"Nothing is more memorable than a smell. One scent can be unexpected, momentary and fleeting, yet conjure up a childhood summer beside a lake in the mountains; another, a moonlit beach; a third, a family dinner of pot roast and sweet potatoes during a myrtle-mad August in a Midwestern town. Smells detonate softly in our memory like poignant land mines hidden under the weedy mass of years. Hit a tripwire of smell and memories explode all at once. A complex vision leaps out of the undergrowth."
~Diane Ackerman, A Natural History of the Senses
I can smell the day after graduation. Late spring in Oklahoma. Friends, laughter, plans for fall...but let's not move away to quickly...
1971. High school graduation. This year - the 40th class reunion. I was unable to attend, but our class pulled out all the stops. A web page was set up. Photos were posted. A site was opened to send notes and memories to one another. Another page to post "the where I've been and what I'm doing now" posts. The turning around...the looking back...life in the present. Colleges attended, marriages, children, grandchildren and moves made in these passing years. I not only was part of the Broken Arrow reunion - but was able to look 'way back' through the 40th class reunion where I started school in Newton, Kansas. Though our family moved away in 1967, it will always be home to me. How fun to hear from friends from elementary/jr. high. I cannot name every one's name. But I do want to thank you for coming into my life, for reconnecting and for dropping by occasionally. It's wonderful to know you are still out there : )
Today, however, there is one person I will call by name. Carolyn Cundiff. Beautiful girl, the right kind of 'cool' blond, infectious laughter and perfect mutterings under her breath, bring on gales of laughter. Thank you for the beautiful CD. How beautiful. Across the miles, through your gardens and ranch and greenhouse - thank you for your thoughtfulness. I must come for canning lessons. Carolyn's canned fruits and vegetables are not only beautiful, but make my mouth water
A while back, brother in law, Jack, sent a photo of Frank's Drive-In. I can taste the hamburgers, the fries and a "Ripper" (forgot the ingredients however). I can see Frank standing at the window, taking orders. Dragging Main Street in small town America. During the gas wars, gas dropped to 19 cents a gallon for a moment.
Radios blaring, everyone talking at once, checking out who was with who (can you believe so and so are dating?!) Sitting on the car at the Tastee Freeze, turning around at the old bowling alley...street races in a 56/57 Chevy. Papering yards, summer nights. We didn't know about "drama" back then, but there was plenty of tears and laughter and note passing.
One night, I was out with Alisha, I think. We were dragging main and pulled into the Tastee Freeze. I just got situated on the trunk of someone's car...my dad pulled in. What is HE doing here!?? He pulled up and opened the door on 'my side' and said quietly but in that voice we all knew so well --- 'get in the car'. He believed it was "uncomely" for a girl to be sitting on the back of a car, barefoot. I do not recall any words being exchanged. Just that silence that stood between a 16 or 17 year old girl and her dad.
I don't know why my brain operates like it does. Some people have a mind for numbers and science. Others for memorizing great passages from books or know every line from many movies. My brain: Music. Everything is connected to music. Rock and roll music from the late 50s through the 80s. (do not ask me about 'music' today. i'm clueless).
Sewn into the beat and lyrics of those songs are connected to seasons, to smells in the air - the undercurrent. What we were eating or doing or where we were going. Name someone, I can hear their laughter and see the sparkle in their eyes.
I retain random details like people remember baseball statistics. People, time, place. Of what value are these things in my mind? In your mind?
Every moment remembered relates to the present. Friendships. No matter the years that separate us; no matter the length of friendship; no matter the places we've lived. The constant: People are so very important. Yes. Priceless.
God gave us a wonderful gift as it relates to memories. Good, bad, delightful, miserable - they have made us who we are.
Thank you Father God for our friends and family. For our brains; our minds. For this present moment and for memories of the 'days gone by'.