N is for nostalgia
Lots of fairly random memories are popping up in my brain while I stay here in Washington state. I’ve never spent any time here before, yet it’s enough like other places I’ve lived in the US to be familiar. In no particular order, and from many different times and places in my life, here are a few of those random thoughts and memories:
- Going “exploring” as a child in Westport, Connecticut. This consisted, essentially, of walking into the woods behind our house and going on until we a) got bored or b) got hungry, at which point we’d turn around and go back.
- Pushing my toddler daughter in a stroller around the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood of San Francisco. People of all colors – and I mean colors of hair, tattoos and piercings – would stop and coo and comment on her general cuteness.
- That same toddler daughter sitting up abruptly in the stroller, pointing decisively straight ahead and shouting out “F—k, f—k!” The first several times she did this I was desperate to understand why. As far as I knew, she’d never heard the word, and I couldn’t see why she was suddenly shouting it out that way. Eventually, after a couple of weeks of regular embarrassment, I figured out what it meant: due to her bilingual upbringing, she was mispronouncing the word “Walk!” She wanted to get out of the stroller and walk.
- Eating donuts in vast quantity at Jane’s father’s apartment in Stamford. And drinking tequila sunrises and soaking in the Jacuzzi in the basement.
The rocket at Rocket Donuts
- Going with my husband-to-be to Zale’s at the mall to buy the cheapest white gold wedding rings we could find.
- Being able to buy a turkey whenever I wanted.
- Eating fresh fish that friends of my father’s had just caught in Long Island Sound.
- Visiting my grandparents at their apartment on Beacon Street in Brookline, a section of Boston. I remember that their apartment was full of little things – chutchkas, we called them – that we weren’t allowed to touch. And their apartment smelled peculiar, an odor I later learned was coal, presumably from the coal stored below their ground-floor apartment.
- Playing Mexican train dominoes with my family on our trip to China, and also at our dining room table at home.
- Eating a big box of Junior Mints at the movies – every time I ever went to the movies in the US.
- The way my parents perpetually struggled with feeding the birds without also feeding the squirrels.
- Wearing Keds sneakers until my big toe poked through.
- Learning about sex in fourth grade from my best friend, Carrie Glimcher, whose parents told her all the facts.
- Riding in the back of a pick-up truck when we visited friends in Colorado when I was a kid.
- Driving with my mother and stopping at a drive-thru banking window.
- Eating at Friendly’s.
Hmm. I just now noticed how many of these have to do with food. What foods are nostalgic for you?