Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Smells of memories.....

I was frying bacon the other morn, and the aroma attacked my sense of smell...triggering memories of home. Feelings of well being. Childhood. Just everything rolled into one little scent. For the moment, I forgot all else. It seems like the older I get, the more I think about and notice smells and how they are associated with memories. And many of those are of childhood.

Is there anyone that reads this, other than family, who knows the smell of a corn crib? When seeing a corn crib one day on one of our rambling drives, I thought to myself I will probably never smell that again. It is hard to describe...kind of a dusty, musty smell I guess. When the crib is almost empty at the end of the summer, I can remember us kids digging through the last corners of corn, looking for the nests of mice. I know we found them, and I am pretty sure we killed the babies...but I don't remember doing that myself. (Now, I could not do that at all...and maybe I didn't actually kill them then...I don't remember. I know we did not attempt to raise them as pets.)

And then there is the smell of a cow and/or horse barn. That odor offends many people's senses, but I always take a deep breath of it....again transported back in time. I remember playing with calves when they were born. Our barn had individual stalls for each cow...each cow had a name of course. The barn did not sit in the pasture but at the edge of it.

We only put all the cows in in the winter; in the summer, we sometimes kept a calf or two in the barn and would turn the mom in to it, then turn her back out of the morn. Or let one in to be milked.

But back to winter, we made sure all the stall doors were open before we opened the gate. Once the gate was open, the cows and Old Bob would come rambling in, pretty much in an orderly fashion. Each cow had an assigned stall, and each one went into its own stall...we didn't have to direct them or anything. Why we had them assigned to their own place I don't know...unless it was just easier. We went behind them and shut the doors...made sure all was fed before we left.

I think Dolly Parton said it well when she wrote these lines to

My Tennessee Mountain Home
Sittin' on the front porch on a summer afternoon

In a straightback chair on two legs, leans against the wall

Watch the kids a' playin' with June bugs on a string

And chase the glowin' fireflies when evenin' shadows fall


In my Tennessee mountain home
Life is as peaceful as a baby's sigh
In my Tennessee mountain home

Crickets sing in the fields near by

Honeysuckle vine clings to the fence along the lane

Their fragrance makes the summer wind so sweet

And on a distant hilltop, an eagle spreads its wings

An' a songbird on a fence post sings a melody

Is there any smell better than honeysuckle blooming when you are driving down the road and pass through an area where it is growing. It grows over by the railroad here close to home. When the girls were young, they would take walks over there and bring home bouquets of it....the smell would permeate the whole house. So every time I smell it, I think of my own childhood, plus think of our girls....and I wonder do they ever think of those times.

And there is woodsmoke. I always write about woodsmoke. I always make a comment if I smell woodsmoke. I would dearly love to be able to bottle it...I would use at as perfume...I would make a candle that smells like it...I would have those car deodorant things in that smell.

And hay that has just been cut...I love it just about as much as wood smoke...

Oh, and the smell of the cooler at work when it is getting full of is an all enveloping smell...or when we made cider.

And the smell of pine needle.....