Memory takes a lot of poetic license. It omits some details; others are exaggerated, according to the emotional value of the articles it touches, for memory is seated predominantly in the heart. The interior is therefore rather dim and poetic.
Playwright Tennessee Williams wrote these words in his 1944 masterpiece “The Glass Menagerie.” Today, it seems that his sentiment actually lends words to thoughts I’ve had about memories. (And one thing you’ve learned, Dear Reader, is that I love quotes!) As I write On the House each week, my recall of events isn’t necessarily factual per se, and my feelings about them can change through the tools of time and hindsight.
Thankfully, I have a thousand columns to keep my memories alive. Drumroll please: Today’s dispatch is my 1,000th in this space!
As I am wont to do, I made a list to recap those thousand columns.
First, for all but the last few months, I had the same job – only the second real job I’ve had. That’s kind of amazing for a retiree, but for the first years of marriage, I worked as bookkeeper for husband Carl’s businesses. It wasn’t until I’d been away from high school for some 20 years, that I filled out an application, had an interview, and got the job.
When I began On the House, we had only one grandchild; today we have five, ages 4-21, and added three step-grandchildren, too. One is planning a wedding, two are 2019 high school graduates, one is ready for her freshman year in high school and the 4-year-old is trying out some youth modeling gigs. Each one provides his or her own antics worthy of column mention.
Husband Carl and I both lost our parents within the period of these thousand columns. We had navigated everything from worrying about them driving all over the country to their long-term care.
Our two kids each had a wedding, a divorce and a remarriage.
We built a house.
We had one cancer scare: Carl.
I’ve had 14 surgeries – nothing major. Carl’s had seven, including surgery to repair his broken neck in 2005 following his horse accident, leaving him wheelchair-bound ever since.
Some of my repeated topics are hat hair, wind and washing windows.
I’ve mentioned my pet peeves starting with shoppers who leave their carts in the middle of the store aisle. It also bugs me when drivers don’t use turn signals, or when they insist on making a left-hand turn across four lanes of traffic in the busy Cody tourist season. I’ve also bemoaned the apparent shortage of napkins and straws. What other explanation could there be when I don’t receive them in the drive-thru?
I like spring, cars, grandchildren, neighbors, music, political science (“science” is the operative word here), mountains and the smell of bedsheets fresh from the dryer.
And what about all those food memories? My sloppy Joe recipe is reminiscent of that created by the Nebraska drive-in where Mom met Dad in the 1950s. I first made my homemade spaghetti sauce as a newlywed in 1971 to impress Carl, and once I made mac n’ cheese from scratch, I wasn’t allowed to return to the “blue box” ever again.
Thanks for making my memory-keeping easier! Here’s to a thousand columns and counting…