Sounds, smells bring treasured memories

Published 4:38 pm Thursday, October 31, 2019

By Pam Bock

Eureka Columnist

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I can hear a song and be transported right back to my high school days. I can hear a hymn and immediately tear up and think of a loved one who is no longer walking this earth.

Maybe it was played at their funeral, or it was their favorite.

A song can reach out and grab you by the heartstrings and make you remember sweet, sad, happy or fun times. I can remember the words to all my favorite songs when I can’t seem to remember what is on my grocery list.

Not very long ago, I was driving home and a favorite song came on the radio. I was sang right along and at the end the DJ came on an said that was a great oldie from the 70’s!  What? An oldie? No, it can’t be that long since it was a number one hit!

Well, since I graduated the year it was a hit, I guess I am now an oldie.

I can smell old spice cologne and cry, no matter where I am, because my grandpa Buddy wore that scent. And he was the best, and I loved him. You don’t smell it much anymore. Guess it’s an oldie now, too.

I can smell bread baking and immediately think of my paternal grandmother. No one can duplicate her homemade rolls. She was a great cook and letter writer. I miss her letters. They always smelled like her.

She always hung her bedsheets outside to dry, and then sprinkled them with water before ironing them. I loved sleeping on those sheets that smelled of sunshine.

I can smell roast, with potatoes and carrots, and think of my maternal grandmother. She was also a great cook, and I loved her. She always smelled like flowers, to me.

From the face cream she used. She had a beautiful smile and silver hair.

I marvel at the way our brains file away these tidbits of sounds and smells, then attach them to someone or some important period of time or event, and evoke such feelings – no matter how many years later.

I believe God keeps our loved one’s memory strong in our hearts through music and scents, and reminds us of all the things we have experienced and been blessed with, flooding our soul with sweet emotions.

I hope the next time you hear or smell something that makes you think of someone, or something, you will enjoy the trip down memory lane – and be thankful.

Pam Bock lives in the Eureka community. She may be reached at