The View from the Mountains: Don’t worry … it’s just age

Published 9:35 am Tuesday, June 26, 2018

As I age, I do more and more strange things. Do you?

I mean, I forget a lot more, misplace more things, even say things that sorta roll outta my mouth that make no sense, even to me.

New words appear that are not in the English language and when I come out with these it shocks me.

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I also attach wrong names to people I know well or even worse, I draw a total blank on names.

Do you know how that feels to be introducing a friend or greeting one and staring at them like a complete stranger? It’s awful.

The list of things I do now goes on and on . As I started writing this and blaming it all on getting old, I remembered something I did way back in 1999.

Gene, my stepson Dan, and I went shopping in Walmart one afternoon. I gave them half my list and I took the other half. Why? They like to buy and check out and leave.

I love to browse, especially in the beauty department. You know where all the cosmetics, lotions and colognes are? I’m sure you’re all aware of all the lined up little bottles that say “try me” on them.

Sometimes I leave that store smelling so pungent and sweet Gene doesn’t want to get in the car with me. I’d always explain to him that’s what we’re supposed to do. Anyway, how else can I know whether honeysuckle or musk fits my personality unless I spray them on me.

This particular day, there was an especially appealing display of sweet smelling scents. One caught my eye because it said jasmine on the pretty bottle that whispered, “try me” across it.

You see, on our first date years ago, we took a walk on the island where we lived. We came across three or four jasmine bushes and the wondrous aroma just filled us up. We even took some home.

So naturally then in Walmart beauty department I picked up the jasmine “try me” bottle and began spraying it in my hair.

I noticed that several people were staring at me as I did this and I thought, “Now isn’t that nice? All these folks recognize me from my “View From the Hill” column. Still they seemed to have this peculiar face on them.

Suddenly a big glob of white, thick goo slid down my forehead. Dan showed up about then and, moving close to me, he whispered, “Mom, what are you doing?”

I started to say that I was spraying jasmine cologne on my hair when I reached up with my hand to touch my hair. It wasn’t cologne at all. It was jasmine body cream and my hair was full of it.

I grabbed a hand mirror and what I saw there was sticky white streaks dripping down my face.

The people watching weren’t “View from the Hill” readers at all. They saw a demented old lady acting very confused.

I think they pitied me. What a humbling and embarrassing moment.

Tell me, at what point does one need to worry about oneself? That was a long time ago, and if I remember right, after the embarrassment I pretty much laughed it off.

But as I look back I just wonder. Today, I’m 86 years old and I’m still doing stupid stuff. Believe it or not, most of the time I still laugh at these forgetful moments. Really, what’s the point of worrying?

So, if I forget your name momentarily and call you Gloria, or if I wish you a happy weekend and it’s Wednesday, just know it’s part of growing older and we won’t worry about it.

The vew from the hill is wondrous.

Jean Brody is a passionate animal lover and mother. She previously lived in Winchester, but now resides in Littleton, Colorado. Her column has appeared in the Sun for more than 25 years.