Saturday, October 22, 2022



This week started out feeling more like winter than autumn. Before taking the dog outside, I put on my Cuddl Duds, a flannel shirt, lined pants, my Carhartt coat, thick socks, and boots. I layered up so that I didn’t shiver while my dog explored the entire yard.

Wearing all these layers made me think of Aunt Ann, my grandmother’s sister. Aunt Ann always layered her dresses and wore several at the same time. Other memories I have of her are that she carried a huge purse that contained many treasures. No matter what “trinket” we kids found for her—a piece of colored glass, a rock, or a wild flower—it went into the purse. In an old family photo, she is holding my brother Donnie and me. As I zoomed it in, I noticed that I had on a rhinestone necklace, no doubt courtesy of Aunt Ann.

Aunt Ann’s layers were obvious, but all of us have layers. Sometimes, it’s hard to get past the hard outer shell to find the goodness beneath. The armor we wear hides our vulnerabilities from those we don’t want poking around in our business.

To the casual acquaintance who we meet by chance, we answer the question, “How are you?” with the trite, “Fine, and how are you?” We don’t want to open up about our troubles and woes. We use our protective layer as a shield to hide our weaknesses.

With close friends and certain family members, we peel back several layers to share a more vulnerable side. When we know someone is not going to judge us, or try to “fix” our problems, we share more of ourselves.

The luckiest of us have a best friend that we could share some of our darkest secrets with and know that no matter what happens, those secrets are always safe. This is a layer that lies deep within our inner being. It is important to recognize that if a secret is hurtful to the one you are telling it to, carefully examine your motive. The safest way to share secrets is with a licensed therapist who cannot reveal your conversations to others.

 With all the layers humans have, we may question if we truly know what another human thinks, feels, or is capable of doing. Recently, a man in our town was arrested on a cold case from another state. Investigative genealogical DNA linked him to a burglary and sexual assault. People that knew him were adamant that he was not capable of such a heinous crime. He was a neighbor, a well-loved Sunday school teacher, and a standup guy. But DNA doesn’t lie, unless he has an evil identical twin.

Sometimes layers aren’t hidden at all. All this talk about layers brought back a memory of a bath time incident that I had written about in my journal.


From Indelible a memoir in progress:

Jim enjoyed soaking in the tub, so I decided to brush my teeth. Before I realized it, he walked across the bathroom floor, dripping wet. I led him back to the bathmat, and pulled a towel off the rack to dry him. He didn’t help me and just stood like a statue while I dried him. 

“Here, put these on.” Jim slowly put his feet through the leg holes and pulled the boxers up. “Now for the T-shirt,” I told him as I placed the item of clothing in his hands. After the T-shirt was on, he sat on the bathroom floor and slowly pulled on his socks and sweatpants. Finally! He was ready for bed.

Jim settled in front of the TV to watch a Walker rerun, and I took my bath. When I emerged from the bathroom, Jim was fully clothed with his jeans pulled over his sweatpants. If I undressed him, he would just dress again, so I decided the best plan was to wait until bedtime.J

Layers. We all have them. Some are complicated psychological layers, while others are simply how we pile on our clothes to stay warm.



Donations to the 2022 Sedalia Walk accepted through December

Click  search for Jim’s Team

Copyright © October 2022 by L.S. Fisher


Tuesday, October 18, 2022



When I sit in front of my computer and take a look at my to-do- list, I feel overwhelmed. In addition to all the catch-up work I have listed, I have a plethora of other daily tasks to do.

My cleaning lady and I haven’t made connections for several weeks, so I look around and know that I’m going to have to drag out the vacuum, mop, and cleaning supplies. Since I’m going through another rough patch with my arthritis, I feel a little overwhelmed.

I haven’t had much time to watch TV lately, but when I watched the recorded evening news, I saw the horrible destruction from Hurricane Ian. From that perspective, my housework seemed like child’s play.

How we look at our adversities and how we face setbacks, determines our quality of life. Each of us has to face our own demons. Life can certainly send seemingly insurmountable challenges our way.

I recently saw a Facebook post that said instead of a to-do list, we need a not-to-do list. It makes me ponder what should be on that list. Maybe I need to “minimalist” my activities and figuratively lay them all on the floor and mentally pick them up one by one, and ask, “Does this activity bring me joy?”

That would probably stress me more than just doing what needs to be done. I’ve never been what I would consider a procrastinator, but I’m often guilty of juggling so many activities that I may have to let one task slide to focus on a more urgent one. I’m performing volunteer activity triage.

When I think about the younger me—the primary caregiver who held a full-time job, volunteered countless hours, and in the meantime earned a college degree—I don’t recognize that woman anymore. Before the pandemic slowed life to a crawl, my calendar was often triple-booked. Now, I feel exhausted if I look at my calendar and see two appointments in the same week, much less on the same day.

I have been chiding myself for getting behind in everything. I admitted to my friends at a dinner last week that I don’t have the energy or stamina that I had before the pandemic.

The activity that seems to bring me the most pleasure is playing my ukulele and singing. Whether I’m trying to learn a challenging new song or if I’m playing a simple three-chord country melody, it takes my mind off that dreaded to-do list.

I recently played my ukulele and sang for a group of residents at an assisted living facility in Sedalia. There was a snafu with the calendar, and they weren’t expecting me. After a phone call to the activity director, who said I was supposed to be there on the third Monday, the receptionist looked at the calendar and said, “This is the third Monday.”

“Show me where to set up, and I’ll get everything ready to go,” I said. After loading all my equipment in my car, I decided that if no one came, I’d spend an hour running through my program. The receptionist spread the word, and by the time I was ready to play, a nice sized crowd had assembled.

I couldn’t have asked for a better audience. My heart was filled with joy to see how much they appreciated my efforts. I neared the end of my program and had a little extra time so I told them I’d sing a song I wrote called “Jazzy Wheelchair.”  We finished with “Old Country Church” as a sing-along. As I started packing up my things to go, no one seemed to want to leave. One woman asked if she could have a copy of the lyrics to “Jazzy Wheelchair” to share with a friend. A man named Mike offered to help me take my equipment to the car.

I was still smiling as I drove away. I called my mom and she wanted to know how it went, saying she knew I did a wonderful job.

 “I’d say about 98%,” I told her. “I missed a few chords, my voice cracked a couple of times, and once my screen was covered with a message that I couldn’t connect to the internet. And of all things, I sang “Coal Miner’s Daughter” and forgot to sing the chorus after the first two verses. I knew I couldn’t go back to sing the chorus after the final verse.”

“You sure couldn’t,” Mom said. “But the verses tell the story, and you finished the story.”

The thing about singing is that most people don’t notice the minor mistakes. Singing lifted my spirits, and theirs. It’s all about perspective—end of story.


Donations to the 2022 Sedalia Walk accepted through December

Click  search for Jim’s Team

Copyright © October 2022 by L.S. Fisher