Wednesday, March 22, 2023


Do you ever go nuts trying to identify a scene that pops into your head?

By Chuck Woodbury

Do you ever have flashbacks of places you’ve been and then go nuts trying to figure out where they were? An hour ago, relaxing on my couch, a vision of a small, waterfront town popped into my head. There was a long parking lot and a grassy strip by the beach. I recalled that there was a cafe up the street where I had enjoyed coffee.

For the next ten minutes I tried to remember where the place was but, alas, no luck. I was going just a bit crazy trying to remember. This happens all the time.

Then maybe an hour later, out of nowhere, the answer came to me: It was a small town on the north island of New Zealand! I was there 15 years ago with a rented campervan. Why that image just popped into my head baffles me. Where did it come from? Why did that particular image out of the millions of such visual memories show up now? Does this happen to you, too?

I am puzzled sometimes, too, when I am driving on a road that I have not traveled for years. And as I approach a certain stretch of the road, I will think to myself, “There is a white mailbox around that curve ahead.” And then, I turn the corner and there it is! How can I remember that when I can’t remember what I had for dinner last night?

My brain is an amazing thing but sometimes it drives me crazy.



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John Koenig
3 years ago

Ah! Senior moments. LOTS of readers will identify with you! I know I sure do.

3 years ago

Another thing, déjà vu drives ME crazy. Same as seeing a face, going to a place or even a smell, it may take hours, but I usually come up with the answer to why it came to mind.

Bob Godfrey
3 years ago

It’s called “maturity”!

Matt Colie
3 years ago

I would like to tell you that I remember every place we have traveled. That is what I would like to tell you, but it would be a lie. Having been a navigator, I keep careful logs and with the advent (and low cost) of digital cameras, I try to record lots of places. This has two sides of its own. When looking at things in the different files, there is only half a bet that I really took the picture I should have. Then we are stuck back at the question my wife and I ask each other all the time, “Where was the XXXXX??” I don’t know how you do it at all. We aren’t all that old and have not traveled nearly as much as you, but it is still all a blur when we try to go back more than a few seasons. Sometimes, the logs and pictures work for us, but not always.
Fortunately, digital pictures all include the date/time in the file. But you have to have checked that the camera date/time are set. Some new cameras can record Lat/long in the metadata. I think I should pay more attention to using that.

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