nostalgia junkie

I can’t be the only one who enjoys to reminisce, right? 

In my house, I feel like I’m the only one who does, except for Toona, who often yells at me for some more food, as he fondly remembers eating a lot earlier.

As for me, I absolutely love a good memory lane, and I often start conversations with A like this:

“One year ago today we were …”

“Can you believe it was just last week that …”

“You know, it was only last night that you agreed to scoop the litter …. ”

He does not thrill in this practice, and only obligingly smiles and listens to my nostalgia rampage.  And, since spring came EXTRA EARLY this year, he has been the victim of this even before he was completely prepared for it.

For me, the arrival of each season is a special event with its own wonderful characteristics and memories.  When the grass finally turns its kelly hue, it seems like it has been decades since I last saw it and each time it seems more vibrant than I remembered.  The first snow of each year is magical, until it becomes a thundering pain in the ass, of course. 

The husband says he likes this child-like quality of mine.  I have come to believe that response is only a defense mechanism to cope with my squeals of mirth when I spot the first red leaf among the now-boring green ones in September.

I have taken some time to think about my strong sensory memories associated with each season, both for this blog, and also because it is a weirdly enjoyable pasttime of mine. 

 Each season seems to have some very strong moments that compete for the label of “perfect memory of insert season.”  They are listed below, partly because I wanted to relive them all again, and also to hear your memories.  Let’s indulge each other, nostalgia junkies.

Spring:  tromping through the dew-soaked grass as an elementary schooler, trying to catch all of the stray cats that roamed our property in rural Wisconsin.   The damn Daylight Savings had just begun and it was darker in the morning again.  I remember wearing a fetching denim skirt paired with a yellow t-shirt festooned with an irridescent iron-on transfer of a Persian kitten.  The gems of the ensemble, however, were my knee-high yellow socks and clompy white sneaker/sandal hybrids with strange mountain bike-esque treads.  I remember feeling so cold by the time I got on the bus from diving into the long, saturated grass to catch the kittens that were always just out of reach. Probably smelled great, too.

Summer:  how a school smells when you walk the halls during summer classes, and later when you move into your dorm on the hottest day of the year.  It’s the same smell of industrial cleaner and the knowledge that this year you will be organized and not procrastinate.  That this year, you will keep your desk/dorm clean and fall in love.  And coconut … from the sunblock my father slathers on every day of the year to protect himself from the sun, but layers on extra thickly in the summer.

Fall:  how the calls from the crackling loudspeaker at a high school football game slices through the chilly air during my senior year of high school.  A few friends of mine and I went to every single game that year.  We also went to Dairy Queen on the way to many away games, which introduced me to that chain’s odd and disgusting practice of serving their diabolical gravy with chicken strips.  Then, the bonfires after each Friday night game.  I can’t smell fire smoke without thinking of that year.

Winter:  does anybody else know what I’m talking about when I attempt to describe that musty, metallic smell of wet snowpants that have just come in from recess?  Even now when I visit elementary schools (for work!) that exact same smell permeates the hallways as it did in the early 90s when I was in elementary school.  And it takes me back.  Takes me back to a time when we hopped into the classroom on one foot because our sock got stuck in the boot. And when that musty, metallic smell became a taste when we removed our saturated mittens with our teeth.  We raced toward the snow mountains displaced by the equipment on the school’s blacktop, thinking that this must be the highest peak in the world.

Share yours with me and feed my addiction!


One thought on “nostalgia junkie

  1. Mom April 6, 2012 / 9:12 am

    Spring – the wonderful first smell of dirt. I am a gardener. Lilies of the valley.
    Summer – the “soft” mornings, the smell of a chinese lily, nights on the deck before “bat rise”
    Fall – the colors, the crispness, longs walks, fire pits, harvest
    Winter – a long ago memory of a candle (when I was still allowed) that smells like Christmas. Haven’t smelled it in years.

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