“It’s surprising how much of memory is built around things unnoticed at the time.”

The sun is in and out this morning trying to decide what to do. The air is still damp and a bit humid. Right now the sky is dark but the sun is peeking through. Rain is predicted for this afternoon so I’m thinking the sun will disappear for good a bit later.

It is officially summer, and it’s barbecue time. Bring out the ribs, the burgers and the chicken wings then add some sweet summer corn. My home-grown tomatoes are getting bigger on the vine and before too long they’ll be red ripe. July 4th is opening night at the movies. I have three possibilities on the ballot: Independence Day, Jaws and 1776. I’m leaning toward Jaws as it is celebrating its 40th birthday. “We need a bigger boat,” says it all. I have decorations and sparklers and I’m working on the menu. Red, white and blue will carry the day!

Memory is an odd thing. I have vivid memories of my childhood, but I sometimes hunt high and low for where I put my glasses. Some singular moments stand out from all the others, and I don’t know why. They aren’t particularly important moments, but they stay prominent regardless. One memory is silly. I was on the plane to Ghana and we stopped in Madrid. When we got back on the plane, my seatbelt was caught between the seat and the wall so I couldn’t use it. I pretended I was belted when the stewardess went around checking seatbelts. I don’t know why I just didn’t ask for help.

I sat in the back of the room when I was in the sixth grade, but in the front of the room when I was in the eighth. Neither really matters, but I still remember how the rooms looked from each perspective. I remember the candy counter at the movie theater. My favorite nickel bar of candy was a Welch’s Fudge Bar. They aren’t around anymore. My second favorite was a Skybar. You can still buy one of those. The fudge square was my favorite, probably still is. I remember how funny my feet felt in shoes after ice skating. My bologna sandwiches were misshapen because I had to cut pieces from a roll of bologna and some pieces were thick while others were too thin.

I can still close my eyes and see and describe places as they were. I don’t think of it as a trip down memory lane but rather as an adventure back in time.

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14 Comments on ““It’s surprising how much of memory is built around things unnoticed at the time.””

  1. olof1 Says:

    I went to the doctor today and got a shot with cortisone right into my shoulder joint and it hurt so bad I took the day off. It felt like I never would get rid of that pain but after a while with my heatpad on my shoulder it now feels quite ok.

    It was sunny when I came home and half way out to the bog when walking with my dogs the lightning hit not far away. Do I have to tell You we hurried back home again 🙂 That was the closest the thunder came and most of the day has been rainy and I’ve been able to hear the thunder from rather far distance.

    I rarely think back, it almost only happens when reading Your posts here 🙂 Sometimes a scent can bring back memories or a sound but it is scilent up in my head otherwise 🙂

    There are some candies I miss from when I grew up. One was called Nickel (square bits of hard candy) and there were two kinds, one with old fashioned tastes and one with different fruit tastes. I loved the old fashioned candy and one of the tastes in it was sassafras. I was so surprised when I got some candy from Joyce (blog friend) and I got a big packet of sassafras candy 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Have a great day!
    Christer.

    • katry Says:

      Christer,
      I am so sorry you’re still having trouble with that shoulder. You need to remember to baby it so you don’t cause additional damage.

      I love thunder storms and when there is lightning, I really like it. Once in Africa I stood outside watching and saw lightning hit the ground. I haven’t ever seen it that unclose since.

      Smells are the most amazing triggers of memories. When I drive to visit my sister, I take a route I used to walk as a kid. It always brings back memories.

      I don’t even know what sassafras tastes like. I didn’t know there was candy with that flavor.

      Hope your shoulder stays okay!!

  2. Birgit Says:

    55°F and rain the whole day long, I’m thinking of barbecued soup and flood disaster movies while waiting for summer…

    • katry Says:

      Birgit,
      55˚ is not summer. I hope you don’t have a long wait until it arrives. Soup sounds great. Flood movies might be a little over the top in tempting fate.

  3. im6 Says:

    big, Big, BIG day for birthdays:
    • Sen. Dianne Feinstein, 82
    • Kris Kristofferson, 79
    • Todd Rundgren, 67
    • Meryl Streep, 66
    • Sen. Elizabeth Warren, 67
    • Cyndi Lauper, 62

    • katry Says:

      im6,
      May I suggest you send this list to me the day before the birthday? I would have gladly played Cyndi Lauper today.

      • im6 Says:

        I don’t consciously look ahead of time for these. But I kept seeing posts elsewhere and thought to myself, “They can’t all be on the same day.” But they were! You’d have played Cyndi. I’m playing the Runt. He really made some good music, but don’t know if he still does. Irrelevant comes to mind 🙂

      • katry Says:

        Im6,
        I’m thinking this too would be posted. I don’t remember when I last heard it. I’d forgotten how much I enjoy the song.

  4. lilydark Says:

    Kat,
    The day is sunny and cool… although if I left my apartment it might be hotter in other areas of the area. My best memories are summer ones..at the beach, swimming in the salt water you so love. :-).
    Would you believe I have never seen Jaws and still refuse to see it?
    I thought you might be interested in knowing that about a week ago much of the power was shut off ( not mine). They determined that it was a squirrel who did the damage.
    Lazy Lori and the Crew

    • katry Says:

      Lori,
      The cape has become home for a huge number of great whites. They come for the seals, a ready dinner. Luckily, no one has been attacked by them. One picture, though, stands out for me. A kayaker was being followed by a great white. You could see only the dorsal fin of the shark. It didn’t attack either.

      I love Jaws.

      Damn those squirrels!!

      Waving from Cape Cod, the summer home of great whites!

  5. Bob Says:

    According to the brain experts we change a memory slightly every time we remember a past event. I don’t realize that the memory has changed because it seems as real now as it did when the event happened. The amazing thing about our brain is how a simple stimulus like a wiff of an aroma or viewing a similar picture will trigger a long forgotten memory. I can’t remember where I placed an item in the house last week but I can remember every detail of a conversation I had thirty years ago.

    Today was not a typical summer day. The sky was clear but the temperature stayed below ninety five degrees. Somehow the low nineties just doesn’t feel that hot.

    Next month I have to return to São Paulo Brazil. It’s my least favorite place to travel for business. You ride nine and a half hours on an airplane to wind up in Detroit. 🙂 The last time I was there it was also in July which is their winter. Not cold but it gets dark early. You know it’s not safe to go out at night when the Marriott at the airport is surrounded by a barbed wire fence. Our training center is also surrounded by barbed wire with a steel gate and a guard house. The city is about the same size as the DFW area with twenty one million people that they know about. At least I get airline miles and hotel points. 🙂

    • katry Says:

      Bob,
      I knew smell is the greatest trigger of memories and have experienced zooming back in time because of a familiar smell. I remember my trip to Plimouth Plantation and smelling the wood fires burning. I was immediately back in Ghana where all the cooking is done on wood fires.

      We didn’t go beyond 72˚ today as the sun wasn’t out all that long. Tonight is pleasant for sleeping.

      I was in Sao Paulo in 1975 during my two month South American trip. I wasn’t all that thrilled by the city. I liked Rio much more. Their winter really isn’t cold. People were still on the beach in Rio. It was in the higher elevation countries like Peru where I saw snow and winter. Other than work, I can think of no reason to go to Sao Paulo.

      • Bob Says:

        You are absolutely correct. There is no redeeming reason to go there accept for business. We run a shuttle van between the hotel and the training center. It’s about a ten minute ride. One of the FAA inspectors was there a couple of weeks ago and the van driver told him ‘maybe they would be lucky today and not get hijacked’.

      • katry Says:

        Bob,
        The city is also so huge. I liked Rio but found little appealing about São Paulo.


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