Thursday, October 31, 2019

Halloween Spiders

Last week some of my friends and I were discussing an article in the paper about a ghost hunter in our town. “I don’t know if as Christians, we should believe that ghosts exist. Do you believe in ghosts?” she asked me.

“Oh, yes,” I said. I told her a quick story about a “ghost” car that Jim and I had seen on an evening walk many years ago. I didn’t tell her about my many other close encounters with the unexplainable.

It always seems that at Halloween time, the weird and strange seems to be on our minds. I take special care to avoid creepy things anymore, and try not to call attention to myself when it comes to the paranormal. My brother and I wrote a book a few years ago, Apparitions: Twisted Tales and Yarns, which was mostly fiction.

Anyway, Halloween is just a fun time for me now, with all things calm and normal. I even bought a pair of Halloween leggings adorned with spider webs. I completed my outfit with a pair of spider web/spider earrings. I wore my outfit the day our family band played music for a food drive in our hometown.  After we packed away our instruments and said our goodbyes, I headed home.

I was cruising along listening to Prime Country when I noticed a dark spot out of the corner of my eye. I occasionally have “floaters” and thought this was a particularly bad one. Then I noticed that it seem to be moving. I reached up, pulled off my glasses, and my floater turned out to be a spider web stuck to my glasses. I thought that was a little bit coincidental since I was wearing all my spidery garb.

A few days later, I wore the same outfit to town. As I was sitting in the left hand turn lane waiting for the light to change, I dialed my mom’s number to chat with her on my way home. She answered the phone at the same moment a mean looking spider crawled across my windshield. “I have to get this spider out of my car,” I said.

My mom had me on speaker and my brother and sister-in-law could hear me. My sister-in-law told me I should not be talking on the phone while I was driving—much less battling a spider. “It’s hands free,” I explained, as I pushed the button to lower the window. I grabbed a piece of mail off the seat and tried to flip the spider out the window.

Now why would a spider go out the window when he had a gigantic web all over my legs? Well, he disappeared all right, but I didn’t know where he went. I finally made my left-hand turn and pulled into a parking lot. I jumped out frantically brushing off my clothes, shaking my hair, examining the car. He was nowhere to be found. I don’t know what happened to him.

I do know that I had three people laughing at me as I cautiously crawled back into my car. I guess, I couldn’t just abandon my car because a darned spider was hiding out in it—somewhere.

When I think about it, the spider pants seemed to be a spider magnet. All I can say is I’m glad I chose them over the second choice—ghost pants.

Copyright © October 2019 by L.S. Fisher


Little Things

Our Sedalia Business Women’s Club just finished celebrating National Business Women’s week. We had an activity planned for every day except Friday. We kicked off the week with our annual fundraising chicken dinner. Monday, we had lunch with Rotary. Tuesday, we had our past president’s dinner. Wednesday, we had friendship lunch. Thursday, was our membership activity with, you guessed it, heavy snacks. Saturday was a social activity with shopping and food. Sunday, was church with the president, followed with lunch at a local restaurant. I’m pleased to announce that somehow I only gained one pound.

Our club begins each monthly dinner meeting with the Club Collect. Often, when you recite a poem, or in this case, a prayer, you don’t always ponder the meaning behind the words.

From beginning to end, the Collect for Club Women is chock-full of wisdom. The part that has been on my mind lately is the sentence: “Grant that we may realize it is the little things that create differences, that in the big things of life we are at one.”

Have you ever had a terrible argument with a friend or family member, and a week later, you are still upset with them but can’t remember what started it? That’s because you have let some small insignificant disagreement cause a big uproar.

One time when I had to have surgery, Jim was much more worried about it than I was. Since I had to stay in the hospital a few days, I wanted a new robe and house shoes to match. Finally, in frustration he shouted at me, “You seem to be more worried about matching your outfit than you are about the surgery!” Actually, I was covering up my nervousness by concentrating more on the little things, that apparently we disagreed on, than the big thing like being knocked out while the surgeon ripped out body parts.

Later when I became Jim’s caregiver, I was able to deal with big problems better than day-to-day issues. I could handle a major medical problem, but if he didn’t eat his dinner, I could have a meltdown.

Little things can create differences that spill over into the big things, especially when dealing with a grudge holder. I confess that I was once a grudge holder, but somewhere along life’s pathway, I discovered that grudges were a total waste of time.

Yet, I’ve seen life-long friendships and marriages break up over the little things. Some people can be so persnickety, that they tend to get on your nerves. Sometimes, it’s just better to capitulate. Let’s face it when someone wants things done a certain way, then if you don’t do it to suit them enough times, they will either live with the way you do it, or do it themselves. I call that a win-win.

Other times people (for a lack of better words) seek revenge. I know a man who complained every day about the lunch his wife fixed him. One day, she had her fill of his complaints, so she put a picture of a sandwich between two pieces of bread and put it in his lunchbox. I don’t  know if he ever asked her to pack his lunch again.

The best plan is not let the little battles blow up into WW3. After all, differences are what makes a relationship interesting. If we all thought alike, the world would be unbearably boring.    

Copyright © October 2019 by L.S. Fisher

Friday, October 11, 2019

If You Think You're Busy

If You Think You’re Busy

My friend Judy used to say, “If you think you’re busy now—retire.” At the time, I was working full time, taking care of Jim, volunteering for the Alzheimer’s Association, and involved in Writers’ Guild. I thought there was no way that I could possibly be any busier.

Fast forward to now and I don’t know how I ever had time to work. It seems that life should be more laid back in retirement, and I should have plenty of time to read and relax. Except that I don’t. Reading is usually reserved for bedtime, unless I get to feeling feisty and spend the entire day in my pj’s curled up with a book. Well, I’m sure that’s happened at least once since I retired in 2013.

I saw a post a few days ago that said something about instead of making a to-do list, make a to-be list. It went on to list things that a person might want to be. Of course, I can’t find where I saw it, so the absolute queen of the to-do list—actually multitasking by having several lists going at the same time—I decided to work on my own to-be list.

Some of the things I want to be:

Happy. I’m not talking about telling a joke happy, because even the most depressed people may laugh the loudest at a joke. I want to feel happiness in my soul, in my being. I want to wake up each day to the thought that each day gives me new opportunities to achieve my life’s goals. Each day gives me a chance to let go of yesterday’s problems or failures.

Appreciative. I want always to be grateful for time spent with family and friends. I appreciate that my health, although not perfect, allows me to do most of the things I want to do. Sure, it hurts my fingers to type, but I can still work for a while before they quit on me. I want to concentrate on what’s working instead of what’s gone wrong.

Thoughtful. Being thoughtful is a two-sided coin. One side is to be thoughtful of others and never hurt someone’s feelings deliberately. The other side is that I want to think things through before popping off with something that offends others. I want to think for myself, not be influenced by someone’s outrage or political agenda. I hope that I’m always capable of being introspective and never have a disease that would take that away from me.

A Good Judge of Character. I want to surround myself with honest, moral humans. I realize that no one is perfect and they won’t always agree with me (even when I’m right), but if they have my back, I’ll have theirs. I can forgive a lot of flaws, but I don’t want to waste my time with liars, cheaters, thieves, or con artists.

Able to Laugh. I have some family and friends who have no sense of humor. Laughter is good for my mental health. If I can laugh at myself when I make silly mistakes, it helps me to forgive myself for moments of stupidity.

A Woman Who Makes the Most of Life. I don’t just want to be alive—I want to live. I realize that time manages me more than I manage it. I have books to read, places to go, things to do, books to write, and songs to sing.

Yes, I’m busier than a normal human being should be, but it’s the lifestyle I’ve chosen. I may want long “to-do” lists of tasks, but my “to-be” list stretches to infinity and beyond.
Copyright © October 2019 by L.S. Fisher