I could use an assistant. I don’t want a minion, someone subservient. I do want someone capable, dependable and with a little attitude to offset my own.

I’ve got home health pros for improving function, Instacart for groceries, delivery from Auten’s for meds and pickup and delivery from MSA Laundry. (Those ladies fold clothes so perfectly they don’t need ironing.) I need that assistant for everything else.

What? You ask. Well, I need someone to run errands to the bank, the post office and all the other stores for items not yet available for delivery. I need someone to accompany me to the basement since I’m not supposed to do stairs alone. I need someone to drive through town and then tell me what trees are changing color in this autumn air and to report on front yard Chiefs displays.

If possible, I’d like my helper to photograph the new night lights at the Soldiers’ Monument and John Brown statue in the park. Osawatomie PRIDE installed those with funds from the Webster and Gladys Hawkins Trust. By doing that, the PRIDE committee honored both the city’s history and the Hawkinses’ commitment to that cause.

I’d appreciate ,too, some help around the house with those jobs too heavy right now for this “getting-better-daily” person. I know my friends would help, but I’d rather hire someone for necessary chores. I hope that makes sense.

I’m not sure that an assistant could help me with Zoom. I don’t hate that medium, but it wears on me. I should probably thank Eric Juan for this technology that keeps us connected during this continuing Covid time of masking and distancing. I use Zoom for meeting participation only. That’s enough. Now, thanks to Reader’s Digest, I know why it wears me out.

The close-up views appear to have all present looking back at the viewer when, in reality, they are just watching their screens. Those seemingly direct stares are unnerving, not just for me. And there’s more. When we see our own faces for such a long period, we tend to evaluate our appearance. That, too, can be stressful and impact our mood.

I wonder if my assistant could attend visually in my place while I listened and focused on the discussion. Or, could I shrink the application window so faces don’t loom so large and so close?

Finally, I’d have my helper check out the newly-formed Community Choir and report on its progress. Musician Julie Weaver has organized the group which will perform for the first time at the Community Thanksgiving Dinner later this month. They say in our church that “He who sings prays twice.”

There are other benefits to singing with a group and those are pretty appealing. Those benefits are mostly cognitive and include focus and attention, linguistic fluency and memorization. The result is a heightened sense of well-being.

Could my assisting helper sing along with the group and then repeat those joyful noises with me?

Just think of the gains. Yes, I definitely need a specialized assistant. No minions need apply.

Margaret Hays is a longtime Osawatomie resident who writes a weekly column for The Miami County Republic.

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