Seniors in the U.S. are more active than ever. This is a good thing as it keeps them in better shape and ensures that they have something to during retirement. For 85-year-old Gordon Blakeslee, his activity is taking care of his lawn, though, recent events almost put a stop to that.
Fortunately, for Blakeslee, someone stepped up and made sure that he got to continue doing something he loved so much.
A beloved possession
Blakeslee, long since retired, enjoys taking care of his yard in Harpursville, New York. Part of this care involved using his beloved lawnmower, a 2009 Craftsman riding mower, to keep his grass at the height he liked.
Unfortunately, with the onset of the pandemic in early 2020, Blakeslee had to give up his independence. He had to take the step of temporarily living with his family during the lockdown. This was done to ensure that he could receive the care he needed.
Thieves steal something precious
While away from his home, someone did the unthinkable, they stole Blakeslee’s precious lawnmower. To him, the lawnmower represented more than just a possession, it also represented freedom, as it gave him a chance to get out and do something for himself.
Notifying the public
Devastated, Blakeslee did the only thing he knew to do, he made a plea to the public and whoever might have taken his mower. He did so by posting a sign in his yard asking for the mower’s return. An independent senior,
Blakeslee didn’t want anyone to mow his grass for him and he wouldn’t be able to complete the task using a push mower. The simple fact was that he liked to do the job himself.
“A lot of people, my son is one of them, they cut it too short,” Blakeslee told WBNG.
His daughter-in-law, Candace Blakeslee, had no idea how much his mower meant to him until she and her husband visited Blakeslee.
“That was something that was precious to him, everything that he has, has value to him,” Candace said. “If it’s not broken, it doesn’t need to be repaired or replaced.”
To get the word out, Candace posted about the theft on Facebook. She made sure to emphasize that Blakeslee didn’t want donations, he just wanted his mower back.
A good Samaritan steps up
After being picked up by the local news, a good Samaritan stepped forward, anonymously, of course, to help Blakeslee out. The Broome County Sheriff’s Office delivered a brand-new riding mower to Blakeslee.
“Thank you, what else can I say. I really appreciate it,” a shocked Blakeslee said. “It’s got some new upgrades to it; that’s a lot better than my old one.”
In addition to his thanks, the new riding mower has restored his faith in humanity. He plans on keeping his new mower locked up when he’s not using it and has installed security cameras on the property.
“There are still some good people out there,” Blakeslee said.
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