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Lily of the valley

"As you get older three things happen. The first is your memory goes, and I can't remember the other two."

— Sir Norman Wisdom

Friends, let me begin this Sunday by offering my most sincere apology, because it occurred to me this week that I've left you hanging for the past few months on a topic that I never quite finished.

Before I explain further let me ask: have you ever walked into a room with purposeful intent but when you stopped you couldn't remember why it was you walked into the room in the first place?

It happens to the best of us, including me, and it can be a rather frustrating situation to find yourself in. I mean, you had an agenda but in the 10 feet or so of traveling your mind has been swiped clean. You look around searching for some kind of landmark that might give you an indication of your present predicament but nothing ever pops out at you to give some sort of clue as to why you're standing still in the middle of the kitchen just gazing around like an idiot.

The scientific terminology for this event is called the “doorway effect.” Which if I must say sounds so much better than “duh.” I bring this up because as you may have read a few months ago in my column I did some landscaping and mulching of the flower beds. What do the two have in common, you may ask? Well, after the seeds were neatly planted and the mulch arranged just so I find myself now staring at the front of the house wondering just what it was that I had sown. All the Burpee packages have long since been thrown away and I stand before several different enthusiastic growths of green, but I don't know if I'm growing weeds or flowers at this point. I am calling this phenomenon the “yard effect.”

The “yard effect” shall henceforth be defined as when you plant a series of seeds but forget what seeds you planted and have to then try and determine what's worth pruning and what's worth plowing up. Unfortunately I am not smart enough to know the difference. There's a stalk next to the mailbox that's grown to a healthy five feet and is covered in leaves. But is it a bush, a tree or a flower? I have no clue. Then there's this little patch next to the fence that I swear has a rose bud peeking out of some snowball-looking plant as if my own flowerbed is trying to play a practical joke with my psyche. And there is some truth to that conspiracy, because I built a small rock sculpture near the driveway and out of nowhere there is a small ivy vine slowly curling its way around each stone — and I know for a fact that I wasn't the one who put it there.

So I'm glad I was able to bring some closure about the flower bed. I just wish I knew why I went into the kitchen.

Auburn native Bradley Molloy’s column appears here each Sunday. He can be reached at