Sunday, October 27, 2013

Time Anchors


Sooooo, I'm cleaning out my email inbox and find this gem dated April 19, 2009.  That's after back surgery but before "The Fall".  Before Susan's cancer diagnosis.  During Em's Junior year at UC Davis.  Before we added Eddie to our four legged brood. Before I grew my hair out second to the last time ago.  The last Picnic Day we went to at Davis.  Before Alice, the dog.  Before Henry, Emilie's car.  During Esther, Em's car before Henry. Before Emma and Murray, our current cars.  Before the Parkinson's diagnosis.

Isn't if funny how we mark time?  In Dave's family everything either happened "Before Polio" or "After Polio".  With Dave and me it "Before Kids" or "After Kids".  I'm really becoming aware of how I mark time as I go through all the photographs.  Worked on David Michael's boxes a bit today.  The first grand kid for the Friesen's, our first kid and the first grand kid after about 11 years for my family.  Looking at pictures of ex-brothers-in-law reminded me of another way of marking time.  Also, of course, "Before Dad Died"  "Before Steve Died"  "Before Al Died" . . . that list grows longer all the time.  Part of my sorting process involves locations.  This pile occurred when we lived on Old Farm Estates Road in Hutchinson.  That pile goes in the Adler envelope.  Those happened in the Townsend house.  Another good one for us is "Before Seminary"  "After Seminary".  Now we have a new one just around the corner: "Before/After Retirement". 

As I think about the kids' childhoods there are a lot more "Before/After" demarcations.  How about B/A potty training?  B/A Chickenpox?  B/A First Love, First Broken Heart, or for Emilie it was Before/After her first B+ in High School.  That one marked something huge in her life at the time.  Now it's a minor memory--but obviously big enough that it's still clogging my timeline.

So it looks like these landmark events range from temporary little blips in the road (B+) or major life changes (Polio) but at the time they must mean a lot or I wouldn't remember them at all.  Our lives are so full that if we didn't grab onto these little "time anchors" along the way we'd never be able to keep it all straight.  These can be kind of tiresome though. Think about if you've had a conversation with someone like this:
       THEM: "I was walking down the sidewalk yesterday and saw...no wait, it wasn't yesterday because I wasn't even in town yesterday.  Or was it?  Oh I think it was Tuesday.  Anyway I ran into....no it couldn't have been Tuesday either because I took my mom to the doctor Tuesday.  Well, it doesn't matter.  You'll never guess who I ran into ...  wait a minute it was yesterday because I took my dog for a walk down Main Street and ran into...I couldn't have been walking down Main Street because............."

You're wanting to scream: I DON'T CARE WHAT DAY IT WAS OR WHERE YOU WERE...JUST TELL ME WHAT YOU'RE TRYING TO TELL ME WITHOUT THE DETAILS THAT YOU CAN'T REMEMBER!!  WHO DID YOU SEE???

Why do we do this?  It's like the person (often us) can't go on with the story until the time anchors are in place. Funny.  I never really contemplated this quite this intensely but what the heck.  What I really wanted to let you know was that yesterday morning I was at Macy's...no, it wasn't Macy's it was Target........


2 comments:

  1. You are wonderful and so is your writing. Keep going..

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you so much for the encouragement! Even though this reply is 1 month late. Why? Have I already replied once? I have no idea. I'm just glad that you're my friend and that you're out there looking after me :-)

    ReplyDelete