This year has brought lots of change in life and many are clinging to simple routines to preserve some sense of normalcy.
Such routines include coming up with skincare ideas, grocery shopping, and creating DIY projects. But for 85-year-old Gordon Blakeslee, it's mowing his lawn with a 2009 red Craftsman riding lawnmower.
When the COVID-19 pandemic swept over the country, Gordon temporarily went to quarantine with his family — instead of staying at his home in Harpursville, New York.
While away from his home, someone stole his most cherished possession — his lawnmower. And when he returned home to find the lawnmower missing, he didn't want to get a new one.
He didn't want any GoFundMe fundraisers or monetary donations, either. He just wanted his lawnmower back.
So he enlisted the help of his community in trying to get it returned.
He told local news outlets:
"I want it back."
"I used to work out here, when my wife was alive, I used to work out there all day long."
Explaining just why this lawnmower meant so much to her father-in-law, Gordon's daughter-in-law, Candace Blakeslee, said:
"That was something that was precious to him, everything that has value to him."
Determined to get the lawnmower back, Gordon also put a cardboard sign up on his front lawn.
The handwritten sign read:
"BRING BACK MY MOWER."
"I'M 85 YEARS-OLD!"
"I CAN'T PUSH."
Candace then shared a photo of her father-in-law standing next to the sign on Facebook, hoping that someone would come forward with information about the lawnmower.
But for nearly a week, they had no luck.
Thankfully, a kind stranger saw Gordon's story on local news outlets and decided to buy him a brand new one. And the anonymous donor had the Broome County Sheriff's Office deliver it to Gordon.
Gordon's grandson, Garrett, thanked the donor, saying:
"I couldn't be any more thankful. With everything going on, I know he's happier than happy to have a mower back."
Although the mower isn't the 2009 model he was so attached to, it's definitely better than his old one.
The grandpa said:
"Thank you, what else can I say. I really appreciate it. It's got some new upgrades to it; that's a lot better than my old one."
As for the new mower, he keeps it locked up on his property. He doesn't want to take a chance of the thief stealing it too.