We’ll Never Smell That Way Again

If you can smell this you know what I'm talking about.
If you can smell this you know what I’m talking about.

Daily Prompt: The Transporter

Tell us about a sensation — a taste, a smell, a piece of music — that transports you back to childhood.

There is an odor and taste that doesn’t exist anymore. It was from a time before air fresheners and scented candles. It was a time when natural aromas graced homes. It was a time when things weren’t scented, synthesized, and packaged for freshness.

The odors I will never experience again come from a farm in northwest Ohio. It was were the odor of homemade apple pie stayed for days and home cooking odors were permanent. Midwesterners never prepared food with a lot of spices so the smells were pure food.

At times the smell of percolated coffee from a percolator purchased before the depression dominated, but soon settled into its rightful position as supporting cast member with the others.

Nothing tastes, smells, or says country better than oven roasted beef covered with potatoes, onions, and carrots along corn on the cob boiling on the stove’s top.

Cakes, pies, and cookies when made from scratch have an odor like no other. It is not only the baking process, but also the lingering raw odors associated with the preparation.

Somewhere in the background of the symphony of smells is that of well water accompanied with the whine from the motor to the pump echoing from the outside. I can hear the painful pull of the spring to the screen door as it opens and slams.

There is another odor, perhaps not one so pleasant. It is the odor of men working, grunting, and sweating. It’s not at a spa or fitness club where the air is circulated and kept fresh. It’s from work that leaves you exhausted and satisfied. It’s the odor of physically doing something that accomplishes something.

No, I’ll never smell, taste, or hear those things again. They are long forgotten as if they never where. We rather listen to hard rock than hard work. Our world has become too sanitary and clean to the point where everything smells plastic and artificial.

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32 comments

  1. The air coming through the window did smell cleaner, fresher and energizing. The smell I think of most often is the smell of my dad’s cap. As a kid I would put it to my face and breath it in. It was the essence of my dad to me. I would have traded that for him being there and sharing a life together. I only asked for one thing after he died… one of his caps. My brother very kindly sent me three. My dad lives on for a brief moment now and then.

  2. I grew up on a farm too and I totally know about the smells you are talking about! I think it got to be music for me! ABBA or Queen always send me back! X

  3. Great post. I grew up on a farm too, and one of my transporters I wrote about was the smell of the grease from my mom’s homemade donuts. Your writing was a great transporter to former times, thanks!

  4. There is no sound more purely satisfying or soul stirring than the thwack of a wooden screen door closing on a hot summer day. A symphony in one note. Nice work here, Kenton.

  5. While I, at age 25, didn’t really know these smells, I feel like I do because of your entry. Wonderfully imagery! I can’t wait to read more!

  6. Loved your post. The smell that I remember the most is the powder that my grandmother used to wear, and also my grandfather’s hat. Oh, you brought so many beautiful memories with your post 🙂

  7. I was drawn in by the photo. I have a stove, from the 50s, in our garage. A project yet to be started…

    The scents you describe. The feelings they leave, traces really, of a time long gone.

    There is a corner somewhere, in a far off land, that is similar to that which you describe. It is a long way away but the smells of that country house with the cows up the road and the garden right under the kitchen window and the smell of coffee wafting through everything…

    I miss home.

  8. I was hungry before…Now I feel like I’m starving! haha! Reading this makes me wish that my own kids could grow up in a less chaotic world. These days everything is so rushed and so processed and so technologically advanced. I miss things being simpler.

  9. My hubby laughs cause I want the windows all open every chance I get and I cook constantly to get those smells in the house. Except the corned beef and cabbage that I cook outside. Thank you for the article and the ping back.

  10. The smell of sheets after they come out of a old wringer washer, and hung on a clothes line on a hot summer’s day! Chili used to come in a frozen brick if you didn’t make it yourself! It used to be that you could find the best food in town by following your nose, now you can only find it in the pages of “The Jittery Goat”s” blog! Another GREAT one, Thanks for sharing and making my soul hungry!

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