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JANICE WELLS: Forgetting to remember

Ever find yourself wondering what you’ve walked into a room for? —
Ever find yourself wondering why you’ve walked into a room? —123RF Stock Photo

You know how you walk into a room and have no idea what you went there for? Of course you do. I do it two or three times a week.


Maybe I should be noting when I do it on a calendar and then I’ll be able to track whether or not it’s becoming more frequent. In fact, for the first time in years, I happen have a calendar hanging in the kitchen, thanks to a gift of the Merb’ys. Coincidence? I think not.

There is a school of thought that there is no such thing as a coincidence; everything happens for a reason. I’m not really planning to track my room rambling on a calendar, but just having the b’ys hanging in the door reminds me to remind myself of things.

However, that carries its own threat of stress. What if I forget to remind myself to remind myself? What if I look at the calendar some day and find two or three blank days in a row? What if… what if… I find myself looking at Mr. January and it’s February?

It’s been especially bad this past week. You have no idea (I have no idea, so how can you?) how many times I have gone to the fridge to get something. “What’s so bad about that?” you may well ask. Well, it’s bad because there is nothing in my fridge.

I haven’t had a working fridge for about a week. Everything that should be in the fridge is in the unheated sun porch. The scattered time the sun shines I actually have to open the windows out there. Everything that should be in the freezer is either cooked and eaten by us, or given away to be cooked and eaten.

I’ve had strange phone numbers scrawled in strange places belonging to strange people or businesses I have no idea about.

Oddly though, I never find myself going to the fridge around 5 p.m. Some things get embedded in my brain instantly; there is no ice or gin in the freezer and there is no wine in the fridge. Around 5 p.m. I head straight to the sun porch like a salmon going upstream to spawn.

OK, I admit it. Sometimes I’m watching the hands of the clock edge towards five and sometimes I just say, “it’s five o’clock somewhere” with just as much satisfaction as if I had coined the phrase and concept myself. Of course, I only do this because of the trauma of knowing there’s no ice.

(A brief aside into my hate affair with today’s appliances. Our three-year-old fancy fridge needs a part that “will take a week of two to get in.”)

Back to writing something down so you don’t forget it. Here is a tip. Sometimes you need to put in a bit of detail. I’ve had strange phone numbers scrawled in strange places belonging to strange people or businesses I have no idea about. This week I’ve surpassed myself.

I jot down notes when I think of an idea or inspiration for a column. Often when I sit down to write there is nothing jotted down. Not because I have forgotten to jot, but because I have had no thoughts worthy of being expanded on, much less shared. Or at least I don’t remember having any.

This week I see I have three things jotted down — neither of which you are reading about because I just opened the fridge door to put the eggs away and inspiration struck.

I find the name Christopher Greaves on my list. That’s it. Nothing else. I say to myself, “Self” I say, “He must have inspired you somehow.” So I Google him.  

I find out that he might be a professional football offensive lineman, a multi-award-winning television producer, a senior software developer, an ophthalmology technician, a 3D graphic artist or a pastor with a passion for the Bride of Christ!

Then I had the brainwave to look in my Readers file and there he is, but none of the above. In fact, I don’t know much about him except that he is a future Newfoundland gardener and I am saving him for a future column.

I have now added a few explanatory jogs to my joggings.

Janice Wells lives in St. John’s. She can be reached at

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