An old memory

My dad recently gave me a box of 6 Christmas ornaments. They were in a little wooden box. I set this box on the Wii TV and never really gave it another thought until Saturday night when I opened it up to check out the new ornaments. When I opened that box an aroma came out and just slapped me in the face. It was SO STRONG. It was a cedar box. I felt like I was thrown back in time. I can’t really explain it. Paul thought I’d gone off the deep end I know. I jumped up and down and said “smell this, smell this.” I think he thought something was wrong and not that I was in glee. So he took a deep whiff and looked at me like “ya, so? It’s cedar. Big deal.”

We used to have a cedar closet in our basement in the house I grew up in. Do any of you remember those? I’m pretty sure they don’t put them in houses anymore. Do they? Anyway, I used to go sit in that closet. All in the dark and just breath in that smell. My dad’s hunting clothes were in there. I can remember a red wool suit that he wore deer hunting. Then there were a few odd jackets and coats. I loved that smell and loved hiding in that closet. Paul said they put them in houses because moths wouldn’t eat anything in cedar.

I can’t tell you the last time I felt something like that over a smell but I actually went back there for that moment. Have you ever had anything like that happen to you? Has a smell or a memory ever taken you back in time like that? Do you know anyone who had/has a cedar closet in their house? Or a cedar chest? Boy, do I love that smell.

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6 Responses to An old memory

  1. Sue says:

    Yes, I’ve smelled things and it’s taken me right back to that moment. It’s funny how our brains work like that. The smell of something, the feel, the sounds. They all make impressions on you. Both sets of my grandparents have cedar chests and my mom and dad also have one. I think my dad made theirs but I’m thinking my grandma’s cedar chest was her dad’s (my great grandpa’s). Vicki may know! I love how they smell and I sure hope I can have my parents!

    • Vicki says:

      Im not sure on grams cedar chest but i also have one that your dad made for me. i love that smell of cedar.
      Many times ive smelt “India”lol I cant explain the smell but when i smell it i think india immediately..its so weird.

  2. javajunkee says:

    we got cedar chests for graduation..I still have mine and even managed to get 2 of them..they had my name down twice and I wasn’t going to say any different. They are like little jewerly boxes but they have the cedar smell to them.

  3. SKL says:

    I like the smell of cedar too. I don’t think I have anything like that, though.

    I have had those kinds of memories. Smell is a very primal sense, they say. That’s why when we are working on an adoption, we give the child a blanket that will absorb all the smells she’s used to, and then bring it home with them and avoid washing it for a long time. It’s like their little connection to the things left behind, and gradually it picks up the smells of the “new place” as the child makes the transition.

    Some “smell memories” that come to mind: the smell of fried chicken prepared a certain way takes me back to my grandma’s house when I was a little girl. My head is just the height of the table in the dining room, where her dress-making scraps are everywhere, and I’m looking for stray scraps of pretty trim that she will let me take home for my dolls. So many more memories grow from that one.

    The smell of leather mixed with cigarette smoke and beer takes me to a vague, dark memory of being in my aunt’s house before her husband died, when I was a baby or tot. Not much detail to the memory, but it was a whole atmosphere, soft lights, shapes, voices, the feeling of security mixed with curiosity.

    Some years’ Christmas trees (my parents still do live ones) take me back to childhood Christmases where we had the same kind of tree. Maybe that’s the real reason why many people won’t switch to a “fake” Christmas tree.

    Hmm, I’m enjoying these memories . . . .

  4. Adell says:

    I loved your reaction to the cedar smell Joy! Smells will do that. It is a gift of God to take us to a happy memory by way of smell. I get a whiff of a smell sometime that takes me to my German grandma’s house(actually both my Grandma’s were German)but one couldn’t speak any English, my mom’s mom. My 16 yr old grand daughter, Elizabeth Adella Rose is always smelling us! She will bury her head into my neck and say, “you smell so good, I love you” She wants to remember my smell. From the time she was little I would let her use my Nexus Humextress(leave in conditioner). When we moved to Arizona, she would say it reminded her of the Mpls. health club where she and I would swim. Well, what do you know, as of late the Nexus company changed the scent of that conditioner, Lizzie was so upset about that! Isn’t that sweet.
    My dad made big cedar chests for his grand daughters and Colleen still has hers. We store our weddings dresses and a hand made quilt that one of my Aunts gave me for a wedding present.
    Merry Christmas to all!
    Adell of Arizona

  5. Nikki says:

    I have a hope chest that is lined in cedar. We put our stinky shoes in it so it doesn’t smell anymore. I couldn’t remember what it smelled like so Jason scrapped it to release the odor and it quickly came back to me! I actually think of my mom when I walk into Bath & Body or any candle shop b/c that is what her place always smells like. I love that certain smells remind us of special times or people. Downy will always make me think of you!

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