Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Slice of Life: Sometimes My Notes Need More Context!

Today I join my fellow bloggers in "serving up a slice" 
to the Tuesday Slice of Life (SOL) community.
Thanks to Stacey, Betsy, Beth, Kathleen, Deb, Melanie, and Lanny
 for hosting this meeting place each Tuesday and nurturing our writing lives.

It was a mystery! This piece of printer paper pulled from my scrap paper drawer, folded in half with three lines written on it (definitely in my own handwriting) was meaningless. 

The first line was clearly a first and last name. It was a male first name. I read it over and over with no connection to it, except that the surname was the same as a family who had lived in our congregation several years ago. 

The next line was two first names linked with an ampersand. One male name and one female name, this line was probably the name of a married couple. Once again, I drew a total blank.

The final line, just like the first line, was a first and last name, but this time with a female first name. Once again, no connection except that the first name was the same as one of my paternal aunts, but the last name didn't fit. Why had I written these three lines of names down? I couldn't bring myself to toss the note. Periodically, I would pick it up, read the names again, and wonder why I had written them down. It was a mystery waiting to be solved. 

Sunday morning, as I walked down the hall of our church building, I found the missing link. I saw the name of our current missionaries serving in our congregation on a whiteboard. And the last name of one of them matched the last name of the first line on my mysterious paper. And suddenly all those names made sense.

We provide dinner for the elders serving in our area once a month. When they came to our home on the 11th, we chatted a bit about where they were from and their families. They are both new to our congregation.When I learned that one of them was from Twin Falls, I asked if he ever went to Burley. The other elder (who was from Salt Lake) immediately piped up that he was born in Burley. And so I asked him if he had ever heard of the Grahams, our good friends who live there. He replied that Dr. Graham had delivered him.

Mystery solved! The first and last name on the page was the name of this young elder. The married couple? His parent's first names. The last name on the list - his grandmother's name who still lives in the area. The missing link was the word Elder. You see, we rarely know the first names of our missionaries since they are addressed as Elder or Sister followed by their last name. And because he was relatively new to our congregation, I didn't remember his last name. Or if I had just included the name of our friends, the Grahams, I would have known why I had written down those three names. 

And now it's time to call my friends, the Grahams, to see if they remember this young man's family or know his grandmother. The next time I write myself a note, I'll remember that sometimes I may need more context in order to remember why I wrote the note. And while brevity is "... the soul of wit," (Shakespeare) and "...the sister of talent," (Chekhov), brevity (at least for this old gal) is not always the key to remembrance. 


  1. You are a great detective...it comes from years of reading, writing and thinking. I love how you keep on digging and unraveling too. xo nanc

  2. I'm glad you solved your mystery. Now if my husband could figure out who all the phone numbers are that he write down but doesn't include the names....

  3. You knew there was a reason and it was important. I love how you hung on to the paper and finally discovered the answer to your mystery.

  4. I had this same problem!
    I have a note that says "RED ROOF HOUSE"
    Still haven't figured it out! LOL
    I am glad you were able to figure yours out

    1. I think your words are the opening lines to a poem!

  5. I can feel the puzzlement before and the relief in your words after solving the mystery.

  6. I do this all the time! It's nice to know I am not alone. I always think when I am writing it down that...I will remember! NOT!

  7. I love how you kept working on your mystery and found the context needed for answers. It made me think about how important context is for readers to connect more to what they are reading.