This comparitively recent picture in the kitchen is included for context, and as an extra bonus, it also happens to be a cute cat picture.

This comparitively recent picture in the kitchen is included for context, and as an extra bonus, it also happens to be a cute cat picture.

‘Twas a moment I shall always remember. It took place in the kitchen on a relatively ordinary summer morning when I was thirteen years old, soon to be fourteen, for my birthday was in early September. (As a matter of fact, it still is.) It was fairly early, probably about eight O’clock, and my sister and I were doing the dishes. Normally, this was a chore that was executed later in the day, but on this particular day, we were doing it earlier because we were about to leave for a multi-day trip, and the dishes must be done before then. My sister and I both greatly hated this chore, but I don’t recall that fact having much bearing on the story that I am currently telling. In fact, I seem to remember being pretty happy at the time because I was excited about the aforementioned trip. On this particular day, my sister was doing the washing and I was doing the drying, a task which also included putting away the clean and dry dishes.

The pan of which I speak looks very much like this.

The pan of which I speak looks very much like this.

This was the scenario when the moment that I will always remember occurred. I was standing on a wooden stepping stool in order to reach the top shelf of the cabinet where we keep casserole dishes and baking pans, and I was lifting a fairly heavy brown-tinted glass pan onto that shelf. I don’t remember what that pan had been used for most recently, but we often make things like corn bread in it. As far as I know, my family still has that pan and still uses it frequently, although I don’t specifically recall seeing it anytime recently. Since I don’t go to my house very often, it isn’t surprising that I don’t have a very complete and up-to-date knowledge of my family’s culinary tools and devices. But, whether my family still uses that pan or not, the fact remains that at that particular moment, I had it in my hands and was putting it on the shelf where it belonged. That objective was a little more complex than it sounds, because the cabinet was pretty full. To put one dish away required removing a stack of dishes and restacking them to make room for the new arrival. I had just done that, and was sliding the stack of rectangular pans back onto the shelf. I had to be very careful, because they were heavy and many of them were breakable, and I had to reach above eye-level, even with the added height of the stepping stool. For the record, I succeeded in doing this without breaking anything, which wasn’t surprising considering that I was accustomed to doing this every single day.

At that precise point in time, I promised myself that I would never forget that moment. It wasn’t because there was anything significant or memorable about it. It was just that I was fascinated by the idea that I could permanently preserve a certain moment in my mind just by deciding to remember it, even a perfectly ordinary moment like that. It worked. I have never forgotten that incident, and I’m pretty sure I never will.

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