Monday, April 2, 2012

Hmmmmm,....what's that smell??

Wow, I'm on a roll today! Who knew that I'd actually get 2 blog posts off in one day. I'm laughing because I've been accused of 'public and showy' postings...Jeepers...That must be so offensive! Well I can't have you thinking that I'll stand for I thought I'd give you all a blessed break...this will be public and SMELLY!!!! LOL!!!!!  

I don't know about you, but smell is one of those senses that is the most strongly connected to memories for me. Good and bad. Seriously, any smell can instantly whisk me back to my childhood, or if its a Pumpkin Spice candle it will instantly make me nauseated. I'm sitting here, in a sort of shock that its spring and warm enough that we've had to turn on our attic fan. Our neighbors are enjoying their fire do I know this? Our fan is pulling in the sweet smell of burning aspen trees. I have a love/hate relationship with this smell. Quite honestly I have a love/hate with many smells, but wood burning smoke sparks different memories for me...again, some good and some absolutely horrific.
(Just a little background info on me: I am the only girl in a family of ALL boys. I'm not a typical girl...I LOVE to get dressed up and be a GIRL...but, sit down when I tell you this...yes I enjoy shooting things. I also enjoy hunting with my dad. Granted I haven't been hunting in a few years, but it doesn't make the adrenaline rush of killing an animal any less exciting. I hear gasps at such a statement...hey, we actually EAT what we relax. And if you have an issue with girls shooting guns or killing things, this is definitely NOT the blog for you. SO this is your forewarning: I will offend you repeatedly...and in light of the smell thing...hey look! I found your nose! It was in my business...HAHAHAHA I have wanted to use that for a long time...)

 Wow, so that was way off the subject...anyway, back to the smoke still wafting into my living room. The aspen branches my neighbor is burning just brings me back to camping trips as a child. My brothers and I drinking pop by the fire so we can have something to use as a small target, sharpening our shooting skills. I LOVED this. I loved sitting around the fire, roasting marshmallows...the part that I did not enjoy is the smell of campfire that reeked in my hair and clothes and sleeping bag when I woke up...knowing it wasn't going to get any better since we were out for a few more days. And to this day, while I love the idea of camping and the fun surrounding my family memories, I'm NOT a fan of fire pits (even though I have one) because no matter where I stand that stupid smoke likes to seek me out....YUCK.

The smoke smell that fills me with dread is very specific smokey smell. Its the smell of items that were not meant to be burned in a manner to bring heat, but rather one that came as a mistake of a house's rafters built too close to the chimney. The smell of burned sleeping bags, clothes, insulation, drywall, and like a soggy grossness that I can't really explain, but definitely one I hope you NEVER smell for yourselves.

Another smell that will always remain dear to me is actually the smell of a freshly lit Merits cigarette. WHY? Well because that's what my grandparents smoked when I was little. This was before car seats were mandatory....and I wonder if my grandparents would have enforced it anyway...since my preferred riding spot was right between my Grandma and Grandpa in the FRONT seat of my Grandpas truck or their massive pimpin' Lincoln Town car. My grandpa was my hero. I'm not sure why, but he was. I have so many wonderful memories of him. And no matter how horrid 2nd hand smoke may be, I always seem to gravitate towards the poor person lighting up as I drift back into my childhood reminiscing about learning to tie my shoes, watching for the 'stinky cows on your side,' and listening to Paul Harvey religiously every morning while my Granny and Grandpa drank their Folgers coffee and smoked a cigarette...only to come back to hear 'The Rest of the Story' at noon and eat my grilled cheese or pb&j and again watch my grandparents drink their coffee, eat their lunches, and light up one more before Grandpa headed back to work. 

Or my Grandpa stoking the wood burning stove in their basement...I could LOVE winter for that very reason alone...every person with a wood burning stove is filling the air with that amazingly 'homey' aroma. You know, the kind that makes you breathe in deep because its such a distinct and earthy smell. I love it.

I didn't realize until now how many different smoke smells there are and how many of them spark a different memory. If you are tired of my Memory Lane, stop reading now, its only gonna get worse. 

I mentioned above that Pumpkin Spice makes me want to throw up...when I was pregnant I happened to be the most sick during Christmas. And the favorite smell for many was that disgusting little orange candle that seemed to burn constantly and everywhere. UGH...and ironically I'm sad to say that there are actually SONGS that make me feel queasy...'Feliz Navidad' happens to be one of them. I will forever loathe that song. BUT I was talking about smells, not sounds or songs, which could be a whole other blog. Most candles that are Harvest anything or Cinnamon...oh Lord, I have a hard time not erping constantly. My beloved husband tells me I make it impossible to get a gift for because if it smells like something I will possibly not like it simply because it reminds me of someone or something that makes me sick. Maybe that is why I LOVE spring...I love the smell of lilacs. Again, I'm thrown back into my Granny's house and her windows are open and the smell of her delicious lilac bushes are engulfing all of my senses as I color at the breakfast bar while she does dishes. Its strong, but sweet. IN my mind, I can 'walk' around my grandparents house and 'see' each flower bed blooming and I remember getting into trouble when I'd be unable to resist getting into my Granny's strawberry patch that had a metal covering on it to keep out other pests, besides bunnies and birds...but I think mostly me. LOL!!!

I LOVE the smell of pomegranates...lotion, candles...the actual fruit. I laugh because I don't know how my mom managed my brothers and I as we tore into the delicate and confusing fruit, knowing full well that whatever we were wearing was instantly ruined by the rich and red juice. I basically hyperventilate whenever the fruit is touched because inevitably my children are wearing church clothes or something white. I also love grapefruit and mandarin because as a candle it also reminds me of spring and SUNSHINE. On thing I always have a blast doing is going to the Yankee Candle store and smelling candles with my friend....we usually end up with ginormous headaches, but are out again begging for more punishment by walking across the street to the Christmas store and being bombarded by more holiday smells! Oh...and really quick back to winter smells...freshly cut evergreen wreaths...Yikes, that is like sensory and memory overload...nonetheless it brings a rush of Christmas memories filled with laughter.

Sunscreen...not really a smell that I enjoy wearing, but one that I like; simply because it reminds me of summer, and swimming, and sunburns. LOL Or lathering my children up so that they can just get wet and come back to get more.

There are so many out there, but these are just several of the ones that are most recently on my mind lately...What are some of the smells that you will always remember and instantly bring you back to a time that you cherish? 

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