Sure, when you get older, your memory goes. But it goes faster in some places than other. It seems that a large part of my ability to retrieve information is linked to nature–the quality of light, the weather, clothing–all depend on season. Which is fine, until you move to the Southwest.
So when my hiking shoes tore at the tongue, I knew I hadn’t owned them very long, but I had to figure out how long. I remember that I purchased them to hike on. . .couldn’t remember. I did remember however, that it was cold that day–cold enough for gloves. Well, in Phoenix that means three days in January or Februrary at the altitude I hike.
Then I remembered who I was hiking with and that we had seen a Blue Heron building a nest. That left out January and February. After some thought, I came up with the Memorial Day hike, and the fact that the cold weather had made the news. The gloves were not for the cold, but for keeping my hands dry on the trekking pole.
I wonder what clues I will use to remember my life in the Southwest. We do have four seasons, but summer is longer than in other places I’ve lived, and winter is milder. I won’t be able to count on snow days, scraping ice off the windshield or long stretches of rain to help me figure out when something happened.
I will have to concentrate not on that I was wearing short sleeves, but how hard I was sweating. I’m not complaining, mind you, it is just amazing how much I used weather and natural events to pinpoint time in memory.
What memory tricks do you use to remember where you were and when something happened?