Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tactile Information

I have a "mini" Rolodex, which I began using some ten years ago. Nowdays most people consult their Smart- or i- or whatever-phone. And most people have folders in their computers holding all sorts of pertinent information. I, too, have a myriad of tunnels in my computer. I should just title them all under one file: Rabbit Hole.

But this Rolodex? It's a thing of beauty. It holds all sorts of information into my life and my business from the past decade. Lots of orchard names - some of which no longer exist, or exist under a different name, or have merged with other orchards. These cards have notations and little "family trees" jotted on them in order to trace their whereabouts in the current horticultural business. And there are names in the margin of these cards, to prompt my memory: Kagehiro, Fugachee, Carlos, Kitren, Ramon, Silke, Holger, José...

Under "L" is my library card number.

Under U-Z are my three kids, and their umpteen address changes from the past six years. Manhattan, Lawrence, Atlanta, Falls Church, San Diego, Richmond, Bellingham... Don't question my filing the kids under U-Z, it just works for me. Also under U-Z is an address for my niece Amy in Stillwater. Trouble is, Amy hasn't lived in Stillwater for a couple of years, a marriage, and a baby. Hmmm...must edit Amy's life card.

I have cards for universities: Washington State, Concepción, Oregon State, U. of Chile, Michigan State...anywhere that there are cherry researchers.

I have a card for my parents' cell phone, and for my sister-in-law's as well.

W holds Walla Walla and Webster information.

A recipe here, hastily-scribbled directions there...

I like my mini-Rolodex. It's more tactile than an iPhone APP.

And here is a Postscript: In addition to my old-fashioned Rolodex, I have an old-fashioned index card box in my kitchen drawer. It holds lots and lots of recipes! But in addition to those, it holds the secrets that any good hostess should know about her frequent guests and diners:

Before my "A" recipes stand a collection of cards for anyone who has regularly-dined or visited us here in rural Kansas. It tells me their culinary likes and dislikes, any allergies, and anything else I would like to know for their comfort.

Someone might remark that this effort is taking it a bit too far, but I disagree. If Boyfriend X hates broccoli (even though we all love it!), I am not going to serve it when he graces us with his presence. Ditto, when daughter G mentions that eggplant and avocados make her throat itch, you can be sure I will serve chicken and rice when she is home, sans the above.

And there you have it: two of my relic organizational skills.


Melissa said...

There is something to be said for good old paper and ink. As long as the house doesn't burn down, the information can't be lost from a crash or a drop into a pond. Well, I guess the ink might run...but why would you take your Rolodex to the pond in the first place? Also, the Rolodex and card file info is accessible all the time and never needs to be recharged or rebooted...and you never have to remember to hit "save"! I love low-tech! :)

Amy said...

OMG! I am my auntie Trish! So everyone at work keeps their client in their Lotus Notes contacts. I however, have a nice rolodex. My co-workers laugh at me. Also, I was organizing my recipes the other day and I totally prefer the index card version. I ended up cutting up recipes or re-writing them to fit on my index cards.

twebsterarmstrong said...

Oh! That reminds me of something I have to do this week, Amy!

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