Nostalgia. A side effect of cleaning

Now that I’m sort of semi-retired, my leisurely breakfasts often include thinking about cleaning.  And occasionally, my thoughts become actions.  Some of  my closets are now phenomenally clean and organized.  Some are not.  Yet.

Last week I uncovered this gem while cleaning a closet.  My dad’s hat.  I thought it had been gone forever.  What a precious discovery!!!  I put that hat on my head and let my heart feel the memory of my Dad wearing it.  He only wore it on special occasions, you understand.  Like church or doctor appointments or family gatherings.  His everyday hat was a ball cap permanently saturated with sweat, smelling of a combination of sweat and diesel fuel.  Growing up it was my favorite scent.  Seriously.  It meant Daddy was home.  That headgear was probably destroyed by fire in the trash barrel out back of our house.  (yes you could actually burn all your trash back in the pre-EPA days)  And it probably burned fast with all that diesel fuel!!

Today I cleaned out a decorative wicker box with a lid that sits in my living room.  Totally forgot that it had anything in it. Surprisingly it contained a lot of kind of cool memorabilia.  Like this AUTOGRAPHED book by John C Maxwell.  I think the hubby received it at a conference long ago.  Pretty cool.  I think I’ll read it!!  I haven’t read anything other than e-books on my Kindle for years.  I love e-books, but it just today occurs to me that there is no way for an author to autograph his/her work with e-books.  Kinda sad.
One of my favorite finds was this from our trip to Paris in 2008:
While in Paris on a work trip for DeWayne,  we used this pass to visit museums of Paris.  The L’Ouvre.  Musee D’Orsay.  Palace de Versailles, with it’s fabulous GARDEN!!!!   The Pantheon.  This little museum pass stirs up fun memories.  And just looking at it today made my feet hurt.  Holy cow we walked a lot of steps.  The poor pedometer I wore suffered exhaustion from tabulating all of the steps.  Our last stop on museum day was taking a boat trip down the Seine.  Seated.  Ahhhhh.   Our feet thanked us.
And this little treasure from the Paris trip stirred up really vivid memories:
During the days when DeWayne was working, I would bravely venture out and ride the subway system from our hotel in District 12 down to the center of Paris.  All alone!  No fears!   (to clarify, I wore a large zipped up black coat with my purse and camera underneath.  I like to think it made me look like I was packing heat)    While walking through the subway stations underground and waiting for the various trains to arrive, there was ample opportunity to study the human race.  Using visual, auditory, and often olfactory methods.  Yes, there were some startlingly unpleasant scents.   Live music was always audible in the subway tunnels.  Some of it was startlingly unpleasant, some of it was startlingly marvelous.  My favorite was the day I heard harp music filling every space of the subway tunnel.  The sound was so beautiful it felt like it inhabited my soul.  I skipped looking for my train and walked until I found the source of the music.  And I did.  An elderly balding man playing a harp.  Not what I expected.  I had visions of a beautiful woman dressed in a white flowing gown and perhaps a halo on her head.  But I stood there at a distance and watched him play.  His face radiated love for the music he was making.  His eyes were closed while he played.  No music stand.  Straight from the heart.  When the song finished, he saw me and I walked up to him.  Language barrier prevented any real conversation, but a smile is a smile everywhere.  He had CD’s for sale but I wasn’t able to understand how many Euros it would take, so he handed me this slip of paper with a website address to order from.  Just today, 8 years later, I ran across the slip of paper.  Never ordered a CD.  But looking at the paper I can still hear the ethereal sounds of that harp.
Nostalgia is a powerful thing.  Go clean your closets and you’ll see!!

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