Memory is a funny thing. For instance, if I ask you what you remember from your early childhood, what is the first thing that pops into your mind?
My guess is either it's something traumatic, or something ultra cool.
I can only remember a few things from when I was a little tot. One memory is just bursting with detail, and I realize now that it was because so many of my senses were affected.
My father is a professional artist (you can check him out by doing a google search on Sheryl Bodily) and would often take one of his children along on his art excursions. I don’t remember the details of this particular transaction, but I remember going to a woman’s home. She was dressed very much like Mrs. Brady from The Brady Bunch – as in very 'seventies' stylish. She had beehive hair, blue eye shadow and a pale pink smile. Yup, she was beautiful. (Yup, I’m very old, aren’t I?)
While my father spoke to her husband, she asked me to sit down. On the end table was a turnstyle poker chip tower, with four lovely stacks of red and white chips. She must have let me, because I remember playing with them for quite a while - taking them out, stacking them on the table, then sliding them back into the tower. She even gave me one, which I kept in my pocket for weeks after.
Then she told me about a secret room upstairs. Nowadays, parents would have cause for concern at a stranger inviting your child alone like that, but back then? Pssh! So upstairs I went with the kind Brady lady and soon stood in front of an Alice in Wonderland door. It was tiny and had a big gold handle.
I opened it and there was a pint-sized corridor that went back and turned. The Brady lady flipped a switch and a light came on. It was a little scary, but I went back, turned and ended up in a little room.
I wish I could recall what was in the room, but I remember how impressed I was. I didn’t stay there long, and Dad and I soon were heading off. But before we left, the Brady lady pressed a small jar of mint jelly in my hands. (I sure hope I thanked her properly.)
The whole ride home, I couldn’t wait to try it, and when I finally did, it was every bit as delicious as I thought it was going to be.
Yup, sight, smell, touch, taste, and jelly and a red poker chip to boot. Now if only I could remember what music was playing . . .