Sights, sounds and scents of childhood

The rodeo is taking place this weekend and Hubs took Bug and Boo to the "Professional Slack" to see the horses and steers and other rodeo-style stuff. Hubs grew up around that sort of thing; his mom was a rodeo queen and champion jumper and they always had horses around when he was a kid. I'm not a horsey person (I'm allergic to nearly everything with any sort of fur), but we did go to a few rodeos when I was a kid. I wanted the boys to be able to go because I think it's good for them to see a little of how Hubs grew up and to have some of those memories for themselves.

When they got back Hubs said, "It was kind of like old home week. I love the smell." "Of horse poop?" I asked. He says horse poop smells like alfalfa. Our conversations about this kind of thing always remind me of the "Green Acres" couple, "I get allergic smelling hay."

I think it's interesting how the experiences we have when we're young seem to find their way into our DNA. No matter how long we're gone from them, we can be transported right back to our life as a 5 or 6 year old when the sun shines on the red dirt in a way that fills the air with the scent of warm dust, or the breeze rustles through the treetops punctuated by the staccato tapping of a woodpecker.

I remember being in high school and walking to the nearby grocery store. Even though the other grocery stores in town carried pretty much the same combination of products, none of them smelled just like that one. It occured to me that someone could blindfold me and take me to various places--the Yogurt Shoppe, Thrifty Drug (near the ice cream counter especially), Riley's Department Store, Hume Lake--and I would know exactly where I was just by the scent.

I'm thinking about retracing some of those steps this summer and taking the family with me; I could use a return to less complicated times.

What about you? Do you still live near where you spent your childhood? What are the experiences that can transport you back to a carefree summer day? Are you sharing those things with your children? Tell us about it!


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I live about 30 minutes from where I was raised, but rarely visit that area any more. I remember being transported back to the days when I would fry my skin with baby oil when I was applying that to my own baby. (If I don't end up with skin cancer, it will be by the grace of God...)
Also, whenever I dry grass, I think of a field that was near my grandparent's home. I loved to escape there. Occasionally a horse would be in the field and I would pretend he was mine.

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