Nostalgia

You and I were chatting earlier this week about music, memory, and nostalgia.  It got me thinking quite a bit about how for me nostalgia never seems to be a common memory.  The moment always shoots me back to some forgotten place in my past.  Its also almost always a triggered sort of thing; I’ll smell something, or I’ll hear something that just instantly floods my mind with memories of years long past.

Most recently I was down at the waterfront with my girlfriend, enjoying the brisk whether and the nice walk.  There was one stretch of the waterfront that suddenly smelled like a wooded creek, and I remember being out camping with the family at the Fort McCoy camp grounds, on their modest river beach.

For me most of my memories its smell related for some reason.  My nose doesn’t work correctly.  I’ve never had it looked at by a doctor, but I’m reasonably sure I should be able to breath through it normally.  Either way, I feel like when I’m able to clearly smell something it’ll stick with me better.

Remember when we were young and out camping with the family.  Dad would always tell us the fire wasn’t big enough and he’d go get his Boyscout Water.  Remember that?  It always makes me laugh.  Whenever I smell a nice wood fire,  it springs up.

Another is the way grandmas house smells during the winter.  The rain, the forest, and the mildew makes me think of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.  I was reading that book while we still lived there during that summer.  Do you even remember living there?  At the time it felt like forever, but now it was a blip on the radar.

Baking pumpkin pie reminds me of Lego’s.  We used to always go out to Indiana for thanksgiving, and grandma almost always had new Lego sets for me to play with.  So thanksgiving day was always waiting around for dinner while I built my Lego dinosaurs.

Hot asphalt reminds me of of the new asphalt they put down at Lemonweir right before they put the new play equipment up.  I remember when it was brand new that anticipation building up for lunch.  I’d go eat my lunch but I’d end up throwing half of it away just so I could run outside and play on it.  That bright burning Wisconsin sun, and that stiff, acrid asphalt smell as I sprinted out there.

Gasoline reminds me of the Shell station in Tomah.  We’d wait in the car while mom was fueling up, and we’d beg and plead for her to get us scratchy-tickets.  And mom would let us keep the money we won.  $3 was so much money back then.

Freshly opened model kits remind me of the first Gundam modelling kit I got at the mall.  That little kiosk used to be the only place to buy little Pokemon toys and Gundam modelling kits.  The smell of the plastic; the scale of the models.  I still have those Pokemon toys somewhere in my closet.

Fresh book smell reminds me of the little catalogs we’d get in school.  You had to take them home and then your parents sent you back home with some money and an order.  Like three weeks later a box would show up and everyone got the books they ordered.  It was always so exciting.  Personally, I had most of the Animorphs.

I’m sure there are so many more, but the coolest part about nostalgia is that I can’t just make it happen.  Travelling to those points in my past is always sort of exciting to remember.  This post didn’t really have a point, but I’d love to hear some of yours.

-DTM