What places make you happy just to think about? This morning I woke my sleeping computer to the Microsoft picture of a hump-backed whale swimming in, of all places, Va’vau in the Kingdom of Tonga in the South Pacific. The island group of Va’vau is a place I visited and loved decades ago when I joined an Earthwatch team to save the giant clam. Such a happy surprise to see this image today and be reminded that now, when I no longer travel far beyond Philadelphia, I can Google places I’ve been and take a mental trip or enjoy a memory. I’d love to see Istanbul again, Paris, London, and many places here in the U.S. Places evoke memories. Where is the place that makes you smile? Please tell us and we’ll smile with you.

Memories are precious and important. One of the saddest things about dementia is watching someone lose their memories. Happy memories are some of my most precious possessions. Some childhood and some adult. I hold a lot of happy memories and call them up on days I need a mood boost. I grew up in West Virginia in a simpler time of picnics, Sunday drives , walks in the woods, and sleigh rides in winter. I’ve also lived in Florida, Mississippi, and Tennessee with wonderful memories of all those places. I worked as a nurse for forty of those years and those memories would fill a book. My memories richly bless my days. I still like to make a new memory to store.

Memories are precious. I’m a Kansas girl but I have very pleasant memories from living In Indiana (13 years), Minnesota (3 years), and Texas (2 years). I’m so pleased that I became an avid basketball fan while in Indiana. Very good timing since the University of Kansas won the NCAA championship this year! Go KU!

I love my mental trips and memories too! Thanks for reminding me that this is an important and integral part of my life now, as I age and my life has become rather constricted because of the pandemic and also financial restraints. Travel is just not possible. So I roam my past and I come up with beautiful memories. In my 50’s I lived in Montana, Utah, and Arizona and I have incredible memories of those beautiful places.