A face materializes from the fog within your brain. The features start to sharpen, revealing that auburn hair you remembered from childhood. Just as the nose and eyes begin to come into focus the face vanishes leaving you with nothing but a blank emptiness in the mist.

“Shoot. What was her name again?” You say, scratching your head.

We’ve all been there. Someone recalls a person or an event from long ago, and we delve into the archives in our memory, walking down aisles we haven’t perused in what feels like forever. We finally locate that thought we think will give us the answer, dusting off the cover and popping it open to find the pages blurred and the book thinned since we picked it up last.

This is simply a fact of life that happens to the best of us, so how do we keep those books thick and aisles well cared for? Here are a few thoughts.

  1. Keep a journal. Occasionally write down an exciting event from the day or week. You can look back fondly in a few years and recall those times with ease.
  2. Reconnect with the people you enjoyed in your past. We have so many resources for reaching out these days that it probably won’t be hard to locate or connect with that person.
  3. Spend more time with the people you care about! If you are still graced with living grandparents, spend time with them and ask them to recall times when you were a child (heck, times when they were a child). It will most likely spark some memories you haven’t thought of in a while.

Time waits for no one, but what an amazing gift that we can use our minds to go back to those precious moments, or, with enough time, allow that featured face AND name to emerge from the fog.

Image: The foggy Oregon coastline, taken in October, 2022.


My grandpa is nearing his 90th lap around the sun, and let me tell you, after several laps around the track, let alone the sun, people tend to get rather tired.

My grandfather (second from left) on his wedding day

“Um… Hmmm…”, he’ll sometimes frown as he delves into his memory to collect his thoughts. I don’t blame him. It takes time to recall the name of a friend who shot the head off a poisonous snake at his farm, the night he drove nearly 240 miles for a first date with my grandmother, or standing on a podium to give a speech to his fraternity scolding his fellows for stealing sandwiches from the kitchen.

I remember eating lunch after a round of golf with him last year. As I set down my drink and began to express some of the more intricate details of life in another state, I was abruptly cut off by song.

I know a lassie as fair as can be, and she dwells where the bluebells grooooow…”

G-paw when he was a youngster
G-paw when he was a youngster

Although lately he may launch into melody at inconvenient times, I can’t help but laugh, and love him for tenderly bringing up some experience from his past tied to a tune.

The older people in your life may fall into their idiosyncrasies occasionally, but don’t neglect their wealth of experience and wisdom. You might find some life changing advice behind a note or two.