14 Feb 2013


Jenny Matlock
more participants at Jenny Matlock's Alphabet Thursday

According to Mrs Wikipedia (I think Wikipedia must be a female because she knows everything) memory is the process by which information is encoded, stored, and retrieved. Which makes me think that I probably never encode and store where I had left my keys or glasses. Encoding allows information that is from the outside world to reach our senses in the forms of chemical and physical stimuli. As keys and glasses are neither a physical nor a chemical "stimuli" this explains why I never remember.  In this first stage we must change the information so that we may put the memory into the encoding process. Storage is the second memory stage or process. It looks like our brain is like a filing cabinet. This entails that we maintain information over periods of time. That's why some people have the memory of an elephant. Finally the third process is the retrieval of information that we have stored. We must locate it and return it to our consciousness. Some retrieval attempts may be effortless due to the type of information. And that's why I have troubles with keys and glasses, because of a lack of information. Now at least I know why !

Memories are a strange thing. We sometimes better remember things which happened years ago or even in our childhood, but don't remember what we have done the day before, unless it's your birthday, wedding day or whatever. Sometimes a memory comes back because of a smell, a music or a picture. The smell of mint for example brings back memories of my childhood when my grandma gave me mint tea when I had caught a cold. That's why I hate mint because it reminds me of being sick.

It's strange but with the age more and more memories come back which I thought I had long forgotten and not really important once. Digging deep into the past I can remember events which must have happened when I was only 2 or 3. Amazing. I remember a small dark room I shared with a boy (I don't remember who it was) and he screamed for milk ! This could only be the time when apparently my grandparents, parents and an aunt with family all lived under one roof in two small flats because they had all lost their homes when the bombs of WWII dropped on Frankfurt. It was my grandma's sister who lived on the country side housing all these family members ! I don't remember that it must have been rather crowded but I remember a painting of a dead bleeding deer its head hanging down in front of huge mountains and a hunter with his rifle. I still can see this picture when I close my eyes.

Me at two

Yesterday Mr.G. brought me a death notice with a picture. It was an ancient colleague and a long lost friend. She had died of pancreas cancer at only 54. He had met her husband. We used to work together for a one man company selling everything sellable to his country Iran which he had left together with the Shah and a big fortune. She was the accountant and I was his secretary. But as he trusted nobody he did everything himself and we were there as pure decoration and of course were bored ! Often when he went away her husband came with a bottle of wine and we had a lot of fun. We became friends and it lasted quiet a while but then with the time we lost contact and I almost had forgotten her. So yesterday lots of memories came back and I felt so sorry for her husband. He feels so lonely and Mr. G. told him that he can come whenever he wants. Once friends you stay friends even if life separates you for a while.

Now try to think what was the first memories you had in your life and how old were you ? Sometimes it's really surprising.


Linens and Royals said...

You look so cute at 2 and I can see Toby in your face.
My first memory is walking past the school with my mother and being sad because my big sister could go there but I was too young.

Cezar and Léia said...

I also love your baby picture, you are adorable!Funny, I don't know what could be my first memory exactly...
I remember our farm in Brazil, the sunshine...the feeling of be happy! :)

Mara said...

My, wow, I don't really know what would be my first memory. But I must have been around 6 I think.

Fun60 said...

Memories of childhood. I think what stands out for me is a grey blanket with a picture of an umbella on it from when I was about 3 or even younger. I went to a nursery where you had to lie on a camp bed in the afternoon and have a sleep which I hated.

Erin said...

I love this post! My memory is funny - I sometimes remember entire conversations from years gone by, but forget what I did a few days ago! :-)
It must have to do with retrieving the memories. It isn't that they're not there somewhere, but that we only retrieve the things that really matter to us.
It's nice to know that all our memories are floating around in our mind somewhere!
Thanks for posting this.

Tracy Cook said...

without going into a long story I will tell you my first memory.
I was fostered until I was 6 then went back to my mum.
I was at an age that i had my bottom wiped , I remember sitting on the toilet and when finished shouting " I have finished" a man was walking past the window that must have been on the pavement and he said its ok Jean will be there soon

Stacia said...

I remember birthday parties from a pretty young age. Cake makes an impression, I guess! =>

PS: I'm so sorry for your friend's loss. That's very sad.

Maribeth said...

I love the picture of you! So cute!!!
My first memory was when I was 3 years old. My appendix bust and I was in a lot of pain. Then I remember the horrible smell of Ether, and waking up in the pediatric bed with bars on it, so I could not climb out. I remember watching Captain Kangaroo through the bars and being very afraid, as I lay there all alone.
One day my sister (who is 5 years older)snuck into the the pediatric until and climbed into my cot and held me until the nurses came and threw her out. At 5 years old she had to ride her bike 6 miles back to our home!

Ames said...

I am not sure how old I was but I remember being in diapers and sitting on our preacher's lap when he came to visit.
You were a cutie!

I agree about friends. How sad yours has lost his wife.

Rocky Mountain Woman said...

My first memory is of my parents bringing my brother home from the hospital. I was 3...

Splendid Little Stars said...

It's the retrieval process i seem to have trouble with. It takes longer than before. I like to think that that's because there's now such a wealth of stored information!

too bad about the mint connection.
yikes on the dead deer picture! I'm sure that would be quite memorable to a young child.

first memory: I'm 6 months old or less, lying in my crib, staring at the curtains with big red flowers.

Scudds Harrison said...

You are such a cutie:) I remember how shy I was every time my parents got hold of a camera to take us some photos:)

Judie said...

When I was a baby, my mother and grandmother too me to see my Father, who was on shore leave. I distinctly remember the wool seats on the train we took, even though everyone says I was way too young to remember them. It was my first train ride!

Sue said...

I do have some really great early memories.

But my short term memory is getting worse and worse.


Sue said...

I do have some great early memories. My problem is short term memory. Ever since I hit 50, it's been going downhill!


Jenny said...

Oh my.

How adorable!

And I agree with you on Wickipedia! She is definitely female!

Thanks for a mesmerizing link to the letter "M".