If you’re like me, you keep plugging along through life and then some days, BAM, something comes across your path and takes you back to another day, another place, another decade, a time in your past and you smile to your self or share with the ones you’re with that pleasant memory. Songs often do that for me. For instance (and don’t judge me) when I hear Barry Manilow’s song “Weekend in New England” I am immediately sitting in a rocking chair in 8th grade at a fundraiser “Rock-a-thon” for student council…with my friends, belting it out as we rocked ourselves silly raising money for the school. (Just a note that I RARELY ever hear this song now…) Another song that immediately makes me smile when I hear it as the memory floods my mind is Boston’s “Peace of Mind“. I am quickly swept back to my early high school days, sitting on my bed in my VERY tiny little bedroom with my friend Alison. We would listen to the song and frantically write down the lyrics in our lyrics “cuadernos” (notebooks). We’d have to hit stop on the tape recorder, rewind, and listen again and again to get the words right and then there was the magical moment our tedious work paid off and we could play the whole song and sing along with our self made lyrics sheets! There are so many more things that trigger these fun little memory flashbacks. A certain licorice candy makes me remember being a kid in the fields of my school, Carachipampa (in Bolivia) where we’d actually pick a grass/plant during recess that tasted like licorice. Or when I see a super old station wagon still motoring through town I immediately remember Rob’s old baby blue machine that was our date-mobile and also the youth group’s taxi for many an event. There are bittersweet moments, too, when I hear an old twangy country tune in a movie from the good ole days – Johnny Cash, Jim Reeves, Roger Miller, Marty Robbins, Johnny Horton and the like – I am back in the little sala (living room) of our TINY little apartment in Cochabamba, Bolivia, listening to the vinyl version of these songs with my Dad. He never needed a lyric sheet and seemed to always know every word! “North to Alaska, to go north the rush is on….” I can see him sitting in the chair, whistling along softly and occasionally breaking into song with the country greats! I miss my Dad. I created a Spotify playlist of all these terrific songs and when I feel really nostalgic, I bust them out and sing them with gusto! Occasionally a post will circle on email or in social media that describes Denver from the 70’s and 80’s…it will list things like Celebrity Sports Center, McNichols Sports Arena, Cinderella City and such. And the memories really flood into my head. Bumper carts with my friend Katie Nielsen in the creepy Cinderella City basement. Swimming and bowling as a youth group at Celebrity and cheering at McNichols for the Nuggets against the Lakers with Rob at a game so long ago. Food is a fun trigger as well. Biting in to a no-bake cookie the other day, I remembered how many dozens of cookies I made of these “globs,” as we called them for my big brother, Mark, to send with him when he left for boarding school. Or the delicious sip of Bolivian Api cereal in the morning that I have rationed for myself and eat occasionally reminds me of breakfast on the plazuelita with Api Morado and Bunuelos fresh and ready to eat!
So what does it for you, reader of mine? What triggers a memory or two for you? Happy reminiscing!