Merry Christmas, everyone

We are expecting a dozen at our Christmas feast table in a few hours, so I’d better get at it. I had to order some more Claxton fruit cake, I gave some of my first order away, served some to guests, and ate a whole one over three days all by myself. But I’m putting out one of the new ones on the hors d’ouvres table, and will serve some of the Thai fortune cookies dipped in chocolate beside it, and the usual relish tray of pickles and two kinds of olives. And some spreadable Laughing Cow cheeses with crackers. That should hold them till dinner – if they don’t sicken themselves by trying all the variety of treats.

I’ve been worried about my failures to remember, and by my new, distressing, habit of driving somewhere and suddenly not being able to remember how to get there. Thank God for GPS! So I was offered a long cognition test by my doctor and it so stirred up my mind that the next day I felt quite competent. I should find some of those exercises Online and take them once or twice a week. A hard one was a sheet of paper with three or four columns of words of color: green, red, blue, orange. Only the words were printed with colors other than the names, red in blue, green in red, an endless mix. And I had to read them out loud – the words, not the color. Surprisingly difficult, and I got the giggles halfway down the first column. I think I did pretty well on the test, though I could not for the life of me remember who wrote Alice in Wonderland – though I knew Mark Twain wrote Huckleberry Finn. I also knew what year this was and who was President of the United States. The young man who gave me the test said he’d given it to a fellow who called him hours later to shout, “Lewis Carroll!” He predicted I would do that, too; but I actually had to ask a friend the next morning the name of the author – sometimes when I lose a bit of information, it’s really gone and I have to ask someone or look it up.

I had to serve at the altar for the Christmas Eve service at four yesterday evening and so had to drive by myself to Nephew Will and family’s house out in the country for a gift-exchange. I’ve never been there and when I tried to enter his address on my GPS, it informed that it had no maps. Ellen had taken it to update the system and something gang agley. But I had written instructions and so started off confidently. But their area has a combination of road signs that light up in headlights and ordinary street-corner signs and in the dark, I could not read them. Remembering stories of seniors who got lost and wandered for days in the wilderness, I went back and stopped at a gas station to call and got their answering machine and said, so sorry I’m going home. And I had to borrow the phone of the man behind the counter because, as usual, my cell phone’s battery was flat. It would make a bittersweet Christmas story, me alone in the apartment with Java the cat, watching Barney Miller and WKRP’s Christmas episodes, and going to bed early. But there are so many far worse off than that; I was warm and fed and had good company – Java loves to snuggle – and I said a prayer for them, and decided I was amused to be in an aggravating dilemma in this day of complex electronic helpers, all of which failed me. So the bag of gifts I have in the car will have to wait a couple of days. I’m all right, and I hope you all are all right, too.

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