Age as a barrier to memory work?


Hi Mike!

Thanks for your interest in my fruits and veggies, ha. There are three forms for each type and there’s a location involved also:

On a treadmill inside a door are 3 “yellow corn” items. Traveling from left to right along the tread. 1) corn on the stalk, 2) corn meal in a sack, 3) cornbread on a plate. Next in that room is a desk and on the desk (left to right) are rows of yellow bell peppers growing, next is a slice of yellow bell pepper lying flat like a cops badge, and finally, on the floor next to the desk, is a bowl of chopped yellow bell peppers.

On the floor in front of a TV is a cow made of mango (Mr. Potato Head style), then to the right of that is a mango pit, then a glass of mango lassi on a bookshelf. Next comes 3 distinct forms of butternut squash, then 3 forms of pumpkins, 3 variations of orange bell peppers, to tangerines to gala apples to tomatoes to radishes, strawberries, beats, red onions, cabbage and so forth around the color wheel, ending up with celery (which is green tending back toward yellow).

So, really there are only 22 types of fruits/veggies but each comes in 3 forms for a total of 66. The general color progression works around the color wheel with yellow moving toward red toward blue, to green to yellow.

Green bell peppers lead to sno peas to green grapes to celery with he bell peppers being obviously more blue and the celery more toward yellow. So I start with corn and end with celery and there’s a distinct form of a fruit or veggie for each book of the Bible.

Later I added a location journey of 66 different buildings, one for each book of the Bible.
The book of Ephesians, for example, is a string of blueberries strung like a rope or necklace (it’s on a bed). Ephesians 6:12 is wrestling not against flesh and blood but against powers. The person associated with number six (for me) wrestles with the rope of blueberries using the item associated with the number 12 person to indicate it’s verse 12.

Since the book of Ephesians now also has a building location, I could have the action take place there but it’s easier to just wrestle with the blueberry rope for that verse. I ended up with TWO locations for each book of the Bible owing to my haphazard self-devised system that required (I thought) expansion. Fruit and veggies can go anywhere.

The book of John, for example, was originally red cabbage on a staircase but there’s not a lot of room there, so now I also have a building dedicated to the book of John. I can use the cabbage alone or in either location or I can leave the cabbage off if I don’t need it.

I think taste, color and texture will all help me. I’m certainly open to any suggestions!!!

Your grocery store idea sounds good to me. If they move stuff then I’d just have to remember where it used to be. It’d be my very own grocery store. I like the idea of full price, sale and store brand. It’s a great way to expand and it reminded me of my own 3-styles of one fruit/veggie.

(Mike Betts) #22

thank you Ella, you have good ideas that I will leverage… I especially like the ‘different building for each book of the bible’ concept.


For me the most important thing is attitude.

Be as positive as you can. I had a friend, a man who died at 90, who was pretty sharp to the end. He had survived three Nazi death camps and just wanted to get as much out of life as he could. And he did, believe me.

My mother, who is 96, is as sharp as a tack. She remembers stuff that many younger than her don’t.

Don’t believe what others say if it runs counter to your goals and how you want to enjoy your life.

I have had some major health problems including a bad concussion that really hit me hard on so many levels. But I am determined to get the most out of life that I can.

You yourself set your own limits when it comes to attitude.

Find what juices you and do it.




Hi Lynne:

I’m always short on time here but I took a moment to check-out a wee bit of your writings. Pretty neat.

Normally I tire quickly with too much description - I’m impatient to get onto the plot, hombre! But your descriptions were different they rang with familiarity and a palpable reality. Hum, a “writer” who is “REALLY” a writer? Pretty cool.

When I’ve needed to write things I’ve sometimes gotten so involved in multiple revisions that I can no longer distinguish between what I’ve written and left in VS. what I wrote and cut out. Thus I risk redundancy and / or all kinds of other woes with my in / out confusion. My only hope seems to be to avoid revisions altogether or to give up entirely and simply shut up. Ho.

But, onto your topic: Would it be useful to use colors and scents? So-and-so is everything cinnamon, for example, and / or all “red” episodes track with character X?

I’d be interested to know how it all works out with you. Congratulations on finding your “niche” so to speak, and sharing some delightful sensory observations: “The sounds of her co-workers’ voices recede. The click of keyboards almost disappears. The telephone dulls to a purr.” You’re writing is full of sights and sounds. Perhaps scents and textures are in there too? I suspect they are, because you seem extraordinarily sensitive and observant. It’s nice to touch all the bases.

Engaging ALL the senses seems beneficial to both memory and to storytelling, yes?

Wish I had your education - I’d have loved it. Being a writer seems very cool and powerful indeed. Congrats and best wishes.


(ron arnett) #26

Thanks for the suggestion.

I live across the street from a medium size supermarket so I shop there almost every day. Since I routinely check the prices of the things that interest me whether I intend to buy them or not, I am very familiar with the location of many items both in relation to physical layout of the store and the location of other items that also always catch my attention.

This will work especially well for me because I am currently living in a non English speaking country. So starting in English; milk in the top shelf, milk 2 percent (for my wife) 3 percent (for me) in brand A, ditto in brand B, ditto in the local language for each category. Ditto for each of the milk categories that are also there but I don’t want that are always juxtaposed close to the ones that I look for, on other shelves.

There are easily fifty, maybe a hundred items that I know exactly where to look for them, that come in different sizes, colors and brand names. One journey for when I am shopping alone and another for when my wife is present.

That is a very large memory palace system that is right there and hadn’t even thought about previously. It is more than enough to lay in the basics for being able to read a foreign language starting from scratch.

For those mentioning locations getting rearranged that is a good thing not a bad one. Now you have two memory journeys available. The old one and the new one. If the store moves a couple of products around I would just attach a blue bow to one and a pink bow to he other. If it was a massive reorganization, I would have blue ambient light for the old and fire engine red or whatever for the new layout. One building, two massive journeys, bring it on!!!.

(Scott Landeers) #27

I am 70 years old.
I have been using Memory Systems with great success for over 50 years,with Degrees in Medical Microbiology,Applied Microbiology and Applied Statistics.

(Lynne Kelly) #28

Hi Ella,

Sincere apologies for taking so long to reply. Life got in the way of doing things! But all is back on track.

I am a little confused by what writing you have tracked down.“The sounds of her co-workers’ voices recede. The click of keyboards almost disappears. The telephone dulls to a purr.” That doesn’t sound like me. After 18 books, I do forget things, but there are two other writers with the same name. I do have one novel published but the rest of my writing is non-fiction. So I really am a real published writer, but not the descriptive writer you describe.

I use colour a lot in images. I don’t use scents, but I suspect it would be useful. I don’t tend to notice scents. I do use sounds. I add sounds whenever I can.

Sorry again for taking so long,



Hi Scott. Nice to know there are a few of us older-but-still-youngsters around! :slight_smile:

(Werner Peters) #30

I am 68 yoa. Just joined today. I hope to improve my memory so I can preach a sermon without having to look at my notes. (I am a pastor in Toronto; soon to retire though.)

(Jaime) #31

I am 58 and just arrived here. Happy to hear that there are so many oldies here. I am interested in memory work for the last 2 or 3 year. Its like a sport to me.


You’re just a youngster! I hope you make great progress here. :slight_smile: