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Archive for the ‘Memory’ Category

Once my husband started ordering from infomercials there was no stopping. To his credit, he watched many more—to the bitter end—than he responded to. My shelves, though, are testament to the fact that he did respond on more than one occasion. On many birthdays and Christmases I’d unwrap a gift I knew well from hearing the excited users on TV. So I would be excited and reluctant all at the same time. After all, Jerry had pictured me using these marvels of science, and I had to follow through.

I’m not sure which was the gateway drug, but probably the “storage system” complete with containers and a turntable. Never search for the right container for your leftovers again, nor the lids. Just spin and you would find them. Ha! So I put them to the test. That was years ago. They are still up there making each day easier exactly as advertised.

Surely the GTX-press Jerry ordered next would not live up to its billing: quick, perfect eggs, leftovers wrapped in a tortilla and made into a healthful dinner, angel food cake with fruit in the middle, etc. all in about three to seven minutes. Come on! How often would I drag out an appliance to do one of these things anyway? A lot! Again, except for the propensity for the Teflon to peel a bit, it was perfect and is indispensable in my kitchen.

Jerry also responded to fantastic promises in catalogs. We all know flower catalogs should be sued for false advertising, but after years of restraining himself, Jerry ordered a “carpet of flowers.” When it arrived he cut a small portion to test and followed directions to the T. Did we have a carpet of flowers? Yes and no. A few varieties came up, but most vigorous was the verbena. It eventually made a verbena carpet and we loved it. Verbena was my mother’s favorite flower, so we always knew she had orchestrated its insidious march through our garden.

Walk though my house and you’ll see item after item you’ve seen in catalogs: Galileo’s temperature gauge, little German boy and girl that pop out and foretell the weather, elegant, domed barometer, solar waterfalls, gargoyle cats, and the list goes on and on. I treasure them all.

Did I ever call a halt to a purchase? Yes, yes I did. Twice. For a Lifestyle neck lift and a “slimmer” undergarment. Jerry was genuinely puzzled with my attitude—and I did have an attitude. Those are the two times I said, “BUT WAIT!”

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A house unchanged , a house totally changed. I have time, lots of time to sort through a lifetime of possessions and I move at the speed of one with a long, lazy road before her. There is no hurry to eradicate the past, to decide what is important and not. No hurry, yet it begins to happen naturally, and what is important surprises. Of all the items piled in the corner of the table the largest is the size of a saltine cracker.  

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The worry stone  Hannah slipped quietly into my hand as the memorial service began. “Hold this, Ahmaw, ” my granddaughter said, “It will keep you calm.”

 

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His wallet. You have to open these things that have always been  a place you do not go. But you are there–a tiny picture from long ago.

 

 

 

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His wedding ring. So it was the third in a line of replacements, the others lost who knows where.

 

 

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The ubiquitous golf balls. 

 

 

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Oh yeah, and the Mile High Club pin.

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Blue doesn’t care that my favorite color is yellow. It boldly elbows into memorable moments in my life. Sometimes like ectoplasm it appears and makes something seemingly unimportant become memorable; other times the moment is inherently important and the color is blue. No other hue is so brash.

Blue is there in things I can’t forget:

—the Carolina blue of the football jersey my husband wore at John Marshall High School. As long as I’ve known him he’s pointed out “almost Carolina blue“—always “almost.”

— the brilliant near-turquoise blue of St. George and the Dragon at the National Museum of Art in Washington, D.C. We visited there in 1957 and though I’ll never forget the detail of Salvador Dali’s Last Supper on loan in the main gallery, it was the blue in that painting that comes first to mind when recalling that day. Things are perpetually “almost St. George Dragon blue,” too.

— the blue my husband painted the interior car lights when we were dating and car radio playing “Blue Moon”, “Blue Suede Shoes” and “Blue Velvet.”

— the blue outfit our first son was wearing the day we picked him up from the adoption agency, a perfect match for his eyes.

— Easter Sunday just passed I accidentally turned a stovetop burner on under my daughter’s casserole dish waiting to go in the oven. I quickly moved the bubbling dish to a cold burner. That is when it exploded sending cobalt blue, glass shrapnel all over the kitchen. What do you think we will all remember about Easter 2008? BLUE.

When color pops from my black and white world of memory why is it blue, inexplicably blue?

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