Friday, December 16, 2005

Places that live in our memories

I send out Christmas cards every year to old friends, new friends, family and such.

Got one back today from a woman who ran the cornerstone of some of my childhood memories. She and her husband ran a grocery store that my Mom and I went to a lot. I loved to run around there. They had stuff in the back, like old scales and wooden crates. It was an old country store. The ancient hardwood floors creaked. It was cold in the Winter, not air conditioned. Wonderful place to explore as a kid. I loved the old fashioned cash register they used to ring up purchases. Ka ching ka ching, it would say. The smells were always vivid, old wood, meats, herbs.

My Mom always told the story about how when I was toddler her father’s voice would make me cry, but I’d go to the man who ran that store like he was family. Something about his softspoken voice lulled me.

I cried when they closed. The couple retired, tore the store down and gave a neighbor the wood to build his house.

His wife wrote back to my card this year to let me know that he’d passed away in February. They’d been married 58 years, and she misses him everyday.

I didn’t know.


Do you have places like that? That the thought of, immediately takes you back to childhood?

May the muses have country stores


Blogger Karen said...

Aw, Mechele, that was really sweet. Sometimes, out of nowhere, I can 'smell' my grandparents old house in New Jersey. Takes me back instantly - my Italian grandma made the BEST and the biggest pancakes ever, and she'd let you have as many as you wanted. She cooked them in this big old black iron pan and they were the size of dinner plates. She would set them up on a big tray and let me sit in front of the TV and eat. When she passed, one of the things I always wondered was whatever happened to that black cast iron pan. I would have liked to have had it.

9:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh yes, there's stuff that brings up memories quickly, especially smells. There seemed a different, special smell attached to each family member.. except my parents' house. Mom kept it overly clean, you know? No smells, no sentimental fragrances to associate it with. Makes me a little sad to think about that, lol.

4:12 PM  

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