V is for Vault

When you write do a lot of your memories wander in?  I call my Mom and ask her if she remembers this or that. She laughs and says, "give me a minute, I need to open the vault."  She has a great memory. I'm not talking in regards to her age, just in general.  We both have this odd thing about birthdays and remembering dates. I remember birthdays of people I have met and don't see anymore.  The don't see involves being military and moving so much. I'm not sure why I remember, but I do.  Why do I remember?  What impacted me to tuck it away in my vault(memory).  Do you remember things, that you don't necessarily try to, just do?!

I wonder do our memories have a connection with sensory overload.  Maybe our senses were on full alert, when we gathered and tucked away our thoughts, in our hard drive.  I mean vault ;D

How far back can you remember?   We hear stories of what we did when we were little.  We see photos and home movies?  But what memory of being a child is still fully alive in your memories?    I remember my Mom and I getting ready for a party.  The mantel of the fireplace was decorated with birthday cards and there was music playing.  I think I was four.  I was dancing, but I had to get my hair done.  I have Indian type hair.  My mom and grandmother always tried to curl my hair with those pale pink sponge rollers and Dippity Do. Yes, they still make that green goo.  Before that,  it was something black with bristles they would stick in my hair like pine cones. My hair was always a cause of drama. Mom wanted it long with some wavy or ringlets on the ends. Her MIL wanted it short and curly.  Anyway, I am getting dressed up in this gray dress.  I called my Mom after having this memory. "Why gray?   I look at all the photos of my friends, no one wore gray as a child?  What's up with the gray dress? Were you depressed?"  

      She acts stunned and laughs "No, you had gray eyes till you reached the age of five. They   were so different and when you wore gray your eyes were beautiful."
     "Really gray eyes?  I didn't know that.  What color were my eyes when I was born?"   

      "They were brown, changed to gray and then became dark brown almost black."

I never knew this...So see what memories linger and play with them. Who knows what details you will gather for your writing.  I'm still in shock, really gray!   Check with your vault, see what happens!  


Hart Johnson said…
I have a friend whose eyes did that, only she always knew. I think she was 6 or 7 when her eyes turned brown.

I like the vault analogy. I have a ton of dates and details stored from when I was younger. Then, somewhere around my first pregnancy, the vault must have gotten full and it takes a great deal of effort to store anything NEWER in memory, but the old stuff is all still there.
Sherry Blue Sky said…
I love your stories, so chock full of wonderfully rich memories. I used to SLEEP on those bristly "rollers" every night when I was a teen. Dont ask how, no clue. When I saw your title vault, knowing your project in the attic right now, I wondered if you were blocking yourself up in the wall like Poe's Cask of Amontillado:)
Anonymous said…
Love this, Ella - gray eyes, wow... I've been writing (not online) about memory lately, and last night a friend and I were talking about childhood memories... V is for Vault, and maybe as children sometimes we put something there for safekeeping, and later can't find the key?
Johanna Garth said…
I wish I had a better memory for other people's important dates. My vault is filled, instead, with the things they tell me and pictures of events and faces.
Ella said…
Johanna-It is funny, what gets chosen and how it gets into the vault ;D

turtlememoir-I so agree, some things are best tucked away, as a protective mechanism. I wish I could take some out of my vault and toss them. Guess I need to make new happy memories~ Insightful and well said~
I hope most of your memories are happy ones~

Sherry-I think they were my Nannie Nonnie's. I don't know why they thought silky, fine hair would work. They tried to give me a perm and it didn't take. My hair was tortured, when I was young. Maybe that is why I rebel when my daughter comes at me with curling wands. YOU are funny! No one I'm playing in the attic today. I can't contort my body in half again today. It is the FROG now....
The attic is almost done. Frog and tins in my kitchen ;D need my attention! Yes, I am tucking treasures in each tin. You should see the silk pouring out of my tea pot! I'm not kidding, lol You are funny!

Hart-I don't remember the drama about my eyes. It was all about hair and shoes. I fell off the door step when I was 2yr old (beagle tangled me up in his chain). I had to go to the Dr and get corrective shoes. Mom was sad, because I couldn't wear cute shoes. I don't remember noticing my eyes were different. YOU had a new life to focus on and that new life so changes ours! Thanks for sharing~
I used to have the best memory for dates, fact, figures, faces, etc. Then I got pregnant, and the pregnancy-amnesia set in, and still hasn't gone away. When I was pregnant with my daughter, I forgot the pin to my ATM card while I was at the drive up ATM - I sat there for ten minutes trying to remember it, and this was a number I had been using for 13 years.

Am jealous of your mom's vault.
Kay L. Davies said…
I used to know everyone's phone number. I just had to look at the phone, think of the person's name, and the number popped into my head. Doesn't happen any more. I might know ten or twelve numbers, but that's all.
Terrible about your hair, but I can relate. Mine was stick-straight, too, and my mother was always having someone come over to give me a home perm.
My first salon perm was courtesy of my aunt, and included a great big machine that clamped onto each metal curler. VERY scary. I was 12.
I remember when my bed and my brother's crib were in the same room. I remember running my fingers over my carved headboard, and my fingers still remember the feel of it.
Too bad you were too young to enjoy having grey eyes. You would have loved wearing the grey dress if you knew why.
Amy Saia said…
I memorize visual details more than events. That's so interesting about your eyes!
I have an extremely good memory... perhaps too good in some situations, but telephone numbers are a no go.

Great post Ella.

M Pax said…
I used to have an almost photographic memory, but sometime in my 30's that broke. I had a hard time adjusting and still do. I write things down, but forget where ... So not helpful. I don't depend on my memory any more. My sister claims we need defragging. Maybe that's it.
Mary Ann Potter said…
I have been blessed with a very good, very detail-oriented memory. There are things I'd like to forget, so I push those to the back. The sweet and the bittersweet I save! Telephone numbers from my girlhood - CH 14123 (Darlene L. across the street), CH 51492 (our family), CH 54386 (Francine and Carol across the street). Student numbers - 362467 (mine at Michigan State), 362448 (former boyfriend at Michigan State). I could go on and on...and remember, I am 67 years old! I'd be a money-winner on Jeopardy!
Wish I could remember more from when I was younger. I think women remember better than men.
Jemi Fraser said…
Love the vault analogy! My vault often seems empty. I remember a few incidents - most ones I'd rather not remember! :)