Hey, That Reminds Me Of...

Am I the only person who smells something and says, “Hey, that reminds me of...”? When I bought
this little posie of sweet peas the other day my first thought upon bringing them up to my nose was, “Hey
that reminds me of our neighbor’s yard in Mildenhall.” You see, we lived in apartments, but they were
on the ground floor and had a yard. And the mom wore the perfume Joy. I could never afford that,
but when I was a teenager there was a place where I could get a sample whiff, and it reminded me of
my friend Michelle’s mom. I’ve never grown my own sweet peas. I say it’s because I don’t have a sunny
enough spot in my yard. I think it’s probably because it would replace a really cool memory. I’ve called
my dad early in the morning before, usually in the late fall or early winter, and said, “Hey, stick your head
outside and see if it doesn’t remind you of England!” And he will. And he’ll say, “Just add a little coal
smoke and it’s right there.” Of course I can’t add a little coal smoke. We just don’t use coal here in Oregon.
But it’s close. And have you noticed how many fragrance-free things there are now? I have some friends
that are very sensitive to fragrance (of all kinds) and I just think that would be horrible. I mean, babies
don’t even smell like babies any more...except when you really wish they didn’t. You know what I mean.
I loved it when my babies smelled like freshly washed babies. Baby lotion. Baby powder. And when
I could find it, Yardley baby products were wonderful. Double memories! England and babies! The
smell of bread rising and baking? 16th & Cedar in Spokane. My mom baked alot there. Rain? A
house when we lived in Big Spring, Texas. I can remember a time when it rained, and then after it
finished raining the side of the house was covered, I mean COVERED, with little, tiny snails. Hot
crayons? Windmere Bungalow. I was outside on a blanket coloring on a sunny day in England. It was
obviously warm enough for them to start melting. That was the same house where I learned flowers
slept in beds. Outside...in beds. Just looked like dirt to me until the irises all came up. Now there’s
a great sniffy memory trigger. Or right before it snows. Popcorn and 10 cent matinees. Hey!
Where did the “cent” symbol go? The same place as the smell of typewriter ribbon on fingers.
Gone...gone...gone. I remember typing other people’s term papers in high school...

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