The Memorable Scent of Autumn and its Surfeit of Nostalgia

Yesterday marked the first day truly worthy of wearing a hoodie. We made a video of Tristan, as it was his birthday, from waking moments through the morning bike commute to school, getting off of the bus, opening presents straight through to falling asleep. I made an amazingly good cake that defies all previous logic of what the definition of too sweet is.*

And then today, this morning, the sunlight has barely started but already, as I was taking Tristan to the bus, the superpower that is Autumn’s aura came crashing tidal over me. A girl was waiting for the 71C bus to take her off to work and her hair radiated the smell of Pantene Pro V, the same shampoo that made up the majority of my family’s hair washing regiment as I was a child. Pumpkins are being sold along corn stalks and hay bails. Pumpkin spice coffee is on everyone’s menu and as I come home and am just about to enter the door the nostalgia of all of my past Autumn’s goes nuclear so that all of a sudden I can remember exactly what NOFX, Boston Creme donuts, the sound of skateboards cracking pavement and skipping school all felt like. I can remember exactly what it would feel like to walk in through the back door of the townhouse I lived in with my mom and my sister, Lloyd Street in Ebensburg, Pennsylvania. The smell of the color of the driveway on Harmony Drive where I lived alone as a teenager, and the sky is rumbling exactly how it knows I like it.

Somehow, even as it’s a refreshing jaunt down Memory Lane, it’s overwhelming to boot, because if you can imagine how intense 28 years worth of Autumn memories would be if they were all felt at once, I can only imagine what it’ll be like at 50 or 80.

* Recipe for Reece’s Pumpkin Cake

3/4 can Libby’s Pumpkin
1/2 can Evaporated Milk
1 box Yellow Cake Mix
1/2 stick of butter
1 bag of Reece’s Pieces
1 container of Chocolate Icing

  1. Preheat your over to 350 degrees
  2. Mix the butter, cake mix, evaporated milk, a small handful of Reece’s Pieces and pumpkin
  3. Pour the mix into a 9 inch round cake pan
  4. Cook for 25 minutes (it’ll still be most in the center)
  5. Let it cool for about 10 minutes (feel free to have a smoke)
  6. Cover the cake with the icing, to your preferred amount
  7. Add some Reece’s Pieces to the top – I tried to make Darth Vader, you can use your own damned imagination!
  8. Eat and serve

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