Boomeresque:Definition
1. Adj.: Describing a person born between 1 Jan. 1946 and 31 Dec. 1964
2. Adj.: Description of a person, place or thing possessing Baby Boomer je ne sais quoi
3. See also, Boomer, Esq.: A Baby Boomer who is also a licensed attorney (See, e.g., About).

Travel Down Memory Lane

by Suzanne Fluhr on January 26, 2013 · 39 comments

Trip Down Memory Lane

Sometimes travel is not measured in miles (or kilometers). Sometimes travel is cerebral, the view absorbed by our mind’s eye. As an aging Baby Boomer, I find myself tripping down Memory Lane more and more often.

Sometimes — like for Steve and me — it happens in an elevator. As we and our four bags of groceries made our way from the first floor to the 16th floor in our apartment building’s less than high speed elevator, Steve leaned over and kissed me — a peck on the cheek — surveillance camera be damned. After all, what could be less salacious than a couple married for 33 years, garbed head to toe in cold weather gear, with four bags of groceries, sharing a quick exchange of affection?

Memory Photos

The bulletin board over my desk is filled with memories.

What the surveillance camera couldn’t see were the memories triggered by the scene. We both flashed back to the last time our nest was empty:

  • before the vigils at the bedsides of dying parents;
  • before the two homes bought, lived in and sold;
  • before being the parents of the groom;
  • before the trip around the world;
  • before the college graduations;
  • before the family trips to Disney World, Mexico and Italy;
  • before the high school graduations;
  • before we adopted the dog;
  • before the cancer scare;
  • before the promotion to full professor;
  • before starting a law firm;
  • before Little League, and soccer, and lacrosse;
  • before supervising practices for spelling tests and multiplication tables;
  • before parent-teacher conferences;
  • before the family vacations “down tha’ shore“;
  • before the first days of kindergarten;
  • before the placebo band-aids;
  • before having to moonlight to pay the mortgage;
  • before the pink stains on the ceiling caused by trying to get liquid penicillin into a flailing toddler afflicted with an ear infection;
  • before the sleepless nights with the baby who was (and still is) day-night reversed;
  • before breastfeeding on the Pennsylvania turnpike; and,
  • before labors and deliveries ……
…….  when we used to go out to dinner every Friday night on the way home from work, and then go to the supermarket, and then take our groceries up to our first apartment in a creaky old elevator.

Where did you go on your last trip down Memory Lane?

{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

Donna Hull January 26, 2013 at 7:35 pm

What a lovely memory one peck on the cheek brought back to the two of you. I’m not much on going down memory lane, perhaps because of divorce. Alan and I don’t mind looking back to the beginnings of our now 12-year marriage but that’s as far back as we care to go. I’ve always been one of those look ahead types anyway. I used to say that I was wishing my life away for the next event rather than living in the moment.

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Suzanne Fluhr Just One Boomer January 26, 2013 at 8:06 pm

Thanks, Donna. Fortunately, my divorce was 37 years ago. I got it out of the way early so it doesn’t much interfere with my trips down Memory Lane. Anyway, a marriage of less than two years with no children and no property is more a bump in the road than a barrier to backwards mind travel. Fortunately, second time was the charm and Steve is a keeper!

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Madaline Fluhr January 26, 2013 at 11:43 pm

Awww! I enjoyed this post, Suzanne. Would like a little more explication on the penicillin on the ceiling – a little projectile vomiting perhaps?????? I came out of the piece at that point, wondering how the penicillin got on the ceiling.

Pretty soon you will add the wedding of one of your children! A memory to be made……

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Suzanne Fluhr Just One Boomer January 27, 2013 at 5:00 am

Ben, your oldest nephew, hated taking any kind of medicine. He had to be held down while he pitched and rolled, acting like the people who loved him more than anyone in the world were trying to force him to take poison. With all that flailing around, some would inevitably end up on the ceiling and it was bubblegum pink and it stained. I always had to ask the pediatrician to prescribe more than he was supposed to take to account for the doses that ended up on the ceiling.

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Suzanne Fluhr Just One Boomer January 27, 2013 at 9:31 pm

Steve took that photo of a heart he arranged with lava pebbles he found on a beach in Hawaii in November. Quite an amazing “thinking ahead” moment for a guy who picked a wedding day close to his birthday, so he would have a chance of remembering it!

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Andrea February 11, 2013 at 5:47 pm

Oh Suzanne – you should see him with nasal spray. I have never seen the simple act of “squirt-then-sniff” look more difficult. But I’m glad I read this… at least now I know never to allow a doctor to prescribe penicillin to him or any future offspring of ours!

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Suzanne Fluhr Just One Boomer (Suzanne) February 11, 2013 at 8:11 pm

Yea, he was quite a drama baby/toddler when it came to taking medicine. His brother, on the other hand, would sit impassively on my lap while blood was drawn. Just another way your future husband and brother-in-law make me wonder if there was a mix-up in the hospital nursery.

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Christine Greaves January 27, 2013 at 12:11 am

I become a pensioner on Tuesday! Yes, a senior citizen. I reach the grand age of 60 years young on the 29th January. How to I feel? Fabulous, apart from the odd aches and pains. Thank goodness for free prescriptions for OAP’s at 60 here in the UK.

To celebrate, I’m planning a day painting my memories on silk. A day painting my memories in a collage with a few contributions from my girlfriends.

I’ll be painting memories of meeting Audy over 30 years ago, both of us having 2 children, born in the same years. Those babies now grown men, who are still best friends.

Memories of when I joined a golf club in Wales in the 1980’s – Geraldine, my playing partner for the monthly ladies competition, is such as support to me now as she was in the beginning of our friendship.

Memories of moving to another part of the Uk with my husband, Albert, and not knowing anyone. Starting a new job and bonding with a helpful woman in the next office who remains such a good friend.

Memories with my fabulous new daughter in law who married our son on New Years Eve 2011. A day to remember.

And of course memories of Gredos, Spain 2009, and meeting Suzanne.

PS of course my lovely husband and I will be out to dinner on Tuesday too!

Lots of love from across the pond x

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Suzanne Fluhr Just One Boomer January 27, 2013 at 5:15 am

Happy Birthday, Christine! That’s a big one, 6-0. Your memories are lovely. I’ve always considered you a glass half full type of person. Despite adversity, you bring your sunny disposition wherever you go. Spending time with you (and Albert) in Spain was one of the highlights of my 2009 trip to Spain. I’m hoping we can reconnect in person (before the big 7-0), here in Philly, or in Shrewsbury—or maybe in Spain.
With best wishes,
Suzanne

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santafetraveler January 27, 2013 at 4:09 pm

I do it all the time- a meal, a landmark, a book I’m reading all trigger stuff. Want to really start writing about them. I did a post about growing up around the East Village in NYC for Downtown Traveler over a year ago. It still gets hits and comments. It triggered memories for a lot of people. I even got a phone call from someone I didn’t know who wanted to talk about growing up there. Memories are powerful!

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Suzanne Fluhr Just One Boomer January 27, 2013 at 9:11 pm

I’ll try to find your East Village piece. I’ve always enjoyed reading memoir. Thanks for sharing.

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Josie January 27, 2013 at 4:23 pm

Very lovely Suzanne,

Even as we still feel young, feeling at times as if we haven’t moved past the high-schooler discovering the world, you’ve reminded us we have multitudes of memories. Your list, while extensive, still is tiny when held up to the entirety of your life happenings, I’m sure. So how can we still feel young? I don’t know, but relish that I/we do.
I’m proud to have the baby boomer label, feeling a part of a unique community. Thanks for being there!
~Josie

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Suzanne Fluhr Just One Boomer January 27, 2013 at 9:29 pm

In terms of some of our generation’s shared life experiences, I catalogued some of them here:

http://www.boomeresque.com/you-know-youre-boomeresque-if

There are many more. Please add some to the list!

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Suzanne Fluhr Just One Boomer January 27, 2013 at 9:26 pm

Thanks for your kind comment, Josie. I do feel wiser (in a sense) and part of an interesting group as I age. My mother now lives in a retirement community consisting mostly of quite “with it” octo and nonagenarians. Although they are sometimes bummed out by the fact that most of them recognize that it’s their last stop and by the fact that they lose friends on a quite regular basis, they seem to enjoy each other’s company, partly because they share many memories of their generation’s life experiences.

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Billie January 27, 2013 at 11:28 pm

My most recent trip down memory lane has nothing to do with hubby or child, rather with my recently departed mother (yet another boomer affliction: losing a parent). Hubby and I spent 10 days in her home combing through the rubber-banded bundles of business cards collected on extended stays or vacations in Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, Spain, NV, NJ, NC, CA, FL and elsewhere and through her lifetime of living and doing business in Philly. It was amazing to see how many people she met along the way. She had a calendar for every year going back to 1956, with birthdays, anniversaries, outings, etc. I also found uncashed checks that people had given her and I.O.U. notes from people she lent $$ to. This sentimental journey exposed parts of my mother’s persona to me heretofore unknown.

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Suzanne Fluhr Just One Boomer January 28, 2013 at 3:47 am

Thanks for sharing this Billie. Even though it’s not shocking (or even tragic) when Baby Boomers lose our parents at this point, it is almost sure to be an emotionally wrought experience. I helped my parents move twice before my father passed away. They couldn’t bear to part with anything—including their tax returns back to 1950, so I promised to keep them in my basement; but then, we downsized to an apartment. I was lucky that I got to go through my parents’ stuff while they were there to explain everything.

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Sala Wyman January 28, 2013 at 12:13 am

Suzanne.
This is just beautiful. Every image brings back memories of my own. There’s lots of lovely, graceful stuff in the aging process. Thanks for your blog and wonderful inner and outer adventures!

Sala

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Suzanne Fluhr Just One Boomer January 28, 2013 at 1:41 am

Thank you, Sala. I was afraid this post might be too personal, but so far, no one has complained — not even Steve 🙂

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Roz Warren January 29, 2013 at 3:38 am

Breastfeeding on the PA turnpike. I remember it well…

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Debbie Beardsley @ European Travelista January 29, 2013 at 5:36 pm

Don’t know if you ever watched the TV show Brothers & Sisters but this reminded me of, what has become one of my favorite quotes, the statement Sally Fields character said when she decided to NOT have plastic surgery on her face.
“Every baby I ever had, every kiss I gave or got, every tear, every glass of wine is right here on my face. I own it. It’s who I am and I don’t want to be someone else.” Thank you Nora Walker- Brothers & Sisters
When younger people look at those of us that have aged all they see are the signs of aging not the lives we’ve had or shared!

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Just One Boomer (Suzanne) January 29, 2013 at 8:09 pm

Debbie, thanks for sharing this. I admit that sometimes all I see is the aging too, but at other times, I see hard earned wisdom.

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Jacqui Robinson February 3, 2013 at 1:55 pm

Lovely walking with you all through your memories that grazed across my own! but at 60.5years I’m straining forward to do some catching up by seeing and experiencing things on the bucket list. To that end I wait in Belgium with some dear friends before going to Lapland on tuesday to hopefully see the Northern lights, stay in the Ice Hotel, then a night in the Wilderness Camp, dog sled rides, ice sculpting, and learning something of another downtrodden indigenous people, the Sami. No Suzanne, Bruce is at home as it is the time of year to beg for the next round of money for his research team.

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Suzanne Fluhr Just One Boomer February 3, 2013 at 4:02 pm

Jacqui, sounds like a fantastic journey you are on(!) — sure to engender some new memories to add to your long Baby Boomer list. Have a safe and wonderful time. We head for the opposite experience in 12 days — a trip to Hawaii. We have enough cold here that I don’t need a trip to somewhere with even less daylight right now. (On this topic, you should check out my next post: http://www.boomeresque.com/how-baby-boomer-travel-bloggers-deal-with-seasonal-affective-disorder/
😉

I realize that you’re up to your eyeballs in sunlight, especially during this season in Western Australia.

Safe travels. Be sure to share some photos and I look forward to hearing about your trip.

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Cathy Sweeney February 4, 2013 at 10:13 pm

Lovely post. A peck on the cheek can mean so much and bring back so many memories when you’ve shared many years, tears and laughter with someone. Sometimes those pecks are fleeting and we quickly move on to our tasks. Other times, like the one you described, we really take it in & appreciate what it means.

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Just One Boomer (Suzanne) February 5, 2013 at 5:55 am

It helps to be on a slow elevator with a 16 floor journey for thinking about it 😉

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sue kursman February 7, 2013 at 1:08 am

I loved your post-it was sweet and so full of pieces of life we all can share. Currently
I have a new grandson and a ninety two year old mom who lives with me. Two in diapers at the same time. Life is trying yet beautiful. I cherish those pecks on the cheek but as when we were young I have to wait for my mother to go to sleep. It is different for us all but the common thread was that through the years, the tears, the vacations and so many trying times-a cherished kiss was and is enough.

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Suzanne Fluhr Just One Boomer February 7, 2013 at 3:03 am

Thank you for your lovely comment. May the force be with you.

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Gaelyn February 8, 2016 at 12:52 am

Wonderful memories from just one kiss. For me memories flood back at the sight of a photograph.

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noel February 8, 2016 at 1:42 am

I’m too busy to go through my flashbacks at this point, but I loved the way you went through yours and shared some wonderful impressions 🙂

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Lyn (aka) The Travelling Lindfields February 8, 2016 at 4:48 am

D and I have just recently become empty-nesters although No.2 son returns on weekends and will return permanently in the near future. It is weird though to realise there are just two of us again. Last time it was just us we lived in Hong Kong and had flash careers. Now we have slowed down and learned to live in the moment. I don’t miss the boys. It is part of the cycle of life that they should move on, but it is awfully quiet sometimes.

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alison abbott February 8, 2016 at 8:47 am

I’m always traveling down memory lane Suzanne and find that especially so now that we are getting ready to downsize. Going through all our belongings has me walking around in circles sometimes to stop and flashback to all the experiences we have had in our old victorian. I find smell especially triggers distant thoughts from the way way back…I loved the way you wrote about your Travel Down Memory Lane.

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jo February 9, 2016 at 1:54 am

What a poignant and atmospheric post. I loved your collection of memories and so resonated with many of them. You are right, travel is not just about seeing, doing, and ticking things off the list.

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Anne Woodyard (@MusicandMarkets) February 9, 2016 at 7:27 am

Oh this is precious! I could so relate…the longer we’re together the more memories we’re making, and as we make new ones in new places, we fondly remember the older ones, as you are.

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Billie Frank February 9, 2016 at 9:32 am

I do these trips down memory lane a bunch- and I track travel memories as well, with and without our son- even me and the dog before Steve. There are a lot of them. I take issue with you referring to yourself as an “aging baby boomer” 60 is the new 40 and we stay younger longer compared to our parents. “Baby boomer” conveys enough!

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Irene S. Levine February 9, 2016 at 10:24 am

Loved this post! We have a special affinity for traveling to places we’ve been before~

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Danielle February 9, 2016 at 4:39 pm

Very much enjoyed this post!

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GypsyNester February 10, 2016 at 12:16 am

So interesting how memories are triggered. Often ours are while traveling and something strikes us as familiar, sort of like deja vu.

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Sue Reddel February 10, 2016 at 6:35 pm

Thanks for taking us with you down your memory lane. I do it all the time. I especially think of loved ones no longer with me that had such a huge impact on my life. Although I miss them the memories undoubtedly make me smile just thinking about our times together.

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