"I'm going to speak my mind because I have nothing to lose."--S.I. Hayakawa

Thursday, June 9, 2011

My Rememberer is Broken

I stopped to visit my friend Kathy a few days ago.  It’s been quite some time since we’ve been able to visit and catch up on things.

Kathy and I each moved to this area of Alaska in the spring of 1977 and became good friends.  At the time, we were neighbors in this little enclave of homes on a subdivided homestead.  Our husbands were best friends. 

We’re both widowed now and Kathy lives a few miles away in the townsite of Moose Pass.  She and I travel as much as we can and we’re often on opposite sides of the globe.  We don’t travel together because our interests differ.  She thinks I’m nuts for riding a mule to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and I bang my head against the wall when she talks of all the museums she’d visited.

She doesn’t want to go see the polar bears in Manitoba this winter, yet she’s jumped out of an airplane.  In Mexico, no less.  But she would never think of going to Africa with me to hike in to see the mountain gorillas.

Anyway, we caught up on news that morning.  She told me her mother died recently at age 93.  We talked of the differences in our generation and our parents, of  how much fun we’re having, of how we can’t imagine our parents doing what we’re doing.  I’ll be seventy in a few months and Kathy will be a few months after me.

Our parents weren’t as energetic at our age as we are, we noted, nor did they have the interest in doing the things we do.  That they were teens and young adults during the Great Depression probably has much to do with that.

That evening, she stopped by with her six year old granddaughter and we talked some more while I decorated the granddaughter’s hot pink straw hat with Pablo the Parrot’s colorful  molted feathers and looked through the spotting scope at the mountain goats with their new kids.

Then, Kathy said, “Glenn told me that……..”  Before she finished her sentence, I saw a far away look in her eyes.   “Maybe it wasn’t Glenn who told me that,” she murmured.

“No, I told you that this morning,” I said.  And we laughed about old age and forgetfulness.

A while later she and the decorated granddaughter were in their car getting ready to leave when I noticed that Kathy’s red hair was cut short.  She said it’s been short for a couple years and that I probably hadn’t noticed.  I would have noticed, I said, but I probably just forgot.  I started laughing so hard I almost couldn’t explain why.

“I was going to make some smart remark about what I told you this morning that you thought Glenn had said, but now I can’t remember what it was I said.”

“Ain't it fun?” said Kathy.


  1. I usually laugh at my brain struggles but sometimes it's hard to make light of it, those times I just shake my head and go on.

    Lon and I are learning to make light of those moments when names and past events run to the back of our minds when we go looking for them.

  2. I alternate between blaming it on the teflon coating on my brain and that my brain has a dry erase board and somebody must've erased it...

  3. I like Buck's thought on this: he says all the information is there in our brains, it's just that as we age, the file cabinet gets bigger and it can sometimes be hard to pull out a particular fact or memory as fast as we once might have because of the sheer size of the file cabinet.