Sunday, December 2, 2007

Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese

My apartment smells like my grandparents' house on a Sunday afternoon.

In a rare occurrence, I actually turned on my stove today (it works!) and made myself a grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup. As I pulled a plate and bowl from the cabinet, which happen to be hand-me-downs from my Grammy and Poppop's house, there was a familiar aroma from my childhood filling up the place. It was, of course, just my lunch cooking, but there are certain scents that just take you back in an instant.

There were those weekends--usually not during swim season--that my parents would pack us up in the station wagon and head to Bangor, PA to visit my grandparents. It was always an extra-special treat if my cousins were also going to be visiting from Connecticut. What's better than a house full of instant playmates?

Regardless of who was there, we always headed to church on Sunday mornings, just a few blocks away. When we returned, we kids would scramble up the stairs, eager to change out of our church clothes into something more suitable for wreaking havoc outside, in the basement, or in my grandfather's dental office (conveniently located in the house), while my grandmother started making lunch for the whole crew. Inevitably Sunday "supper" included soup and, if I was lucky, grilled-cheese of about two things I'd actually agree to eat back then.

While I savored my lunch this afternoon, I thought how nice it'd be if I could bottle up that scent (rather than, you know, cooking more often...) and let it air when I need a nice dose of comfort and nostalgia for the days when troubles were few--and Sundays were reserved for soup, sandwiches, and family.

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