We often talk about memories using the past tense because obviously those memories happened in the past. That is why you need to know the Simple Past Tense!
When do you use the past tense?
There are many ways of talking about the past in English, but the two main ones are the simple and the continuous past.
1) Simple Past Tense
Use the simple past form of a verb when you are talking about an action that took place at specific point in the past and that is now finished.
i) I walked the dog yesterday.
iii) I went to Florida last year.
NOTE! The simple past is formed in different ways for regular and irregular verbs. For Regular verbs there is a rule, but Irregular verbs just have to be learned.
i)Regular simple past tense
I live in London now, but I lived in France for five years.
ii)Irregular simple past tense
I normally go to work by bus, but yesterday I went in the car
2) Past Continuous Tense
Use the past continuous form of a verb when you want to talk about a long action that carried on in the past. The continuous past is often used to describe what people were doing when something else happened.
i) I was kicking the ball when Dave broke his arm.
ii) He was walking the dog when I saw George.
The past continuous is made by having was or were + the verb + 'ing'