I made it to the West Coast to see the folks a couple of weeks ago.
My father is from Kentucky and my mother is from Oregon. They met at a holiday picnic in San Diego while they were both in the Navy. They’ve ended up in Oregon after long last and I get the chance to see them as I can. Being the crazy world traveler myself, there are often spans of time when I’m away.
This time it was two years since I’d been back—longer than I had anticipated. The last couple of years have been a bit tricky, from a workload perspective. The good news is, as many know, I’ve been making strides to take being a workaholic off my priorities. That should let me get back to more regular connections.
What I noticed in the days leading up to visiting, though, was how immediate my memories were of my parent’s house. While I was packing and getting ready to leave Texas, I thought back—two years ago, and remembered things about my parent’s house like I had just been there.
Funny how our mind does that, isn’t it? Some memories are immediate—seemingly hard coded into who we are, able to be brought to the forefront despite time and space. I thought back to the recent year I spent in North Carolina, with all the meetings and deadlines and late nights at the office, trade shows and dramatic competitive developments…I thought back to all that and they didn’t seem as vivid as the things remembered from my parent’s house.
I spent far more time in the halls of my office rather than those of my folks’ house, but I could still remember the detail of some of the lighthouse miniatures, the way the photos were hung in the computer room, the glossy leaves of the bonsai tree in the kitchen.
Some memories are towering monuments of our lives, standing tall and in vivid detail, despite their passing years or decades ago. Some are put away and forgotten, despite how important they may have been.
It doesn’t fall along “things I want to remember” lines. There are often times I wish I remembered more about high school or my day-to-day in Iraq that I simply don’t.
I just think it’s interesting how the mind’s archives coalesce.