Saturday, September 25, 2010

Little Memories

mason jars

When I think back on my childhood memories, I am starting to realize that some of my most cherished have been of the little everyday things.

Sure I remember the vacations and momentous occasions, but the memories that stay with me, that linger in my mind, that I see again and again in my head, are the little things.

The catsup sandwiches that my Uncle Al & Aunt Claire would make me when I slept over, staying up and watching Perry Mason with them (way past my bedtime), the dish of Sweenor candies on their coffee table.

Waking up to the smell of sauce simmering on Sunday mornings, breakfasts of sauce and bread, weeding the garden with my Pa, my Grandma forever making a pot of coffee, my mother at the ironing board, my Dad yelling at a game on TV, then snoring in the recliner a few hours later.

My Nonna in the kitchen cooking artichoke omelets, the Torrone candy that my Nonno would keep in his pocket, the Corno (Italian horn) that hung from his rear view mirror, laying on a floor filled with coloring books and crayons with my cousin Ezia.

My Nana brushing my hair so hard that she made my eyes squint, the yellow nicotine stains on my Papas fingers from his cigars, the sound of Lawrence Welk coming from the living room, the drawer full of Lorna Doones.

All these little memories of everyday ordinary things that are the little pieces of me.

I started to think. What little memories will my children hold in their hearts?

Will they remember me in the kitchen, or out in the garden?

Will they hear John Lennon or Van Morrison's voice and think of me?

Will they reach for a jar of Nutella, or a fig, black raspberry ice cream or chocolate and smile remembering how much I loved it?

What little memories of me will stay?

Last night Evan and I took a spur of the moment trip to Whole Foods. It was just turning dusk when we headed out.

I decided I needed quite a few items in one of my favorite aisles....the bulk food aisle. Man I love that aisle. It's beautiful thing. The long cylinders filled with all sorts of shapes and colors. Beans, nuts, grains, snacks. I could live off the stuff in that aisle.

Even though it was just an ordinary shopping trip, we really had a lovely time, just the two of us. Evan let the lentils and beans and oats pour into the bags and I would yell out the code and he would rush to the scale to print out the little barcode sticker. We went and picked out some bagels for the morning. We sniffed and tasted our way through the cheese aisle - Yeah for free samples! We bought two gigantic artichokes and I supposed that's how this post was born, cause I immediately think of my Nonna when I pick up an artichoke.

In the car on the way home we listened to the Beatles and sang Yellow Submarine so loudly that the cars next to us at the light were staring.

I said to him "Do you remember me singing Beatles songs to you when you were little?"

"Kinda" he said.

Then Here, There and Everywhere came on and he said "Oh, I think I remember this song".

I don't know if he said it just cause maybe he knew it was what I wanted to hear, or if he really remembered, but it made me smile and hope that maybe, just maybe, this night, this ordinary night might someday be his own little memory.


Amy said...

This was beautiful, Lisa. Sometimes the everyday little things are more powerful than the larger/obvious occurrences. Your kids will remember all of those things, just as you have your memories of growing up. It's what shapes us.

Anonymous said...

fantastic Lisa!!! don't you love one on one time. i find we don't get enough of that here. must make some time for each of the girls alone.

i remember stuff like that too, my great-grandmothers molasses cookies and the way my grandmothers pillowcases smelled when we would get to spend the weekend.....

ahhh, you've sent me on my own trip....

Laurie said...

I love the sweet memories in this post. Your pantry looks much like mine, with the bulk goods in canning jars. Now I've got to ponder my own memories... thanks!