I’m on the left, Scott is the one on the right
I think we all have them… that file of memories tucked somewhere inside of each of us that snaps us back like a rubber-band. That place when we smell or taste something familiar or hear a song that sends us back to a different time in our memories. I even have a time of day that hits me in a way that I just feel safe. As if someone has just told me that it is all going to be okay. For me it is around two PM. That time of day must have been about the time when I’d wake up from my daily nap to my mom’s warm welcome back. A time before bills, a time when someone else took care of all my needs.
Whenever I taste chocolate milk, (BOSCO to be exact) I always think of my friend Scott who lived nextdoor. His mom would set up a little table under the tree in his front yard and make us peanut butter and honey sandwiches and chocolate milk. Such a decadent treat back in those simple days. I can still taste it. I remember walking into his kitchen, and the scent of plums and peaches filling my head. His dad had a grocery store a few block away and every once and a while, I get a whiff of what that grocery store smelled like, and it snaps me back into those carefree wonderful days. It was a combination of the produce and deli departments and the memory of buying pixi stix for a penny each that still can prick my heart.
Bactine and Dippity Doo, Coppertone, and the smell of tar and asphalt all have the same effect (The tar smell probably because there was a freeway close to our school that they always seemed to be working on. As a kid, I also loved the smell of a restaurant as you walked through the door. You know that first whiff. A combination of cigarettes and coffee. Every now and then I smell it but now that they don’t allow smoking in restaurants, that exact whiff is few and far between.
One of my favorite memories is falling asleep in the car as a kid. Watching the moon follow me home as I drift off and then feel my dad pick me up and carry me inside. As he unlocked the door and that first whiff of “HOME” would hit me. I can’t explain it, nor have I ever been able to duplicate it, but I can still smell it in my head. And it was the BEST! I think it was a combination of a million things. But most of all, I think it was just that it was that time in my life when someone else was in charge of worrying about everything. Maybe there is a special scent for feeling carefree? If not, there should be!
How about you? What do you remember? What are some of your best memory smells? You know, those first whiffs moments that you will never forget?