Posted tagged ‘nostalgia’

“Christmas is the keeping-place for memories of our innocence.”

December 20, 2015

Winter arrived yesterday. It was 35˚ last night, and I had to wear a jacket for the first time as the wind made it feel even colder. Today is also cold but not as cold as it was, but winter won’t staying long. The weird weather we’ve been having will be back by Christmas. It could reach 60˚ here.

The play was great fun. Christmas on the Air was about a radio station at Christmas in 1949. There was a bit of drama, a few laughs and some wonderful Christmas carols. Dinner afterwards, at Felicia’s, was delicious. We started with shrimp and then both had fettuccine Alfredo and I ordered a side of sausage. Frank Sinatra played in the background just as he should. The place was crowded, no empty tables. The festivities have begun.

My neighbor and his three boys delivered pumpkin bread this morning. They also have a baby girl born last July, but Tiffany found time to make bread for all the neighbors.

I find myself filled with feelings of nostalgia this year. Riding through the square of my old home town brought back a flood of memories. The store fronts mostly look the same, but the stores are different. I called out their names as I went by. Hank’s Bakery is now an extension of the restaurant next door to it. I don’t remember the name of the store the restaurant replaced as I never shopped there. It had fruits, vegetables and cold cuts. The Middlesex Drug is now a butcher shop. My sister said it is expensive. The Children’s Cornet is now an Indian restaurant. My sister and I ate them and it was good except for the green sauce which burned my mouth.

The square is all lit for Christmas. Each tree has white lights and the town green, a new spot to me, has a beautiful lit tree of colored bulbs and an ice skating rink not yet opened. The fire station had Santa on the old police station roof. He used to be on the siren tower.

So much in my old home town has changed but so much somehow stays the same.

Christmas is a day of meaning and traditions, a special day spent in the warm circle of family and friends.”

December 15, 2014

Today is much the same weather as we’ve had for days. The temperature is in the 40’s. The sun is gone and probably enjoying warmer climes so we are stuck with perpetually gray skies. On my to do list is the tree. I still need to move a few small pieces of furniture to open the corner where the tree fits beautifully. I also need to do a bit more hunting downstairs as I haven’t found the Christmas stockings yet. The tree ornament boxes are already up from the cellar. The tree stand is stored in its box and will be easy to find. I hope to finish decorating tonight.

When I was a kid, once December came around, my house always felt like Christmas. My mother didn’t put up tons of decorations, but the lights in the windows, the huge tree in the corner, the stockings hanging on the bannister and a few Santa knickknacks were more than enough. I remember the Santa cups. There were four of them and the handles spelled Noel when the Santas were beside each other. I don’t know what happened to the original cups, but I found the same set and bought it. I also bought a few other ceramic Santas from the 50’s and some plastic ones which light up with a single white bulb. Of all the holidays, it is Christmas which brings back my childhood and fills me with joyful memories.

My mother gave us the gift of Christmas. My dad came from a socks and underwear family. My mother put whimsy in Christmas and found the best stocking stuffers. Decorating the tree was a full family affair, and my mother was the director. As we’d get closer to Christmas she’d tease us about what we were getting and did that the whole of her life. She’d call and say, “You’ll love what I bought for you today.” She was always right. The other night my brother-in-law called. He said listen to this and I heard paper being crumbled. He told me that was the wrapping paper he was putting on my gift, the perfect of all gifts. My mother would have loved that phone call!

“Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.”

September 30, 2013

This morning I knew for certain fall had arrived. On my way to breakfast at nine, the bank’s ATM had no line, the streets were nearly empty and the diner had plenty of open booths. My friend and I even sat and chatted, something we could never do in summer. Back then a line of people stood waiting outside so we never took time just to sit and drink coffee, but the people have gone home and the lines have disappeared.

The day is another glorious fall day with a warm sun; it’s not even cold enough to be sweatshirt weather. Even the nights have been warm: in the high 50’s so my bedroom window is still open, and I’ve left the screen on the front door. It’s a day to sit on the deck with a good book and a lazy attitude.

On my way to breakfast I went by the high school where I used to work. I only gave it a passing glance. Though I spent thirty-three years working there, the nine years of retirement have distanced me. I have a sense of nostalgia as I am also a graduate, but that’s it. I am not at all curious as to how it fares. I have moved elsewhere.

My friends have either already traveled or are packing their bags to leave. I am envious. This is the year of staying home for me, and I don’t like it all that much. Looking forward to a trip is one of the pleasures of life. The anticipation builds, and the days are counted down until the big day: the day to leave. I even have a sense of longing for the smell of the jet when I board. During the flight, I check the progress of the plane and count the hours until it touches-down. I love walking out of the airport and smelling air filled with a sense of the place where I’ve landed. Hearing other languages lets me know I am far from home, but I am delighted in the unfamiliar. I roam the streets without purpose and often happen upon a spot to explore or a restaurant with an aroma that draws me to a table. Sometimes it is a shop window which catches my attention. Sometimes it is simply the wandering down one street or another.

I so love to travel and miss it when I don’t.

“Home is everything you can walk to.”

January 25, 2013

Okay, I’ve been up since before 5 o’clock. I think that’s about when the cough medicine stopped working, and once I start coughing, going back to sleep is out of the question. Another mouse found its way into my trap last night so it and I will take a ride later as I have to go out anyway. For some strange reason the cats want to eat every day, and I gave them their last can this morning. I should have trained them better. My trunk is filled with trash, but I hesitate going to the dump as even on pleasant days it’s cold. I’m not telling Gracie.

Stuck in the house is boring. Ordinarily I’d never mind staying home but being forced to stay inside changes the whole perspective. Chosen sloth days are gifts. Sick sloth days are not. I am stooping to watch the Military Channel about Okinawa as nothing else is on. The news at 5:30 is the same as the news at 5 o’clock which will then be repeated at 6.

I watched The Brink’s Job a few weeks back because my town has a scene. The film was made in 1978, and they chose Stoneham Square because it looked just like a town from the 1950’s, as if time had stood still. The police box was in the middle of the square, and Finnegan’s Men’s Store was still there. The thieves went inside the store and bought themselves some new duds. In those days up-town was a vibrant place filled with stores. In time, the stores closed. The police box got hit by a car and was destroyed. A replica of it was build but was erected off the road, more as a memorial than anything. Finnegan’s is a liquor store or was the last time I noticed.

Up-town has become a destination again. Part of it is revitalized. The movie theater is now live theater, an Indian restaurant graces the spot where the Children’s Corner used to stand, and Felicia’s, a great restaurant, is where the fish market stood. The deli is still on the corner and still makes great subs. I like to drive through the square when I visit my sister then I take the same route I used to when I was a kid: pass the fire station, the town hall, the church, my elementary school then all the way to my old house. I notice what has changed and remember what used to be. It’s nostalgic, not sad.