Reflections

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  1. Mary Mantei

    What a beautiful memory you paint, Barba.

    3 days ago
  2. barba

    Freshly mown hay. It has a strong, sweet, musty smell. It reminds me of Easter holidays as a child. We went skiing in Switzerland with my parents. There was a lot of snow and yet, in the last week of the holidays, it got warmer, the streams bubbled in the valley and the first flowers grew on the edges. The farmers made the first hay (by hand). The bright sun, snow, warmth and cold at the same time, the gurgling of the streams, the flowers and the scent of the drying grass.

    3 days ago
    1. Robin Ann

      Love the image in my mind, thanks for sharing

      2 days ago
    2. Nannette

      Your memory sounds absolutely beautiful. Thank you for sharing this “visual” memory with us…In my mind I pictured it all!

      3 days ago
  3. O.Christina

    When as a teenager having been at the oceanside; one of the rare occasions of having been gifted to spending holidays together with my dear sister on a beautiful island where we often went to the beach; the sea spray and smell of the ever blowing salty sea wind, sometimes whispering, sometimes rustling; the waves continuously arriving at the beach, sometimes crushing, sometimes softly splashing; all speaking of timelessness, of coming and going, going and coming and of the beauty of boundless vastness; being together with her and enjoying this extraordinary nature.

    3 days ago
  4. Robin Ann

    I just want to say I enjoyed reading everyone’s responses tonight. Just fun to read!!
    I would have to say smelling my Mother’s cooking and baking, she loved it so! Nothing like stepping into your home
    when you are a youngster with such wonderful aromas!!

    I also love the smell of the ocean, so many wonderful memories with friends and family!

    3 days ago
  5. Ngoc Nguyen

    The smell of Vietnamese baguettes fresh out of the oven provokes my grateful memories. The scent of the baguettes takes me back to the time when I was in my hometown, where my house was close to the baguette bakery. In Vietnam, students typically wake up early to go to school. I remember that, as a little girl, I would pass by the baguette bakery every day on my way to school on a motorcycle. The aroma of freshly baked baguettes reminded me of dipping a baguette in hot milk – how comforting it was to have breakfast at home. I rarely ate breakfast at home during my school years because there wasn’t enough time. The smell of baguettes always made me wish for a home-cooked breakfast.

    3 days ago
    1. L
      Loc Tran

      Ngoc, every time I went to Vietnam, I stopped by at Saigon. It’s like our version of New York City. There’s people, buildings, and restaurants everywhere.

      3 days ago
  6. Barb C

    One of the aromas of my childhood is that of baking bran muffins, to be eaten dripping with melted butter. My mom had this recipe for making a big batch of the batter and keeping it in the fridge so she could bake on a morning when it would have taken too long to put the ingredients together. When I moved out into my own place she gave me the recipe and I’ve made it for years. If we had family gatherings at the holidays, bran muffins were always on the menu for breakfast.

    A couple of years ago we had the sad occurrence of a memorial service for my former stepson, who died of an overdose after a long struggle with addiction. As I talked with his two sisters, my stepdaughters, they reminisced about my cooking and most especially the bran muffins. My younger daughter recently sent me a message to request the recipe for one of her college friends, who had eaten them when we were all together for my older daughter’s wedding. The recipe is a gift being passed down the generations.

    I just made this recipe the other day and filled the house with the warm, toasty scent of muffins. This morning I heated up a couple in the microwave (not quite the same scent, but still delicious) and had them with butter and maple syrup. Making the batter moved me to write a blog post to capture the recipe because I haven’t been able to find its exact match online and it’s a keeper. Answering this question is prompting me to make sure I send the link to my stepdaughters so they have it. https://biketoworkbarb.blogspot.com/2024/07/classic-all-branbran-buds-muffin-recipe.html

    4 days ago
    1. Nannette

      Oh Barb,
      Thank you for sharing that special recipe!! Goodness a family recipe you are sharing!!! THANK YOU! I went right over to your blog and as soon as I am doing more cooking/baking…your muffins will be on my list!!

      4 days ago
  7. Linda

    I remember the smells of my grandma’s kitchen. Fresh baked bread, homemade pies, and everything felt like a feast when I was with her.

    4 days ago
  8. L
    Lauryn

    The salty beach air reminds me of my childhood growing up near the beach in southeastern Massachusetts.

    The smell of my grandmothers pasta sauce cooking on the stove.

    The way the humid air smells after a rainstorm during summers in the mountains in Vermont

    4 days ago
    1. L
      Loc Tran

      Lauryn, my mom made spaghetti for my family to have lunch a couple days ago, and I had the leftovers yesterday. Pasta is delicious. As far as the beaches go for Massachusets, the water’s warm in the summer months even up there. Good old Boston.

      4 days ago
  9. L
    Loc Tran

    The smell of Asian cuisine is strong. This reminds me of Traditional Vietnamese parties. There are a lot of foods to choose from. Having my mom there to pick food for Ngoc and me helps a lot. She knows what we like.
    Being a cross between cultures and generations, I struggle even more. Fortunately, the tide is turning. If one of those parties were to happen today, there’s no garentee that I’ll be comfortable but will certainly be in a better position than a couple weeks ago. First of all, speaking up about my autism and the correlation between allergies to foods with stronger smells and advocating to smell before a taste is working. The older adults are really sweet. They don’t have enough knowledge, so it’s why they come off pushy. Assertiveness doesn’t garentee that one will get their way at all times, but it’s certainly benefitted me in many situations. The same narrative can apply to many people.
    I have also mentioned the 3 factors going for me on a thread from a few days ago about playfulness and adventure to help me be more playful in public meeting my mom closer to where she is while still standing on my side. I was closer to Vietnamese people during my childhood. I’ve done well before under the Paw Mu system which is similar to the Traditional Asian value system since I’ve talked about how she’s a strong caring traditional woman who speaks the truth as it is on the spot. My part-time piano performing career jobs are settled for now.
    I come from the San Antonio Spurs tree. They prioritize long over short term, have a standard traditional style, and operate based on universal principles. Gregg Popovich is my man. He’s a legendary coach who created Tim Duncan and a dynasty featuring titles in: 1999, 2003, 2005, 2007, and 2014 and making the playoffs 22 straight years from 1998-2019. I can also relate to them is because they’re known to be very serious in public and keep their silliness in private. It’s why they’ve continued to win again, again, and again. They have heavy responsibilities, so they must do that. I don’t, so therefore, being more playful publically will give me extra benefits.

    4 days ago
    1. L
      Lauryn

      Gregg Popovich is a legend —- always amazing to see him out there at 75 years old giving it his all.

      When I lived in California, two of my best friends were Vietnamese- one of them is a chef and made some of the most amazing Vietnamese food I’ve ever eaten—- your post evoked some memories of how amazing his food always smelled.

      4 days ago
      1. L
        Loc Tran

        Lauryn, a lot of Vietnamese people live in California, especially in the area of Santa Anna. A lot of Vietnamese people immigrated by boat in 1975 onward after the Vietnam war. The “Little Saigon” name is to honor their roots. The best Vietnamese foods are located there, because the Vietnamese community is the strongest there in the US. As far as Pop goes, he’s working on Victor Wembanyama now. This tall unicorn big man French protegy is amazing. He can: shoot 3s, rebound, pass, block shots, protect the rim… He’s got a good head above his shoulders and is more than willing to go the extra mile to be an embassador for tomorrow’s NBA.

        4 days ago
  10. sunnypatti

    Vanilla – my great grandma Jewel always had vanilla puddin’ pops for me when I was a little girl. I loved her so very much and I loved staying at her house when we went to see mom’s side of the family in the Midwest. Even though there wasn’t an aroma of vanilla in her house, the scent of it still makes me think of her.
    Salty air – in the harbor or at the beach – I grew up on the water. In the river behind dad’s boat skiing and tubing or at the beach swimming, bodysurfing & boogie-boarding in the ocean. I’ve always loved being on/in the water. The salty air still soothes me every time I’m near it. We took a boat trip with family to visit a historic fort, and crossing the harbor brought up all the good feels.

    4 days ago
    1. Michele

      I enjoyed making homemade vanilla as gifts to give family/friends – very easy.

      3 days ago
      1. sunnypatti

        I’ve made it in the past, too… you’re right, it’s easy! And such a nice gift 🙂

        3 days ago
    2. Barb C

      My husband and I both love the scent of vanilla candles and burn them often. It isn’t the same as true real vanilla but evokes the same sense of home and comfort.

      4 days ago
      1. sunnypatti

        Vanilla is definitely comforting. I wear a vanilla musk perfume oil for that feeling!

        3 days ago
    3. L
      Loc Tran

      Sunnypatti, I love vanilla, especially vanilla pudding. As far as saltwater goes, this reminds me of my trips with my family to beaches in Florida and Vietnam in the past. Before going with my wife for a couple weeks in January of 2023, I visited Vietnam 5 times with my family before.

      4 days ago
      1. sunnypatti

        You should try a pudding pop if you haven’t! Actually, I don’t know if they still make them, but you could always freeze some yourself. So yummy! I’ve read that the surf in Vietnam is really fun. I’d love to catch a wave there some day 🙂

        3 days ago
    4. Charlie T

      Yes, that salty beach air. I go to the
      beach pretty often and when I get
      that first hit of that salty air, I
      am transported to the first time I
      saw the ocean when I was eight or
      nine.

      4 days ago
      1. sunnypatti

        It never gets old!

        3 days ago
  11. Charlie T

    Oh boy, smells and aromas have a way of
    transporting me. Taking me right back to
    a place or time. I’m grateful for all of them.
    The smell of certain trees or plants, certain shampoos or perfumes, certain things
    cooking, soil, bicycle tubes or chain lubes,
    old cars, and things that I can’t even
    recognize. I’m sensitive to smells. Always
    have been. I don’t read too much non fiction,
    but the book “Perfume” is a great read, that
    really explores the sense of smell.

    4 days ago
  12. J
    John

    I am anosmic that is I can’t smell. And I’ve been so since birth. I have never smelled an orange, a rose or even the smell of my mother’s (RIP) cooking.

    Music seems to be the substitute sense for me to open up memories.

    For example, upon hearing James Taylor singing “Fire and Rain” I am standing at the side of a 2 lane highway in the middle of South Dakota hitchhiking towards Yellowstone. My buddy and I had decided to take off for about a week or so, and go on a road trip. It was 1971.

    Once in a while, I will hear a song that reminds me of my wife, and there is another that reminds me of my two daughters.

    Other sounds sometimes send me on a time traveling expedition to 2003. For example, when I am in a waiting room (ugh) that is pretty quiet except for the ticking of a wall clock, I’m thrown back into the hospice that was my Dad’s last home. I’d visited him daily for his entire stay there (about a week) and through the mist of dementia and age, and a stroke, we would chat. But my last day to visit, and his last day, he was not talking. I was left alone with Dad and the clock. He breathed his last after I left.

    4 days ago
    1. Michele

      I also appreciate you perspective on the Daily question. Music has the same memory evoking effect.

      3 days ago
    2. Avril

      Thank you for sharing this shift in perspective. It’s easy to make blanket assumptions about ability.

      4 days ago
    3. L
      Loc Tran

      John, as someone who plays the piano, I’m all too familiar with music. It’s really powerful in touching people.

      4 days ago
    4. Nannette

      Oh, John, You may not have a sense of smell but your hearing is a great gift. Music is a great envoker of memories…and thank you so much for sharing yours!! The summers of 1969, 70, 71; I was living with family on Nantucket, Island, Mass….beach songs to this day remind me of my wonderful family and summer fun…and James Taylor! always a memory. Thank you for your heartfelt post…You are and were a good son. Blessings to you and yours.

      4 days ago
  13. Nannette

    This is a hard question for me! How can that be!! There are so many smells that bring a memory. I love the aroma of a freshly cut Christmas tree..no special memory…Peter and I have not had a real tree in a few years…but oh! how I loved it!
    The salt air…my later teen years living on Nantucket Island when it was not as crazy and rich as it is now! My brother, sister in law and four nieces and nephews would take a big tent and go to the beach for the weekend…What an amazing time we had as a family. My twin nieces were about3…another niece 4 and nephew 5. We met friends there with their children. I can smell the salt air now…and the rolling waves! Now! I think we would be arrested!
    Spaghtetti sauce cooking on the stove…will always remind me of my ex’s Mom (who I am remain very close to!). Ruth makes a great Italian sauce (she is 100 % Italian!)…whenever I visit – she makes a batch to send me home with. We planned to do that my next visit…Ruth is 93!! Not sure I will get to visit this year due to my health challenges…and it is a 8 hour drive for me…but it is in God’s hands. I still have memories. Wishing everyone a very good day!!

    4 days ago
    1. L
      Loc Tran

      Nannette, I struggled with this question at first too. Commenting on EJP’s answer gave me an idea. Vietnamese food and these parties jumped out, and I ended up writing a lot. It’s funny how that works. When the flood gates open up, water shoots right out. As far as Christmas goes, there’s a special smell. This can go for any other holiday, especially the big ones like with turkey for Thanksgiving or fireworks for Independence Day.

      4 days ago
  14. Mary Mantei

    Lilacs; there was a huge drift of lilac bushes as you pulled into my grandparent’s driveway. Today, our east garden « fence » is a huge drift of lilacs. Every spring, their incredible fragrance takes me right back to my grandparent’s farm. Also, « Mock Orange ». Another incredibly fragrant flowering shrub that my Mom planted on our farm. Fresh cut grass and the fragrance of oranges; school was out and it was summer!

    4 days ago
    1. Joseph McCann

      We have some lilacs along the pole fence on right side of the porch. With the chance of killing frost always a possibility at this elevation it is hit or miss if the buds will freeze or not. The years it does not damage the flower buds it makes the wonderful aroma of them so much more precious.

      3 days ago
      1. Mary Mantei

        Absence does make the heart grow fonder, Joseph. Reading your, Robin Ann’s, Barb C, and Charlie’s responses makes me realize how prolific and resilient lilacs are. I had always associated them with the Midwest. Thanks everyone.

        3 days ago
    2. Robin Ann

      I love lilacs!!
      My son added a small one to our yard this spring : )

      3 days ago
    3. Barb C

      I grew up with lilacs on our place outside of Lewiston, Idaho. My yard now is fairly small and I’m dedicating much of it to growing food, but still thinking about where I can add that essential lilac bush.

      4 days ago
    4. Charlie T

      Ah yes, we had two big lilac bushes
      in our yard growing up. Definitely
      one of my favorites.

      4 days ago
  15. D
    Deann

    Salt air, southern pine and magnolia in the heat ( not necessarily together and not manufactured pine smell) remind me of summer visits with my granny and other family members. Hanging at the beach by day and sitting under the pines, oaks and magnolias in the evening.

    A good cigar or pipe reminds me of my dad.

    4 days ago
    1. Robin Ann

      My dad enjoyed smoking a pipe when I was a teen and it usually had a cherry aroma

      3 days ago
    2. Barb C

      Oh dear, you just reminded me that the smell of stale cigarette smoke does two things: Makes me think of my dad (a chain smoker much of his life) and makes me feel carsick thanks to memories of family vacations with him at the wheel barreling down the road (former WWII bomber pilot and drove like one) and smoking. The vacations were great, the nausea not so much.

      4 days ago
    3. Yram

      My dad also.

      4 days ago

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