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Nostalgia Tastes Like Mud

When I was five, I had a Guatemalan nanny named Martita. We called her husband "Daddy Oscar" and she had two grown kids, Leonora and Oscar, Jr.

There was another family who shared my nanny - the Carpenters. Shelly was my age, and she was my first school friend. She and I had many adventures together, including the ritual of Eating Mud. We would dare each other to eat pinches of the sticky mud under the bushes in front of our carport.

After high school I lost touch with a lot of my friends, but a fortuitous run-in with one of them who is still well-connected to the old gang got me back in touch with the group, and with this year's Xmas card, my old friend Shelly gave me her phone number and asked me to call her up.

It never fails to boggle my mind that this is someone I've known almost continuously for 33 years. We were saying last night that the fascination that motivates us to seek out those people we knew years ago is mostly the desire to see how much of that child we remember is still there. And both Shelly and I agree that we're both completely different and exactly the same. She's lost her mania for horses, she listens to music other than Dan Fogelberg and John Denver (it turns out that was all her parents approved of at the time), and she and I ended up with much the same politics and lifestyle (a love of gardening and canning, sewing and knitting, hiking and camping). I can't see how I'm the same or different than I was 33 years ago, but she says I'm still the same kid she knew from Martita's.

It was amazing catching up. I think I need to plan a trip up to Seattle to see my old friend.


Jan. 14th, 2004 03:37 pm (UTC)
How did the mud taste?
Jan. 15th, 2004 09:47 am (UTC)
Since mud contains very little that can actually be tasted with the tongue, it mostly tasted like salt.

Apart from salt, the savor was a lot like the wet-dirt smell you get after the rain.

I cringe to think about what was actually in that mud, because it was made from water that dripped off the tarpaper roof, filtered through juniper bushes full of spiderwebs, and into the dirt below. This is why it was a dare to eat it in the first place, although obviously, I survived.
Jan. 15th, 2004 12:27 pm (UTC)
Interesting. I've never tasted mud.