My dad had significant hearing loss for much of his life. Now, I’m noticing that my family is becoming increasingly incensed with my requests for them to repeat what they just said. Is it hereditary, or is it a punishment for all those times when I stood too close to the speakers in the pit at concerts? (I’m betting on the latter, since my ears always rang for days after a great concert.) Anyhoo, as my own hearing deteriorates, I’m noticing how often I rely on context clues to understand what people around me are saying. A lot of times, I’ll say, “Huh?” (which drives my husband crazy) just to give my brain time to process all the available clues so I can understand what was said that I didn’t quite hear. (I’m hopeful that this increased brain activity will help to prevent age-related memory deterioration. See how I’m always looking for the glass half-full?) So, on to this month’s Fun with Hearing Loss: When our daughter Natalie called from Auburn University to say that she’d been invited to sleep on a camel, I was ecstatic! I mean, who wouldn’t want to have the singular opportunity to sleep on a camel! Though it might be somewhat uncomfortable due to all those humps, maybe… Okay, I’ll admit now that I knew I’d probably heard wrong, and I was right about that. Natalie was invited to speak on a panel, not sleep on a camel. Either way, of course, I’m very proud of her for being recognized by her college professors. She has worked hard and certainly deserves all the accolades that come her way. And since speaking on a panel will probably look much better on her CV than sleeping on a camel would, I’m glad that my first impression was a little off-base. (But if they’d invited her to sleep on a camel, and if I knew her safety would be assured, I’d be all-in-favor of it if that’s what she wanted to do.) Stay tuned for more Fun with Hearing Loss, because this sort of thing happens all the time around here.