I have been losing things lately — well misplacing them temporarily. The other day, I forgot my aged, very efficient, compact, silver travel alarm on the table at the library for just a nanosecond and, whish, it was gone. I guess that doesn’t count as misplacing or losing since someone stole it. But — and this is the connection — if I had remembered it and not got all involved in chatting with that woman about her writing and then moving my stuff from table to study pod, I would still have it. I hate to lose things — especially something like that clock. I’ve had it for over 20 years. It moved with me from DC to Toronto, went with me on my last trip to the house in Spain, and has timed every English lesson and counseling session from the beginning. Rats! I miss it. I try to be Zenish about it and chant, “It’s only a thing. And things are just — well — Things. Om and Om” But it doesn’t work — especially since it was my one-and-only portable, dependable timekeeper. I don’t own a watch — or at least one that works — and I never learned how to set the clock on my seldom-used cellphone, so I’m time-deprived. I hope whoever took it really, really needed it — the creep.
Then two days later I couldn’t find my Cook Book. Not just any old cookbook — but THE Europe-in-the-1970s Cookbook. I had put it together over the years when I was moving from spot-to-spot — staying three months here, six months there. It held every recipe that I had gathered while sitting in my landladies’ kitchens in Greece and Morocco, Spain, France and even the former Yugoslavia. I had transcribed their show-and-tell instructions in my messy, cramped, little-girl-looking printing. I knew I could Google recipes for dolmades and stuffed cabbage, paella and bean soup — but I couldn’t google what those splattered-pages gave me. When I saw them, I could vicariously slip back into a visit with Kyrie Georgia sitting in her kitchen wrapping dolmades and sipping sweet-sweet coffee or I could hear Stanya yelling “Viele, viele schmutzig,” when I didn’t clean her Dubrovnik kitchen as pristinely as she liked. I felt like I had lost a part of me.
I looked in all the obvious places — like with the other cookbooks, under the cushions on the couch (I do have cats who steal things) and even in my closet for some reason. Nothing. Nada. Rien. Then, after fretting and feeling sad for two days, I pulled out the big guns and said, out loud, “Dear Saint Anthony, Please Look Around, Something’s Lost That Must Be Found. Amen.” Just for good measure, I had a heavenly chat with my mother as well, Fan Numero Uno of the same Saint Tony. She always seemed to have his ear when the lost object was important enough. It didn’t take them long — five minutes later I walked upstairs and went right to the bookcase where it sat, tucked next to last year’s calendar. Praise the Saints!
So it was downright providential that my neighbor, Brock, picked that week to tell me that he had included me in his “family plan” for Lumosity — that clever Train-Your-Brain program. I was quite touched that he considered me a part of his cyber-family. Sweet. Then I wondered if he had noticed these lapses in my memory even before me? Could it be? Was this his attempt to bring me and my brain back from the I-Just-Don’t-Remember-Anything-Anymore Pit that so many people in their senior years slip into? I wasn’t about to ask him — he might strike my name from the family. So, instead, I started my training right away — promises of increased memory, speed, flexibility, attention and problem solving skills danced in my head. I was pumped. Train that Brain of Yours, Annie! I signed up for daily reminders so I wouldn’t forget! Christmas Day 2013 will mark the beginning of the re-generation of the memory of Annie Elizabeth Eyerman. Alleluia
While I’m waiting for the results, I have to do two things: Go out and buy a new clock and make a copy of The Cook Book — I hope I remember.