Maaaag-nolias!

Isn’t it amazing how a scent, a sound, a word, can transport us to another place, another time?

When I smell mushrooms sautéing in butter with salt and pepper, I am a young teen, in the kitchen with my grandmother as she teaches me how to make a mushroom omelette. The sweet scent of a rose reminds me of her and my father. My dad taught me how to prune roses, and my grandmother cut a fresh bunch for the kitchen table every week. Chanel 5 perfume sends me back to watching my mom get ready to go out for a special occasion.

Blue jays cawing and I can almost hear my family laughing during our the yearly vacation we took to Carmel Valley, CA, each year while I was growing up. Memories of drinking Coke out of a real, glass bottle that came out of a vending machine near the ping pong table near the pool, stepping on the acorns, diving for pennies and eating goldfish crackers while playing cards with our grandma.

Today, it was seeing a Magnolia tree while enjoying my morning walk. I can’t say the word normally. It is always thought and said long and drawn out, with a southern drawl, usually in the voice of Foghorn Leghorn, the southern rooster of long ago cartoons. Suddenly I was sitting on the old gold, vinyl couch, with my cat on my lap, quietly watching Saturday morning cartoons. No one else was awake, the house was all mine, at least for a few minutes.

Another word that is always spoken, or rather, sung robustly, and repeated is Tradition! Tradition! Topol sung that in Fiddler on the Roof. I have seen it two times with my honey, and would see it again. Tradition is important to humankind, probably more so with us women. Our family traditions are what keeps us glued together, no matter how many miles may separate us between those times.

My heart goes to a peaceful place with these types of memories. I hope that my children have these types of memories. I yearn for my grandchildren to have them. I know that not everyone has good memories. I pray yours are. If there are not, today is a good day to start creating new ones. Here’s to new memories.

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