I was visiting my mom one day recently while she was crocheting 1.5 miles of yarn into an afghan blanket.
I asked her how old she was when she started crocheting. She said she doesn’t remember learning to crochet. That got me thinking, what don’t I remember?
Of course I don’t remember learning to talk or walk. However, I’m sure it wasn’t long after when I was told to shut up and sit down. I do remember standing in my crib pushing the button switch turning the light on and off. That house still has some hundred-year-old push button light switches by the way. Manufacturing quality may have been forgotten over the years. I sincerely doubt modern switches will last 100 years. Luckily, they’re only a buck or two and I have yet to forget how to change one.
Changing the oil in my vehicles has been a forgotten task in the past decade or two. Luckily, we have reminders stuck to the inside of our windshields and/or a drippy little genie lamp that illuminates telling us to pick up the phone and make an appointment.
I don’t remember how I remembered appointments before the cellphone calendar app. This was the greatest invention since email. Even with this, most places still are filling out a business card with your appointment hand written on it. I still accept those just in case I didn’t enter the correct time, date, reminder, color, wife’s birthday, first born, etc.
And then there are numbers I remember I haven’t used in decades. I remember my home phone number from more than 40 years ago. The number to Sam’s Pizza in Marseilles from when we only needed to dial five numbers still is stuck in my head.
I think we all remember our Social Security numbers. I also remember my wife’s. Here’s a weird one. At some point in time and for some odd reason I memorized my driver’s license number. I even remember my wife’s. And now that I think of it, I remember my very first license plate. It was unique and ahead of its time in the 1970s, WWW 777. I wish I would have kept it all these years. A quick Google search shows it’s now an online casino.
I have small snippet memories from the past as I’m sure we all do. Little things that people said or things we did that shaped our lives. Some memories are good but most are stop in your tracks type moments that taught me valuable lessons.
Fear and danger always teach us valuable memories. I learned never to trust a window to stay open by itself when one slammed on my pinky and removed my fingernail. Thankfully, it’s hard to remember pain but easy to remember the cause of pain. Unless you don’t learn from your mistakes, pain can be a good thing.
It pains me to say I don’t remember why I do all the things I do. I just know that over the years I’ve learned that all tasks can be done in three different ways. There’s a good way, a not so good way and a bad way. Sometimes it takes a while to figure out the best way to do something. Sometimes we never figure it out.
I recently did something I’ve done several times before. Each time I thought I was doing the right thing but having not learned from my past mistakes I did it again. It should be easy to remember this last event. I just hope I remember not to forget.
Kevin Foster is a lifelong resident of the area. He is retired and spends his days watching birds and losing at Jeopardy!