context in writing memoir: focus or deception?

Wild morning glories in the Florida panhandle fierce wet August heat remind me of the ubiquitous kudzu in the mountains of Western North Carolina. Kudzu covers it all: from tumble-down shacks to car bodies left in a field. It makes pretty green hillocks and columns that last until the first freeze. When the little chocolate Lab and I walked to the gate yesterday morning about seven, before the withering sun caused the flowers to twist up and hide as best they could, these lush morning glories were on full display, nearly hiding the ugly chain link fence surrounding the county’s stormwater drainage structure at the edge of our property.

Pull back the camera to see the whole picture and perception of the scene goes tilt. I shot the picture below about a month ago — you can see the morning glory vine had just begun to climb the fence. Purpose was to send it to a guy I know at the county road department to see if they would come out and clean up the end of summer mess their drainage structure had turned into. They weed-eatered the overgrowth and mowed, but the large white boulders initially installed to slow and channel water off our twisty, sad road have been gradually stolen by dirt road sports. Only a few remain.

Memoir writing is like this. What do you tell? What do you withhold? Hell, what do you even remember?

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