Yesterday I went to the Alaska State Fair. My son is seven and his cousin, who is nine, is up visiting. It was crowded, sunny and windy, and the curly fries tasted the same as they ever had.
I remembered going as a child, crowded against my siblings, all grasping some part of my mother or each other, shuffle-stepping along like part of a super illegal kiddie chain gang. Early September in Alaska can be brutal. Hats and gloves were mandatory, as were winter coats. If the rain was particularly insistent, we’d wear garbage bags over those. (This was the eighties and winter coats were uber puffy. If you tried to fit a raincoat over those we’d look like child sausages for a bare instant before physics took over and the buttons exploded off)
There are other places I’m struck with sudden nostalgia for – usually they’re warmer and more exciting, and don’t include the frozen swingset-hands smell of old carnival rides.
They are places like Robin McKinley’s Damar, in the cool blue and searing red of Aerin’s time and the burning heat wave sands of Harry’s. I remember Sarah Connor warmly asking the Big Boy to watch over her scooter, completely oblivious to the metal monster stalking her from the future.
I ran into the German word fernweh not too long ago, with the definition of “homesickness for a place you’ve never been.” I think this perfectly describes these memories – full of sight and taste and feeling – that originate in words on a page but stay with us for a lifetime.
What are the places and faces that have stuck with you? The characters you've never met but know as well as you know yourself?
About the Author
Regan Summers lives in Anchorage, Alaska with her husband and alien-monkey hybrid of a child. She is a huge fan of the low profile. She likes books, bad action movies, and small plate dining.
If you’d like to support her ongoing dental work, her Night Runner series, including Don’t Bite the Messenger, Running in the Dark, and Falling from the Light is available wherever e-books are sold. The Lady is a Killer, an urban fantasy short story set in the 1920s, throwing a WWI veteran and lethal ingénue together in a feud between vampires and bootleggers, is currently free on Wattpad, HERE.