Memory can be a wonderful, heartwarming, bring-a-smile-to-your-face event. I suppose physiologically, it’s a chemo-electrical brain function. But that cold, clinical description doesn’t come close to defining what most of us like about being able to recall certain events in our past.
Most of us have adequate long-term memory. Thank goodness for our senior citizens who lived the local history are able (and almost always very willing) to share their recollections with anyone who will sit and listen.
But our short-term memory is where some of us fall short.
Short-term is stuff like remembering appointments, names, dates, and simple routine actions. And as we get older, most of us know that sometimes short term memory gets short circuited: we get forgetful. The biggest manifestation of my apparent impending senility occured last week.
I was visiting with a friend, sitting on his porch when it began to rain. We both just sat there and enjoyed the sound of the water drops pelting tree leaves and roof. You could almost hear the water being absorbed by a dry landscape.
We both commented how we liked the sound of the rain and how much it was needed.
As our conversation paused, it brought back memories of years ago of sitting in swings on grandparents’ porches watching and listening to the rain. My legs then weren’t able to reach the porch floor so I had to rely on my elder matriarchs for swinging locomotion. We’d be on the porch snapping green beans or hulling peas or shell-out beans, depending on the season. Sometimes we’d sing songs to help pass the time as we worked. But often we’d just listen to the symphony of sound: the rain on the roof, the trickly-drip of water escaping through the down spout, the creaky squeak of the porch swing spring, and the pop-snap-pop of the garden vegetables as we filled the large enameled metal bowl sitting between us.
That was my long-term memory kicking in as we sat on his porch. As the rain picked up and began coming down with a little more enthusiasm, what my short-term memory should have done was remind me that I had left my mini SUV window down.
I wasn’t reminded of that until the rain slacked up and I decided to head back home while sitting in a soppy, soggy seat.
When I got home I got a couple of towels and poked them around on the seat to absorb as much moisture as I could and left them there overnight.
On the positive side of my now very damp backside, my short-term memory lapse has created a humorous long-term recollection. And now that I’ve told you about it, you can help my premature aging brain function by occasionally reminding me to roll up my window.
At least I haven’t forgotten to zip my fly…yet.