Friday, September 14, 2007


Smells are some of my best memories.
  • The smell of a horse when rubbing its nose or hugging its neck,
  • the smell of a dirt road when it's wet,
  • the smell of sagebrush,
  • the smell of a bog and a crick in a meadow,
  • the smell of pine trees,
  • the smoky smell of a snowy night,
  • the smell of a calf or colt when it is newborn,
  • the smell of leather tack,
  • the smell of new-mown hay and fresh-harvested grain,
  • the smell a gasoline spill evaporating on an old tractor,
  • the smell of air from my Grandmother's old organ,
  • the smell of fresh turned earth in the Spring,
  • the smell of my Mom's petunias,
  • the smell of my Grandmother's gladiolas,
  • the smell of coffee on my Grandfather,
  • the smell of naphtha soap covering a leak in the gas tank of my first Jeep,
  • the smell of my Uncle Louie's Bull Durham chewing tobacco,
  • the smell inside my Dad's army helmet from World War II,
  • the smell of a campfire with Basque sheepherders,
  • the smell of a leather baseball glove,
  • the smell of an old schoolhouse the first day each year,
  • the smell of a oil furnace early in the morning,
  • the smell of my sisters getting permanents,
  • the smell of talc and aftershave in a barber shop,
  • the smell after firing a hunting rifle,
  • the smell of hand-me-down football shoulder pads,
  • the smell of chlorine at a swimming pool,
  • the smell of fresh whole milk, warm from the cow,
  • the smell of burning salve while branding,
  • the smell the fresh morning air coming off the Tetons,
  • the underwater smells at the lake,
  • the smell of my Mom's White Shoulders perfume and my Dad's Old Spice cologne,
  • the smell of fresh popped corn.
When I first came to Durham, there was still one tobacco factory operating, and there was a time in the processing where the air Downtown was filled with a smell like a new-mown hayfield. Sweet, pungent, musky. I have allergies now. They came on after the first 10 years living in the Southeast. I can't smell as much. But smells are some of my best memories.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The factory was still operating when I came to Durham, too. I really miss the smells and the whole "factory-ness" of it. It's nice for Durham to have the downtown renovation, though. I'm glad for memories!