Compulsive hoarding is a mental disorder that is just beginning to be understood. As a hoarder, I have acquired things over the years with a specific purpose in mind at the time of the acquisition, used some of those items for their intended purposes, forgotten the goal for different objects, but now that I find that they have outlived their purpose in my life I am struggling to rid myself of those same things.

You can read the start of my journey here.

Monday, September 3, 2012

On the tip of my tongue.

I get so frustrated when I am trying to remember something, and I am so close I can almost taste it, but it never completely breaks through the surface. In many ways, it felt that way with the guardianship thing. It felt like it was just out of the grasp of our fingers and we couldn't quite catch it. It still feels like it's a bit out of reach, since we haven't gotten the official paperwork in the mail yet, but at least we know it's coming, and the resolution will be complete when it finally shows up.

Triggered by a sound, which triggered a smell, I had to go on a web search for a toy from my childhood. Anyone remember Incredible Edibles? I'm talking about the electric toy that heated small plates filled with edible goo to solidify, or maybe I should say, "rubberize" them, so older brothers could terrorize their younger sisters with them. I can't count the number of gooey spiders and snakes that were put in either one of our beds or our hair or  chased us around the yard at night. I'm betting the inventor of Gummy Worms had an Incredible Edible machine when he was little, and I'm betting he chased his little sisters, too!

Seeing the picture of the plates brought back an almost physical reaction for me. There's nothing that smells quite like the gel that was used when it's baking, and for a split second, that smell was so strong that I was back in the home I grew up in, sitting around the machine with my brothers and sister waiting for the goodies to be done, so we could eat them. I could smell the dampness of the basement, feel the coolness of the concrete against my knees, and feel the anticipation as though I were 8 years old again. 

What wonderful memories!

It's funny how a sound or a smell can transport a person back in time. For years, there was a single phrase that transported me back, but it was like I was stuck in a time machine, for I could remember but one line in the song. I wanted to have the full experience of the memory, but no matter what I did to remember the rest of the song, I couldn't. 

Thankfully, my brother came through for me when we were back home for Mom's heart surgery. We were at the park with the kids, and I was standing around with one of my sisters, one of my brothers, and one of my sister-in-laws. I told them that I needed help! That there was a song that played on the radio when we were little that I wanted to hear again, but all I could remember was the phrase, "And find me a pretty girl!"

Instantly, my brother started singing the song! He remembered the words and the artist, but I've got to call him up and ask him who sang it, because I've already forgotten. I'm hoping it will lead to me actually finding an old vinyl record with the song on it. I really, really want to actually hear the song again, instead of just hearing the memory of it in my mind!) 

Do any of you remember this song???

I'm gonna get on a riverboat,
And go down the river,
And find me a pretty girl!

And if that pretty girl
Falls in love me,
I'm gonna marry her!

And if that pretty girl
proves to be untrue... 

I'm gonna get on a riverboat,
and go down the river, 
and find me another girl!

I've searched everything I have access to search, and not only can I not find the song anywhere, I can't even find the lyrics. It's frustrating, because in spite of being instantly transported to my childhood when my brother sang the three verses of the song that he remembered, I still feel like the rest of the memory is on the tip of my tongue. 

I want to be transported back in time to the black and white checkered floor in the kitchen with the sunlight dancing on the kitchen cupboards and stove top again. I want to feel like I did when I listened to it with my family when I was little. When I knew that Grammy and Grandad were just across the street, and that Daddy would come home every night, and that Mom would always be there when we got home after school. 

Just for awhile, I want to be transported back in time when the biggest worry I had was whether I was going to wear barrettes or ribbons in my hair that day, and whether I'd be able to stay awake and watch 'Connie Jarson' with Mom and Daddy. 

It's so close I can just about touch it...


  1. I think my sense of smell is my most powerful memory catcher. Nothing brings me back to my childhood like the smell of fresh baked zucchini bread. :)

  2. I think smell is also my biggest trigger, but I am triggered by other things, too. It's funny how it works, isn't it?

    And yum! Zucchini bread!! :)

  3. I remember the Incredible Edibles too!! I loved those gooey little things!!


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