Friday, May 16, 2008

Hit Rewind

1976

It's funny how the smell of Youth Dew takes me back to Christmas mornings, and how the feel of a stiff pillowcase reminds me of sleeping at my grandma's house. I heard All Summer Long by the Beach Boys, and I suddenly remembered the gear shift knob in Natalie's 1966 GTO (yellow with a black vinyl roof.) It's like I have a rewind button attached to my senses.

Today I smelled freshly laid asphalt, and I was transported back to a summer day when I was ten. Our street had just received a shiny black coat to cover the winter pot holes, and I dashed across barefoot while it was still hot and sticky. Just a whiff of tar in the air reminded me of picking the burning muck off my feet.

I just found this photo of my little boys. I can remember the sturdy canvas of the plaid pants, and the worn softness of the red jumpsuit. I know how their hair felt, and the detail of little cracks in their chapped cheeks. I can imagine the orange and brown crocheted afghan that was laying on the floor, and I can hear John-boy Walton on the TV. It's been 32 years, yet it's so vivid that it could be last month.

When I had little kids I was in their time zone. Rainy afternoons of putting the cushions back on the couch could last forever. Waiting for Saturday, or Dad to come home was as hard for me as it was for them. I couldn't imagine a day when I wouldn't have pieces of play dough stuck in the carpet and a bottle of amoxicillin in the fridge. There were no remotes in those days, so I didn't understand the concept of fast forward. It didn't matter. It happened anyway.

I wouldn't want to go back and actually live those days again. They were happy, but they were demanding. I'm glad I have a rewind button that zooms me back in time for a visit, though. And I wish I'd used the pause button more often.

What triggers your rewind button?

13 comments:

gab said...

Why did I not think those little boys were adorable when they lived with me?!!!

Hannah said...

Those are darling little boys.

Smells are usually triggers for me. Especially homemade bread. Brings me back to living with my mom and the Holidays.

SydneyMin said...

Very sweet post. Oddly enough, the most consistent sensorial (is that a word?) memory I get is the whiff of a bad diesel exhaust taking me back to the streets of Bucharest on my mission. I wish I could say that a whiff of lilacs takes me back to my childhood home, but nope, it's the diesel that takes me back every time.

kenju said...

A wonderful post. Smells, old photos and sometimes words trigger my deja vu moments.

Ashlee said...

Music triggers my memories. I can hear almost any song and remember the time and place of something that happened around that song. 50s music makes me remember standing around the piano with my siblings singing along to my mom playing these "hits" on the piano. 'Yellow Polka Dot Bikini' was one of my favorites. :0)

mama jo said...

movies like 'star wars' make me think of willie, we watched it everyday when he was in kindergarten....'barbara streisand' makes me think of polly...that's all we heard from her...lightening storms makes me think of sitting on our side yard, watching the lightening in the summer....

Rochelleht said...

That was really beautiful. Gabi sent me over because I posted something today about my babies growing up. It's such a weird experience. Glad to know that a single smell with bring it all back to me. How do you feel when you get a whiff of a dirty diaper? ;-)

Tina said...

Smells take me places, but music is the one thing that just captures my memories. I can remember dances, or times with friends, or riding in the car with the window rolled down singing as loud as I could with my mom and sister. We like to play music VERY LOUD and I still do. Music brings so many emotions with it. Thanks for reminding me.

Allison Weenig said...

I loved this post. What a sweet picture of your boys. Time does fly-doesn't it! You put so eloquently in words what I've thought/felt so many times. Loved meeting you (and getting your gift!) at Blogapalooza.

Anonymous said...

weather, music, movies..take me back. It's like you are there. Jolyn's memory of the lightning is funny, because whenever it is lightning I think of being in our bedroom looking outside worrying that Jo and Suzi were going to get hit by the lightning as they sat there happily watching the show. She has always been more adventurous than me.

Polly said...

I don't mean to be anonymous!

Joy Des Jardins said...

Love those deja vu moments...and loved this post Marty. Oh those boys....too darn adorable. Certain smells, pieces of music do it for me.....OHHHHHH!

Barbara & Morris said...

Waking up every morning to a wall of photos I have of a days gone by...I love memories and how some never leave you.
Thanks for this post and expressing just how it feels.
The older I get the harder it is sometimes to look back but I wouldn't trade any of my memories….they are ALL mine:)
Fondly, Barbara