Smelly Memories

Have you ever thought about how closely memory is tied to the sense of smell? I honestly notice a smell from time to time that reminds me of something, but never as strongly as I did yesterday. And no, I’m not talking about the locker room at the ice hockey rink, although that smell is strong enough to get Dick Cheney’s heart to beat again.

I experienced the smell to memory link yesterday when I walked into Lowes of all places. I’m not sure what it is really, but Lowes has a distinctive smell an aroma of plywood mixed with herbicides mixed with I don’t know what else. All I know is that I stepped into that store and I was transported five years into the past, a time when my wife and I were still newlyweds and the house was much quieter. The floors were not yet filled with the pitter-patter (and slam slam) of little feet.

Five years ago, when we first bought our house, my wife and I used to go nightly (it seemed) after to Lowes for little odds and ends as well as plants and gardening supplies. The version of us in my head is a couple that is so young, naive, and carefree, even if we were 26 years old and had plenty of cares I’m sure. It was all rosy, as the past always is in my memory.

Anyhow, I wound up buying some mulch and looking at but not buying any flowers for the flower garden (who has time to plant anything). I’d like to say that younger feeling stayed with me for the rest of the day, but it didn’t. When I got home I was greeted at the door by my daughter, who always does a little dance on her tippy toes when she sees me. I was also greeted by my wife, who was holding our little son. I guess there is some good things about the present too, now that I think about it.