By Ellie Behman
I find it extremely interesting how a certain scent can take me back to an earlier memory in life. For instance, when someone in the neighborhood is burning hickory or cherry wood in their fireplace, the scent is intoxicating and I am instantly transformed to a time when my dad smoked sausage in his little smokehouse and we couldn’t wait to sample the finished product.
I remember how much Mom loved the fragrance of Lily of The Valley so whenever the first blooms of the delicate flower peek out from the ground, I inhale the gentle, fresh aroma and get a vision of mom gathering a handful and placing them in a small vase. Sweet memories never die.
Holidays spawned such delicious, aromatic food that it’s difficult to mention only a few. Mom was one of the most fantastic cooks I can remember and her braided sweet bread was a meal in itself, topped with a good amount of fresh butter that she churned by hand. When I bake this bread and smell the wonderful scent, I can’t help but wipe away the tears as it reminds me of the past.
The magic that Mom brought out of the oven cannot be duplicated to this day. I can almost feel the presence of Mom or Dad near me letting me know how happy they are that I am carrying on some traditions. Try as I might, I haven’t been able to achieve Mom’s level of expertise when cooking or baking.
Among my favorites is the addictive aroma of Dad’s barbeque and Mom’s salt rolls that accompanied it. Nothing equals that memory as far as I am concerned. I could go on and on but I believe the reader knows what I am talking about. Pictures are wonderful, but build me a fire, roast some hot dogs and I guarantee I’ll have a special visit from the past.
A crackling campfire also takes me back to the days of camping when s-mores were the dessert of choice and the charred marshmallows remained glued to my children’s chins well up to bedtime. How’s that for a sticky reminder that the past can indeed be a part of the present?
Ellie, a freelance writer for more than 40 years, has written more than 400 articles. She and her husband spend as much time as possible at their cabin where they enjoy the beauty of the surrounding area. This is where she accomplishes the majority of her writing, as it is the perfect, quiet setting for a writer.