It’s been a busy year for Rick and me and it’s bound to get busier. Rick’s student pool has grown and we expect it to double this year! One thing that sticks out in my mind about this year, is the number of hand injuries his students sustained over the summer. I remember at least five and that is five too many. It got me to thinking about how we take our hands and fingers for granted.

Rick has never taken his for granted and he is always careful with them, however, a few years ago, even he was the victim of an injury. He cut one of his fingers so badly, one of the nerves was permanently damaged. That has made him even more careful. Thank goodness his playing is not affected by it, but, it is a constant reminder that our hands are precious and we need to take precautions to protect them.

Common sense tells us to wear gloves when it’s cold outside, but, what about when we are working on something like a car or a bike or even a simple repair around the house? A little protection goes a long way. Also, if you don’t have to put your fingers and hands in danger, don’t. If you don’t need to stick your hand inside your car engine or even change a tire, don’t. It may sound a little silly, but, leave it to the professionals if you can. Sports, now that is a sticky subject. A lot of the injuries over the summer were sports related. The best thing to do is play by the rules and use any protective equipment available to you. Be aware of protecting yourself while you are being competitive. It can be done if you think about it. The thing to remember is to have fun and stay in one piece. A few months of healing may keep you from your guitar or banjo and that is a very long time if you love to play. It seemed like forever when Rick injured his finger and he was a very unhappy guy for a while.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Holiday season and a great new year. Keep playing and enjoy yourself!

Lawana is a member of Missing Daybreak.

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