Thursday, November 6, 2008

Your neurology lesson for the day

Do you ever get sentimental?

You know how certain smells remind you of certain things? Let me tell you why that is. Two brain structures, the amygdala and the hippocampus, play an important role for the storing of memories, and the olfactory ("smelling") nerve has very direct connections to both structures (Randy is waiting on a "medulla oblongata" comment here). I feel a diagram is in order:

This is why the smell of cinnamon, cloves, or vanilla may remind you of Christmas at Grandma's when you were a kid. (For some reason, when I smell glue sticks, I also think of Christmastime--my mom is crafty!) That's it in a nutshell!

Well, the smell that got me this week was Tide and Downy--not just 1 independent of the other--it has to be both together.

I was taking my laundry out of the dryer--while it was still hot, mind you (I usually don't get to it until its cold). I piled the towels onto my bed and breathed them in deeply. I then wrapped one around my shoulders and breathed it in again. That smell is my Mama.

When I was little and would spend the night, she would put my blanket in the dryer to get it warm and then wrap me up in it on the couch. The warm embrace of that blanket felt so good to my little body. It, too, smelled like Tide and Downy.

Today, my laundry became more than a chore; it became a hug from my Mama.

I love you, Mama!

1 comment:

Two Times Two said...

Amber you are too funny! It is amazing how smells can remind you of people and grat memories. Ive enjoyed your blog btw! I feel like we never get to talk since Ive gone to work so it has been nice "keeping up" with you.