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.
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!
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
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!
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!
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.
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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