Sometimes my brain hits a mental snag and I'm yanked to somewhere in the past.
Maybe it's a trip into the 80s, maybe its a recollection of more recent times. Either way, I'm pulled to a place and moment I own alone.
Smells are said to be the strongest trigger to recall a memory but for me I'd have to say it's music. It's like an equation - ELO equals Charlotte and Hilton Head and 10,000 Maniacs means Whitewater Rafting. The Eagles = high school except in the case of One Of These Nights and that means 1977.
Memory Lane is a tune laden trip of bumps and bruises, highs and lows, and no matter how hard I try to detour around the bad stuff, I end up hitting it head on.
Sometimes I'll sit for a while, chewing the life out of a past conflict, second guessing my words and thoughts and actions. What could I have said to lead to a different outcome? Why didn't I fight more/fight less/say more/say less?
And then I come to my senses and conceed that it's my folly, thinking about the past like that.
Because there's nothing you can do to rewrite the pages of history, or its consequences, for that matter.
And that's when I like to think about the good times.
Yesterday I was struck with a vision of my grandmother from my childhood. She was smiling and I think standing on the front porch of her home. Nana was wearing her classic, big round glasses and a navy blue skirt, standing with her soft, pillowy arms crossed.
Smiling from the past at a girl-turned-woman plowing into the future, waves of love from years ago washing over me like eternal ripples in a pond.
Nana is jello and Lorna Doones and fancy scarves. Shrimp cocktail and cigarettes and talc powder. Lightning bugs, Days of Our Lives and City Chicken. Nana is a whole Caboodle of words that make up an era of my past - a place that is safe and happy and always welcoming, whether you're seven or 30.
And trips to those past moments have me wondering about the present. Is Nana proud of me? Does she see what I've done with my life? Does Heaven have a direct line to Earth so the departed can check up on their loved ones?
I'd like to think so.