Monday, March 20, 2017

Scents You've Been Gone

Something began to stir me around in my unabashedly peaceful slumber. My eyes, sealed shut were not yet ready to awaken, yet as I slowly floated back toward my small, pleasantly plump little Earth costume to which I was currently assigned (harumph!!), 'Wait what was that? What was I thinking about again..." my shifting thoughts faded into a fog as I transitioned and unwillingly continued waking from the heavy, cozy child's dreamland...

My Mother, who at the time had a standing weekly appointment to get her hair done ('teased'), was letting me know it was time to get up and get our big Saturday started. The hour was early, and most times I got my fill of the early morning "Saturday Cartoons", which always included Bugs Bunny and friends, and several other classics.

I remember making a 'couch cushion fort' and taking in as many of the cartoons as I could before we had to leave to run errands and go to the Beauty Shop. Like it was yesterday, I can still see us in her big black truck with the red interior, songs on the radio and pulling up to the window at the old bank, and the old place she paid the electric bill. Then when we arrived at her salon (which was run by my aunt at the time), I couldn't wait to get a cold drink out of the machine (one of my favorite thrills of going with her). I imagine I was flipping through magazines and sipping on my TAB, watching as the ladies got lacquered solid by the Aqua Net and becoming drunk on the heavy scents of "Natural Beauty".

Now this sticks with a young girl, and to this day those smells can take me straight back to my Aunt's beauty shop. These moments often accompanied by music as well, once again riding in my mother's black truck, on our way to get my hair cut for 7th grade class photos. I had spent the last several years growing it long and gorgeous, but finally decided to try and go a little trendy and get a cut (always a terrible idea before these class photos). However, as we cruised down Main Street, I fondly remember the sound of Toto's "Africa" playing on the radio. That song and the delicious scent of Apple Pectin shampoo will forever cement that day into my memory.

There are so many songs and scents that can have the same affect on me. Without sniffing, I'll do my best to recall a few of the olfactory triggers:

Waking up to the smell of early morning rich Folgers black coffee - Mom, Mom and more Mom

Wind Song Perfume - Mom all day long.

Vanilla or baking smells - Kitchen with Mom (cooking anything can be a combination of Mom & Dad both as we all baked, cooked and prepared so many things there).

Gasoline and/or Tractor smoke smell - Spending time with Dad, or Dad running around outside on his Tractor.

Campfire Smoke, or someone burning anything near fall - Both Mom and Dad, roasting marshmallows, and the excitement of fall

Freshly Cut Grass - Saturday Morning with Dad outside early, already mowing in the summertime until he'd have to take a break from the heat, walk in and open his big jug of cold water, take a drink and proclaim, "Awww that's good stuff!" I would take a sip after him, and I can still remember the taste of our well water and the cold jug.

Certain colognes will connect me to memories of old boyfriends (not enough time or blog space to go over all that junk) ;-)

The deliciously strong scent of paint, paint thinner, printing inks, or permanent markers - I may as well be sitting in art class with Mrs. Pegram or Mrs. Varnadoe, windows open, breeze flowing, music playing in the background, peace in my soul.

Paint thinner can also remind me of my Mom's experience working with "Plaster of Paris" in the carport.

Pine Scented Candle - My first kiss with "Z".

Cinnamon-Apple air freshener - My first real place I lived on my own, which was a house I rented from a friend's family in town for $200 a month (why did I move?)

At any rate, growing up in the country is a magical and scintillating thing for any kid, and my childhood and youth was full of many fond memories. Too bad we're left with having to hang on to them so tightly with these music and scent reminders, but it also reinforces the fact that I feel so lucky having so many great things to remember.

Besides, as a motorcycle enthusiast it is even easier to come across all of the nostril-induced memories you want, as they are everywhere, in every thing, on every road and breeze. Spring is in the air, time for a good, loud ride down the amazing Memory Highway. **Revs Engine and Screeches Off*

What Warm, Delicious Scents Take You Back??


Chelly said...

Jax, I love this post!! Aw, Wind Song: that was the last dusting powder I bought for Mum before she passed. The scent both fills up my heart and breaks it. Moms eh? ❤

It was so good to hear from you today. Missed you lots my friend. So good to read your words again. Big hugs.

Bad Aunt Jaxxx said...

Thank you for stopping by Chelly!! I am so glad we reconnected a bit lately, and I think it's essential we both do some writing, as we said our creative outlets are most healing.

Will do my best to contribute and write more in general, as I hope you do too.