“Everybody needs his memories. They keep the wolf of insignificance from the door.” 

I see the sun and a blue sky. The day is calm. It is in the low 50’s, typical weather for spring on Cape Cod. It is a quiet morning. Henry is waiting for his sip of coffee. Nala is outside sitting in the sun.

When my close my eyes, I can see the past. I remember places and moments and, most of all, I remember people. I don’t remember what my first grade nun looked like, but I remember her name, Sister Redempta. I remember she scared me. My classroom had two doors, one led to the cloak room and the other to the stairs. I remember sitting at my desk with my hands folded while I waited for my row to be called so I could leave at the end of the day. Sometimes I had soup in my thermos for lunch. I remember my mother always packed Saltines.

I once had a boy’s bike, an old bike with a thick middle bar. The bike had been painted. I rode it to school some days, warm days. I remember holding the handlebars and running then hurrying to put one leg over the bar so I could get on my bike.

On the day I checked into staging in Philadelphia for the Peace Corps, I waited in line for my turn. I remember standing there. We were downstairs in the hotel. I had a few papers with me I hadn’t sent. One was my physical and the other my fingerprints. I was asked for both. I handed them over, and I was officially checked in to go to Ghana. I remember Ralph was in line behind me.

Our flight to Ghana was a charter. I sat toward the back. I remember we got off and stretched our legs in Madrid. I remember when we were back on the plane ready too take off, and my seat belt was stuck, and I couldn’t unstick it. I wondered if anybody would notice.

The first person I knew who left Ghana to go home was from New York. He was a heavy set guy with black, curly hair. We had been in Ghana only a week or so. He told me he was going home. Peace Corps wasn’t what he expected. I wondered how he knew so soon. We were, after all, beginning training which we had been told was the most difficult part of our two years. I always wondered what he told people when he got home. I wondered if he just thought of his time in Africa as a bit of a vacation.

I am glad for my memory drawers. They keep me connected with all of my life, with the people I have loved, the friends I have lost and the experiences I have had. They hold treasures.

Explore posts in the same categories: Musings

2 Comments on ““Everybody needs his memories. They keep the wolf of insignificance from the door.” ”

  1. Bob Says:

    Hi Kat,

    Today was cloudy and cool with a high temperature of 72° and with a southerly breeze. Beginning tonight we are forecasted to get some much needed rain. The rain should last through Thursday morning and can use a good soaker.

    Like you, my memories are sporadic. I can remember people’s faces but sometimes their names are difficult to recall. Sometimes a name will jump into my conciseness later after struggling to recall the name.

    During my six weeks of furlough during the Covid lockdown, I started writing down my memories so I wouldn’t forget them. Some people’s names are left out because I couldn’t recall them. Others I wrote down so I wouldn’t forget them. I’m still sporadically working on the book going over what I wrote. All of the stories are from my episodic memory. Scientists tell us that episodic memories get changed every time we recall the memory. I’m not sure that I buy into their theory because each memory I recall is exactly as I remembered it or I told it to someone else.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Bob,
      I just got back from my uke practice. I wore a flannel shirt, and it wasn’t enough. Tonight is chilly, only 48°.

      I find my memory is like that for so many things. I can’t bring something to mind, but later, when I probably don’t need it, I remember.

      I’m with you. My memories haven’t changed.

      I have had all my life a wonderful mind for memories. It is also graphic, visual. I remember giving directions to someone. I closed my eyes and could see the whole way. I even told her the number of traffic lights she’d find on the way. I remember when I was in the sixth grade, I couldn’t think of the answer to one question, but I closed my eyes and could see the page it was on. I saw only part of the word. I got only 1 point off for spelling.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: