Memory

I recently had a wellness visit with my primary care physician, something promoted and paid for by Medicare. I filled out standard forms, and so did the PA and doctor.

PA Kayla said, “I’m going to give you a list of three items to remember, and I’m going to ask you to draw a clock face on this paper to show 7:10. The words are table, pen, and apple.”

Before I could panic, I asked Kayla to spell pen. Growing up in West Tennessee, I cannot hear the different between pin and pen. I can understand and pronounce disk and desk, but not the other two. I’m disabled when it comes to tin and ten, too.

How hard could it be to remember three items? If they gave me only three, it must be fairly difficult. I put a table in my memory and placed the pen and apple on it. After drawing the clock, I successfully listed the three items. Now, a week later almost to the hour, those three items are still cluttering up my memory. It’s almost as bad as having an ear worm (a song that keeps repeating in your head).

I told John about the memory test and pointed out that my memory is still good. We laughed about the grocery list. During the week before the doctor’s visit, I picked up the grocery list on the way out the door. After doing a couple of errands, we drove to the supermarket. The list was missing, later found stuck to newspapers I’d thrown in the recycle bin. He handed me a piece of scrap paper from his pocket, and I wrote down the ten items I could remember. After recovering the original list, we found we had bought everything on it. Now that’s what I call a victorious Senior Moment!

I walked alone to the creek, having a nice chat with Marla on the way and a short one with neighbor Dawn on the way back. John was attending a funeral on Long Island. Attached is a photo taken on the steep part of Qualla Road. It’s quite deceptive, looking like an ordinary country lane meandering through the trees. I was panting when I came back and wouldn’t have thought to turn around to look at the view, thinking it enough that I made it to the top without falling out. Anyway, the sun was shining on Purchase Knob with the mountains behind me casting a shadow on the scene. This is a winter view, one that you wouldn’t see when the leaves are on the trees.

021617 Sunrise on Qualla.JPG

Note to khof and Dritter:  you should have gotten an email notice about this post.  Of course, if you didn’t, you won’t see this note.

15 thoughts on “Memory

  1. What a fabulous memory you have! Be proud! I have to confess that by the time I got to the end of your not-very-long post, I had already forgotten the three items. Well, two of them. I remembered the table, but not what was on it! Ay yi!

    I have a theory about why your memory is so wonderful – you seem to take a lot of walks and exercise in general. I’m sure that has a positive effect! So good for you. Yay, Anne!

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    1. I hope your theory is correct, that walking helps keep one’s memory flexible. I wouldn’t be surprised to find music had something to do with it. From the time I was 6 years old, I took music lessons. During the school year, pupils of this teacher met once a month for music club. I memorized and played a piece almost every month. We had a similar thing in college. I vowed I would never memorize a piece after graduation, and I didn’t. Wonder what my memory would be like if I had continued using it vigorously? I might remember things before they happened!

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  2. Congrats on the grocery list memory. My Mom use to tell me “you’ll always remember things that are important to you”. Evidently fewer and fewer things are making that priority list as I get older. I just haven’t figured out how to justify forgetting my kids names… hmmm. O.o

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  3. Anne,
    You do have a way with words- a beautiful way. The walks and the music must have something to do with it plus the stress free life in mountain country too and good friends and not too much of gadget use and so on.
    Susie

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    1. Thank you, Susie. I have been richly blessed. Stress was a natural part of my life, especially when I was working. Now I pray a lot. My refrain is often, “You want me to let it go, don’t you Lord?” With a good memory, it is easy to hold onto past hurts and grudges. God didn’t create me to fret, but I can easily fall in that trap. I wish my memory would instantly remind me to pray instead of complaining. EVERYONE would be a lot happier!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Anne,
    I wanted to write about the long memories too especially those that tend to haunt one as one grows older, regrets, things that might have been done differently but I didn’t put it into my comment, thinking they were inappropriate. I am a sensitive person and sensitivity along with a good memory or a memory that refuses to let go is not very healthy.
    Susie

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    1. Haunting memories come back to me, too. When they do, I ask God’s forgiveness yet again, and remember Paul. He was cheering when Stephen was stoned, and he hunted Christians to persecute them. Just think what a magnificent witness he was after his conversion! He couldn’t have wasted a lot of time regretting the past, because he was too busy working for Christ in the present. I heard one person say the Devil brings up the past, hoping to derail us with guilt. If we repent and confess our sins, God promises to put them out of His mind. If they are out of God’s mind, why should I whip myself with them over and over? The trick is to remember to always take painful memories right back to God and trust Him to deal with them. It takes practice, and I often fail, but God is more powerful than all our failures.

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  5. That’s great! You have such a great memory, the individuals items stick for a week. I’ve always been the opposite, even when I was a boy. I can’t walk from the bedroom to the bathroom without forgetting why I went there.

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  6. It’s funny about numbers, I can remember the phone numbers of my childhood friends, but I don’t seem to know anyone’s number at this point. (Probably because they are all reachable with the push of a button!) I’ll bet you’re right about memorizing music giving you a lifelong good memory. Fun post and that mountain view through the bare trees is gorgeous!

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    1. I can remember numbers from childhood, too! It was easier then. Our number was 125, and my dad’s office number was 29. Yep, a long time ago. We are so blessed to live in NC now and see lovely scenery from almost every window.

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