Survey, please help :)

Please post five things (can be anything) that remind you of something/someone and evoke a memory or thought. I’m starting a “memory journal” where I’m going to write down everything that I see daily that evokes a memory. I’d also like to do a collective journal from your responses. I think it will tell me a lot about which memories are the strongest, etc. Try to list things that you see and think about often. For example, when I was at the flea market on Saturday I saw a punch bowl set, that reminded me of my Grandma & how we’d have it at family events all the time. She just recently gave this set to my Mom and now it’s already illustrating a bunch of connections.

You can list the simple connection that the object relates to if you feel like sharing, but you don’t have to. It can be as simple as a person’s name & shouldn’t go into too much detail. If you’d like you can email me your list instead of posting it on my blog, it’s up to you.


I just wanted to add that there is no deadline to this question. You can take your time, but please respond. So far it’s really interesting comparing what everyone has written.


16 responses to “Survey, please help :)

  1. No problem! Here ya go.

    1. When I see azalea flowers it reminds me of afternoons by the pool at the house where I grew up in Orlando. We had a few planted by the pool and as a kid I would hide beneath them playing hide and seek.

    2. An old chess set my father owns brings back countless memories of sitting and playing chess with my brother when my parents weren’t home. (I know, such rebels! lol)

    3. I have an old Swamp Thing poster that takes me back to the old school days of video rentals before blockbuster ever existed. Back then I didn’t watch to see what movie was coming out next so it was always such a surprise to see what we came home with.

    4. The smell of my mother’s perfume invokes memories of sitting in the back of the family car with my siblings as my mother ran her daily errands. It also reminds me of when we all would head off to church on Sunday mornings.

    5. The song “Simon” by Lifehouse reminds me of my ex-girlfriend, and how bad it felt getting my heart broken.


  2. Abby,
    As I read your request the first memory that came to me was about your Great Grandmother Van.
    When you Grandparents would go out of town, Grant and I would stay with Grandma Van at the farm. I would ask her a jillion questions every time about her childhood and what the world was like back in her childhood days. She would patiently answer every question explaining in great detail about her family, and her surroundings and the influences in her life. Every time we would stay with her I would grill her endlessly because I was so interested in knowing who this wonderful person was and what she believed in. She would always answer my questions and go on to tell me a tiny new detail each time. We would sit for hours and talk and Grant would sit patiently and listen to us. He was as mesmerized with the whole experience as I was. We both loved Grandma Van and I will always cherish those memories because she was the most gracious person I have every known.
    Love You,
    Aunt Carol

  3. 1: smell of mosquito coil: smelt some the other night and turned to an old friend and said “you knwo what this smell reminds me of?” He replied “Hanging out on the porch in St Maartin!” I was so glad we were both capturing the same feeling: fun, relaxing time

    2: People’s handwriting, specifically close friends/partners. The distinct shapes and curves are inextricably linked to who that person is, that feeling when I see something written in a familiar hand, it is very powerful.

    umm….you’ll have to start with that, my barin isn’t working so great this morning

  4. “All Things Considered” on NPR and sauteed onions remind me of my mom cooking dinner.

    Any classical piano reminds me of my mom.

    Watching “White Christmas” is a memory/tradition with my sisters. Any time I hear those songs or see the movie I think of them.

    The smell of wood, fire, and paint-thinner remind me of my dad.

    Anything by John Denver reminds me of my college friends.

    Generally, music and foods are big memory triggers for me. As I’m writing this, I’m realizing: sounds and smells influence my memories more than anything else.

  5. hey abby, it’s so great to hear that you’re in grad school. and i really love that you have this blog. i actually check it almost every day, so keep it up. i’m going to try and be brief with these answers, so let that creativity flow from them, alright!
    1.smell. i.e. chlorine reminds me of swim team in 5th grade. specifically. no other instances, chlorine always reminds me of that one period of time.
    2. taste. every time i eat rice, it reminds me of the times in college when all i could afford was rice. my mom has cooked it countless times, but the most vivid memory of the taste of rice, is when i was in college.
    3. okay. all i have is taste and smell.
    i think it’s great that you’re doing research this way. i hope more former fibers gals help you out, i believe we are a great resource to each other. tell everyone i say hi, and stay on the track you’re on, you’re doing great!

  6. Smells, definitely!
    Pipe smoke reminds me of my dad, and smoke from burning leaves reminds me of being a kid riding my bike in my old neighborhood. My mom always made me blueberry muffins for my birthday, so smelling- or eating- them makes me feel like… it’s my birthday! (^_^)

  7. 1> Cocktail onions remind me of Grandma Shirley. Everyday my grandfather would fix her a martini before dinner with three onions (no olives) on a little plastic sword. She drank them from a double old fashioned glass on the rocks and usually gave me the little shish ka bob.

    2> Corn nuts remind me of the homemade bar at Grandma Shirley and Pops’ house. There was always a bowl onthe counter and I would spoil my dinner with corn nuts and Pepsi.

    3> Super sour gumballs remind me of playing Nintendo with my friend Carrie when we were 9 or 10. We always chomped on the gumballs the whole afternoon while playing “The Little Mermaid” video game. And sometimes the game or movie reminds me of sourballs.

    4> “It’s a Wonderful Life” reminds me of Christmas Eve with my parents. We watch it every year before going to Midnight Mass. Any quote from the movie (zuzu’s petals, or ringing bells and angel wings stir up the memories)

    5> Tandem bicycles remind me of a family vacation with my parents to Macinaw Island, Michigan for the Lilac Festival. I think I was 8 and way to big to fit in the little kid seats on the back of adult bikes, but hadn’t let learned to ride without training wheels (horrible balance). So my dad and I shared a tandem bike. I sat behind him and would put my feet up as he pedalled the bike up hill so he would have to do all the work. Sneaky, I know ;o)

  8. Hi sister! Ok some memories, which may be similar to yours since we are sisters….heehee…
    Whenever anyone I know or I have a vanilla ice cream cone I think of our father and how he would only let us order that when we’d go to Tastee Freeze as kids. šŸ™‚ On the related subject of ice cream, whenever I see pepermint ice cream you know I think of Grandpa Westphal. Because that is the only other flavor we would have besides vanilla.
    Do you remember those markers that mom had at her school when we were little? They smelled like different kinds of fruit. We used to love them. Someone at work had them the other day and that made me think of when we’d go help mom set up her room for the year. She’d let us use the projector and project pictures onto big pieces of paper and trace them with the markers. Anyway the smell of them is what made me think of that.
    Whenever I see peonies, especially dark pink ones I think of Grandma Van’s peonies in Mom’s back yard.
    I also love looking at the quilt that Grandma Van started and Grandma Westphal finished for me. Its so neat because many of the different patches of fabric were once dressed of ours or Grandma Van’s or things like that.
    That’s all I can think of now…I will post more later perhaps. šŸ™‚

  9. The smell of pipe tobacco and the sound of ruffled newspaper reminds me of my Pop. When my Mom would take us to my grandparents house, I would always run back to the den to jump in his lap and those were the smell/sounds that greeted me.

    The sound of keys swinging from a belt loop reminds me of my Dad.

    I was in a bead shop and found a gorgeous mother-of-pearl Sun pendant that makes me think of my Granny (she always called me Sunshine).

    Sweet Sixteen powdered donuts remind me of Saturday mornings with my Dad.

    Frosted pink lipstick reminds me of my Mom when I was little.

    This was fun! ;-P

  10. this is a great idea Abby!

    -the smell of Georgio perfume..the kind that came in that yellow&white striped packaging always makes me think of my mother back in the late 80’s/early 90’s…her clothes & makeup…wow.

    -big red gum, pink ‘while you were out’ message pads, red pens, & white tic-tacs all remind me of my mom’s ex-“husband”.

    -old yellow VW bugs remind me of weekends at my Dad’s house as a little girl

    -Fudgesicles remind me of swimming at my Granparents house in Florida

    -the smell of a tobacco pipes makes me think of my Grandpa


  11. Abby,

    What a great project! And one I am happy to contribute to with memories of my own.

    1. Discoveries of nature (summer’s first flowers, a fawn drinking from the lake, even a chipmunk scampering through the woods) remind me of my paternal grandmother, Betty, and her love for wildlife.

    2. Seeing certain fashion styles take me right back to the mid 70’s when I was in high
    school….bell bottomed blue jeans, peasant blouses, crocheted sweater vests, platform shoes, tie dyed shirts…

    3. The Illini Chief symbol makes me think
    of Dick and Cliff and how they loved their U of I
    football games.

    4. Any body of water usually reminds me
    of my beloved Summit Lake, Wisconsin.

    5. The smell of freshly mowed grass, meat cooking on the grill, suntan lotion all remind me of the promise of summer.

  12. Abby – It’s funny that I did not read your email before today because over the weekend at Alysia’s wedding, I have whole new memories to blog about. First Grandma Corine was wearing a beautiful crocheted shall with her dress that reminded of the slippers Grandma Van would crochet or knit for us every year.

    As I read some other blogs I also have the memory that Jill has of peppermint ice cream being one of Grandpa’s favorites. I can remember going to the “Red Apple” as a child and eating peppermint ice cream with him.

    Also, this weekend we went to a German restaurant in Milwaukee and they sold turtles there. I told Dan that turtles were also one of Grandpa’s favorite things. We would buy him a box for Christmas every year.

    Thanks for including me in your blog, as more memories come I will let you know.

  13. Abby, here are my memories:

    Dark red peonies remind of Grandma Van. I know that Jill already said it, but I have been thinking about it for a few days. Also it reminds me of Margaret and Bill. When Jill was about 2 she took a huge bunch over to them. I have a picture of Jill picking them and it is so cute.

    Fall reminds me of hayrides and how Grandpa would drive the hayrack for us.

    Snow reminds me of Christmas eve at the farm with Grandma and Grandpa Westphal.

    Painting on wood reminds me of Grandma Johnson and how I took “tole painting” lessons from her. I would go once a week to her house and paint. Aunt Diana would be there and my cousin Carol too.

    Every time I eat biscuits I think of Grandma Westphal and how hers taste so good and she just “throws it together”. šŸ™‚

    Pumpkin pie reminds me of Thanksgiving at Aunt Diana’s and how good Grandma Johnson’s pumpkin pie is and how I can’t make pie.

    Left over pie crust cut into strips and baked with cinnamon and sugar sprinkled on the top remind me of both Grandma Van and Grandma Westphal. They would let me roll out the leftover scraps and cut it into strips and sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on top. That was a favorite treat of mine.

    When I look at the doll house I always think of Aunt Wilma and Uncle Wallie and how I always played with it when I went to their house to visit.

  14. Hi!

    So for starters, there are associations with place that are very strong.
    And sounds, like certain songs: Hey-o by the red hot chilli peppers reminds me of a drive to the beach in Savannah
    Blink 182, their self titled album, reminds me of my car accident
    Johnny Cash’s version of a boy named Sue makes me think of a time when I missed my flight out of midway because I asked my sister to drive me to OHare. I was pretty upset and super stressed so she played it to make me laugh- It worked and it was a really nice moment.
    There is a striped sweater that I used to have that was my aunt’s. It was from the 70s, and every stipe was a different color, all those kind of ‘off’ colors that I think of weird home interior decor from that same time. It was the first piece of clothing that really made me feel like I had an identity within my style. And I think I lost that identity for a long time. And recently, it is when I think of that sweater that I am able to kind of ground it again.
    Everytime I see or eat blueberries I think of the house my grandparents used to have in Maine and how we would go pick them wild. And once my cousin and I, in a little clubhouse-like area we found in the woods, discovered their magical healing powers- just squeeze a blueberry onto your bug bites and the itching stops. Or onto a cut and it soothes it. Talk about home-made remedies.
    Lastly, I will always always think of you when I hear tom petty’s Here comes my girl

  15. hola chica!

    1. those round red and white peppermints remind me of my grandmother…she always had them in her pockets.
    2. one thing I’ve noticed is that certain smells, while they may not remind me of a particular thing, they remind me of a particular time in my life, if that makes sense, I’ll have to give you an example when this happens to me again.
    3. just knowing that fall us upon us reminds me of when i lived in halifax and would go to the local market and buy “chinese lantern” flowers, which are only available in the fall.
    4. everytime i see an elephant i am reminded of my grandfather, he loved them!
    5. i’m having a really hard time thinking of sometheing else right now….sorry, i’ll think of something soon!

  16. Okay,

    It took me a while to respond becuase this isn’t as easy for me to do as one would think…

    Oldies Music makes me think of drives out to church on Sunday morning with my family.

    Orange Tiger Lilies make me remember the home I grew up in. Every spring we would have the most vibrant Tiger Lilies and we never planted them nor did we care for them, they just kept coming back.

    Eating eggs with ketchup makes me think of the babysitters and all the fun times I had.

    Clowns always make me think of my dad.

    When ever I see something that references Achilles and Hector I think of Mr. Seidletz, 6th grade history. He told the best stories despite his terribly strong coffee smelling breath.

    Hope this evoked some memories for you!

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