Linda Maye Adams

Accidental Nostalgia


I’m originally from Southern California, where it might snow every 25 years and a movie crew might be filming on any given street.  The military transferred me from left coast to right coast, and here I’ve been since except for a couple of visits over the years.

In August last year, I got a chance to go back to the left coast, this time to Las Vegas for a conference.  I’m not into gambling, so I wandered around and saw everything.  And despite all the unique and fun things on display in the streets, the one thing that brought me to a dead stop was a stand of palm trees framed against the deep blue sky.In that moment, I suddenly realized how much I missed seeing them, and I started snapping pictures like crazy to capture the palm trees.  Other tourists must have thought I was nuts.  But the palm trees reminded me of all the things I like about California — Hot summer days, with flies buzzing in the shade; buildings sharp against the turquoise blue skies; the smell of tar from the La Brea tar pits.

Sometimes memories can catch us off guard.  What’s your accidental nostalgia for?

9 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    OOOh you reminded me of the first time I came to Pomona, California when I was 12 years old. I was so fascinated by the palm trees that I had to take pictures with my little Kodak camera. Loved that you reminded me of LA with its ‘Hot summer days, with flies buzzing in the shade; buildings sharp against the turquoise blue skies; the smell of tar from the La Brea tar pits’. Nice post.

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  2. I grew up in the midwest where the summers are hot and humid. I LOVE the summertime and even though humidity can get annoying, it is forever indelibly linked with summer in my mind. I now live in the Pacific NW where the summers can be very dry – gorgeous, but dry and a bit cooler than I’m used to. Whenever I go home or to a place where I can experience that warm, humid air, I get very nostalgic about the summers of my youth.

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    • Which part of the Pacific Northwest? I was stationed in Washington State in the Army for 6 years. Went to Mt. Rainer in July and couldn’t get over that it was hot below and snowing on top of the mountain!

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  3. Reminds me of when we first moved to coastal NC. We’d been in AK and then MT and were used to forests with deep underbrush. In coastal NC I was awed by the tall pines where branches didn’t start until 15-20 feet up. It was beautiful, but also reminded me of what we’d left.

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    • North Carolina sounds beautiful with those green giants. Gives me an idea of a place to visit in the future.

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  4. From Southern California as well, and I don’t think I’d even consider missing palm trees normally. . . but, you’re right. They’re something you don’t see much of out on the East Coast. I miss the mountains most of all.

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    • Me, too. There’s nothing like those mountains. I always watch for them in older TV shows.

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  5. It’s so interesting how we don’t think much about something and then, a change of setting and a look up and a lifetime of memories come rushing back, or atleast a sense of a time from the past. I loved this post. It left me feeling a bit nostalgic, for what, I’m not sure yet. Maybe tomorrow I’ll go somewhere new and look up.

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  6. @Anon All this makes me want to go back and visit again!

    @Sara Walpert Foster Have fun wherever you go!

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