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Nostalgia (n.)

"a sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations."

The other day, I had some time to kill while waiting for the ferry. So, I decided to head over to Ivar's for some hot food to take the edge of the wet and grey of the afternoon. Upon ordering my Prawns and Chips, I was immediately taken back to the 1970's, in a bit of a surreal time warp. Though there have been many facelifts to the Seattle waterfront over the years, it's essence is still palatable. The gulls, pigeons and sparrows all vying for your food scraps; the sound of vehicles laboring over the viaduct; boat horns blaring on the sound. It was a rush of incredible love and longing for what was. A simpler time. A time of immeasurable fond memories of skipping school and heading into the big city for the day. Hanging out with my dad, the Ferry Captain, in the wheelhouse. Making a surprise visit to my mom who worked in of all things, photofinishing. Does anybody out there even remember what that was?

Food in itself is a fabulous way to be nostalgic and the fare of Ivar's was no exception. For the 30 minutes or so that I sat there eating my fried basket of yumminess, under the heat lamps, trying to stay dry, it seemed that I was 16 again. Or 6 or 12. Certainly not 50. Though I am leaving the Emerald City soon, and may never return to live again, I was given this amazing gift of wistful affection. For parents who are long past, for school friends who are now grandparents, and for a City which continues to glisten under fresh drizzle.

Our days now seem to be so full of instant gratification, that on many levels I feel sorry for the youth of today. They will never know carving boats out of ivory soap, or the lack of privacy of having one phone in the house, which is attached to the wall in the kitchen. Getting around on your bike and meeting friends for ice cream and a game of monopoly. Heading to the beach or wandering the woods for hours, without anyone worrying about where you are or when you will be back. These childhood memories are of course different for you in Chicago or London or Mexico City....but the essence of those days is the same. A simpler time. When your mom would make a pie from scratch and everyone would sit around and talk to one another.....not just on holidays, but on any old random day.

I am grateful for getting lost in my Ivar's meal. I am grateful to have instilled sitting down and eating as a family. I am grateful that my son chooses to make food from scratch and embrace those who are different from him. I am grateful for the extended family whom I still hang out with today. I am grateful for the memories my parents and community gave me. I am grateful that I learned at a young age to not sweat the small stuff and to breath in the moments as they come into your life.

What are you Nostalgic about? Please share @accordingtouna.

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