When I was a kid, I would order the same food, have the same snacks, etc. for years on end. For a solid decade of eating at restaurants, I ate spaghetti and meatballs. Didn’t matter where we were or what the occasion was, if spaghetti and meatballs was an option, I was having it. Some of these things lasted for a few years while others, like my favorite meal, lasted over a decade. One of those things that lasted between five and ten years was my love of strawberry ice cream. It was my very favorite for so long. Unlike my love of spaghetti and meatballs (which I will still order and love having at home), I fell off my strawberry ice cream trend not long into my teen years. This weekend to celebrate Valentine’s Day, my husband and I decided to stay at home with our girls and do a special meal with them. We all wanted ice cream for dessert so I ordered my current favorite, dulce de leche. When I went to pick up my groceries, I found that they didn’t have that in stock and had substituted it for strawberry. I brought it home, deciding to enjoy it instead. Let me tell you. Opening that ice cream container was like digging up a time capsule. Each spoonful reminded me of something. It reminded me of picking fresh mint from my garden and rubbing it between my fingers, the feel of rough bark beneath my palms as I climbed trees with my childhood friends, and warm summer nights on the back deck, swinging under the stars with a fire roaring in the chiminea. I remembered dinners with all of my siblings and both parents. My mother’s laughter. My father’s books. That carton of ice cream was a treasure box I’d forgotten I’d saved for myself.
This weekend was also a dance competition weekend for my daughter. The competition wound up taking place in the town I grew up in and the venue was only ten minutes down the road from where I grew up. Before going to the venue, we drove down that road. I pointed out all the places I remembered from my childhood to my husband and daughter. We drove past my best friend’s house, past those trees I’d climbed as a kid, and past the house I grew up in. Taking that drive on the heels of the evening I enjoyed the ice cream made all of those memories so much more solid in my mind. So this week, while I did read more of The Plot Whisperer and I did take more notes on the manuscript I’m going to start revising VERY soon, was not about the work I’m doing in the present. It was so much more about the things from my past, the things that influence so much of what I do in the present.
Overall, this week was a nice in between. I’m winding down from the work I’ve been doing the last few months and getting ready to tackle the large job of revising my manuscript (called TS) from Nanowrimo. I’m going to spend this week finishing The Plot Whisperer, making notes, and generally getting ready to move from one to the other.
What from your past most influences the work you do today? Is it something that you remember loving as a kid, a favorite place, person, etc.?