Grandma didn’t ride a bicycle when I knew her. Probably did as a kid. Maybe I should have given her a bicycle. She probably would have hopped on and rode down the block without a problem. Why am I so sure? Once she mentioned that she played an harmonica as a young girl. I later bought her one and handed it to her. She hadn’t played in 60 years, but she played a beautiful song straight away. I asked her to play another and without missing a beat she lifted her new instrument and played the same song again. Here is a recording.