Saturday, April 12, 2014

My memory plays tricks on me

One time back in the mid-to-late seventies or early-to-mid 80's, I remember a hard freeze in the month of May.  Our friends, Boyde and Dona, came out on a Sunday the day before my son's birthday (May 10)... I think.  My green beans and tomato plants were up and growing.  The temperature was in the 80's, but there was a frost or freeze predicted to arrive that night.  Boyde and Dona were gardeners too, and they simply shook their heads at my lovely tomato and bean plants, knowing I was sure to lose them.  

I refused to believe that we would have a hard freeze so late in the year, although I think I may have covered the green beans with straw, saving them.

Next morning, sure enough, frost had hit my tomatoes.  The plants don't turn black until the sun hits them.  I had heard somewhere that if you got out and hosed off the plants to wash off the frost before the sun came up, you could save your crop, so I got out the hose.  When I began to spray the plants with water, icicles froze instantly on the poor plants and when the sun came up, they were dead as door-nails.  

Cliff says he remembers the hosing-off trick working for me at some point, but it didn't work that year.  I remember no other time I hosed off the plants, but he is probably right.  That's a problem as you grow older:  There are so many things to remember than you have to discard some memories to make room for others.    

I was determined to find out in what year this famous hard freeze occurred, and found THIS SITE which tells record highs and lows for each month in the Kansas City area.

The lowest low ever recorded in May is 34 degrees, which might have allowed for frost (we are often cooler than Kansas City by a couple of degrees), but would not have made for a hard freeze.  

But what about my son's birthday?  I remember it all so clearly!  As a matter of fact, there are no record lows in the month of May in any of the years the event could have happened.

This is the sort of thing a person would argue about forever, fully believing that her memory could not be wrong.  In the future I hope I realize that memory can never be counted on.  I need to stay out of disagreements in which the sole proof of my side of the argument depends on my increasingly-faulty memory.    

Since the World Wide Web came into existence, lies and faulty memories are all too easily exposed.  Until today, I thought that was a wonderful thing!   



I know exactly what you mean. Just one of the side effects of getting older.

sharon m said...

Donna! My son was born April 15, 1975. When I went to the hospital to have him, the April weather in Fort Worth, Texas was typical Spring - everything blooming, mild temps. Because of complications with my sons's birth I was in hospital for almost a week. I distinctly remember coming home that April '75, and somewhere after during that month, we had a cold spell and I recall SNOW!!!! Everyone thinks I am crazy, but because it was all tied to my son's birth I distinctly remember having snow in April here in Texas!!!! Sharon