Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Is It The Smell of Success?

I wish there were some ways to capture aromas. I find that I can remember so intensely the smell of some items from my childhood.

Most of the houses in the town of Wellsville, Ohio had furnaces that burned coal. First there was the smell of coal dust when it was unloaded from the delivery trucks and slid down the chute into the bin in the basement. The smell I remember the best is the coal burning in the furnaces.  The snow in our yards was never pristine white; it was always covered by a dusting of coal soot. When the cinders left after burning the coal were removed, it was often used on the streets to provide traction. The cinders even had their own aroma. It is hard to describe, like dirt with an acrid twist to it.

When I went inside the house there were more pleasant aromas. My mother liked to bake and would make her own pastry dough for pie crust. Back in those days lard was used in making the dough rather than shortening. The lard has a richer smell to it. At Christmas time my mother would make gingerbread men and the house would be filled with the aroma of the ginger and cloves used in the cookies. Even during the rest of the year Mom would bake delicious gingerbread that she would serve with a lemon sauce.

My playtime was filled with things that had aromas that stay with me to this day. When I smell Crayola crayons I flashback to my days in kindergarten.  Play-Doh was one of my favorite toys. Not only could I sculpt with the clay, the smell was so marvelous and all of the colors smelled the same.

I may have been the strangest child in the world, but I also loved the smell of brown paper shopping bags when they would get wet. It actually smelled like it would taste good. There were so many things some of which I do still have available to enjoy like KoolAid. For the others I rely on my memory of aromas of my childhood. 

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