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This post is part of my 2022 Word Project. You can read what that’s about here.

Thursday, April 20, 2023

The word is “forget” because it seems to be a recurring theme. The phrase “you’d forget your head if it wasn’t screwed on tight enough” exists for a reason. I suppose there is some comfort knowing I’m not the only one.

I forgot to water the mint.

Actually, I didn’t forget to water it. I forgot it existed. I bought it at the Famers Market, along with a basil plant, because it’s too hard to maintain growing things on my balcony during the blazing summer heat so I only got the two things I most use. Last year I bought a bunch of herbs and put them in small-ish pots and ended up having to water everything about four times a day to keep them from parching. I was going to plant the mint and basil in large-ish pots this year so they wouldn’t dry out so quickly and would be easier to keep alive.

But the weather has been uncooperative. One day it’s 80, then it’s 50. Then it’s 90, then it’s 40.

I didn’t want to put the plants outside yet so I put them near the window with Alice.

The difference between little pots of mint and basil and Alice, is that Alice has been with us for 26 years and knows that we’re going to forget to water her until all the leaves are wilted, and she knows that when that happens we’ll rush over with a bucket of water and nurse her back to full green with little cooing sounds and some petting.

The mint and the basil had no idea.

Surprisingly, the basil looks sprightly, but the mint is most definitely dead.

Though to be fair, I thought the mint was dead last year when I forgot to water it outside. It looked very much like the one in the pot does now.

But then I started watering it and it actually came back to life. Not the dead parts, but new leaves, until it was a whole plant all over again.

Mint is quite persistent that way, which is a good thing for me. So I’m going to keep watering this one anyway and see what happens.

Forgetting is a thing I do a lot. It’s why I have lists. And lists of things I need to make lists for.

If it’s not on the list, it might as well not exist.

I have, in fact, put “water Alice” on my list of recurring tasks. Once a month it pops up on my calendar and I see it and promptly attend to her.

I’m not sure if the lists are actually helping me do things, or giving me permission to forget to do things.

Not too long ago I forgot that I cooked asparagus for dinner. I put them in the oven and set a timer so I’d remember. The timer went off, but I was in the middle of plating something so I silenced it and promptly served dinner.

A couple of days later I was wondering what happened to the asparagus because I couldn’t find them in the refrigerator and I didn’t remember eating them.

A couple of days after that I went to put something else in the oven and there was my asparagus… long cooled and fossilized.

Maybe next time I need a sticky note on the fridge reminding me of the reason for the reminder.

Photo top: sad mint. Hoping it will resurrect like last year’s plant.
Photo bottom: sad asparagus. Unfortunately, it was the end of the road for this bunch.