Sunday, January 02, 2011

Take Heart, Fellow Geezers

I’m not so sure all those experts who claim fully mature adults develop short-term memory losses are correct.

When I was 17, my high school baseball team traveled 20 miles to play one of our big rivals. Upon arriving, a frantic search revealed I had forgotten my catcher’s mitt

My son just phoned. He bought some herring to serve yesterday while we celebrated New Years Day at his place. It’s a family tradition. He forgot to serve the herring during the seven hours we spent together.

After all, it’s not a catastrophe to forget a few things at any age. I borrowed another guy’s mitt for the baseball game, and although that didn't work out so well at least I didn't have to rely on my bare hands.

We’re going to our son’s house in a couple of hours to snack on the herring. Some forgetfulness doesn’t spoil much of anything; it just extends the celebration.


Sightingsat60 said...

I agree, many of us worry way too much about this. Are we getting senile? Are we approaching dementia? Are we showing signs of Alzheimer's? I say, when you get to the stage where you forget what you've forgotten . . . problem solved!

Kay Dennison said...

I'm with Sightingat60 -- it's a case of mind over matter: if you don't mind, it doesn't matter!

Alan G said...

Well, you know how those so-called experts are….

I can’t honestly conclude that my short term memory is less than when I was younger but….I can definitely give testimony that my overall attitude with regard to short-term memory has certainly changed over the years.

I use to go from one end of the house to the other end on a mission, only to reach my destination and not remember why I was there. I would simply chuckle about it and share the story with all my friends and family.

Now it is a completely different story. When I get to the other end of the house and realize I have no clue as to why I am there, I slam doors and reel off cuss words enough to shame the entire county. I am not sure why the change in attitude with regard to the short term memory unless I sub-consciously figure that at my age I only have so many trips left in me with regard to traveling from one end of the house to the other and so now is not the time to waste any of them! said...

Everybody forgets sometime. We just think it happens to seniors. Kids forget to tie their shoes for goodness sake. That is if they have ties on shoes anymore, I forget.

Kay Dennison said...

I worry a lot about it but frankly, since I retired, I have a lot less to remember. I've always been a 'list' person. What bugs me is when I forget what I wanted to add to the list! Thanks for your kind words on the Buckeyes' victory!!! I left you a note on your comment on my blog. All hail the Big 10!!!! lol

Steve said...

It's interesting that you mention a herring tradition. (I assume we're talking pickled herring?)

Does anyone know where that herring tradition came from? My wife (born and raised in Central Illinois in a Swedish-American family) has observed that tradition in her family, and thought it arose from Swedish or more general Scandinavian roots.

But more recently I've found modern-day Swedes (in Sweden) who say they aren't aware of any such tradition. In Germany, herring is loosely associated with this time of year but again, there doesn't seem to be a strong linkage to New Year's day.

Of course we all realize that northern Europe is the "herring zone," and we wouldn't suppose it was an Italian or African-American tradition, but I've always been curious as to its origins, and whether it's something that survives in the U.S. but maybe has disappeared in Europe.

Dick Klade said...

My father's parents were German immigrants. Dad is the one who introduced me to the idea of consuming pickled herring on New Years Day. He said it brought good luck.

Googling just now yielded a site claiming to present "the truth" about holiday traditions. If offered two ideas. One said the New Years herring originated in German folklore; the other said it was a Polish tradition.

From two lengthy visits to Germany and a lot of conversation with folks there young and old, I've learned that many things differ greatly by regions in Deutschland, and Germans show up living in many adjacent countries where they may adopt some traditions from people with quite different heritages.

Dad had many friends of Norwegian and Swedish ancestry, but he never said he picked up the herring tradition from them.

Steve said...

It could be it's both German and Polish tradition. My wife always thought it came from the Swedish side of her family, but the other side was Polish - maybe it came from there.

In any case, we observed the practice for many years but skipped it this year as she found she doesn't really like pickled herring all that much. I've got a great recipe for a pickled herring/macaroni/curry salad, though!