Friday, June 10, 2016

Remembering What Everyone Else Forgot

I wish I could tell you my thoughts from the first time I saw the Rocky Mountains. I would love to tell you about going down a slope for the first time on tiny little skis. If only I could describe my parents taking on the mountain. Did they use the bunny slope, or did they attempt something more challenging?

I can't remember any of those things. Back in the winter of 1975, my 3-year-old brain was still developing and highly selective with what it put in long-term storage, even surrounded by the natural beauty and inherent excitement of a ski trip to Breckenridge, Colorado. So here's what I can remember:

I remember looking out at the white slopes from the darkened steps of our lodge room.

I remember eating oatmeal in that room, at night, presumably after a day out in the cold.

I remember watching Password on a tiny black and white TV in the room.

I remember having a blanket over my lap on the trip home, rolling through Kansas and noticing a large blinking TV tower in the distance -- which I am pretty sure was in Goodland.

Things get a hair more memorable in another trip to Colorado about a year or so later. I do remember more of the mountains, more of Estes Park, more its quaint downtown. But I also remember hearing Elton John And Kiki Dee's "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" playing on the radio.

My Queen Mother is consistently amazed at how many hotels I can remember we've stayed at, which means I can tell you about that miserable Holiday Inn in Goodland which had flies, or the one on the way to Albuquerque where I just had to go swimming. I remember that time in Springfield, Missouri where the power went out at the Howard Johnson's and we were in the dark for about an hour. Even that giant sign outside the back door with the flashing-light arrow didn't work. And I've previously told you about snatching the stationery.

How do we get our brains to remember all the right things and forget all the wrong ones? When we figure it out, let's first tell our youth so they can start retaining better information.

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