“Childhood smells of perfume and brownies.”

Today is beautiful with no breeze and the brightest sun hanging in the sky. Fern is so relaxed lying in the sun shining through the front door that I had to check to make sure she was breathing. Gracie is outside sitting in the sun. She has a favorite spot on the back side of the yard where she sprawls on the grass. When she comes in to check on me, her fur will feel hot to the touch.

Yesterday I heard dogs barking, including my own, mowers and kids playing but not today. My neighborhood is Sunday quiet as if there was reverence still left for the day.

I have favorite smells. The every day favorite smells give me a sense of comfort and continuity like the smell of coffee brewing first thing in the morning or the smell of the ocean borne this far by the wind or the fog. Other smells transport me to different times and places. Last week I smelled leaves burning and saw a man tending his small fire, rake in hand. I slowed down and lowered my window when I went by him and his leaves. All of a sudden I was a little kid again watching my father tend to his fire burning on the street beside the sidewalk. The smell of wood burning brings me back to Ghana. During the harmattan, when the mornings are chilly, the family compound behind my house had smoke whirling into the air from fires lit to keep everyone warm. The smell of that burning wood was almost sweet as it filled the air. Food in Ghana is still cooked on small, round charcoal burners, and the charcoal is still made from wood. Last summer when I smelled the cooking fires I was transported forty years in time to when I lived in a small white duplex and behind my house was a field with a family compound. I can still see and smell the smoke from that compound as it rises into the air. My mother and the smell of sugar cookies baking are forever linked in my memory.

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14 Comments on ““Childhood smells of perfume and brownies.””

  1. Hedley Says:

    Replica jersey…on, beer (Pauliners) packed, Mrs Hedley still preparing..One hour until kick off. Can we get through twenty one years of waiting ? COME ON YOU SPURS

    • Bob Says:

      Thanks for your great cryptic description of indoor tailgating. What are you waiting for? And, does anyone on this side of the pond besides you really care?

      • katry Says:

        Bob,
        I’ll answer that-my sister and her family will probably watch it, and I think soccer fans would be drawn to a championship game.

    • katry Says:

      My Dear Hedley,
      I’m cheering for your team. Go SPURS!!

      I’m wearing my Red Sox t-shirt rooting for my home team so I know the feeling!

      • Hedley Says:

        And so down we went 5-1 and it wasn’t that close. The group has scattered and the wait goes on.

  2. olof1 Says:

    We have much alike favorite smells 🙂 But perhaps even better than coffee brewing is the smell coffee has when You open up a new packet! I love the smell of the ocean and sometimes when we’re having a big storm I actually can feel it here too even if I live far away from it.

    Every time I smell Earl Grey tea I think of my best friends mother, we always had that when I was there 🙂 That and cheese sandwiches 🙂 Newly baked cookies brings me to another friends grand mother 🙂

    It looked nice enough outside today and it was actually quite warm but a nasty northern wind destroyed it all. That and the hailstorm that passed later in the afternoon. So I have mostly been indoors looking at lots of tv-channels they send for free at the moment. I’m amazed over how much garbage that can show an entire day. Unfortunately they don’t send the SciFi channel.

    Have a great day!
    Christer.

    • katry Says:

      Christer,
      You’re right abiut how wonderful the opened package of coffee smells.

      Smells are the best triggers for memories so all your friends come back when you smell that tea or cheese or cookies.

      It was warm today, and I received an alert from the Marathon committee about how hot it will be tomorrow, and how we should bring enough water. Any runners who choose not to run may drop-out without any penalty. I can’t imagine running in weather hovering around 80°.

  3. Zoey & Me Says:

    Time you start your own fires. I loved the odor of home cooking, still do, but it was special when I was young and I always had to know what Mom was cooking for dinner. I hated my Grandfather’s cigar smoke. I always asked him to take it outside but he never did. He just laughed at me.

    • katry Says:

      Z&Me,
      I need a new chiminea as mine finally bit the dust after years of use. I use pinon wood and it smells wonderful.

      I too had a grandfather who reeked of cigar smoke, and I also hated it. He didn’t care.

  4. katry Says:

    My Dear Hedley,
    We Red Sox fans waited 86 years-I hope your wait isn’t even close to that!

    • Hedley Says:

      I know Kat, the last League victory was 1961 and the last FA Cup appearance was 1992, I would just like to be around to see one or the other. The Chelsea fans at the party were in good spirits, me, it was too big a beating to get upset.
      Only five games left in the season I guess I will start to think about the Euros and then my trip to the Olympic Games in London, can you say Beach Volleyball tickets?

  5. Bill S. Says:

    The smell of wood and charcoal fires here always brings back smells of Ghana. In our neighborhood there are several people who have wood stoves, including us, and on a cool spring or fall morning, it’s Ghana all over again.

    Today (Monday) will be a hot one, hotter here than in Tampa. Yesterday I brought out the pool filter and heater and hooked everything up in anticipation. Friday we will be going to Florida for school vacation week, but when we return, I’ll uncover the pool and (maybe) jump in.

    • katry Says:

      Bill,
      I worked the marathon today so I had to leave at 6:30 and didn’t write my blog. Boston was 84°. I can’t imagine running in that heat. I used to work a water station but for the last five years have been doing volunteer lunch at Copley Square out of a tent. The tent was so hot today we were all sweating then they turned on portable air-conditioning because the tent was going to be overflow medical when we were done. It was amazing then we finished and back into the heat I went.

      The Cape never gets as hot and wasonly in the 70’s today.


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