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Life's Greatest Treasures

Text by: Brittany Knotts

I was eating a bag of Ruffles recently when a fond memory wandered into my mind. I know they say scent often provokes the most powerful sense memories, but for me, on this particular day, it was taste that brought on the fit of nostalgia.

I was probably about four or five-years-old, and it was a blustery day in my hometown of Azusa. My dad took me to the high school a few blocks from our house (which I would later come to know as my alma mater) to fly a kite. The exact details are a bit fuzzy, but I know we had Ruffles… I know this, because I vividly remember Dad explaining to me just how addictive potato chips can be. I didn't think much of the salty snack until he said that. Then I wanted more.

There we were, father and daughter, enjoying some disgustingly delicious junk food on a sunny, blue-skied, windy day in Southern California. After finishing our snack, it was time to fly the kite. I can see it so clearly in my mind's eye. It was a black, Mylar-ish kite, shaped like an octopus with a somewhat metallic sheen to it. It had purple, blue, and green accents and markings on it. And I so LOVED to watch it fly.

Plain potato chips, of any variety, have never been my favorite, but when I do decide to eat them, I think of that great day with my dad. I miss those days and others like them, and I've realized I need to record my memories more often... these memories are my greatest treasure. Like my many excursions to Griffith Park with Gramma Net to ride the Travel Town Railroad, ponies, and merry-go-round; watching Grease over and over again with my best friend Laura; "girls only nights" with Mom, the most memorable of which included an indoor picnic with Easter stuffed animals, a quick trip to the Sanrio store that used to be in the mini-mall behind my house, and going to see The Mighty Ducks at the old movie theater; or playing with my little brother Eric in our tree house for what seemed like days on end.

Ah, the glory days. I hope I never lose the memories or love of the things associated with them. But those memories are really about the people in them — the people I love. One of my greatest desires is to create similarly wonderful memories with my own children and grandchildren. Really, it's what life is about — what I think is perhaps life's greatest treasure — spending time with the people you love and never, ever letting the memory of those moments, regardless of brevity or seemed insignificance, slip away from you. You may lose things, you may lose money, you may even lose those closest to you, but what you can always keep with you are the memories.