Memory is a very tricky thing, at least for me it is. Looking back over a year’s span of activity, my memory seems to pick and choose what it remembers. After all, I do not have the brain capacity I once had.

Often some old-timer will moan about how much he misses the good old days. I am not sure if he is thinking of World War II or the Great Depression. I am positive that during the Great Depression, some wonderful memories were created, but I am not sure anyone wants to return to those thrilling days of yesterday.

The bad was not as bad as we remember and the good not as good as we boast.

Some things are best forgotten, while some things should never be forgotten; my trouble has always been remembering which is which.

Several things about the old year bear serious consideration. The past year, in my opinion, was not just one year, but several years flowing together. Sometimes I am not sure which year I lived.

This past year, like all its brothers before it, actually consisted of three years.

First, there is the year that really was. “Just the facts, ma’am.”

I am a little fuzzy about this one. For one thing, looking at my checkbook entries (at least the ones I remembered to enter) the past year was a completely different one than I recall.

I really do not recollect having all the fun suggested by my bank statement. Why is it no matter how much money I put into my bank account, more money comes out? It is a Ponzi scheme in reverse.

Evidently, some phantom creature has access to my checkbook.

President Ronald Reagan was accused of voodoo economics. Reviewing my bank statements, I could be accused of “Who-do” economics. If I ever find that “Who-Do” rascal, I will balance my checkbook on the top of his head.

My income tax statement is another perplexity. I can never figure it out either. If the government said I made that much money, I must have made that much money and owe that much in taxes.

Speaking of the government, what I do not understand is how they know how much I owe, to the penny, along with millions of other Americans?

Second, there is the year I remember.

This year is much shorter than the previous one, for some odd reason. The year I remember had only two months, this month and last month. And believe me, “last month” is a stretch for me.

Honestly, I remember paying the electric bill, contrary to what the electric company says. My problem with the electric company is that during the space of a year they send me 12 bills and I can only remember two. Let’s just split the difference.

They penalize me for screwing up, but they do not credit my account when they screw up — like being without electricity for four days — twice this past year. Oh, that I remember, and remember well. In fact, if my memory serves me correctly, it was more like 90 days.

I remember deducting the monthly service charges from my bank each and every month. Well, maybe not “each and every” month. Why those three checks bounced is beyond my comprehension.

Should the bank charge a larger fee for a bounced check than the face value of the check? I personally do not think so. Isn’t it the bank’s business to keep their records straight? Why do I have to spend so much time each month on my checkbook account?

Last, but certainly not least, is the year the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage remembers.

At times, I am tempted to think (at least it’s what I call thinking) my wife lives one life and I live something altogether different from hers. The things she remembers that took place during the year are beyond my remembering.

To read the entire Out to Pastor column by Dr. James L. Snyder, see the Jan. 4 edition of The Central Virginian.

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