It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Blame it on My Youth: Why I am Memory-Challenged

I’m eating breakfast.

Cold toast doesn’t go down well. You ever notice that? The butter doesn’t melt in, the bread is hard, though not hard enough to go “crunch” when it’s bitten. You don’t “crunch” into cold toast, you grind your teeth through it, tearing the bit unwilling from the rest of the slice. Because the butter is just sitting on top, anything you try to lay on top of the slice will slide and likely fall off its well-greased surface with every bite. Ick.

It’s not easy to swallow, either, because, what with gnawing at that piece of fat-smeared cardboard for the five minutes it takes to masticate, you have no saliva left.

I like my toast hot. I know this, because I’ve had it that way before. I remember having hot toast. I remember it fondly: the crunch when you bite, the uprising melted butter, it salty goodness, the way it slipped down so smoothly. Yummm.

I think the last time I had hot toast was in December 6, 1985, the day before my eldest child was born.

A hot slice of toast and a hot cup of tea. *sigh* (What? Why are you looking at me like that? A woman has a right to her fantasies!!) All right, I admit it: I do get the hot tea part. Thank goodness for microwaves. Just not with the toast. Hot tea and hot toast, at the SAME TIME?? What do you think I am, a miracle-worker??

Darcy was scrambling over the baby gate earlier, chanting “climb-climb, climb-climb” as he did so. Now I have that antique Sunday School song (because I am approaching my antique-hood, after all), “Climb, Climb up Sunshine Mountain” running through my head.

You know it?

“Climb, climb up Sunshine Mountain,
Heavenly breezes blow.
Climb, climb up Sundshine Mountain,
Faces all aglow.
Turn, turn from sin and doubting,
Look to God on high.
Climb, climb up Sunshine Mountain,
You and I.”

I have not thought of this song for well over 30 years, I’m sure, and for good reason. What on earth is “Sunshine Mountain”? I don’t know now; I surely didn’t know when I sang it as a six-year-old. It has a nice enough tune, just boucy enough to get stuck in one’s head and to please a musically-inclined six-year-old, but what does it mean? Diddly, that’s what it means. Nothing but sentiment.

No wonder I have no memory any more. In the innocent recklessness of childhood, I assumed it to be bottomless, and so filled it, willy-nilly with meaningless childhood detritus. Bits of song, skipping rhymes, childhood lore (remember “snake spit”?), all stuff of which I am completely unaware until, prompted by some random event, it leaps to the forefront of my mind.

Thus, I can remember “Sunshine Mountain”, but I cannot remember my toast before it’s stone cold. What a foolish child I was.

May 5, 2006 Posted by | Uncategorized | 11 Comments