Remembering to remember

Evelyn Richardson

December 26, 2013

A bug splat on the car windshield, directly in my line of vision, is worrysome. Several squirts of washer fluid serve only to smear it in an arc when I turn on the wipers. Must remember when I get home to use my own window cleaner and some elbow grease to get it off. But do I remember? Once the car is parked, I do not think of the spot until I’m on the road again.

I must concede that there’s a whole bunch of situations similar to this that keep on happening.

I put on a shirt with a stiff tag that scratches my neck. No time to undress now, but must remember to cut it out. The shirt goes through the laundry several times—almost enough to soften the tag—before I finally clip it.

How many times have I told myself that there’s no need to slip on my mud boots to go get something from the storage building. I can watch and be careful where I step. It never fails that the grass is still wet with dew or a camouflaged mole mound squashes into the crevices of my shoe sole. The cleanup takes a lot longer than the change of shoes would have.

“I’ll remember that name/recipe/phone number; that’s an easy one.” Easy for me to forget! When I try to recall it, I’m not sure. Sometimes I am able to re-connect and find out, but not always. Why cannot I write it down at the moment, then there would be no chance of a problem.

In summer, I should know always to take a bucket with me whenever I go to the garden. If I’m empty-handed, several tomatoes are bound to be ripe. Instead of returning to the house for a bucket, I attempt to carry them in my hands and one of two things is bound to happen: My hands are so full that I drop and burst the nicest tomato or I hold them against my body to avoid dropping them and permanently stain my clothes.

No need to set the timer; I’ll keep the boiling pot in mind as I take care of a task or two at the other end of the house. I beat myself up with “I knew better, I knew better” as I save the top layer of scorched beans and put the blackened pot in the sink to soak.

It’s too close to bedtime for a nap; I’ll close my eyes for a moment and rest my eyes from reading. When I awake, the mantel clock’s hands are in a funny position. By the time I figure out how long I have napped, and chastise myself for giving in to temptation, my sleeping routine is so off schedule that I lie awake and lose more sleep than I gained with the nap.

Repeatedly I have to look up the correct spelling of the same simple word instead of concentrating on learning how to spell it. I have read that such a practice is symptomatic of a dire memory condition. Well, I surely don’t want to concentrate on that! Hand me the dog-eared dictionary.