I once read that the sense of smell is one of the strongest senses connecting to memory. I believe it.
Walking through a large club store recently, I realized I had turned onto the candy aisle while “cutting through” to get to the frozen foods section. Historically, I would have looked at the options and spent a little time there, but because our family has decided to get healthy (and I’m addicted to chocolate), I was moving more quickly than usual. Breezing down that aisle, the smell of those boxes of chocolate candy hit me, and I was transported back in time to memories not thought of in many years.
Thomas Adams, the dad of one of my dear childhood friends, was a candy distributor and made deliveries keeping sweets on the shelves of area stores. Outside, in the back of their house, was a warehouse. Maybe it was a garage turned warehouse, I don’t remember for sure; what I do remember was the smell. It was the same smell that hit me walking down that aisle. Patty and I used to go hang out in the warehouse and climb on all the boxes. Often, Mr. Adams would let us pick something as a treat—and there was SO much to pick from! You know that scene at the end of the first Indiana Jones movie where they store the Ark of the Covenant in a nondescript crate in that huge warehouse? Well, scale that down considerably, but that’s what it FELT like to a junior high girl who had to CHOOSE which treat she wanted! Just the memory brought a smile to my face.
That moment made me realize we are making those little memories every day. I’m sure Mr. Adams never thought that when I was 54 years old, the smell of boxes of chocolate would still make me think of his sweetness and the friendship and times spent in their home with daughter Patty. But it does. And it still makes me smile.
It also made me realize this—whether or not we know it, our actions may very well be remembered by someone decades from now. I hope when I come to mind, it makes them smile.
Until next time,