I wish I remembered more about Nana’s house on Anacapa. I wish I could remember the details more clearly. It was a two story Victorian, painted a faded light blue with a hint of gray to it. There is a picture of me, maybe four years old, in the backyard holding a black and white cat close to my face smiling. I’m allergic to cats. There was an orange cat too. There was a wooden gazebo in the backyard painted white. Nana would make pasta from scratch in the room off the side of the kitchen where my sister and I sat at the wooden table, watching her closely. She cranked the worn-in pasta machine handle in circles to make fresh long wide noodles with butter. She made her own homemade croutons toasted in the oven with butter and poppy seeds. I can remember the taste of it so clearly. She made the best chicken and dumplings I’ve ever had in my life. She would make us breaded chicken fingers. We were obsessed with them. Everything she made had her special touch. I wish I could remember the kitchen better. I remember it had a big window above the sink, and that it led outside through the laundry area. I remember how it smelled in that in-between room. Comforting and familiar. Smells are strange – you close your eyes and can visualize a memory that holds that smell so clearly. Like you’re smelling it in real time. A core memory almost always involves a strongly remembered smell for me. Smells engage my nostalgia stronger than any other sense. I remember a lot of smells from Nana’s house. Mostly food. The smell of the fresh pasta in butter. Her special french toast. The best mashed potatoes. Fresh pies. The way her bedding smelled. The smell of fireplaces throughout the house. I remember the staircase that led upstairs – covered in carpet. The blue corduroy chair that my papa always sat in. There are lots of pictures of him holding me while sitting in that chair. I can see the exact color blue it was. I remember the smell of that chair and that room – its the smell that reminds me of him.