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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Smell (the sense of smell) (07/29/10)

TITLE: Reminders of a Simpler Time
By Lynn Radford
08/05/10


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The familiar, albeit toxic, smell of a Barbie pool will forever return me to my childhood, as will that of Crayola crayons. Adversely, some scents are so elusive that I do not recall them on a conscious level, but still, they have the power to transport me immediately to another time and place.

The sense of smell seems to magically conjure up memories of people, places and things I thought I’d long ago forgotten. It anchors me to my past, even as it seizes my present and foretells my future. I can no more separate myself from it, than I can step outside my own skin. The odors of my life are forever ingrained upon the gray matter of my mind, forever a part of my being.

A whiff of Pond’s cold cream and I am instantly reminded of my grandmother, a ghost in a mask of the same. To this day, the scent of cherry-vanilla pipe tobacco evokes fond memories of my Granddad in his recliner, a pipe between his teeth as he reads the paper.

Mere photographs cannot bring me the vivid memories that my olfactory senses can. The scents cannot be recreated. Each déjà vu is a pleasant surprise which seemingly appears out of the blue to put a wistful smile on my face. Each odor is an old friend, waiting to share reminders of a simpler time.


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This article has been read 243 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 08/05/10
You so speak the truth.

After my mother died, I would go to my dad's and do his laundry. I loved putting the clothes away in the closet where my mom's things still hung. I'd open the door and inhale deeply. Then one day it wasn't there anymore. I couldn't bring myself to open her closet again.

Smell is such a powerful memory trigger. Even as I write this I can remember vividly how Mom smelled. Great writing and a lovely tribute to the important people in your life.
Lollie Hofer 08/10/10
Smells do take us back...to some good places and some not so good places. Thanks for sharing this thought-provoking devotional.