I walked down the hallways of my school today and the scent of strawberry shortcake assaulted my nose. Not that strawberry shortcake is a bad thing, quite the contrary. It wasn’t real strawberry shortcake however, someone was burning a candle, or had a smell-good of some sort in their room. The smell immediately took me back to my childhood home on Seminole Street and a doll I used to have.
It was a Lemon Meringue Doll from the Strawberry Shortcake Collection. The best part about this doll was when you squeezed her tummy a little burst of lemon scented air would escape from her mouth. I think my sister had a Strawberry Shortcake one. They claimed they were blowing you kisses. But I loved her. I squeezed her tummy and smelled her breath all day long.
Isn’t it funny how a smell can lift you from the place your standing (even when it’s outside the stinky restrooms of a schoolhouse) and plant you in a place you haven’t visited in years.
It’s like the pie my co-worker gave me a couple of weeks ago. It was a strawberry cream pie. I had never had strawberry cream pie. The minute I tasted it, my mind went a’whirlin’, trying to place the familiarity of the taste. I couldn’t quite find it, so I had another piece while I pondered. I was getting a little bit closer to solving the mystery, but I needed one more piece. Then I nailed it. It was exactly like a strawberry parfait from Kentucky Fried Chicken. You know the one with graham cracker crumbs in the bottom and then layered whip cream. Just to confirm, I had one more piece. Score on The Little Bucket Parfait. My dad used to always buy us those. He loved KFC. I prefer the lemon parfait. I think it has something to do with the sprinkles.
All good things must come to an end. Eventually the scent from Lemon Meringue’s breath wore out to just plain old air. What became of her, I don’t know. But I noticed she’s worth about $45-85 bucks today. Even the parfaits seem smaller to me now.
Nothing stays the same.
But today, I stood in the hallway of my school waiting on my boys to finish playing in the bathroom, and I spent a little time in a memory.
One memory led to another and then that one to another.
Then my mouth started watering.
And it hasn’t stopped.