March 21, 2013


I've written before about my love for words and the root of words. And, while I love words and where they come from, I always keep in mind Dennis Leary's statement, "The trouble with words is that you never know whose mouth they've been in."

A word that comes in mind this fine evening is Nostalgia. When we are nostalgic we are remembering fondly something of our past. The root of "nostalgia" comes from "homecoming" and "ache".

So what makes you ache for "coming home"?

The smell of all-things bread remind me of my mother's mom, Grandma Rose. The scent of the yeast as the dough rises and as we took turns kneading it, the smell of it baking and the mouth-watering smell of a pat of butter melting on a freshly cut slice of our own warm loaf. Polka dots, black flat ballet-style shoes, a woman holding her hand in front of her mouth when she smiles, sitting under the dining room table (don't ask), these things make me ache for Grandma. Grandma died when she was 56 years old. I miss her and really do ache for her.

The smell of the first rain of the autumn. The smell of roasting dust the first time I turn the furnace on each winter. Steam rising off the peppermint tea in my heavy, hand-thrown mug with stars and a goddess on it makes my heart ache for the days when my kids were little and wanted to build tents in every room because it was too wet or cold to play outside. Those kids betrayed me and grew up and have families of there own, but we still build tents on rainy cold days.

Stars on a dark, crystal clear night, Orion's Belt, Cassiopeia's W make me ache for differing memories.  Standing next to our car in the Rocky Mountains in the middle of the night and being frightened because there were more stars in the sky than there was empty spaces, I was about 8 and in a state of wonderment and fear! Or walking down to the pond to turn on the irrigation for the orchard and hoping a mountain lion, bear and/or skunk, smelled me coming and left the area so I didn't surprise them. I ache for laying on the trampoline watching the stars with my grandson or my granddaughters or my niece and watching the stars and the moon.

The sounds of running water, as in brooks, creeks or small rivers, makes me ache for those camping trips in the Rockies, the Trinities, the Cascade and Sunset Beach! Sleeping under the stars, drinking 50/50 coffee and Emmetts on a cold morning with the smell of campfire smoke and pines.

John Denver songs make me ache for nights of sitting around with friends, playing guitars, singing and laughing.  Reading stories to my kids while Janis Ian or Joni Mitchell played in the background. Pillow fights, orchards, oysters, driving the truck full of hang gliders and pilots and my black lab, Paco, up to launch. Skinny dipping right next to the highway in the middle of the day in Whiskeytown Lake.

Snow skiing in Mammoth or drinking a good red wine as we watch the surf from our window and the logs crackle and pop in the fireplace at Ireland's Rustic Cabins in Gold Beach.

Does it sound like I am just aching for yesterdays? Don't assume, dear reader! I look forward to making new memories with all the vigor I can muster so that I will remember tomorrow and next week and next month and next year with all the warmth and love and ache that I have for yesterdays.

Life is good.

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