Cheryl's Blog

Tiny little anchors

In the late 1990s, I spent one day a week visiting with and helping an elderly friend named Lucy. She lived alone in a big colonial house near Boston and each time I arrived, I’d find her waiting in her favorite wingback chair, dressed up and wearing a big smile.

Lucy spent all her time on the porch. She lived in this window-lined room because, she said, the light gave her hope. Next to her chair stood a small TV table – the center of her world – a place filled with the essentials that kept her daily life in order. There was a crystal water carafe with a glass that fit neatly over the top, her favorite pen nestled inside a tiny notebook with pages of scribbled notes, a sterling silver magnifying glass ready to spotlight the fine print of newspapers and pill bottles, and a well-worn address book that linked her to friends through phone calls and hand-written letters.

My father had a similar “command central” – his desk’s top drawer. In it, he stored the nail kit that kept his fingers neat and clean, his favorite #2 pencils (sharpened and ready for action), news and magazine clippings to share, and his checkbook which may or may not have been balanced to the penny. I can’t remember.

I thought about Lucy and Dad this morning, as I settled into my favorite chair to write. I stared at the colorful Uniball pens that glide words over pages in my journal, the hand cream that smells like spring, the antique clock that keeps the beat of my breaths during meditation, and the small handheld calculator because I am my father’s daughter and therefore keep a manual adding device nearby.

These are the tiny anchors that tether us to the activities that define our lives. What do they say about us, these objects of affection that live in handy, familiar places? What tales do they leave behind?

As I remember my Dad and Lucy with fondness, I link our lives together through the objects we cherish. Like breadcrumbs in a forest, they lead us back to the people and stories that shape who we become.

What do you keep on your side table, by your bedside, or in your desk drawer? Have a look. While they may seem like ordinary items, it’s good to know they may be hidden treasures someday – lifelines to those who hold you dear 💝.



P.S. – Check out the audiobook/workshop called Self Care for the Wisdom Years available through Audible. You can learn more here.