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Life Here

June 21, 2018 By Walt McDaniel

Past Memories

As I sat down at my desk to write the latest episode of my memoirs, I began to think about how to put the experiences of my past life together. I don’t remember when I first started writing, but I was told that I used my right hand until I broke my right collarbone fooling around in second grade. While I was all taped up, I changed to my left hand for a few weeks. When the tape came off, the teacher tried to encourage me to revert to using my right hand but it must have been a lost cause since using my left hand seemed more comfortable. In the fourth grade, we had to draw circles across a page while staying between the lines. The teacher, Mrs. Wright, stood over me and said that my hand was backwards and the circles were going the wrong way. Maybe I have been going the wrong way ever since — who knows.

In the memoir class, our very nice instructor used the word “organize” to prepare our final story for the day. Now that was interesting because I have been told many times in the past that I was always disorganized. I wonder if it is because I am left handed? My life had already been lived so how could I reorganize anything? Mentally, I tried to visualize its various phases: little kid, school kid, likes, dislikes, friends, places and hundreds of others. I soon realized that each phase was completely different and that I really had no control over most — they had just happened. Before I knew it, it had become a fun game — trying to remember special times and dates and imagining how my grandkids reacted to my stories. Evidently, being left-handed has nothing to do with being organized; it’s all in the head.

How do I pick a subject? I remembered the first time that we got electricity in our home. The wiring in each room was very simple. The room was illuminated by a light bulb that hung from the ceiling at the end of a wire. The light was in the center of the room about five feet above my head and had a six-inch pull chain. I was still regarded as “shorty” and the chain was just at my fingertips. Suddenly, I had a bright idea. I found some cord and tied one end to the pull chain and the other to my bed. That’s one of the most outstanding ideas that I could ever remember.

Just like that light switching on, a subject popped into my mind and started like this: “Growing up, I thought about ideas that could be developed to provide memories that would continue to surface for years and years.”

Suddenly, I woke up and realized that I’d had a wonderful dream about writing, organizing thoughts and developing ideas. It felt so good, and I now wonder what might follow that first sentence. The only way to find out is after another nap.

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