MEMORIAL HALLS – Marilyn Armstrong

Every night, I fill up my glass with juice, grab my bag of medications, pet the puppies, and hike the hallway to the bedroom at the other end of the house.

After arriving, I put the bag where it belongs. Adjust the bed to its TV viewing angle. Turn on the television. He watches with headphones while I read or listen to an audiobook. I fire up my blue-tooth speaker. I put my medications into a cup which is actually the lid from a medicine bottle. Convenient and keeps little round pills from rolling off the table.

I never remember everything. Typically, I forget to turn off the fans or the lights. Or something. I sit on the edge of the bed trying to remember what I should have done but didn’t.

“Ah,” I think. “Didn’t change the dogs’ water.” I go back to the living room. Wash the pot, refill it with clean water. Pet the dogs. Assure them they are not getting another biscuit no matter how cute they are.

Back down the hall. Brush teeth. Sit on the edge of the bed. Oh, right. Need to refill the antihistamine bottle. It’s empty. Back to the kitchen where the big bottle is stored. Fending off the dogs, I stroll back to the bedroom with the nagging feeling I’ve forgotten something else.

Ah, that’s right. I didn’t turn off the living room lights. Back to the living room where I turn off a couple of lights. Pet dogs and go back to the bedroom. Garry shows up, having done whatever it is he does for however long he does it in the bathroom. He settles into watching highlights of the whatever sport is being played, followed by a movie or three. I turn on my audiobook.

Forty-five minutes later, I’ve got a headache. I’m not sleepy. Everything hurts. Why are my medications not working? There’s nothing more I can take. Panic sets in.


Which is when I realize all my pills are in the cup where I put them. With all the walking up and down the hallway, I never got around to taking them. Which probably explains why they aren’t working.

I laugh. Continue laughing. Garry takes off his headphones long enough for me to explain why I’m laughing. I got to the punchline, he looks at me and says: “You hadn’t taken them?” He smiled. Nodded. Put the headphones back.

As our memory — collectively and individually — gets less dependable, we have substituted routines and calendars. If we do everything the same way at the same time every day, we’re less likely to forget. Alternatively, we may not be able to remember if we did it today, yesterday, or the day before.

Duke’s glorious tail – Photo: Marilyn Armstrong

The other evening, we were watching a show that included a dog. Garry assumes I know every dog breed at a glance. He’s right, usually. I know the breeds, but these days, I may not remember its name. I will usually remember the group — guarding, herding, hunting, hound, terrier, non-sporting (“other”), toy.

The Duke

If I remember that, I can go to the AKC site, find the group, scroll the list and find the dog. But they’ve changed the AKC website, so it’s not as easy as it used to be. I wish they’d stop fixing stuff that isn’t broken.


I knew the dog that Garry was asking about was the same as the dog Frasier had on his show. The dog’s name was Eddy. I remembered that. No problem. The breed name was on the edge of my brain, but not coming into focus. I gave up and Googled it.

Search for: “Breed of dog on Frasier TV show.”

Except I couldn’t remember the name of the TV show, either. So I first had to find the name of the show.

Search for: “long-running comedy on TV about a psychiatrist.”

Up popped Frasier. Phew. I could have also found it by looking up that other long-running comedy, “Cheers,” in which Frasier first appeared, but I couldn’t remember its name, either.

One of these days, I’m going to have to Google my own name. I hope I find it.

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Writer, photography, blogger. Previously, technical writer. I am retired and delighted to be so. May I live long and write frequently.

18 thoughts on “MEMORIAL HALLS – Marilyn Armstrong”

      1. Memories are in limbo here. I put out fresh pot of water for dogs before heading into the bedroom. But forgot where i left my glasses.


  1. Am with you all the way with the forgetfulness, although in bed is not so bad, but until the other half is settled, with his pills and other such stuff. We finally settle down and I remember, yes, the water syndrome with our only animal. I forgot to refill Tabby’s water. She always has enough for the night, but I just don’t feel rigbt and relaxed if I don’t renew it. So I leave my sleeping half and go to the kitchen for Tabby, who immediately does a samplel of the refilled water. The Tv we usually switch off before going to bed. I used to go to bed before my other half, but now he is almost earlier than I am.


    1. Our dogs feel they need to wash their feet in the water tub. And since it has been raining so much, it’s pretty muddy outside and there are always clumps of mud in the water. Even when I JUST changed it, so I always change it again before bed and again in the morning.

      Garry does all his organizing in the bathroom. That’s what takes him so long. I, on the other hand, can’t use the bathroom because Garry is IN it. For hours at a time. As far as he is concerned, it’s his bathroom and I only get to borrow it. So now, I also make him CLEAN it. If he’s going to spend half his life in there, he can clean it when he’s done.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh the frustration. So much hoop-la to go through to access once familiar names and words. Though I have found that if I take a pause and stop trying so hard, they sometimes pop right up. I like to excuse the whole thing by thinking that we are just shoving too much visual/aural material into our brains – probably more in the course of one day than most people once acquired over years. Literally too much information. And so by the time we reach our senior years, all our brain files and folders are overloaded, making it harder to access the stuff we actually need. That’s my theory anyway and I’m sticking to it (when I remember) 🙂


    1. It’s age. The doctor says “No, it is NOT dementia. It’s just normal getting older forgetting.” What’s most embarrassing is I forget the words in the middle of the sentence and am reduced to making hand gestures. Sometimes Garry and I can make a whole sentence if we work together.

      And you are right. We all need new, faster motherboards and a really HUGE replacement hard drive.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Love google. Jim asked me a question this morning and I could not come up with the name of the Photo Challenge. I moved my hands and he said …. uh he said… there it is, rule of thirds. Oy


  4. SOOO familiar.

    I just don’t get how I can remember exactly the family details and childhood scenes of hundreds of clients over 40 years, and by the end of a quick exchange, I cannot remember your name if you have just introduced yourself!


    1. I never could remember names OR faces so I started off behind. Now, I can’t remember which actor/actress is which or for that matter, which movie is which. Garry remembers all of that … but he has trouble remembering what kind of dog food we use. I’m pretty sure if I asked him now, he would have NO idea. But if I asked him who directed some sleazy movies made in 1944, he’d remember THAT.


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