“Your best t-shirt should be like your bed; it just feels like home when you are in it.”      Ashton Kutcher

I have this t-shirt and when I put it on all the decades of my life come back to me. I can close my eyes and get a glimpse of feeling from each part of my past, bringing back my youth to fool my present age. When I wear this t-shirt I am any age and I can walk forever right along memory lane for encouragement.

Summertime, I am eight years old and my mother has given me a shiny Jefferson nickel for some minuscule chore. Happily, I decide to take a walk. I walk about five blocks to “Moldy Joes,” the neighborhood corner store, where the groceries are questionable but the gum/candy selection is out of this world. I trade my silver coin for a little red and blue rectangle of pink sugary delight. I begin my walk back home, carefully unwrapping the package. I place the gum in my mouth and as I chew, bursts of sweetness capture my taste buds and the blocks fly by.

Fall, it’s getting chilly, the sky is dramatically gray, I am a tween-ager walking over the “forever-long Laramie bridge” with my fellow cheerleaders. We are on our way after school to a basketball game. We are acting silly, blowing bubbles with our recently purchased bazooka bubblegum. Whose bubble will last the longest? Who will blow the biggest bubble? Whose bubble will pop on their face and leave sticky lines causing everyone to laugh until their stomachs hurt? This walk is easily an unperceived two miles of bubble-blowing fun.

Winter, I am in high school, volleyball practice doesn’t start for another hour. Craving some fresh, crisp air I walk through the cold and snow with some of my teammates to the local corner store for gum and candy bars. Each of us grabs a bunch of bazookas. (You never know when you’ll need to share.) As we walk back and unwrap our soft pink pillows of gum, we read our bazooka joe comics out loud and chuckle at the goofy humor. Every one gets quiet when it’s time to read the fortunes. Another inconspicuous walk.

Spring, there is new energy in the air and I am at college training for …everything. I need bazooka during badminton, bubblegum when jogging, bubble blowing when walking to classes and studying for finals. I can still smell the tantalizing sugariness at this moment, taste the cotton candy-like smack of flavor, feel the gooey, squishy blob moving from the right side to the left side of my mouth.

Sadly, it was around this time that I went to the dentist and found… I had ten cavities. Now I’m not implying the gum had anything to do with this but…it did significantly contribute to the end of my bazooka bubblegum chewing days. In my opinion, sugarless was just not the same, not the distinctive taste or the soft, palatable consistency for bubble blowing. This phase of my life had come to an end.

Aahhh, well, sometimes memories can be so …sweet!!

I’m off now, off to put on my home-filled memory t-shirt of encouragement and walk.



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