Seniors have a wonderful store of memories from our childhood as well as young adult years. Sometimes we forget something, and then the smallest incident can trigger our minds and then the memory returns as if it were yesterday.

Our brains are just amazing on how they store the things we've seen, heard and/or read though our lifetimes.

After trying to find a small Philips screwdriver in my tool storage area and failing to find anything small enough, I resorted to the pointy thing on my fingernail clippers. While fighting with them to try to open that tiny screw, all of a sudden I remembered buying a tiny screwdriver to fix my eyeglasses. Then an instant later, my brain kicked in and advised me which drawer I'd placed them in more than 15 years ago!

We've all experienced going into a room for some reason and then once we're there, we can't remember why we went there. Usually by returning to the room we were in when we got that idea, it will come back to us.

Many times we try to remember a person's name from our past or the title of a movie we enjoyed many years ago. But, no matter how hard we try to move that memory from the back of our brain to the front, it just doesn't work. Then hours, days or even weeks later -- bang -- there the answer is for us.

I was watching a show on TV last night, and the lead man put his feet up on the coffee table while watching his TV set. The first thing I noticed was a hole in his sock and his toe sticking out. Right away, I remembered darning socks by inserting a light bulb into the sock to hold the area with the hole open so you could darn it easier. I can pretty well guess that isn't done much now except maybe by us seniors.

We saved everything that could be mended or used for another purpose. We lived under different rules from today's society. It was always said by our elders to "waste not, want not," and that's how we lived.

We had cloth diapers that could be used over and over until they were worn out, and then they became rags for cleaning. Today's diapers are the throwaway kind; use them once, and then toss them to the garbage can. Then they are dumped into landfills by the billions, taking up space that could be used for other trash.

Remember when shoulder pads were in fashion? We thought they looked so cool back then. Yet now, when looking at the photos of us with those huge lumps on our shoulders, we have to laugh. I've heard it said that everything comes back into fashion sooner or later; I sure hope that fad returns much later.

I know for a fact that everything that has occurred in our lives is stored somewhere in the recesses of our brains. I learned about that many years ago with a friend who was putting in flying hours for his pilot's license. He did a maneuver that put the plane into a spinning nose-dive, and as we plummeted toward the ground my whole life flashed before me in vivid color.

When I got home, I called my mother and asked her whether such and such happened to me. She responded, "You were only 14 months old when that happened, how did you remember that?"

That's when I related the story of what I saw when I thought I was going to die.

A native of Minnesota, Carol Olson grew up in South Dakota and Walnut Creek and now lives in Pittsburg. She can be reached at carolleeolson@aol.com.