Opinion: Not doing it the ‘write’ way

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Commentary by Ward Degler

I have a bad habit of writing things down. Actually, my wife tells me it would be a good habit if I wrote them in a journal, a ledger or in the Day-Timer that sits unused on my desk.

Scraps of paper, random sheets from a dozen different note pads. That’s how I keep track. Sort of.

It came to a head last week when I couldn’t remember what time my doctor’s appointment was a few days hence.

“I think it’s 9 o’clock,” I told my wife.

“Didn’t you write it down?” she asked.

“Of course I wrote it down,” I said indignantly, shuffling through a fistful of paper.

“I think this is it,” I added, pulling out a piece that had 9 a.m., or something that looked like 9 a.m., written at the bottom. At the top, it said, “Drfrapn,” which I was sure was the doctor’s name. It also said, “Nvm14,” which was obviously a reference to Nov. 14.

“Why don’t you keep track of your appointments on your computer?” she asked. “It has a calendar with reminders you can use.”

“I tried that once,” I said. “It didn’t work.”

“Why?”

“I needed a reminder to check the calendar.” 

To prove the point, I opened my computer and clicked on Calendar. A handful of items had been typed in. One was for a picnic last June, which I forgot about until July. Another was a reminder to meet someone named Arnold. Still another simply said, “Remind me.”

“Why don’t you use your Day-Timer?” she asked in that exhausted tone that tells me I’m treading on thin ice. I dug through a stack of files and pulled the book out and blew the dust off. The date on the front said 2017.

“That’s almost four years old,” she said.

“That’s why I use these,” I said, waving a bunch of note sheets in the air. She took them and started shuffling through them.

“What’s this one?” she asked. It said “IS 12:21.”

“Either a Scripture reference or something that happened in Israel four days before Christmas,” I said.

She handed me another one. It said, “Murder OX.”

“Are you planning to kill a cow?” she asked.

“Murder on the Orient Express,” I said. “I’ve wanted to read that book again.”

There were others. “Cut host” was a reminder to trim the hostas in the garden. “Celbirth Sun” meant we were going to celebrate birthdays on Sunday. Which Sunday was unclear.

It’s not a perfect system, but it works, sort of. Now, if I just could figure out who Arnold is.

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