DEAR ABBY: I seem to be having a communication problem.
I became a widow a year ago. I have two sons, a daughter and three grandsons. They are very good to me. They take me out to dinner often and will buy me anything I say I need.
However, what I really need is help around the house -- someone to mow my lawn, trim the shrubs and trees, paint, etc. I can't do these things myself. I am 72 years old, and having to pay for this kind of help doesn't leave much for extras.
It's a shame, Abby. Here I am with two sons, a son-in-law and three grandsons -- and no help. Please don't use my name. I don't want to hurt anybody's feelings. I just want to be heard. -- NO HELP
DEAR NO HELP: Here's your letter. You should be more specific about your needs. Offer to prepare lunch in exchange for a day of work around your home, then be effusive with your appreciation. Here's hoping that after this runs, you (and others who are in the same boat) won't have to send out a cry for help.