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Writer reflects on start of New Year

Yet another year recently ended, and again I have not crossed the following items off my list of "things I've never done."

I've never:

-- Stood in Times Square at midnight with millions of other people to watch a ball drop,

-- Parachuted from a plane,

-- Been on skis,

-- Joined a protest march,

-- Had a near-death experience,

-- Been invited to the White House or

-- Gotten a college education.

Now ask me if I care!

There are two other lists I could make. One is of the things I've regretted doing, but on second thought, it's best not to dwell on those, so they won't appear here.

The list of things I'm glad were part of my life is a long one, and the "glads" far out-weigh the "sads" anyway.

Among these are:

-- Sang a lot,

-- Played tennis and badminton,

-- Learned to swim,

-- Went hiking and camping plus kayaking in white water,

-- Listened to and performed some great classical music,

-- Saw Michelangelo's "David" in Florence, Italy,

n Glimpsed the Queen of England while in Edinburgh, Scotland,

-- Saw "A Chorus Line" on Broadway,

-- Sailed among the islands of the Caribbean,

-- Saw the Boston Pops at Symphony Hall,

-- Married a second time,

-- Saw a great horned owl in the wild, and

-- Worked in several libraries.

These are random selections because of the lack of space but enough to make me realize how much I have to be thankful for. If you want to make your own lists, just let things pop into your mind quickly without thinking a long time about them. You'll be surprised at what comes up!

One item that appeared on both the "glad" and the "sad" lists is that I married awfully young. Although that fact resulted in some problems, it also resulted very happily in the birth of two children and later a number of grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

So begins another year with feelings of gratitude. Now it is time to look forward to some new experiences. One thing I know for sure… I won't be going skiing!

Memory can be fleeting

It was just an unimportant loss - a temporary blip that blocked off the tiniest imaginable portion of my memory. So why did I get so upset about it?

I was trying to tell Rochelle the name of a program that I used to enjoy listening to on NPR, her favorite radio station.

"Oh, you know!" I prodded her. "The gal's name was Susan something-or-other." Oh dear, another glitch - not being able to remember the woman's name.

I told Rochelle, "The name of the program had a kind of a double meaning, like the title of some movies." I gave two examples: "Sometimes a Great Notion" and "As Good as It Gets."

"But not really like those," I continued weakly. "Oh, I give up. It's just gone."

It was so frustrating not to be able to simply reach into that part of my brain and pull out the name of that program. Perhaps the frustration stemmed partly from the fact that this is happening to me more and more lately.

I know age is a factor. Am I worrying that a form of dementia is making inroads? I do my crosswords. I take a writing class. I watch "Jeopardy," and I learn music to perform with a chorus.

All things considered, maybe these measures will be enough to prevent an eventual complete loss of memory.

Wait a minute! "All Things Considered"! That was the name of the program!

I'm saved once more from the brink of disaster. My mind came through just in time and opened the door to that minuscule compartment where that bit of information was stored. I'm thankful for another day with a mostly working brain.

Lynn S. Turner is a Tigard resident with an adventurous spirit who likes to look at the world in unusual ways.