The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

July 23, 2013

Having senior moments

By Peggy Goodrich, columnist
Enid News and Eagle

— Do you experience senior moments? Think about it.

I know a lot of people in this town and in my hometown. I truly enjoy seeing all my friends and acquaintances when I am at the grocery store, in the mall or wherever. I love to stop and visit with them and catch up on what has been happening in their lives. Sometimes, when I see even close friends on the street or in the store or at church, I go completely, absolutely blank with their names. I can know their name as well as I know my own, and still not be able to draw it out of my gray matter and say their name. I feel so stupid and unfriendly, I feel so “senior.”

Even though I apologize, it hardly explains why I cannot for the life of me say their name. If you held a gun to my temple and asked, “What is their name?” it would not solve a thing. They might as well shoot away, because the name, for the time being, has completely escaped me. Later on, about 3 o’clock in the morning, or too late to do me any good, that name will come to me. Surely I am not the only person who has that problem with senior moments and temporarily go blank.  

How many times have you gone into the next room to get something, and when you got there, you could not remember what you went after? This happens to me all the time. Usually, if I go back to where I came from, and retrace my steps, the reason will come back to me and I can  get what I went after in the first place. Thank goodness, we don’t live in a huge house, or I would be running in circles most of the time. As it is, I just think of it as much- needed exercise.

This reminds me of this little poem:

Just a line to say I’m living.

That I’m not amongst the dead.

Though I’m getting more forgetful

And mixed up in the head.

I’ve got used to arthritis

To my dentures I’ve resigned

I can cope with my bifocals,

But I sure do miss my mind.

I can be in the middle of an interesting conversation, and with the slightest interruption (or none at all), can completely forget my place or even the subject of the conversation. Someone has to jog my memory of what we were discussing. Does that happen to everybody at some time or another, or is it just me?

In our family, it takes two to tell a story, one to tell it and the other to fill in the blanks with names and places and dates. It must be difficult when people marry late in life and their mate was not around early enough to learn all the names and places needed to really tell a complete story or joke.

It seems the names of friends from high school come easier than more recent friends. Jim can remember all the names of his Marine buddies, but has to have a “link” to remember names of his current friends and acquaintances. I am the same way with my high school friends. I can rattle off all their names, but have trouble remembering the names of Jim’s wonderful nurses and aides we met only last week. Are we some kind of oddity?

Jim and I both put things in their proper place. If there is no established place, we put them in a “safe” place so we won’t misplace them, and can get them when needed. That sounds all well and good, but unfortunately it doesn’t usually work that way. We put things in such safe places that we cannot find them when we want to retrieve them.

I have been looking a long time for an old rug that I had put away in a very safe, secure place. I finally found it last week in a stack of old quilts lovingly wrapped.

When I ran across it, I vividly  remembered putting it there. It all came back to me. The lost was found — except my mind!

There are many advantages to being a senior. Many stores and restaurants give much-appreciated discounts to senior citizens. Many courtesies are extended to us because of our advanced age. We appreciate all those kind gestures. But the one disadvantage I can see is that as our energy wanes, so does our brain. We have to concentrate to accomplish what we used to do so easily. Just because we are a few years older does not mean we should not make goals and work to attain them. We are never too old to keep trying. It is no disgrace to get old, but it is awfully unhandy.

I make many lists and check off things as I do them. But even lists can pose a problem if it they are like this little poem that we used to say:

A list of things to do today,

A list of  bills I have to pay,

A laundry list and one for town,

Compulsively I write things down

So there’ll be nothing I have missed. ...

Now, just where did I put that list?

It it too hot to cook. All we want is a simple sandwich or salad, and a substantial, cool dessert and a tall glass of ice tea. This cold dessert stays ready for any meal:


Summer Dessert

1 (three-ounce) package of cream cheese, softened

3⁄4 cup sugar

1 (20-ounce) can crushed pineapple, undrained

1 (8-ounce) carton whipped topping

1⁄2 cup chopped pecans

1 (10-ounce) package frozen, sliced strawberries

Mix cream cheese and sugar. Add  pineapple with juice and partially thawed strawberries with juice and mix thoroughly. Fold in whipped topping and pecans. Put in 9-by-13 baking dish. Cover and freeze.  Remover from freezer about 10 minutes before serving.

Send your comments to: Peggy Goodrich, Food For Thought, P.O. Box 1192, Enid, OK 73702.