Have you ever been somewhere that you smell something and it takes you to a memory of the past? That happens with me quite often. It happened today as I was walking Belle. I smelled fish and water from the gravel pit near where I was walking and suddenly, I was in Traverse City, Michigan. You know how it smells around large bodies of water? That is how it smelled to me. It smelled like Traverse City which sits on a bay of Lake Michigan. We went to Traverse City for our honeymoon and for years afterward we would take the family up to visit David’s grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. We haven’t been there in a long time. His grandparents and aunts and uncles have passed away and his cousins have moved away.
When we honeymooned there we were poor and ate most of our meals at Burger Chef. Anyone remember that fast food place? Remember the Big Chef sandwich? At Traverse City they served the hamburgers on homemade buns that were so delicious. At the time we were there, the Cherry Festival was going on. The streets were crowded and vendors were set up all over town. We ate I don’t know how many french fries sprinkled with salt and vinegar hot out of the oil from the vendors. We walked all over, swam in the cold water and spent one night on David’s uncle’s boat. We watched fireworks over the bay. It was a wonderful time. I felt so free and happy. I was married to the man of my dreams and we had the world at our feet.
Another thing I smell that brings back memories is a bologna sandwich. I can smell one of those and be back in the cafeteria at Greens Fork School. Sometimes I took my lunch and mother always sent a bologna sandwich, chips and a fruit of some kind. I bought my milk at school. That doesn’t mean I didn’t like the food in the cafeteria. The cooks there were the best. They served delicious homemade food to include macaroni and cheese, cinnamon rolls, mashed potatoes and green beans. All made fresh in the cafeteria kitchen by the three or four ladies who worked there. We had no one telling them what to fix. They were all mothers and knew what we kids liked to eat and what was nutritious. You could smell what they were cooking throughout the school and by lunch time your stomach would be growling so loudly and you felt you would die if you didn’t get something to eat.
Smelling cedar takes me to Christmases past. I have always loved Christmas. My parents didn’t have a lot of money, but they always managed to have a wonderful Christmas for all us kids. There were always lots of gifts under the tree. We always went to church to celebrate Christ’s birth. Our church had an advent wreath and every Sunday before Christmas a family would read something from the Bible and light one of the candles. One Christmas, one of our sons played baby Jesus and was carried down the aisle by a teen-age girl playing Mary. I was so scared she would drop him, yet so proud he was in the play. She didn’t drop him and he didn’t cry. I think he slept through the whole play.
Sometimes I smell newly turned soil and I am back on daddy’s farm sitting on the tractor with him as he plowed the fields. I loved being with my daddy although he did give me the name “Snicklefritz” which means a mischievous child. I spent as much time with him as I could when I wasn’t playing or in the house helping mother. He taught me a lot about farming and the care of animals. I am so thankful I grew up on a farm and had the parents I had.
When I smell baby powder I am back with my little babies, diapering them. I used cloth diapers and had to go to the laundromat to wash them every week, but I loved the soft, fluffy diapers that I pinned on my babies’ bottoms. Now I also think of newly washed puppies when I smell baby powder because the dog shampoo smells like that.
Do certain smells bring memories to you? Hope they are good memories. Bye.