Boomer Grandpa: Do not lose the pie — or the fork, for that matter

It had been a long day. I got home in the evening and remembered that there was still some pumpkin pie left from Thanksgiving. In fact, there was a quarter of that pie left. I cut myself a piece, put it on a plate but then performed a few other tasks.

I put some clothes in the washer, turned the TV on, got the Post-Bulletin out of the front door, poured myself some water, and then decided it was time to sit down in my easy chair, read the paper and have my pie.

There was one problem. I now couldn't find my pie. Up and back down the stairs. Through bedrooms, bathrooms, laundry room, and refrigerator. I couldn't find it. When I was looking I had a fork with me.

I gave up the hunt and went back to the refrigerator where the final piece remained. I removed the whole pie pan and headed downstairs. I comfortably reclined in my chair and realized I no longer had a fork.

Busy brain


This is a busy time of the year for everyone. When I have a lot on my mind, I don't do well. I'm like the dog named Dug in the Pixar movie "Up." I go to accomplish something and then something else pops into my mind and I completely lose track of what I was about to accomplish. In other words, my brain says "Squirrel!" and that first thought is gone.

For one thing I am older … wait — I shouldn't say that. How about "timeworn," and that seems to be a piece of the puzzle. I know some of us boomers now wonder, "How the heck did we accomplish everything back in the day?"

I need to slow myself down and take a more analytical approach to my days, but sometimes no matter what I do I still forget stuff. It's very frustrating. I do realize that the more I have on my mind, the more opportunity I have to not remember things.

For me, it helps to make a list — although this isn't foolproof. I may lose the list. There are also times I get home and realize that I still have forgotten a couple of things on the list. I need to look at it a few times when I am out to accomplish all that is written on it.

Make priorities

When life gets more complicated, I know I need to prioritize. Let's say you are caring for parents or grandchildren or whatever. If we can't get to everything, it's all right.

I may not get a Christmas tree up or cards sent out this year. It will be the first time ever, but other issues are requiring my focus. I'm OK with not completing the whole holiday bundle thing.

A couple of days ago when I left the house, the first thing I was going to do was work out. I left my workout bag at home and even forgot my cup of coffee I had just reheated in the microwave. Sigh…


I contacted a professional organizer for some tips, although in my case a psychologist might be helpful as well. Connie Vaughn Reineccius became a professional organizer after she retired from the Air Force. She swears by a system called Cozi. It's a free mobile app and website. Connie indicated people with minimal tech savvy skills can navigate and utilize this system. Everyone in your family can use this planning and scheduling tool. I will give it a try.

I asked her if she had any other advice. She then told me she writes stuff on her hand a lot. Really? I probably should tell you that Connie is my cousin. She grew up on my aunt and uncle's farm in rural eastern Kansas.

Connie now resides in Oregon. We could talk about Kansas life all day. Connie loved growing up on that farm and I cherished visiting. It was a great slice of rural Midwestern life.

Only human

We're only human. We will occasionally misplace our pie. I never did find that piece of pie. I have come to the realization that I ate it and did not remember doing that. So, I actually had two pieces of pie that evening. That's not all bad.

Personally, I don't recommend the writing-on-the-hand method. All we can do when life is busy is to try to keep our focus on what is truly important and then maybe we won't lose our fork as well — because that is really bad.

Comment: Thank you to everyone who gave me an encouraging word, said you were praying for us, sent cards, emails, messages, phone calls or made supporting comments on Facebook regarding the recent surgery, hospitalization and rehabilitation that my wife has endured. She is home, improving each day and enjoys ringing her bell if she needs anything.

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