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Thoughts for Thursday: Memories That Make An Impression

May 27, 2010 · 117 comments

in Thoughts For Thursday

The other night, I was driving home from a soccer game during a big storm.  I love storms, although I would rather be enjoying them from my family room than my car.  Anyway, while driving home, my daughter brought up a giant storm we experienced while staying at a lodge in the woods in Northern Michigan.

This was no ordinary storm, it literally lasted for hours.  There was one thing that happened that was so surreal, that I would doubt it really happened had other family members not seen it too.  We were looking out a second-story window and lightning flashed in the trees about 20 feet away.  When everything lit up, we could see this owl sitting on a branch, just staring straight at us.  I had never seen an owl in nature before, so to me, it was fascinating.  I don’t know how many times we saw him, but that first instance is just emblazoned into my brain.

That discussion of the owl on the way home from soccer reminded me of other such events in my life that seemed almost too strange to be real.  They are as follows:

*We were in Yosemite National Park in California, again staying in a lodge.  We always heard about how great the stars were supposed to be where there no light pollution, so we were all out on the back deck staring at the sky.  Then, out of nowhere, a giant shooting star went flying through the sky.  What made this remarkable was that it was big, and it changed colors as it traveled through the sky.  It was red, blue, green, it was truly amazing.  It happened so fast that I thought maybe I was crazy.  Fortunately, there were other witnesses that saw it too.

*When I was 5 or so, we had a giant Rose of Sharon bush in our front yard.  I was running around playing and when I looked at the bush, I swore there was the biggest bumble bee ever just flitting about.  In my mind, I remember this bee as being four inches long, which I know is probably based on the perspective of a 5 year old and not reality.  Regardless, when I think of that bush, I think of this giant bee.

*I believe it was around 1992 and my husband and I were visiting my in-laws.  Where they live, it is very dark.  I remember when we were getting to leave, we looked up and we saw the Northern Lights.  It was absolutely amazing waves of green light like nothing I have ever seen.  I still think back to standing in that driveway and wonder if what I saw was real.

Am I only one that has memories like these?  Memories that you are not sure you are remembering correctly?  Memories that seem so extraordinary that you doubt yourself at times that they actually really happened?   I would love to hear from you, so please feel free to share.  (If nobody responds, I will just assume I am going crazy…)

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{ 115 comments… read them below or add one }

Budgeting in the Fun Stuff May 27, 2010 at 12:23 pm

Someone took my picture when I was two years old while I was playing with these plastic toys shaped like animals that could plug into each other…I remember thinking right then that I wish they weren’t taking my picture because it was too silly. I remember that I was actually worried that people would make fun of me when I was older because I was playing with plastic bath toys in the living room.

My husband swears that during one of our dates in college, while I was walking to the car, his mind just flashed when I turned my head and smiled at him over my shoulder. To this day he swears it’s like he has a picture in his head of that smile and the way my hair was around my face and exactly how my butt looked in those pants, lol. The reason it amazes him is that he doesn’t usually have mental pictures and his memory is like swiss cheese, but that is like a picture he can recall whenever.

Along the lines of your giant bee, I still remember catching the biggest grasshopper ever at my grandparents house. It was at least 5 inches long and GIGANTIC – like the size of my 6 year old hand…I wouldn’t believe it was possible except my uncles were there too.

I also remember that a water mocassin went between my legs while I was swimming in my grandparents pond. I can still feel it’s skin and picture it swimming away on top of the water a few minutes later. I honestly can’t say whether that’s a real memory or some sort of nightmare I had when I was little…feels real to me.


Kris May 27, 2010 at 2:42 pm

BFS- ooh those water snakes are creepy and disgusting. When I went to camp in 5th grade, the lake was loaded with those.

Thanks for sharing!! I am impressed you have memories from when you were two!


Rebecca The Greeniac May 27, 2010 at 11:05 pm

Isn’t life just incredible? Your owl story just gives me shivers!

Here’s my northern lights story. I was in college and my dear friend, Kasie and I had a solo duet in the upcoming chamber singers concert. At the time we were living together in the arts dorm that shared a building with the science geek co-ed fraternity. Kasie was currently dating a guy that I had dated for several years but had broken up with, and he lived just down the hall from us.

Well, to make a long story short, the two of them had just had a big fight, and the duet rehearsals weren’t going well, and there were only a few days left before the concert… so in some sort of bizarre plan that seemed to make perfect sense at the time, we broke into his dorm room, stole a bottle of vodka and proceeded to get blitzed out of our minds. Once we were blitzed, we headed down to the kitchen for a snack, and, thrilled with the acoustics of the tile floored room, we sat there drinking vodka, eating brownies and singing our medieval mass.

That probably would have been enough to make the evening memorable, but then, all of a sudden we heard shouting and then thundering footsteps as all of the science geeks came running down the stairs in a great furor. They cut through the kitchen on the way to the parking lot and stumbled upon Kasie and I who were really still too blitzed to have any clue what was going on.

Not wanting to waste any time, they just scooped us up and tossed us into the back of a car and proceeded up the big hill to the college observatory. We stumbled out of the car in a drunk stupor, still humming the medieval mass and there before us were the northern lights. I don’t really have the words to express the wonder of that moment. It was like someone had painted the sky red. I have never seen anything so amazing in my life.

So we stood out in the dark, pleasantly drunk, surrounded by geeks and astronomy professors who were excitedly milling about, and sang our medieval mass to the northern lights.

Thanks so much for bringing to mind one of the most amazing memories of my life.

Yours in Frugal Green-ness,
Rebecca The Greeniac


Kris May 27, 2010 at 11:14 pm

Greeniac – What a fantastic story. Red Northern Lights must have been gorgeous. And, you were pleasantly drunk to boot! Do you two ever talk about that crazy evening? Thanks for sharing!


Rebecca The Greeniac May 27, 2010 at 11:52 pm

You know, we lost touch after graduation, but I just found her on Facebook a few months ago. I’ll have to send her a note and see if she remembers that night or if it just made an impression on me.


Kris May 28, 2010 at 8:34 am

Greeniac – Maybe you will renew your friendship over this fun memory! Facebook is great.


Money Reasons May 27, 2010 at 11:38 pm

When I was 8?, I was riding my motorcycle/minibike and I came out of the wood into a clearing. Next, I saw the dirt jump up in front of me. I didn’t know what it was so I stopped, then I another clump jump up near my front tire. Then I caught the cause in my peripheral vision, someone was shooting at me. I’ll never forget that, very scary!

4 years ago, I got out of my car and I was getting my son out when I look up in the sky. I saw a saucer shape with a black bump on top. I yelled at my son to come quick thinking it was a U.F.O, but then it turned a bit more and it was a Stealth jet. But even seeing that was incredible! It was at an airshow that was close by. What a rush that was!

When I was really young I still remember my mom being freaked out and telling me to stay inside. A few years ago, I remembered how oddly she acted (it scared me), and asked her what it was about. She said she saw a huge black triangle in the sky with lights, and it just hovered and moved slowly along. It scared her, she then says that she thinks it was a stealth jet, but that doesn’t jibe with her story. I think she’s in denial.

I would have loved to seen that shooting star! How awesome!


Kris May 28, 2010 at 8:33 am

Money Reasons – Being shot at must have been horrifying. Was it hunting season? Was it stray bullets? Were you on someone’s property? How awful!

Those stealth bombers are so fun to see. We have an air force base about 20 miles away and we get to see some neat things like that too, I love it.

Thanks for sharing!!


Money Reasons May 31, 2010 at 12:20 pm

I was 7 or 8, and I think it was someone that was tired of hearing motorcycles. I was in a field and he was far away, probably at least 2 football field lengths.

It did freak me out (even at such a young age)… I didn’t waste any time getting out of there though! In fact, I called it a day by driving home and parking the motorcycle in the garage…

That was the firt time I saw a stealth, and the angle made it look like a U.F.O, I was almost giddy with excitement, too bad 🙁


Kris May 31, 2010 at 8:58 pm

Money Reasons – We saw a stealth today on our way back from our soccer tournament (obviously part of a Memorial Day celebration) and I can totally see how it would look like a UFO. I never tire of seeing them.

It’s scary how close that shooter came to hitting you when you were little. I hope they were just trying to scare you. Unfortunately, they got too close!


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