The older I get, the more difficult I'm finding it to remember the names of those I meet. Perhaps you share that problem. I know it's cost me some embarrassment over the years. And I suspect it has for you, too.
I've certainly never been a Bill Clinton when it comes to an enviable razor-sharp memory with names. He's in a class all his own perfectly suited to politics.
So I was naturally drawn to a story in the latest copy of the Health Breakthroughs publication headlined "How to Make Sure you Never Forget Someone's Name."
The process seems simple enough.
First, shake their hand and repeat their name when greeting them, as in, "Hi, Mary, nice to meet you." In doing so, you link their name with a sense of touch.
Secondly, focus on one aspect of their appearance such as their hair or eyes, just something that makes them stand out from everyone else. This connects you with them visually.
Third, and this one is a doozy that really threw me: Health Breakthroughs advises to take a deep breath through your nose and connect that smell with a specific name. Yep, you read that right.
"By linking a new person's name to a specific smell, you are hard-wiring their name into your brain, making it almost impossible to forget," reports Health Breakthroughs. "But don't take my word for it; try this easy trick next time you meet someone new. You'll be amazed how quickly it works."
At this stage with senior moments becoming a regular part of life, I'm anxious to get to shaking, staring and sniffing.
Keeps on growing
Those folks at Silver Dollar City about 40 minutes up the highway from my front door clearly aren't satisfied with resting on their national laurels as America's Best Amusement Theme Park.
They keep on adding and spreading to accommodate the record crowds that continue flocking season after season both to the park and nearby Branson from across the nation.
Silver Dollar City just announced that over the coming two years it will be adding $30 million more in additional (and sorely needed) parking, a three-story residence hall for their student workers and interns, as well as a Heartland Homes craft and furniture factory where visitors can watch artisans create impressive furnishings using 1880s equipment.
And, oh yeah, they are expanding yet another food venue to the impressive list of eateries that already line the charming streets.
The latest will be an expanded eatery called Fried Fancies, including the addition of a 200-seat outdoor dining area next to a waterfall.
Every year there's something bigger and better going on in those forested hills just up U.S. 65. And hopefully soon, when I'm better recovered from my cancer treatments, we plan on again being smack dab in the middle of it all.
Joyce Mendenhall of Fayetteville, who has undergone three grueling years of cancer treatments, responded to my request the other day for inexplicable GodNod experiences by saying: "Throughout my three years, I have had many unexplained signs. Here is just one of them.
"When I was first diagnosed with cancer, I started to think of things that I needed to do to prepare for being home and not feeling like doing several things. The first thing I did was wash all my windows so that I could see outside easily and look at my yard, garden, and flowers on the deck.
"I cleaned and scrubbed the windows over my kitchen sink inside and out, knocking down many cobwebs on the outside, until they sparkled. We left for a couple of hours, and when I got home a beautiful black and yellow garden spider had already made a web of several circles, as well as squiggly writing up and down.
"I named the spider Webster and told it that it was welcome to stay. Six weeks later, he was still there (until cold weather). After spotting the spider in my window, I kept seeing them everywhere I went."
It was a message that brought Joyce great comfort at a time when she desperately needed it.
Perhaps Walmart has been quietly monitoring me and my buying habits for some time. I've long suspected that was the case. But it wasn't until the other day they removed all doubt in an email that began: "Michael. Thanks for shopping with us! Based on your recent purchases, here are some more to consider."
That was followed by four suggestions for merchandise Walmart marketeers obviously believe I should have.
Heads up, valued readers: If they know what I'm buying, they also know what you are buying, too.
Now go out into the world and treat everyone you meet exactly like you want them to treat you.
Mike Masterson is a longtime Arkansas journalist, was editor of three Arkansas dailies and headed the master's journalism program at Ohio State University. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.