I have been planting marigolds every Mother’s Day in honor of my mom who used to install them by the flat around our yard. When I brush my hand over them in the garden, that smell brings me back to watching her with a trowel, on her knees digging hole after hole. The same thing happens when I smell pansies and petunias ... and snapdragons which was why the old man that started all this made me smile.
Those figs that showed up in my farm box a few years ago (and again this week, yippee!) reminded me of something I didn’t even KNOW I remembered. Mrs. Cleary was an old lady that lived next to us on San Juan Avenue in Santa Cruz when I was very small. She was one of those old ladies that always wore a dress with tiny floral print, perhaps with an apron over the top. Even working in the garden, she wore a dress. I’m not sure I remember her from living there since we moved out of that house when I was about three but we went over to visit her on occasion. I remember that musty smell of her house but I REALLY remember the smell of figs. They were always smooshy on the ground so I’m not sure how much we ate but that smell is unmistakable. Oh, and walnuts.
More fragrant flashbacks …. riding on the motorcycle puts you where the temperature changes and scents are “in your face”. Riding down the Avenue, through the redwoods always gets me thinking about Girl Scout camps, especially if there is a campfire. Where there’s smoke, there’s s’mores. And, far from offensive, the smell of the waterfront near Pacific Seafoods reminds me of hanging out on the wharf in Santa Cruz.
So, what smells bring back memories for you?