One stop on the memory train

I read a post today that transported me

That happens quite often doesn’t it?

To all of us?

We’ll hear a tune drifting out the open windows of a passing car and no longer are we standing on a hot sidewalk in line at the ATM, but magically taken to an ‘out of school for the summer’ beach trip with our best girlfriends, laughing and flirting while sand filled our shorts and Sun-In made us all one shade of blonde or another.

Or we’ll catch a smell in the air that immediately takes us back.  Maybe to a warm and tiny kitchen in the back of a house shared with the post office; where a grandmother is frying donuts in a big cast iron pot and where too, the back porch isn’t just a place to take off your muddy boots before tramping into Gram’s small but tidy nook…but a place where Gramp sits grinding fresh horseradish, tears rolling down his stubbled cheeks as easily as the sweat pours off his shiny bald knob.

And there are times, we’ll read something, like Tink’s post today, that’s like peeking into that too-long forgotten toy box in your mind’s attic…the one where you keep all your found treasures and best memories of childhood…waiting for a day like today.

Sometimes, these trips down memory lane can cover us in a cloak of sorrow or pain, bringing us back to a time and place we’d rather not go back to, for one reason or another.

Other times, happily I think most times, the places we go in our mind are…

…the places we want to be and in the company of people we want to be with.

This is where I went today, when the toy box opened…with thoughts of long candy counters and a shop owner with the patience God gives older folk…

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It sits there still, where it always did.

Across the road from my where my grandparent’s lived, and up two from where I did.

One of two one-room shops in our town of less than…

where one holds the memories of a barrels of chocolate drops, returning bottles for a penny, wood smoke, and men laughing.

while the other is made of children’s dares and double dares to see who’ll go buy the ice cream from the ‘mean old lady’ behind the counter.

And this is who joined me in today’s trip…Gramp in his engineer’s cap and Gram looking the same as everyday I can remember.

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And though this is where they are now…

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Their permanent home is here…always here…


I thank Tink and her Crazy Train for the ride today.  It was welcome and reminded me that I have enough in my heart and my mind to get me through whatever life wants to throw my way.

And maybe someday, when he’s older or I’m gone, this one will hear or see or smell something, some small thing, that will take him back to a time when he knew he was cherished.

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Hi everyone! Welcome to 50 Shades of Gray Hair. 50 Shades is my blog of life over the hill, where each day is full of delicious opportunities to earn another gray hair. I stopped declaring war on the gray when I began this blog years ago. Instead, I embrace and celebrate them along with whatever life decides to throw my way, with (sarcasm forward) humor and an optimistic eye to the future. I think. I hope? I don't know. At any's real, it's honest, it's full of 4 letter words, and it's me...on a platter. I sincerely welcome you all to my porch....♥♥Rhonda

21 thoughts on “One stop on the memory train”

    1. that is certainly my hope mim and one of the reasons I’m so thankful we live closer now. I want to give him lots of memories of his crazy ol’ gram…and another person to come to should he ever need to. xoxo


  1. SB, you know the boy will have his own memories. He must.

    Amazed that you didn’t use the word “nostalgia” in this, but I think that’s what this is about. Yet that word doesn’t capture it, does it? Those flashes and those smells that transport you in an instant. Those memories, for me, always feel so good, as though there is not a bad memory in the collection, as though nothing bad ever happened… in that respect, I think I am lucky. My memories are of pebble beaches and family drives in convoys, and music on the record player, and toy cars, and that penny stuck in the backyard in a pipe popping up from the ground. Sometimes, I have songs that take me back most forcefully, and I treasure those. Hope I don’t lose them. Hope my kids are making those memories right now, and that they will remember the preciousness of what is happening.

    Great post, SB. You always find a way to touch me, to make me feel.


    1. I’m glad you have those memories that are so precious to you NB…I too have many, but I must sift through a lot of gunk to get to the ones I want to take out of the box. But the gems are there without doubt. These moments when I am brought into my Gram’s kitchen, or walked across the road to the general store with Gramp, are some of my most treasured because it was also a time of great sadness and confusion for me. I thought about the word nostalgia, for you’re right of course, that’s technically what it is…but it doesn’t quite do it. I don’t really yearn to go back to those times, however much I’d love to be able to do it just to be with them. But no…it’s more a feeling of such gratitude for their giving me at least one safe place to go to be just me. Every memory I have with them, more of her than him…but every one of them, has a trigger; a smell, the sound of baseball on the radio, the taste of tea and milk…I don’t think you’ll ever lose them, unless you lose your mind completely and one could suppose that’s possible. 😉
      But your kids are bound to be storing their memories in their own toy boxes, without knowing it, and they’ll come out when they least expect them to. That’s the good part, the best part, of growing older…because don’t they always say “it’s the journey…not the destination” ? That’s what these are…snap shots of our journeys. I should have titled this post the photo album huh? Thanks NB, I always enjoy your comments…they lead me further along than I get on my own.


    1. okay first off…now I’m thinking of a fair maid named Penelope, who is always in Peril, tied to the railroad tracks. HOW do you do that?

      second, thanks guys, I want him to have those memories that leap out of the air or off the page or grab his tongue and shake it when he tastes something so good only gram could have had a hand in it. ya know? (okay, a bit much I admit)


  2. love this my gorgeous rhinda! thank you for showing the pictures as well, i love looking at pictures i can happily lose a few hours sat looking through family albums with others, if i get chance i shall scan in one of my faves from hubbys side of the family it is great one from back in the forties i think and all the kids have exactly the same hairstyle i love it ^^ so good to hear of your lovely family , and your memories- of memories i hold very little but i can remember that i used to go to the corner shop and buy sweet tobacco yup it was a sweet all shredded up just like tobacco and we loved it it was even packaged in a pouch the same as the pouches used for the smoking kind of tobacco ^^ hmm they don’t sell it anymore i guess it is not acceptable ^^ even those sweet cigarettes have gone now little white sticks of candy even had the end dipped red to look like it was alight amazing how growing up in the seventies has not affected me much, mannn ^^ love you always rhinda xx


    1. I know exactly the candy cigs you are speaking of…and have one place in New Hampshire where they are still sold. And I used to smoke those sweet cigarettes, when I was a teen…never chewed though. Enjoy the camp out…love you


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