Friday, August 20, 2010

What is that Smell?

“Nothing revives the past so completely as a smell that was once associated with it.”
 ~ Vladimir Nabokov

Isn't it funny how things can take you back to a point in time or remind you of something so familiar?

Today we finally made it to North Carolina to visit Billy, and we spent some lazy hours in the hotel just hanging out and talking. At one point, after probably the billionth hug, he said, "your shirt smells like the house." I didn't notice it - but then I guess it's just a normal smell to me. But it took him home - at a time when home seems to constantly elude him. I wish I could bottle it up and send that smell with him so that when he starts to miss home, he can get a little whiff.

I love smells. The smell of Downy reminds me of my childhood - and my mother's laundry days. In my mind'e eye, I can see her standing at the ironing board, folding clothes and loading the washer. I can almost hear Hee Haw on the television too. It always takes me back. (And it makes my friend Josi think of me in middle school. She says she always loved the way I smelled.)

Pillows are another place to find familiar smells. Kerry's pillow smells like him. If he works late on a holiday or for a big wedding, I find myself burying my nose in his pillow to go to sleep. If I can't be near him, at least his pillow would give me a little comfort. 

Or how about the smell of a campfire? It reminds me of high school and college bonfires, summer camp and the mountains. I'm instantly relaxed when I smell it. Somehow everything just seems to slow down when the smoky smell takes over.

The smell of black-eyed peas or green beans being shelled and snapped puts me in my grandma's house - the safest place on earth. What I would give to go back and relive one of those days!

I'm sure I could go on and on. (With this long nose, I have keen sense of smell...haha.)

I definitely think the candle companies have it all figured out. (And I'm glad because I don't always want to bake a pumpkin pie just to relive Thanksgiving!)

I'd love to hear what smells take you back! :)


Dawn said...

Where does the smell of Polo cologne take you?!? LOL! It takes me back to junior high/high school!

I agree, smells can bring back great memories. What a great post!

I'm sorry I've been absent from commenting the past couple of weeks. It's hectic with school starting, etc.

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