Since many of us think about memory loss more and more as we get older, I was glad to read that experts disagree on whether short-term memory declines with age in healthy individuals. They go on to say that it is not loss of memory as much as a problem of distraction. And this can occur at times at any age.
Whew! That’s a relief. No longer will I think of my short-term memory loss as an affliction of aging. I can just say that I was distracted when I leave my car keys in the refrigerator. Or when I make a tedious search around the house for my reading glasses, only to find them hanging from a chain around my neck.
The best way of dealing with this is to find the humor in it. Like the elderly fellow who was brought home to his daughter in a police car. “We found him wandering in the park” the policeman said. “He said he had forgotten the way home.”
“I hadn’t forgotten where I live,” the man told his daughter after the policeman left. “I was just too tired to walk home.”
But my favorite of all time is this story that was presented to me as a true story that involves Paul Newman, my favorite actor.
A Michigan woman and her family were vacationing in a small New England village where Paul Newman and his family were known to frequent.
One Sunday morning, the woman got up early and she decided to take a long walk. After a brisk five-mile walk, she decided to treat herself to a double-dip chocolate ice cream cone. She hopped in the car, drove to the center of the village and went straight to the combination bakery/ice cream parlor.
There was only one other patron in the store: Paul Newman, sitting at the counter having a dough-nut and coffee.
The woman’s heart skipped a beat as her eyes made contact with those famous baby-blue eyes. The actor nodded graciously and the star-struck woman smiled demurely.
Pull yourself together, she chided herself, You’re a happily married woman with three children. You’re forty-five years old, you’re not some giggling teenager. Get a grip!
The clerk filled her order and she gathered up her change, leaving the store quickly not even daring to glance in Paul Newman’s direction as she left. When she reached her car, she suddenly realized that she had a handful of change, but her other hand was empty. What had she done with her ice cream? Was she so star-struck by seeing Paul Newman that she had left the clerk holding her cone, or left it in the stand on the counter? How embarrassing!
Back into the shop she went, expecting to see the clerk holding her cone, smiling at her mistake… but the clerk was nowhere in sight…and the cone was not on the counter. With that, she happened to look over at Paul Newman. His face broke into his familiar, warm, friendly grin and he said quietly to the woman, “You put it in your purse!”.
A good side dish for Thanksgiving dinner.
Cheesy Squash Casserole
Recipe courtesy of Paula Deen
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
6 medium yellow summer squash, thinly sliced
1 large Vidalia onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar
1/2 cup sour cream
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 sleeve crackers, crushed medium to fine (recommended: Ritz)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 2-quart casserole dish.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute the squash, onion, and butter until soft. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the Parmesan, Cheddar, and sour cream. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
Place in the prepared casserole dish and sprinkle the cracker crumbs evenly over the top. Bake for 20 minutes or until the top is golden and bubbly.