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.

~

 

My Corner of the World…..

     

~ Loveland Sunrise  ~ Viewed from My Corner of the World
~ Loveland Sunrise ~
Viewed from My Corner of the World

     My hands are warmed by a streaming cup of coffee, my husband brewed for me, as I sit in my corner of the world.

     My body is warmed by the first, brilliant rays of the sun as I snuggle down and relax in my favorite deck chair. 

     My mind fills with beautiful thoughts, the sun rises higher in the sky and I enjoy my first cup of coffee. 

     I gaze toward the eastern horizon, across the tree tops, into the heart of the city where life is waiting to be experienced. This glorious day begins and offers its challenges and endless opportunities.

     I choose to spend my time and this day with all my being.

     It is later in the day now, as I sit here in my corner of the world. In my hands I hold a long-stemmed, crystal glass filled with a burgundy colored liquid that my husband poured for me. The conversation is good.

     The brilliance of the sun has dimmed and the sky is filled with rich warming colors as its’ last rays disappear over the mountains.

      I am happy and filled with love for this person who has placed these symbols of comfort, in my hands.

     This day, as everyday, began with promise and a blank slate for me and only me to fill. My mind is at peace and has been enriched for I have achieved my goal.

     As I sit here in my corner of the world.

©2011 by Sheila de Laneuville

Sunset from a Different Perspective
Sunset – a Different Perspective

SBS:~Mockingbird~

Sheila’s Bird Shots: ~ Northern Mockingbird ~

~ I'am sure you can't see me ~
~ I’am sure you can’t see me ~

     Growing up in the South the Northern Mockingbird was a common sight. As a kid I enjoyed its repertoire of notes and mimicking vocals. It is a beautiful songbird with a huge personality.

     The Mockingbird will defend a large territory, up to two acres, and often will chase just about anything that happens to cluelessly meander into its home base.  An area this large it must keep darn busy. 

     I have been dive-bombed many times. Birds, dogs and cats watch out it will peck you on the head, on the butt, and everywhere in between if you get anywhere near its nest.

     Sitting from a high perch the Mockingbird likes to sing when other birds are peacefully roosting. If you have ever laid awake at night with the window open and are lucky enough to live in the Northern Mockingbird’s range, you probably have been lulled to sleep by its pleasing, repetitive song.

     As an adult, I enjoy seeing and hearing this enchanting songbird. Its presence always brings back delightful memories for me of playing in the yard and climbing trees. 

     Don’t you wish we could climb trees again with nothing more to worry about than getting harassed by a Northern Mockingbird?

Northern Mockingbird had enough of me (taken in Jonathan Dickinson State Park)
Northern Mockingbird had enough of me (taken in Jonathan Dickinson State Park)

Enjoying retirement: On The Road & At Home