Memory jogger – Things I learned in 2020


Many people view 2020 as a terrible year and lists all of the things they can’t or didn’t do.  I myself have fallen into that trap at times listing the things I can’t or didn’t do like attend music festivals, watch March Madness, visit my favorite bourbon distilleries, or find myself a rock ‘n’ roll band that needs a helping hand.


New French hydrangea

But then I think of all the things I did do so far in 2020 and how much it will improve my memory when I am old.  I can envision sometime 10 or 20 years in the future and my wife, or friend, or neighbor will ask me a question like, “What year did you paint the front of the house?”, and I will instantly reply 2020. Or they will ask when I put that flower bed in the front of the house and the answer will again be 2020, or they will ask about the flower bed in the back of the house – 2020, or the lights along the sidewalk – 2020, or that tree – 2020, or that bush 2020, or that hydrangea – 2020, or the lights in back of the house – 2020, or when we painted the bedroom – 2020, or when remodeled the bathroom – 2020. People will be amazed at my memory and mental acuity.  Little will they know that I can barely remember where I left my car keys half the time, or where I parked my car.

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President Roger Van Buren

That got me to thinking all of the other things I learned or did in 2020. I learned how to use Zoom, WebEx and TEAMs and I attended many meetings wearing my PJs, or a dress shirt on top and shorts. I  learned that I could actually attend 3 meetings at once, (one on my phone, one on my personal PC, and one on my work laptop), but that my brain could only handle one meeting at a time.  I learned that if I let my hair and sideburns grow, I started resembling Martin Van Buren. I attended virtual retirement ceremonies and college commencements, and Commander Calls on Facebook.


I learned that Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are hard when they are no longer with you. I learned that my memories of them are treasures.


Westy China closet

I learned that a Dog is a man’s best friend and they make great office mates, unless a chipmunk, or squirrel, or rabbit, or fox, or bird, or cat, or dog strolls by.

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Booker – my office mate

I also learned some interesting things about our country. How people can wear seatbelts and bicycle helmets without a thought but have an aversion to wearing masks. And I learned that our country still has a long way to go to realize its vision that all men are created equal. I have also seen health care providers making tremendous sacrifices for others, some even giving their lives.

So, what will you remember from 2020?  Will it be all of the things you didn’t do, or will it be the things that you learned and did?

3 thoughts on “Memory jogger – Things I learned in 2020

  1. Great article, Rog. It’s been a wonderful opportunity for me to learn, grow and discover new things as well. I’ve made freinds with my neighbors, i.e.: the garden Chippies, 2 red squirrels, birds, etc. They all tolerate me now on the deck with them where I throw seed out ever morning for their breakfast. They have taught me much about their lives and I feel enriched. I too have learned zoom, taught class on-line for the first time and spent more time in the kitchen than I have for the past 20 years. It truly has been an experience. The only failure that I can name is not being able to be with my family whom I miss so very very much. I miss hugs. Take care and say healthy. I send you a virtual hug and reminder that I love you very much.


  2. Hi Roger & Renee, it’s Sharon Capra. Just wanted to say hello, see how you guys are doing & thank you for Bourbon Tales!


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