Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Mel is blogging today about the smells of childhood. We didn't grow up that far away from each other--I remember muscadines too (still my favorite kind of jelly) and I have to say, as places to grow up in go, it wasn't too shabby. As kids, we grew up "out in the country"--and despite what everyone who is not from Arkansas thinks, this is not actually synonymous with just being "in Arkansas".There are are actually cities. We were not in one, though. We lived about 30 minutes outside of Little Rock which means we had woods(which are different from forests) and fields and shitloads of poison ivy. What do I remember about childhood smells? Like Mel, I remember the overwhelming crush of honeysuckle that would hit every late spring. You'd wake up one morning and if your windows were open--which they always were-- it'd be wafting through the house. We'd sit under a fence so heavy with it, you could hide underneath it or pretend the canopy of vines was a tent and you were out on a camping adventure in the Wild, rather than just in your neighbor's backyard. We'd pick the flowers and pull out the middle part to get that tiny drop of nectar and I thought if I just plucked enough of those flowers, I could probably fill up a mason jar. I remember the smell of wet grass every morning because we got up so early to go out and play before the heat dried up the whole day and you were stuck just sticking to the shade making play couches out of piles of sticky pine needles. Those couches always sucked because pine needles will stick you straight through your shorts. I remember the tangy smell of steaming asphalt after a quick afternoon rainshower when we'd ride our bikes through the biggest puddles we could find. I remember the slightly rotten sweet smell of blackberries that we would pick buckets and buckets of until the bees got too angry with the intrusion or someone ran into a patch of poison ivy. And ugh, the smell of calamine lotion which I wore like body paint for most of June and July. I remember the cool smell of the evening--a mixture of moist dirt and vegetable garden and faint smells of what everyone had been cooking for dinner. We'd grab an old pickle jar and go out right before it got dark to catch enough fireflies to make a homemade lantern for our bedroom. And despite our bedtime, we'd stay up to watch them flicker and beat up against the glass til our eyes just got too heavy to hold up anymore.

I'm glad I'm going home this weekend. I need to take a sniff.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

what I really like is the matching rompers your mom had yall in!! CES

Stinkydog said...

I KNOW, right? we had several of those..

Mel Francis said...

can't wait to see you Saturday!

Robyn said...

We had more than SEVERAL!!!

Suzy said...

I had forgotten about that little string inside the honeysuckle that pulls out the drop of nectar. Yum! Must teach that to the kids.