Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Fuzzy Memories

I think I may have Alzheimer's Disease.

Ok, maybe that's not true. But I am concerned a little about my memory. I love to hear people tell stories, especially funny stories that really draw you in with details so vivid that you can see exactly what they're talking about. One of the greatest story tellers I've ever known was Roy Hill, my pastor at SonRise Church in Woodstock, AL. He used to tell some great stories. I remember specifically one story that was great. It was a good story that was made even better by the details he's put into it describing the location, people, and even food mentioned in the story. It's those type of details that really draw me in.

I think it's because of my affection for these details that I'm so long winded when I tell a story. I want to be this kind of story teller. I want to be this kind of writer. But I've got a big problem, my memory. I don't think I remember things like other people do. When I think back on adventures I've had in my life, what I typically remember is feelings, not so much events. Example: When I was small my family went on vacation to the mountains. We went to an amusement park called Frontierland. A Google search just helped me learn that this park was in Cherokee, NC and closed in 1982. So that means I was 7 or younger when I went there. I don't remember much about this trip but that are 3 specific instances that I do remember.

  1. They had "swings" that went out over a pond. I'm sure there's another name for this ride, but we've always just called it "the swings." I'm talking about the seats hung by chains in a big circle that spins. While riding, it's fun to kick the people in front of you. I'm going to assume you know what I'm talking about. I have a vivid memory of looking down into the pond and being afraid my shoe would come off and I'd be left shoeless at the amusement park all day. My visual memory is looking down at my shoes while swinging and seeing the pond below me.
  2. While in Cherokee we stayed in a camper. I remember playing with the other kids in the campground. We were playing on the rocks by a small creek and a little blond headed boy said to me "I don't like you. I just want to play with your sister. Go away." Now while I can't remember his face, I remember seeing my sister and him by the creek and the feeling that came along with that.
  3. I also remember the feeling of fear while watching the "wild west" show. They had actors in costume having a shootout and falling off of buildings. I don't think I knew it was fake. I remember begin very scared and seeing a guy get shot and clutching his chest.

You may have noticed that all of these images that I remember were accompanied by very strong emotions. Sadly, those are the only things I remember from this trip we took.

Listening to other people tell stories from their life I often wonder if their memory is better than mine Or if maybe they just remember in a different way than I do. This whole thought process started up this weekend while watching video from my honeymoon trip to Disneyworld. That trip was only 11 years ago, but there's so much about that trip that I've forgotten already.

Maybe I should just carry a video camera with me everywhere or at least blog more often so that I can remember some of the day to day stories from my life. I don't really have a point to this. It's just something I've wondered about recently.

How good is your memory?


  1. I think it has to do with fact that women are more emotional and men are more visual.

    Hey. You ask I answer.

  2. Mine's really good, but I always remember obscure things that noone else pays much mind to. I think it comes from having a mom that coached quiz bowl over the course of her teaching career and made sure her youngest son remembered random stuff.

    Like I'll think back to elementary school and I'll remember all the faces and certain phrases or voice patterns of my teachers and classmates, but I also remember distinctly the water stain on the tile above the teacher's desk in seconds grade that looked like a pointing hand. I would always finish my classwork early and just look at it, trying to think of what it would be pointing at if it were pointing at anything. I remember being really sad when Larry, the school janitor who liked to randomly meow at students (don't ask) removed it and put a new one up. I didn't have anything to look at.

    I dunno- I say I have a good memory, but only for things I'm interested in/ enjoy.

  3. I just went to a training which taught that the hippocampus in the brain of a woman is larger than that of a man. It's responsible for memory and inhibition. This also explains why men are more likely to place a bottle rocket where they shouldn't and light it.

    If I combine Joseph's theory and your explanation for the instances you remembered, then you are more of a woman than I originally thought. Thanks.

  4. I have a terrible memory!!! That is why I take so many pictures and videos of Mana! I do not even remember how much she weighed or what time she was born with out looking it up in her scrapbook! Most moms remember that! My friends from school remember a lot of things I do not. I will read all the comments on facebook and blogs and think, I should remember that! I do not even remember what is on the church calendar and I put the Builder together! Sad!