Monday, June 1, 2009


I remember the sound of the foghorn at night when I was a child drifting off to sleep. There were real foghorns in those days, posted at the entrance to the Bay, and they would begin to sound as soon as the fog started to roll in.

I can remember the sound of my grandfather's footsteps on the backstairs. The wooden steps with their black plastic covering would creak as he went down to his workbench to shine our shoes and have a smoke.

I can remember the steady whoosh and click of the pressure cooker in my grandmother's kitchen, and the tick and bell of the old white kitchen timer on the counter.

I can remember the sound of the seashell windchimes at the front stair.

I can remember the high pitch of the engine of my father's truck warming up on cold winter mornings.

I can remember the click of the loose ivory on the piano. The ivory pieces that had fallen off and been glued back on would click against the ivory keys next to them. The keys were made of real ivory. My grandmother was very proud of that.

What childhood memories do children have if they can't hear things like this? What will trigger nostalgia later on for them? Smells, perhaps, and patterns of light. When Rafa watches his babies grow and learn, what will he remember most?

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