Monday, May 11, 2020

Singing through hard times

I think singing through bad times is what gets people through; let's face it, that's even how the blues were born.  When this pandemic first started, I suggested to a very talented local fellow that he should sing us a song every day to cheer us up through these times; he countered with a suggestion I do the same, and while I knew I wasn't about to put a song online every day, I did share a couple, hoping to keep him going.  He leans toward folk-type music, which is really my first love in music, and he does some fantastic finger-picking on the guitar.  The last two songs I sang and shared on Facebook were old hymns, and I got a big, positive response from older people who miss those hymns as I do.  So I may do a few more of those on Sundays: I don't think my singing is anything special, but these are the hymns that comforted all of us senior citizens through hard times and cheered us on in good times.  I can't do all my favorites, simply because my guitar skills are very basic, and not every song sounds good with the way I beat out the chords on my guitar.  Somebody needs to preserve them, rather than tossing them out like so much garbage just because they were written in King James English.  So that's been a fun little project, and I enjoy hearing Jim sing his songs first thing in the mornings, too.  He's put enough on Facebook at this point that I can always go back and listen to them again.

The clinic we go to called me last week to let me know I'm due for my annual medicare physical, and made me an appointment for today.  I was told to wear a mask.  When I got there, I saw everyone had a mask on, even the nurses in the exam room.  First of all, I filled out a form with questions like "do you feel safe at home" and "have you fallen in the last six months".  I have no problem with that.  

When I was escorted into the exam room, a nurse took my vitals as always.  But when she's finished that, she tells me she's going to give me three words and see if I can remember them later.  That's the part that makes me nervous.

Cliff had his first Medicare physical three or four years ago; for some reason, even though I'm a year older than he is, the clinic never called me that year.  But Cliff told me about the three-word test, and said he only got one word right.  At the time I thought, "No way will I ever pass that test.  I couldn't remember people's names worth a hoot when I was young."  So I worried the rest of that year and never got a call, but the next year I did, and as I thought about the word-test, I came up with a solution:  I love stories.  I remember stories, and story-tellers, for decades after I  hear them.  So I decided when that nurse gives me my words and tells me to repeat them, I'll quickly write a one-sentence story in my head with those three words.

As easy as that might seem, there's one problem:  You have to be a very quick story-writer, because the minute you repeat your three words, the nurse will distract you with questions about unrelated questions about your health.  Today's words were sunrise, banana, and chair.  Instantly I thought, "I ate a banana in the sunrise sitting in a chair."  And folks, when she asked me what my words were, that sentence is what I gave her.  She gave me a large smile, and I said, "That's the only way I'd ever remember the words."  

"Hey," she said, "we don't care how you remember them, just so you know them when we ask."

Feel free to use my word trick, my senior friends.  It's even been approved by a nurse.  And now you younger folks know what's in your future, so you'd better learn to make stories up real fast in your head!  I could write a book on what your future holds, but you don't want to hear it, believe me.  It's better to be surprised by leaks and squeaks and tired bones that to have thoughts floating around in your head making you worry; besides, you might luck out and die young.

I'm kidding.  Be good to yourself, won't you?  

Cliff mowed Saturday

As I walk around what's left of our tiny pond, it's fun to see all the varmint tracks.



4 comments:

Margaret said...

I learned that trick a long time ago in a Memory Class to pick up some college credits after my BA. It was a fascinating course, and I learned a lot. It's been very useful too!

Margie's Musings said...

Thanks for the tip. The only time I was asked about remembering three words, I flunked the test. And that was years ago when I was in my 40s.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

Hope you keep on singing every day. Music always lifts us up!

Kathy said...

I love your singing on Sundays.
As far as what the future holds, I have three younger friends hitting 60 this year. I keep telling them to hold steady at 59. They all laugh, but they won't in a few years!