The Wonderful Smells of Life in the Pacific Northwest & Other Observations

life in the Pacific Northwest

What are the smells of life that evoke an emotional response? I have so many, do you?

Ah, the wholly different and wonderful smells of my new life in the Northwest.  

Back in 2014 when I began Adventures of Empty Nesters, I wrote a post called, Do certain smells trigger a rush of memories for you? and it was all about smell memories and my family. 

I have always associated certain smells with people, places, and experiences. Maybe it was a perfume my teacher wore, or the aroma of a glorious meal while traveling, or the familiar scents of the holidays. Do you associate meaningful smells with exceptional memories?

I am now a grandma, living in a new city, in a state where the weather is entirely different than the California weather I have been used to for the past (almost) 60 years.

the smells of life
The smell of the lake is so refreshing
The rhododendrons are so striking in the Northwest!

As the weather gets warmer here in Kirkland, WA, the trees have soft, new, bright green leaves, the abundant seasonal flowers are blooming, and the lake is coming alive. The first minute we have remotely warm weather, the locals here treat it like summer. If it’s 60 degrees and sunny, it must be time to take the boat out and go for a swim. Are you kidding? No, they are not!

smells of life
Rocco is enjoying our walks to the lake

I believe I am making new smell memories as a new resident here in an entirely different environment.

New smells of life in the Pacific Northwest

smells of life in the Pacific Northwest
The smell of pine is wonderful!

When I step out of my car at our daughter’s home in the woods, I am immediately drawn to the fragrance of pine and wet soil. It’s divine!

smells of life
The strong smell of these trees surrounding our lower deck is heavenly.

On our lower deck (we have two), enormous cedar trees provide a heady perfume, filter the sunlight, and offer shade. 

On our walks along the lake, you can hear the water lapping loudly against the shore when a large speedboat passes by. And the smell! How do you describe the scent of the lake? Cool, crisp, and clean, yet mossy? 

During the summer at the lake, you can detect the essence of boat exhaust and gasoline. These are the smells of family adventures on Lake Washington, and I love this too. Watching people finally emerge from home to delight in the world has been so refreshing!

smells of life
James and Josephine smell like love and happiness to me.

Now, I am holding and playing with two babies who offer their own delicious baby perfumes. Their sweet necks and busy fingers smell like love and happiness to me. 

When our kids were little, the smell of Water Babies suntan lotion was such a strong childhood connection for me; I know our daughter will slather up the twins when it’s time to go outside. What will that new lotion smell like?

Our son-in-law is a master on the BBQ and the smoker, so I associate that rich, homey scent with him. 

Does this all seem weird to you? I hope not. I have always had a strong sense of smell and enjoy the connections to adventures in my life.

smells of life
The summer scent of the lake is beginning.

Final Thoughts

smells of life

If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is that life is to be appreciated, and we turned ours upside down to move to a new state to be close to family. With so many challenges and adjustments, I have grown to embrace every single detail and try to learn from every new situation.

Now it is time to settle in for a while, appreciate these new surroundings and enjoy the aroma of the Pacific Northwest.

Please share your favorite smell memories!

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2 thoughts on “The Wonderful Smells of Life in the Pacific Northwest & Other Observations”

  1. Suzanne,

    This is another great article. I love the things you write about because they evoke some amazing emotions and reactions from me.

    Being Italian, most definitely the smells of meals cooking or baked goods baking have always brought back memories of my childhood with my immediate family and, especially my grandfather who LOVED to cook. I have also noticed that the smells of nature are especially pleasing to me. Our last trip to Idaho was filled with sights and smells that I haven’t experienced in awhile. The freshness of the trees, the grasses, the lakes and even the wild life was so noticeable. I think everything made an even greater impression because they were so different from the smells we have here in Los Angeles.

    • I am so glad to hear this! I do believe we are appreciating all the details of life, more than we have in years! Thank you for your support and for taking a moment to comment!


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