Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Take a left on Memory Lane

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

There are certain smells that will transport me back in time.  Oddly enough Liquid Gold is one of them.  I grew up living in a trailer.  Every Thanksgiving we went to a friends house but Christmas was when people came to ours and mom went to work cleaning.  Since the walls were all paneling, everything got a coating of Liquid Gold.  So in my mind Liquid Gold is forever connected to Christmas.
Well today it was not a smell but the sight of something that took me on a trip back in time.  I have been trashing things left and right recently.  Today I found a box of magazines which were my aunts.  Inside of a 1972 Flower and Garden was a picture of Goats Beard. 

So what you say…well my neighbors Lou Lou and Pop Pop, who were like grandparents to me promised me if I passed first grade they would take me on a cross country ride to Montana to see an Indian pow-wow.  And I did.  Now I was six at the time.  I know it was a yearly celebration but don’t know why they decided to take the trip.  I remember we were gone for weeks.  I can remember coming down the mountain road and  in the valley on the right was were the pow-wow was with the tee-pees all set up.  I can remember the cabin we stayed in was on the left of the gravel “main” street and there was an unmowed hillside behind the cabin.  We ate across the street in a building with saloon doors (and I have always loved them since).  The proprietor gave me a watch when we left which I had until high school.  I have a glass swan I bought my mom .  I got to see the guy heat up an old glass bottle and make it.  But one thing I don’t have any more is a flower.  Lou Lou and I walked up the hillside and picked these giant dandelions and spray painted them. 

Very carefully we toted them home where my mom displayed them until they were falling apart.  I have never seen a dandelion that big since…. and today I find they were not dandelions but goats beard.  Which explains a lot!

Mom, Lou Lou and Pop Pop are all long gone but finding that article “stalking the wild goats arranger’s prize” triggered a wonderful trip down memory lane.  Not a bad way to spend an afternoon.


Linda said...

What wonderful memories. They're what makes us who we are; our link to the past, our pathway to the future. Have a great day, Judy.

cyndy said...

Lovely memories! Thanks for letting me tag along ;-)

Your post brings to mind- my first memory of Goat's beard. My mother and I were driving down a country road to buy sweet corn. We spotted my HS art teacher on the side of the road...picking Goat's Beard. My mother and I thought they were giant dandelions too-but my Art teacher knew better.

I have seen them growing on the towpath..and always smile and think about my mom and that day. Now I will think of you and your mom, Lou Lou and Pop Pop too.

Sandie Knapp said...

Sounds like a good way to pass a bit of time to me too.