Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Memory Triggers

We have hollyhocks blooming in our backyard. They always remind me of my dad's parents who lived in So. Utah in a company house by the railroad tracks. In their yard, there were some beautiful hollyhocks that grew ever year. My dad took several photos of me by these flowers. When I see hollyhocks anywhere I think of him and our life in Milford.

It’s interesting how different sights or smells can trigger memories. The smell of a gardenia reminds me of my father’s funeral and all the flowers with their lovely fragrances. Although I can’t remember anything about his funeral only being 5 years old, I do remember the smell of gardenias. When I got married, my wedding bouquet had a gardenia in the middle that came out and could be a corsage but instead of making me happy, it made me feel nostalgic.

What smells or sounds or sights remind you of other nostalgic times in your life?

9 comments:

aliannetee said...

Thats a good one....so many smells remind me of a alot of different things.

teacher retired said...

Smell is more closely connected to memory than any other sensation. My home growing up had huge lilac bushes that we used to play around. Lilac is still one of my favorite smells.

I noticed something odd while in Italy. There were places with roses, but none of them had much perfume. The roses I used to have in my back yard were very fragrant. I wonder...

Linda Reeder said...

There is a poem that I treasure called "Oregon Winter" by Jeanne McGahey because it evokes memories of my childhood growing up in Oregon, with the rain and heavy, gray skies and wood smoke seeping from chimneys. It includes these lines:
There will be plenty of time now, time that will smell of fires,
And drying leather, and catalogues, and apple cores.

Life was simple, plain and sometimes plain hard, but nostalgia makes it all seem pleasant.

dellgirl said...

Old Spice Cologne -the original - reminds me of my daddy. When he came home from a hard day's work at the saw mill and took his bath (in the trusty old #3 tim tub) he'd splash some on.

Music is more of a memory trigger for me. Good times with family, etc.

nedo said...

Irises! takes me back 40 years in a heart beat..our garden in Diyarbakir (south eastern Turkey north of Irak) had the most intoxicating scented Irises I ever smelled. my room would fill with it every summer night. I finally found a fragrant irises(purple) after a long search and planted them in my back yard, now one little smell, I am back to 6 years old..

Kay said...

I've always loved gardenias. I often smelled them growing up in Hawaii. I think my favorite is the Pikake which is the Hawaiian name for Jasmine. Oh wait...then there's the yellow ginger flower. I do love that smell also! OK... I'm done.

mom/caryn said...

Gardenias grew outside my bedroom when I was a young girl. When I breathe them in I take a magic carpet ride back to the home I grew up in. The smell of Tabu (a truly strong and horrible womens perfume that my mother used to pour in her bath water) can leave me almost able to feel my mom's presence. I love the smell of freshly washed hair, Johnson's baby oil, and the ocean. They all take me back to happy times and loving memories. Also... the taste of orange tapiocca pudding and meatloaf. I can't think of anything better to spend time, money and effort on than memories.
Nostalgia is a gift!

mom/caryn said...

Does anyone remember how to make dolls out of Hollyhocks? My dad used to make them for me all the time when I was a wee one. I tried, and they just didn't look as cute as his. Maybe I recall them being prettier than they really are.

Dawn Mercedes said...

Lilies of the VAlley remind me of my mom!