It Smells Like Home To Me

What reminds you of home the most? Of the five senses, the sense of smell evokes memories for me – more so than any of the others.

For instance, the smell of fresh linens left hanging on a clothes line to dry reminds me of my childhood home.  My mother would pin sheets, towels, blankets and everything she washed on her ringer type washer to the wire line that dad stretched and attached to posts. With a husband and four children, my mother had to do laundry almost daily.  The wringer washer she used had a deep round tub that sat on attached legs.  The wringer was situation atop the tub and had a handle to turn as the clothes were fed through the wringer. She filled the washer with water by the buckets.  If she wanted to use hot water, the water had to be heated on top the cooking stove. After the clothes were washed they had to be put through the wringer.

Put through the wringer is a saying I heard my mother and grandmother say on many occasions when referring to someone looking bad.  They would say things like, she looks like she’s been put through the wringer. I always knew what they meant because of the washer mom used.

When the clothes came out of the wringer, they came out flat and wrinkled.  Mom would hang each piece onto the line and attached them with clothes pins.  Many times, when the clothes were dry, but had not yet been taken  inside, I ran through the sheets and blankets and loved the smell that the fresh sunshine and summer breeze fused into the threads and material. Nightfall came and it was time to jump into bed.  The smell of home wrapped itself around me as I nestled into my spot and just before falling asleep I’d bury my face into my pillow and breath in the outdoors.

Other smells that remind me of home are:

  • Food cooking on the stove and the many delicious odors that drifted from the open windows.   
  • The odor of sweaty horses and other farm animals, though not pleasant. reminds me of our farm life.
  • Tobacco in all stages of growth.

I can pass a barn filled with drying tobacco and my mind will recall the many days playing outside in the barn lot while the grown-ups worked inside the barn stripping tobacco.

Not all smells evoke pleasant memories.  When I smell the sickening smell of a dead skunk in the road, it reminds me of a time that a skunk burrowed intself beneath our (Mike and I) house and decided to give birth.  We could hear them under the house and could not figure out how to get them out. Evidently, something upset mama skunk and she sprayed under or near our house.  Our clothes reaked of skunk.  It was winter and there wasn’t fresh sunshine for us to hang them out to air. I washed and dried the clothes until finally the odor was gone. The skunks finally left on their own…thankfully.

Does any of these remind you of your home?

What are some odors that when you smell them, they take you back to your yesterdays?

One more question, What do you think our home in Heaven will smell like?

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Talking Horse

Blurred Vision

I named this horse Blurred Vision because I was on the motorcyle when I snapped the picture.  He isn’t my horse, we were just passing by when I saw him. I like how the leaves on the tree are blurred and the colors blend together. 

The picture was taken last fall. We were on one of the Kentucky backroads when I saw this horse. Sometimes when we ride in the Lexington area, I find the beautiful homes where the horses actually live to be unbelievable. The horse barns are nicer than most houses in Kentucky. 

The horse farms are also a sight to behold.  Most have wooden fences painted white or black that surround the farm.  There are flowers, trees and ponds that look more like small lakes and of course the beautiful beasts in the fields. Some areas have one horse farm right after another and it is difficult to tell where one farm ends and another begins. The mansions the owners live in are nothing to sneeze at either.

While those farms house mostly race horses and horses that will sell for more money than I’ll see in a lifetime, the horses I love are those that you’d find on a typical farm with a stinky black barn where many different animals have lived.

As a teenager, I lived on a farm.  We had a horse named Star; he was a big sorrel work horse. My dad used him somtimes to plow tobacco fields.  I loved riding the horse.  I’d get one of my brothers to put a bridle and saddle on him for me.  I was always too finicky to touch the slobbering mouth to put the bridle on and too scared to put the saddle on the sweaty beast, but I loved riding him.  Actually, I wasn’t to scared to climb on, kick him in the sides and yell “yah!” really loud to get him to take off running. 

I’ve always been a little frightened around most farm animals.  I recall dad taking mom, my brother, sister and me to my grandparents farm and into the barn where he’d feed and milk the cows. He’d take turns putting my sister and brother on the back of the milk cows that were in stalls and unable to move.  When it came my turn, I kicked and screamed because I didn’t want to sit on or touch the milk cows. Dad sat me on one once and I remember the skanky sweaty smell to this day.  I yelled and screamed until he took me off the animal.

A few years after Mike and I married, we bought me an Appaloosa Gilding named Chico.  I loved riding the horse and he was so gentle that I could ride right up to Mike while he was sitting on a loud running tractor that would have scared most horses. Once when we were on a trail ride, I spotted an wide open field which I promptly rode over to and pushed Chico into a run.  Mike didn’t know I’d purposely ran the horse and he thought Chico was running wild until he saw me pulling on the reigns to slow the horse to a trot.

There is just something about me loving the feel of the wind blowing in my hair whether it is from riding a horse or on the back of a motorcycle.  If Mike’s hands don’t get well soon, I’m buying a horse.