Triggering a Memory, from Smell or Sound-Last One…..

Hay Bales
Hay Bales

~ Hay ~

Growing up my family always had horses. Mom and Dad had a beautiful Roan colored mare named Lady. Over the years my brother and sister-in-law had several Tennessee Walking horses. I would go with them out to “The Barn” to feed, cleanup, ride and to watch others ride. There was just something calming about hanging out at the horse barn. The smell of hay and other horsey smells triggers  fond memories of being with them and enjoying the love we all shared for these beautiful horses and each other.

~ Sweet Olive Tree ~

I can still picture my Mother-in-law and Father-in-law sitting on their front porch. On the porch sat an old glider and maybe three chairs. You know the kind, metal, old, a little rusty and perhaps with a few loose screws causing the glider and chairs to squeak. 

We would all gather on their porch, usually after a fabulous dinner. Racing to be the first out there, because if you didn’t get a chair or find room on the glider you had to sit on the porch steps. No problem the porch steps were just fine and they didn’t squeak.

Growing next to the porch was a beautiful,  gnarly, Sweet Olive tree. When this tree bloomed its tiny, white flowers the scent was like no other. The heavenly scent of blooming Sweet Olive trees always brings me back in time to their front porch with wonderful memories of  family gatherings. I loved them dearly.

Sea Shells
Sea Shells

~ The Sea ~

My Mom, younger sister and I would go on a summer vacation to the Gulf of Mexico – maybe Mississippi, but most often Florida. The smells along the shore of the Gulf trigger happy memories of laying on the beach, eating a picnic lunch, giggling uncontrollably about nothing, creating sand castles, swimming and just being with Mom and Sis. We would always miss Dad, because he never went with us, more often then not he worked a six day week.  He worked as a carpenter, long hours, hard work. Mom also worked, so having uninterrupted time with her was extremely special.

~ Freshly Cut Grass ~

As a young child growing up in Louisiana, in the early days without air conditioning, my family and I would sleep with our windows open. My Dad would get up early, usually on the weekend and start cutting grass. The heavy southern rains always brought plenty of luscious grass to play on.  

The smell of freshly mowed grass, along with the humming sound of the lawn mower, triggers a very delightful memory of being a child, sleeping late and waking up feeling happy knowing it was Dad’s day off.

To this day when I smell freshly mowed grass or hear the distant sound of a running lawnmower, it conjures up memories of Dad. A happy time indeed.

Smells and sounds,

triggering fond memories,

mysterious why it happens,

but always a welcome experience.

Triggering a Memory, from Smell or Sound-Part Two…..

A Stunning Sunset The Sunset, on this afternoon, was probably the most beautiful sunset I have ever seen!
A Stunning Sunset
The Sunset, on this afternoon, was probably the most beautiful sunset I have ever seen!

If you have read my previous post: Triggering a Memory, from Smell or Sound-Part One, then you know what this post is about.

Sorry, I don’t have any photos of the river, they are  packed away somewhere safe, just like my memories. Maybe, something will trigger the memory as to just where they might be.

 ~ Part Two ~

The Mississippi River

 

Being newly married, Howard and I lived about a block from the Mississippi River in Jefferson, Louisiana. Howard spent his childhood and part of his adult life by this mighty river and often played as a boy along its banks. Sometimes him, his brothers and friends played IN the river, which did not make his Mom and Dad very happy.  To this day, many years later, he still loves the smell of the Mississippi River.

I also came to adore the distinct smell of the river. It is an immensely, pleasant odor and we both often refer to it as a “the sweet smell of the river”. I don’t smell this particular sweet odor often, but when I do fond memories of early marriage, our life together by the Mississippi River and family pops into my mind.

As for playing along the Mississippi, as adults we often walked, jogged and biked up on the river levy, which ran for miles and miles. From a top the levy we always had beautiful views of the River; the River channel full of tug boats pushing their loaded barges; birds flitting along the shore line and among the Willows; to include other abundant wildlife only a river environment offers.

When we rode our bikes, along the River, our toy poodle would ride comfortably and happily along with us, in her basket attached to the handle bars of my bike. A special memory of a precious little girl.

As for hearing sounds that trigger a fond memory, laying awake at night with the sweet odor of the river floating in the air, the river captains would blow their tug boat whistles. A long, steady and mournful sound. A unique, treasured song from long ago, which I greatly miss. For me it equates to love and tranquility.

Odors and sounds triggering fond memories,

mysterious why it happens,

but always a welcome experience.

What fond memories are triggered when you smell a certain odor or hear a certain sound?

Triggering a Memory, from Smell or Sound-Part One…..

     We had just turned the corner into our subdivision when Howard tuned to me and said, “I smell smoke.”

     Last Saturday we were on our early morning walk with our “girls”. It was a beautiful morning and I was walking along enjoying our stroll happy to have my “pack” with me. I had also smelled the smoke and my mind drifted to a pleasant memory that took place many years ago.

     I was interrupted from my reminiscing, when Howard stated “I wonder where it is coming from?” I then heard a hint of concern in his voice, which I did not feel myself, because I was in the past, reliving.  I believe his concern, over smelling the smoke, was triggered from last summers horrible forest fires in our area.

     Smelling certain odors and hearing certain sounds are powerful triggers to the brain, calling up memories mostly from childhood, but not always. The brain is a complex organ and more often then not, truly mysterious to me, in how it functions.

     I don’t understand how these triggers work, something to do with the olfactory bulb being closely associated with memory and feeling. What I do know is when triggers happen and the memories are good ones, I am thankful for them.

     After my experience last Saturday of having a memory triggered by an odor, I thought it would be interesting to write a few personal stories. I decided to write about this subject in multiple posts/memories, because of the length. This is Part One, so look for others.

     ~ Part One ~

     The pleasing odor of wood burning in a fireplace…..

     Always brings me back to the late seventies and our first ski trip to Aspen, Colorado. There were six of us and this particular trip was the first of many.  We all lived in the suburbs of New Orleans and thank goodness we discovered how much fun a skiing vacation could be.

Aspen Ski Trip (a long time ago)
Aspen Ski Trip (a long time ago)

I found this old photo and scanned it. From left to right: Howard, Gay C., Gay M., Sheila, Harold and Don was behind the camera as usual.

     After an enjoyable day of skiing, we would walk through the beautiful downtown area of Aspen, bundled up in heavy coats, hats, gloves and scarves on our way in search of a delicious meal and to relive our day on the mountain.

     The cold, mountain, air and the flame inducing peacefulness of a fire are invitations for people to light their fireplaces, thus the strong smell of burning wood in the air. It was an exciting time spent with friends and I found the smell of smoke in the air a pleasant one.

     Odors and sounds triggering fond memories, mysterious why it happens, but always a welcome experience.

     What fond memories are triggered when you smell a certain odor or hear a certain sound?

SBS:~Western Kingbird/Take Two~

Western Kingbird
Western Kingbird

Sheila’s Bird Shots…..

Guess where we went today? 

If you guessed to check on our motorhome you would be correct.

Last week’s visit was to remove two, five year old start batteries, which were going bad and this week was to install the newly purchased start batteries. We have a total of eight batteries in our rig, two start and six house. Thankfully, the six house batteries are only three years old!

While hubby was installing the batteries, I mean what could I possibly have done, I was again photographing the beautiful, Western Kingbirds. 

My foray into the Western Kingbirds space was more successful than last Saturdays. No circling or fussing at me. We were still separated by a high chain link fence, but I was able to capture these images.

Western Kingbird
Western Kingbird

Poetry:~Day Lily~

Day Lily
Day Lily

~

Day Lilies were a favorite,

I planted a few just for her.

Day Lily
Day Lily

~

My Burgundy ones are in full bloom,

Whispering to me each morning.

~

Vessel of Memories & Love
Vessel of Memories & Love

Flowers shaped like vessels can be filled with many thoughts,

These are filled with my fond memories.

~

Of a very special lady,

 Mom.

Day Lilly
Day Lily

SBS:~Western Kingbird~

Sheila’s Bird Shots: ~ Western Kingbird ~

Western Kingbird
Western Kingbird

On Saturday we took a ride to check on our motorhome, which is stored about seven miles from our home. While there I noticed several Western Kingbirds perched in Cottonwood trees that run along a fence line separating the storage facility from an open grassland.

I wanted to try to capture an image of these Flycatchers. I got my camera and slowly approached the fence so as not to scare them. I stopped not too far away and just stood there hoping they would get use to seeing me. 

After a few minutes, one of the Western Kingbirds flew high into the air and came gliding down toward me. This fearless, striking gray and yellow bird then continued to fly in circles around me as it gave me a scolding.  Loud, buzzing, vocals combined with graceful, acrobatics. How fun.

A few seconds of this behavior and it flew back to its perch. I stood there for a couple more minutes, thoroughly scolded, but not deterred. The Kingbird must have decided I was not a threat, because I was ignored after that.

I was able to observe, their gymnastic flying and hunting abilities as they snatched bugs out of the air. There was plenty of “fussing” between the Kingbirds, I guess reminding each other which Cottonwood tree was theirs.

These photos are my first images of Western Kingbirds. Wish I could have gotten closer.

Got Ya!
Got Ya!
Western Kingbird - after a bug.
Western Kingbird – after a bug.
Western Kingbird
Western Kingbird
Western Kingbird - its too hot!
Western Kingbird – its too hot!

FP: ~Sunflowers~

~

Dropped like a gift,

A seed from another.

~

Slowly you grow, 

Golden petals long and slim.

~

Golden Petals Long and Slim
Golden Petals Long and Slim

~

Your elegant, but strong leaves,

Swaying in the breeze.

~

Your Elegant, but Strong Leaves
Your Elegant, but Strong Leaves

~

You grace us with your presence,

As you lift to face the sun.

~

Lying in your center,

Is the heart of your being.

~

Heart of your Being
Heart of your Being

~

Growing new seeds,

To feed those in need.

~

To Feed Those in Need
To Feed Those in Need

~

A seed is taken, a seed is eaten,

A seed is dropped, which begins to grow.

 ~

To again,

Feed those who happen by.

~

 

Enjoying retirement: On The Road & At Home