Skip to main content


The Highland County Press - Staff Photo - Create Article
Jim Thompson

By Jim Thompson
HCP columnist

There is this old hippie arborist I hire every winter when the trees are dormant to do some minor trimming. This tradition continued this past week.

We reached a price, I wrote him a check, and he went about his business. In a couple of hours, he stopped by my office to report that he was done and had the check in his hands.  

“Jim, I took the check to the bank at lunch, and they wouldn’t cash it – it was dated Jan. 4, 2023. Said it was over a year old.”

I am sure you have made this mistake before. It always happens the first couple of weeks of a new year.

Inexplicably, this error seems to crop up again around the end of February for a week or so, too, at least in my case. Then, there are the times that I completely write the wrong month. It is August and I write March, or November, or something else. This has been going on for a long time. No explanation.

The other experience I have this time of year is that I hang a new calendar in my office. January seems to go along at a reasonable pace, so does February. Then all of a sudden, I am looking at November.

I read somewhere that in old age, days go slowly, and years go quickly. Maybe that is where I am now.

Then there is another puzzle that a few seem to experience. What do you “see” when you think of a date or a season?

I have the following images which have been difficult to explain, even to psychologists. First I “see” the centuries in a light and dark pattern, undulating up and down “hills.” Not real hills, but just rising and falling.  

Then within a given year, I see it as something of a vertical circle, light in the summer months and dark in the winter months.

A day is similar to a year, a circle, dark at night and brightest at noon.

I would be interested in knowing if any readers have similar “visions.”

I have had this view of date and time all my life. I have a pretty good long-term memory, going back to at least when I was 3. For most years, I remember many activities. But I may not remember your name or face. I have “face blindness” which is a condition requiring me to see you four or more different times in order to recognize you.  

Marilu Henner, the actress from the TV show, “Taxi,” has an extraordinary memory. She remembers nearly everything, down to the minute, for her entire life. She has been extensively studied, and researchers think there may only be four or five people in the world with this level of memory. They have no answers.

Well, welcome to 2024 or whatever year this is.

Jim Thompson, formerly of Marshall, is a graduate of Hillsboro High School and the University of Cincinnati. He resides in Duluth, Ga. and is a columnist for The Highland County Press. He may be reached at

Add new comment

This is not for publication.
This is not for publication.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
Article comments are not posted immediately to the Web site. Each submission must be approved by the Web site editor, who may edit content for appropriateness. There may be a delay of 24-48 hours for any submission while the web site editor reviews and approves it. Note: All information on this form is required. Your telephone number and email address is for our use only, and will not be attached to your comment.