The smell of defeat.

by Malachi Smith

I can still smell the swishy jumpsuit I put on as I got dressed for the district game I couldn't play in. I can smell the yellow gatorade I drunk on the way to the game. The smell of the twins that sat in front of me and the cheerleaders bath and body works lotion. Getting of the bus and smelling the fresh cold air. Normally this is where the adrenaline would kick in but today was different. As I walked in the gym I could smell the freshly cleaned gym floor. Then our team walked into the locker room ready for battle. But one of the soldiers was not going to be fighting along there side. I remember the smell of the sweaty locker room as our coach gave us an inspirational speech. Minutes later my team is running out to warm up as the crowd cheered on their team. I can remember the smell of the sticky pad ripping and the players walking out for the opening tip. The pain inside me was indescribable. I can smell the sweat on everyone's jersey as they look at our coach wondering what they were doing wrong. Then the worst feeling in the world. The coach calls on a freshman that had to play in my place. As he ran past the bench I could smell his fresh, clean jersey that had never been worn in a varsity game. As the game was coming to a close I could smell the hate of our fans toward me because I couldn't help my team. Then comes the bus ride. I will never forget the smell of tears as the seniors cried wondering why their high school careers had to be cut so short. I can still remember the smell of defeat.

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by Chris Garling
(York, Pennsylvania, United States of America)

My father was a scarce character during most of my early childhood; at least, the part of it I can remember. Even so, I can confidently say that most, if not all, of my fondest memories of those early years were memories that I made with him. My father was a working man, and he believed in hands-on teaching. Occasionally when he went to paint one of his houses—he is a landlord and paints and does other work on his own properties—he would take me along and let me help him paint, trying to teach me how to paint better the whole time. Whenever I smell paint, my mind conjures a picture of one job in particular, where my dad trusted me to coat the basement of one of his houses in sealant, which is a type of paint that is meant to keep water from seeping through the walls. I think the job took me between two and three hours, and he came to check on me regularly throughout the process, making sure I wasn’t getting too tired, thirsty, or hungry.

From this memory of painting I think to other memories of when I was at home, usually reading or perhaps playing video games with my younger brother, when my dad would come home from working and his clothes would be covered in paint. When I hugged him, he smelled of paint. And now, every time I smell paint, I think of his loving embrace.

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The Cowbell that Hated Me

by Brian Acquaviva
(Horsham, PA)

I had been looking forward to this day for a long time. My family and my cousin’s family were going to the Tyler Arboretum. They were supposed to have a big exhibit on these creative tree houses. The tree houses were all different themes, and you could walk from one to another over these cool bridges.

They also had some other stuff, like a sand pit, a garden shaped into a maze, some bird houses, an arrangement of pots, pans, and other kitchen utensils that you could play like percussion instruments, and there was also this tree. The tree had ropes tied to it, and at the top of each rope was a cowbell. The reason it was supposed to be fun was because if you tugged the rope, the cowbell rang.

Although, I might have gone a bit far with the tugging part.

“Don’t yank the rope too hard,” said my mom hesitantly.

I replied, “Don’t worry I’m fine.” Well, it turned out that I was very far from fine. I rang and rang and rang that cowbell, until, well, the rope broke, and the bell went straight towards me. “Huh…?”


The cowbell had hit the ground, but not before it gave me the worst bloody nose ever.

“Aaaah! Waaahaaah! Bwaaah! Ww, Ww, Ww, Waaahaaah!” I cried for a long time, and my aunt even had to get an extra pack of tissues from her car. I wasn’t sure if my nose was broken or not, but it felt like a broken nose until the bleeding stopped.

Half an hour later, I was in the gift shop holding the cowbell that fell on me. “Well,” said the cashier. “You know that you aren’t the first person to get hit by one of those. Once, a few years ago, someone got hit in the back with one. But never in the face. Do you want to keep it? It’s the least we can do.”

“Sure,” I said. Holding that thing was like holding a barbell. I couldn’t wait to get home and destroy something with it!

To this day, I have no idea where the heck that rusted brass blob is. All I know is that I will never be within a mile of that tree ever again.

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The Grassy Smell Of Death

by Indigo Rabbit
(New York)

As I walked down the block, I looked down at the freshly cut grass of all the lawns. A gust of summer wind brought the smell to my nose and my heart dropped. That smell brought back a flood of memories of which I tried so hard to lock away. All that blood. All that sadness. All the death.
I was sitting inside my grandparents' cabin talking to my friend when I heard him yell, my grandfather. I sprang from my chair, turning it over, and ran outside. My uncle had stopped work on his motor bike, my mom froze with wood cradled in her arms, my dad half out of the car, and my grandmother looked up from her book. The field was where it came from. Everyone rushed to it, to him.

He lay on the ground, the mower on top of him, and blood spilled on the grass. Blood on his hands, blood on his clothes, blood dripped from a blade of grass and from a blade of the mower. The nearest hospital was a mile away; we all knew he wouldn't make it. The wounds were too extensive and we were right, he died in a few moments.

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The Salsa Festival

by Melody
(Puerto Rico)

Before I went to bed tonight, before closing the big windows that let in the rich, yet strident sound of trumpets and the lively percussion section playing at the local salsa festival located at a small square a block away from my house, I took a deep whiff. A mild cocktail of rain, cigar smoke, beer, fresh bacalaitos, and something else I couldn't identify, maybe sweat, filled my nostrils and pervaded the air. It was altogether unpleasant but for a reason that almost escaped me, inviting.

No, I didn't like the scent at all, but these were the common smells of public events, when several hundred people were amassed regardless if they were there for the drinks, the rides, or just for the salsa. It was an annual occasion, and the only one I might dare venture into the mass of bodies that pressed all around you, laughing raucously, and try to find a corner close to the stage where nobody was smoking.

The first year I went, I was a novice in every aspect. I would be but 16 in a few days, younger by a few years than all of my friends. I was a horrible dancer, with absolutely no knowledge of how to dance salsa whatsoever. My partner, who at the time had been a close friend, also a few years older, was an expert, a natural dancer, at least in my inexperienced, untrained eyes, and watching his body twist expertly with the music, only made me blush with shame. I could only move ever more stiffly, often clumsily stepping on his toes, much to my discomfort. He however, would patiently try to coax into me the contagious Latin rhythm of the music, and by the end of the night, I was proud to say that I’d finally learned the basic steps.

That night was also the first time I ever rode a Ferris wheel. My partner, once again, accompanied me in fulfilling this task. There was plenty of laughing and screaming involved, and I remember liking it so much that I went on it two times straight.

The second time, when our seat stopped at the very top, the rain began to pelt us for a few seconds. When it stopped, there above the raucous crowds and enticing rhythm of the drums, taking in my friend’s sweet-smelling cologne mixed with the scent of fresh rainwater, the new blend of smells created in me a different sensation, very pleasant and even harder to forget.

This year, things were a little different. I went with a different set of people, but ended up dancing (because I eventually did learn how to dance) alone. There was no Ferris wheel and the rain fell on a regular basis.

Nevertheless, the smells remained, relentlessly taking me back to all the fun: to dancing salsa, to the Ferris wheel and to the friend that no longer was, ever tantalizing, ever sweet.

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Hand Soap and Rice Crispies Squares

by Amber McMullen

I have a scattered memory of when I was a child, washing my hands before I got to eat the delicious treat I spent the afternoon making with my babysitter. I remember the smell of the hand soap that I was using, it being a warm day and the house with a thousand windows glowed with sunlight. I remember the walls being a pale yellow, it was like running in pure sunshine.
I was so innocent back then, not yet a slave to the blue collar society which is your average working class joe. Wondering through life abiding by a general set of rules and regulations that qualifies you to be a functioning part of society. I was free to think how I wanted, believe what I wanted and share these opinions with everyone I ran into. I was able to express myself in any way and any time the desire arose.
The weird thing though is that I do not know what kind of soap it was, I remember the smell to a tee but when I try to remember what the bottle looks like its fuzzy. I've run into the smell a few times throughout my life 15 years later. But never had a pen...

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Reliving High School

by Taylor Claytor
(Los Angeles, CA, U.S.A.)

I can still smell the sweat, hear the excitement, feel the stress, entering the gym on Friday afternoons prior to the varsity basketball game against The Black Knights of Charlottesville High School. The two teams practicing their lay-ups, rebounds, passing, blocking before the buzzer rings to begin the game. I was among the cheerleaders trying to pump up the crowd. I could feel the enthusiasm of the Western Albermarl High School crowd as we did the cheer titled "Hey All You Warrior Fans". The buzzer rang and the players took their seats on the cold leather chairs provided for them during the game. The starters were announced as the sound of cheers and screams rang out from the opposing stands. Once on the court you could feel the excitement of the players, feel the want tk dominant from the crowd, feel the need of a victory from the coaches as they screamed plays to the team. You felt lost in the moment while the game was raging on. Two points here, three points there. Cheers pouring out of our mouths as we watched the game roll on. You could almost hear the wesT drop to the floor along with the bounce of the ball and the thud of the running team members in fight for possession of the ball. There was a need to win, a need to prove ourselves. The team always said "we need to prove we are the best and in order to do that we need to beat the best and they are the best. Many games were lost to CHS, but tonight, tonight was the night we would remember forever. The buzzer rang from half time. The scoreboard showing that we had a chance to win this game. 13 warriors- 8 CHS. The stands emptied into the hall in a rush of excitement and confidence. The teams ran off to get a pep talk from the coaches as we waited anxiously for the game to begin again. Everyone knew winning this game would lead us to the playoffs. Something we wanted so bad you could taste it. Cameras flashed as the buzzer rang once again and the player filled back in the gym ready to play the game. The stands filled back up and the game began. CHS began gaining points making the warriors worry. The head coach began yelling at the players to tighten up and hold their ground. No one wanted to lose this game. It was the key to our future and you could see the feel in the eyes of the players, coaches and crowd. Doing our job we began to cheer in hopes of pumping the team up and making them fight for the win. The sound of the screaming fans drowned out the sound of the ball hitting the wood floor and it was dribbled, passed and shot. The excitement only made us cheer louder, stronger, and more. The warriors were in the lead. They fans of CHS began to look worried, with one minute remaining on the clock, The Black Knights were down by 9 points. You could smell the victory as the clock ticked down from 10 seconds. The buzzer rang and screams rang out from every direction. The Warriors had beaten the Knights. Students ran to congratulate the players on their victory. You could feel the accomplishement. The air was cold as we exited the gym. Snow was falling on the ground, students walked out talking about the amazing game that was just played. I can still feel the excitement to this day. The rush we felt from seeing the score at the end of the game. You could feel the amazement from winning, knowing we had a chance to make it to states. The night dragged on and we couldn't stop celebrating. Many games were lost to CHS, but not that night, that is a night that we will remember forever.

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The Familiarness

by Lena
(Seoul, South Korea)

My mother always had a smell around her. I cannot describe it, like one cannot describe their own smell. It was a smell of familiarness, one that I always knew. A smell that comforted me. Like soup, my favorite soup, like cinnamon, one of my favorite smells, and love, what everyone needs to live. Like books, which I read every day of my life, like her shampoo, ginger and faint, like makeup, mascara and lipstick. Every time I hug her, I smell the familiar scent of her, so familiar, that I smell every day. It triggers a specific memory, and I feel warm inside, like when I smell fresh baked bread in the bakery, all tingly and creeping up my toes and reaching my heart. It reminds me, too. The smell reminds me that everything I have is someday going to be gone, and to enjoy everything while I have it, because someday even this familiar, everyday scent is going to be gone. It reminds me I have to make every second of my life mean something, because one day it will all end. It reminds me that I have a family who loves me.

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Trip to Boston and Sight and Smell

by Kathie

We were driving forever, it seemed like to a three year old. I fell asleep and woke up and asked my parents if we were on our way home. We were on our way to Mass Eye and Ear in Boston to have my cataracts removed. I was born with them and could hardly see. Today the operation is relatively simple but, over fifty years ago, it was dangerous and complicated.

My first smell memory is ETHER, I will never forget it and it felt like a cone on my mouth and colored dots coming down and that smell...

Later I woke up all bandages and my first eating memory is huge handfulls of pretzel sticks, the nice thin straight ones. Just felt them and ate them.

I went home with thick glasses but had, and am having a wonderful life thanks to the doctors and that AWFUL SMELLING ETHER... (oh yeah and my parents and God and all) but boy THAT ETHER.

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Smell Of Pregnancy

by Grace

Being sick and feeling nauseated for the umpteenth time made me decide I have to put a stop to it. My fiance's deodorant had the most repugnant smell, I couldn't stand it and this culminated into my feelings for him. I was having a difficult time coping with the symptoms of early pregnancy. The early morning sickness was so frequent I landed in the hospital. Its major trigger was that repugnant smell from my fiance's deodorant. It filled me with rage and hatred both for it and for my fiance. we had a difficult time, lots of argument and quarrels. It got so bad that we eventually broke up.I was happy the day he left, happy that I wasn't going to get a whiff of that appalling roll on. So happy that immediately he left I threw it away. I was better after the first trimester, but went through a difficult pregnancy and childbirth, my baby was born and all went well, at least until I get a whiff of that deodorant from friends or relatives. My son is now six years old, and hasn't seen his father since he was one year old. but anytime I get to smell that deodorant's aroma in the air, I remember all the quarrels, pain and difficulties I went through during the pregnancy. The abandonment and hurt. I now call that deodorant the smell of pregnancy.

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Mama in the Kitchen

by Verna

The smell of fresh baking yeast bread, cinnamon, sugars, vanilla, almond, coconut scents, bring back memories of weekends, with mama in the kitchen. Possibly preparing Saturday's or Sunday's dinners.

Mama with her colorful apron, mixing, stirring, singing or humming a comforting tune.

Family moving about the house with a peaceful, pleasant feeling cuddling you.

Tantalizing aromas in the air seem to play with your emotions. Anticipation heightened the closer the finished delicate pastries, and hot buttery yeast rolls came!

Dad close-by, ready to grab a few hot rolls; Waiting, was his dish of melted butter and favorite homemade jam.

We could barely contain ourselves; excited to get this mouth-watering experience!

So, needless to say; buttery, yeast, cinnamon and sugar smells....send me right back into Mama's kitchen with those wonderful baked perfections!

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by Pat Warren
(Bristol, United Kingdom)

Like old friends overdue for a visit they arrived this morning. I knew the minute I opened my back door and the wonderful smell filled my nostrils, made more intense due to the early morning rain. The spring hyacinths had returned for the season.

To me there is nothing quite like the smell of the hyacinth flower. In my opinion it is more exquisite than the most expensive of perfumes and has the power to hurtle me back down the portals of time over a period of fifty years.

I can see myself as a ten year old child, listening intently to my mother as she tells me that, if I place the hyacinth bulb carefully into the especially designed glass vase, hide it in the dark airing cupboard, in a few months time maybe in time for Christmas, the roots will grow down into the water and a lovely flower will emerge from the top of the bulb. I must not peek my mother says. Then, on a day in December I am allowed to look and am estatic the first time I see the green shoot. I take out the vase and place it in the window so that the flower can grow out towards the light, waiting in joyful anticipation for it to burst into bloom wondering what colour it will be, blue, white, pink or purple.

Years on, I am assisting my own little daughter to place her first hyacinth bulb into the same, old, glass vase; watching her eager little face; remembering her joy and amazement when the funny, wrinkled, old bulb as she put it produces a treble white flower.

Hyacinths have played a part in my life from my childhood to my approaching birthday when I will be sixty. They have seen me through the highs and lows of life; through good times and bad, happy and sad; through failures and successes.

Their smell brings back memories of growing up, family and friends, my father planting out the hyacinths in my grandmother's garden. Marriage to my husband for twenty six years; the ultimate joy of becoming a mother and the difference my daughter made to my life.

Hyacinths have comforted me through bereavement, learning to live alone, growing wiser; growing older. Memories, locked forever in my heart.

I stand and gaze with deep affection, knowing that the hyacinths have but a short time, these flowers that grow, live, die, but, are reborn the following year. I think, will the almighty in his wisdom and love look less kindly on mankind? Are we lesser than a flower? I believe not but, trust and hope that when my time comes and I pass from this troubled world that life come full circle, and I shall be reborn, like my special flower, the hyacinth.

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A Smile to Remember

by Sophia Inesta

I can see the morning blue, I’m so tired of walking. Its smells like burning wood & it had been drizzling. We’ve been walking all night. I just want to rest. I see a broken down building. The brick looks ancient.

As we come to our destination the lines of people are so long filled with crying kids and frustrated parents. What a sad place everyone looks so hopeless like they’re missing something but they can’t figure it out. I see people sleeping on the floors; they look like they haven’t bathed in a while and I can hear people crying. I smell cigarettes and hear snoring. I see cots set up in corners of the walls. Everything is so beige and brown and I can’t help but feel shame cover my face. I hold on tight to my mom in fear of getting lost in this crowd.

I never thought I’d be here. Going through this seems to age you quicker. Mature you faster, suddenly you find yourself smack dab in the middle of reality. Struggling now has a meaning to you. You backtrack on all the fights between your parents and you start to understand life isn’t easy or fair. You slowly start to miss all the things you didn’t appreciate before. You miss the warmth of you own home, the smell of your mom cooking your favorite dish and the feeling of freedom. What I would do to feel those things now. I can only remember and wish. I feel so trapped here. I just want to go home.

I suddenly hear a lady, as I look up she was pushing a cart. She reeked of sweat and a faint scent of faded perfume. She had food but I wasn't hungry.

We’re all here except for one of us; I see my mom Ellen, my 2 brothers Charles who is 13yrs old, Ike who is 3 yrs old, and my sister Dana who is 11 yrs old. My dad was missing. I wondered how he would know where we were.

As I lay there trying to cover my face in my jacket I hear my dads voice and I jump up to hug him. I can smell his old spice after shave & just for a moment it took me back to all those times I watched him shaving & through all the bad, I still had enough gratitude for one more smile. I will never forget that smile & to smile when things are at their worst.

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Young and Innocent

by Ashley

That sweet mixture of sweat and cigarettes brings me down a long, dark, hollow spiral to where I was twelve years old. A place that no child should ever encounter. The moment where a friend took me to a bad place full of wild teenage boys. I walk through the red apartment door with a naive mind as to what was going on. I walk in, the lighting is dim music is playing in the background and kids lounging in chairs passing objects with smoke that filters the air. I freeze like a deer in headlights, I had never seen a place like this. There were empty beer cans overflowing the coffee tables. The smoke was strong that I could barely breathe. My friend brushed my shoulder gently reassuring me it was okay. I could sense something that was not good as the back of my neck began to get hot, my heart almost pounding out Of my chest as I knew my mother would never allow me there. That sweet bitter smell of a teenage boy was approaching me. He grabbed my arm trying to lure me to his room. He smelled strong of alcohol when he asked me to come with him while his words were slurring. Nervously walking down the hall I stared at the floor beneath my feet that was filled with dark stains on the carpet. I became overwhelmed with fear as I stood there and his musky breath started to run down my neck. The music began to fade until the only thing I could hear now was my heartbeat. He grasped my shoulders and forcefully tried to lay me down. The walls were blue with posters of Bob Marley covering them. As my back fell to the bed I noticed it was soft, but still smelled of smoke and alcohol. I quickly realized I needed to leave because the feeling I had walking through the door was becoming reality. I got up and ran for the door. I ran through the smoky hallway as the boy was chasing after me. My legs felt heavy as i was racing for the last door. I made it out of the bad place and ran home. I smelled of alcohol and sweat, even though nothing happened when I smell this combination I think of a bad place.

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Olive Oil, Tomatoes and Eggs

by Susan Darin
(Oakland, Ca)

I had no idea where I was. I was fourteen years old, and I had just stepped off a Pan American flight from New York City to Milan. It was 1960. I was by myself and spoke no Italian. My mother thought I needed an adventure, perhaps she was right. I found my Italian family fairly quickly, or I should say, they found me. Vanna with her dark hair, tightly curled around her face and tortoise colored glasses, put out her arms and hugged me. She smelled faintly of perfume and sweat and chocolate.

Vanna was relieved to find me and showed it in her tight grasp of my hand under her arm as we walked through the airport. She was not about to let me go. The airport had a smell that was totally new to me but one I would come to recognize as Italian. It was an old smell of musk, and clothes stored in cardboard suitcases in the attic. The smell was the lower base on the piano, damp, old, deep. I didn't know it then but it was also a smell of wars, and sorrows and people who didn't make it home.

When we arrived in the apartment in Florence, Vanna went to prepare dinner. Again it was a new smell. My mother was from Tennessee and she cooked with Crisco and Mazola oil and margarine. This smell was light, pungent, more of the treble clef of the piano. It had a sprightly smell, and a sizzle to it. "What are we eating?" I asked Vanna. "Olive oil, eggs and tomatoes," she said. "We call it a frittata." I looked at it and it looked like a big mess. I had never eaten eggs for dinner before. I started to cry.

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Childhood Smells

by Colin
(Johannesburg, South Africa)

"I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky, and all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by"
- John Masefield

An extremely well known poem, I feel a strong desire in these words. I am sure as John was writing this, the aroma of the sea must have been in his nostrils, so much so that he could taste the salt.

It is not the smell of the sea, but the combination of smoke, soot and steam that does it for me. This smell, even though not experienced today will stay with me till the time the dear Lord will take home. It brings joy and extreme joy to my soul. Blackish smoke billowing with tremendous power, cloudy with swells of moist heat, which makes it cling to you. A fine spray of soot which can’t be seen by the naked eye falls like a heavy shower of rain, some still red hot. The musty smell of rock, as hard as stone,natural burning coal. The final set of hot steam gives it a smell like no other.

I guess memories have a lot to do with it. I had many a happy journey by train during the 60’s and early 70’s.

My family were middle class folk, my Dad worked for the South African railway and so did most of my Uncles. A good job by those days standards, a secure and steady employment. This meant that we got a free train trip once a year. Our trip for many years was to go and visit our Grandparents and extended family. Our trip to the seaside by train was by far the best event of the year.
We were soon on the bus with all our suitcases on route to the train station, I was so excited that I could just about burst. I entered the railway station that smell would knock you out, smoke, soot and steam. We were on our way for our annual holiday. Walking down the platform to find our carriage with the porter all dressed in black, peeked cap and all. Pushing his steel barrow with our luggage balanced on top. I was running ahead asking Dad which was the right carriage. We boarded the train, the porter passed our luggage, in the window. This is when the next smell would hit me with warmth and satisfaction, leather, we were on our way. Old leather bunks with green bolsters would be our home for the next 24 hours. Musty and tired but still remarkably strong, it also had a hint of smoke and soot would fill the compartment

Dad would then take me down to the front of the train to see the locomotive hook up for the long trip down to the coast. On the train line would be our steam engine filling up with water from a gigantic tank high off the ground, a long galvanised pipe was dragged over the tender and the water came gushing out. When it was filled to over flowing, the water ran down the side. The driver would put it in reverse and slowly move back to the coach to hook up. A man in a unusually dirty overall carrying a black lantern and a long steel bar, jumping off the locomotive to open the links so that it would be safely connected. The driver had his hand on the throttle, the steam engine approached the coach, a man waving his lantern, now with a green light to show the driver that he was all clear. The man opened the links, changed his lantern to orange and with a loud knock on steel meeting steel the two would strike. Red light and it was all systems ready to depart. Back we went to our compartment and scrambled to look out the window. The station master, also dressed in his uniform and cap gave the conductor the papers to confirm that all was done for our journey. The conductor put his whistle to his lips, a churl sound was heard from the drier to the guard.. He got on the train and waved the green flag. With creaking and grinding and the streak brakes releasing we started to move the sound one could hear was the steam engine taking its first puff and the steam hissing, as the pistons turned the rugged steel wheels. We moved off, the diver blew the whistle, long and loud. Oh what a moment it was for me, we were on the train and on our way to our holiday full of fun and enjoyment.

As a treat, my parents would take us to dinner in the dining car. This was so vivid, white starched table clothes and a knife fork and spoon to suit every dish that was served. The grand old coach with its wooden trim was sure delight to see. Waiters dressed with bow tie were running up and down serving our food. White crockery with a SAR stamped on it, and prominent silver coffee pots were moved from galley to table. Once again, the aroma that filled the dinning salon was so impressive boiled fish, roast potatoes with fresh greens and freshly brewed coffee.

But what made it all that every was, was the giant steel beast in the front, with its furnace of coal burning bright as gold and greyish smoke coming high from its stack, no question it's the smell that bring back such clear and treasured memoirs I did many such journeys and also to Rhodesia.

I was lucky to live in that era, steam engines, special holidays, even though we did not have all the luxuries. I have what few have today.

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The Hardest Goodbye

by Isabela Galarza
(Glenview, IL)

As the finger pushed the green button down on my camera, I could feel my mom’s hot hand shaking on my shoulder. Suddenly, I turned around as fast as possible and felt tears all over my face. I looked at my mom and noticed her face was red. My sister was trying to smile though I knew she was unhappy. My dad was nervous because of the packing so it was hard to tell how he was feeling. This would be the last picture me and my family would have in Xalapa with our house.
Xalapa was the city I lived in Mexico. It was not a big place though it was humid and smelled fresh. The one thing I really enjoyed and thought was unique of Xalapa was its climate. It was raining most of the time and the fresh air always smelled like flowers and plants. I always saw Xalapa as a perfect place for living, because it was small and the people were very kind. Of course that wasn’t really true since Mexico started getting insecure. At first teenagers and little kids started disappearing and were found dead, sometimes without any organs. My mom was terrified and she didn’t want me to be alone or go somewhere without any adult supervision. These stories were frightening and sad, but to me the worst things happening were the gunshots drug dealers caused. It started two or one month before school ended near a little place I enjoyed going to, called ‘’Plaza Acropolis’’. Drug dealers were fighting against policemen with guns causing people to panic. It wasn’t the first time this happened, but it was when everybody started to realize how bad things were. This got worse every day, there started being gunshots every weekend everywhere, until it got to twice a week or more. Many innocent people suffered, lost their lives or their family. I couldn’t believe how violent a place could get in only three months. I couldn’t even believe we were moving. We had spent almost a month packing everything we owned and my mom took me around the city so I could take pictures. The only strange thing about those days was that I couldn’t stop thinking about every experience I had in those places. It felt as if we were going on vacations to Chicago until the day we left.

I remember seeing my friends cry with their devastated faces as I looked at them one at a time, trying to remember how long we had been together and all the good memories and experiences we shared. When my mom and sister got on the bus that would take us to Mexico City, I sat down on the seat next to the window alone because I wanted to see Xalapa for the last time. The first hour was miserable for me because I didn’t talk to my mom since my head hurt and I couldn’t stop crying. The ride wasn’t as long as I expected it to be.
After a while, every day I thought of how wonderful my life was, but I encouraged myself to try new things in Chicago and enjoy everything with hope that someday I would feel that fresh humid breeze in my face again.

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The House

by Ana Rumstadt
(Clarkston Michigan)

When I was a little girl, (before I could talk really,) I spent a lot of my time under the blue sky, and the yellow sun. I was a girl of simple necessities, and a colorful imagination. When my grandmother first told me about them, I knew this would be the perfect place to build them a house. The fairies were tiny, defenseless little creatures. My grandmother told me about how she built houses for them when she was just a child, and it inspired me to do the same.

Drizzly. Dark. Sprinkling drops of rain were falling outside. “That’s too bad.” Grandma said. “We will just have to do it another day.” I barely notices the weather as I ran outside. The first fairy house I built had to be the grandest, and the one I worked the hardest on. I made a carpet out of a round leaf, a “relaxation chair” out of bark and a rose petal, a table out of a smooth rock, and even little soup bowls out of acorn hats. Lastly, I worked extra hard to make the bed just right.

It seemed this theme was perfect for me, because just a few years

Dark. Drizzly. Drops of sprinkling rain were falling outside. “That’s too bad.” Mom said. “I guess we can’t go to the parade after all.” I barely noticed the weather as I sat on the blanket on the curb of main street, in my yellow rain coat. I wasn’t cold. It was the fourth day of July after all. When we got home, we made cookies and apple juice. “Only half a glass of apple juice please” I said. My mom poured and put the juice down in front of me. It was half way full.

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Family Time

by Michael

In summer, the scorching hot sun shines on my skin as I play catch with my father. Using all the mechanics I have learned, I hit the target every time. Nights like this, warm, sunny, and spending time with family are truly irreplaceable.

Multiple, charitable memories rush to fill my head. Only 4, I officially declared myself as the worst ball player on earth. I couldn’t hit a barn door staring me in the face. However, through the time spent to practice, the lessons I was privileged to have, I actually came through not only as a baseball player, but also as a young man. Now 13, I only have one person to thank—Dad.

After practice, I resumed my long homework hours inside. The immense effort involved in the tiring task nearly gets the best of me. But the sheer wanting, and my stubbornness to do absolutely anything to get an A is just too much. But yet, I have only to thank my family for this priceless trait. All through life, family has preached to me, helped me and pushed me to try my best, and never give up or in.

Everything in my life, my mother, father, sister, cousins, aunts, uncles, a country club, pool, boat and beautiful vacations along with everything I have known or had have shaped who I am, spoiled me. However, at its core lies my family, never giving up in me. There like an endless generator, never will stop to rest, keeps moving.

Blinded for so long, I now come to see reality. I am my family, its what I am, and they have shaped me. Through all the time spent, and all their efforts, they have truly made who I am today—a young man.

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Baking Brownies

by Kristin
(Clarkston, MI, United states)

I remember driving to my aunt’s house when I was little, always asking with excitement until she said what we would be baking that day, never having to worry about anything. I miss those times.

I am six years old, the glass bowl slowly filled with all the ingredients to make brownies. I grabbed the wooden spoon and started stirring. My arms slowly began to feel weak and tired. Once my aunt noticed she would grab the mixers. I stood on my toes and watched but was always startled by the loud sound.

I can still remember everything we would do. I would scoop out the mix into the faded gray pan my aunt would be holding. After they were spread out evenly in the pan and placed in the oven I would lick the spoon for about ten minutes, making a mess everywhere. I would go to the sink and clean up.

After we spent the rest of the time watching TV until you could almost smell that the chocolate brownies were done. Soon enough the timer would go off. We each would grab a brownie from the pan, sit on the swing in her backyard, and enjoy our brownies. I miss those times.

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The Meet

I arrived at the pool, but love swimming. Morning. Clear, blue ripples continue to sweep across the water and crash into the wall, creating a chain reaction. My turquoise goggles are tight on my head as I step up on the blocks, waiting to hear the beep. I think back to the previous times, getting up on the block, swimming my best, and getting disqualified in the end, for things I didn't know I did. As I hear the beep I throw my body up into the air like Superman and throw my arms by my ears. My body goes underwater, and I kick my legs like a mermaid as fast as possible. After surfacing the water, I start moving my arms in a circle at top speed. I continue to remember what my coaches told me about dragging my arms across the water, and moving quickly. I see my competitors right by me, and I know I need to pick up the pace. You can do this. Just push through the pain. This and more is going through my mind, as I push off the wall and get ready for the final lap. This is where you beat people. The swimmers next to me start drifting back as I pick up the pace and feel the pain. Seeing the flags coming up, I take a final breath, and throw my head back under. My arms and legs are numb as I take a final stroke and Bam! My hands hit the wall. I look up at the scoreboard and see "Sarah Snyder" with a number 1 next to it. Remembering all those times of pain and tears just made this event even better. I think about the times where I just wanted to walk out of swim practice, and go home, because I am having a bad day. Seeing that number 1 net to my name made this work all worth it.
It's a wonderful epiphany: with hard work I will do my best; with hard work I can do anything.

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by Noah Sampson
(Clarkston, Michigan, United States of America)

Taking deep breaths, I approach the tee. I am nine. Nervously taking a swing at the ball, I nearly miss as the ball slowly rolls ahead slowly on the tee box- an utterly embarrassing moment that was-even though it was my first tournament. But, I remember at that same time when my Grandpa came up and said, “Calm down it’s alright, just have fun and slow it down,” I then proceeded to whack the ball down the middle of the fairway to end up shooting a 63 for nine holes.

I am 13. Approaching the tee box, I think of that moment when I was nine and how I didn’t want to make that same mistake. This time, it is my dad that says, “Stay calm and make a smooth swing.” Taking a smooth swing I whack it down the fairway and hear my family cheer me on as me and my dad walk down the fairway. Making a good iron shot and two putting, I make a par and win the hole.

The rest of the round was a roller coaster. We were both up and down not really making any progress during the round. 18. Focus. I needed to two putt to win the hole and the round. Tapping the ball ever so slightly some how it comes up short of the hole and I tap in for par as my family cheers me on in the background.

Walking up and shaking my competitors hand and saying good round, I was beaming with excitement. I had won at Firestone. Even though it was just a match, the journey here and the honor of being chosen to come was overwhelming. I was smiling from ear to ear as I walked up and hugged members of my family. My family has been there to see it all with me; through the good and the bad they had been there to cheer me on and support me which has meant and still means the world to me. We all strolled to the clubhouse. Excited. Satisfied. Anxious for more.

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by Olivia S
(Clarkston, MI)

She was my best friend. It was an old friendship story, beginning in kindergarten. We instantly became inseparable, and stayed together no matter what. Even when I had to move, two years later she moved into the same subdivision. Little did I know that a few little words could unbind the book of our lives together.

When I came into the hallway that first day of sixth grade, everything was bright and colorful. The large blue lockers stretched above my head, the purple, teal and white tile perfectly aligned and seemed to have never been used before, the light streaming in through every door, window, slit it could find. It seemed like the perfect place for me to spend time with my best friend.

I laugh silently to myself now about that last thought. “Best friend. Huh.” I think, as I now stare her down. Laughing should be the opposite of what I am doing, yet here I stand. The electricity in the air surrounds us. My skin feels as if it is on fire as we stare, back and forth. It is the one word said. Fighting about nothing, uncontrolled fury. I yell and hope she doesn’t have a comeback. Fighting. I am trying to listen. But the disgusting garbage spews out of my mouth so fast without thinking, and delivers tremendous blows. I cannot stop.

Suddenly I am gasping for air, closing my eyes, trying to shut out the world. Anger, fear, disappointment and frustration rolling through my body. The stare-down is not yet over. Not quite. I can feel the tension pulling us both with its strong rope. But we are magnets that once stuck together, and now repel each other.

If only I could stop the progression of our fight and undo the last few minutes. Take back the sounds leaving my lips, correct my form, and restore my promise. With the moment reversed, I’m back to myself, not yelling and angry. I’m still happy and excited, friendly. I pick up my books and fix the ripped edges. The tears stream back into my face. My face becomes dry again. My hardened face softens.

But as I am brought back to the present, I come to the realization that sends pain and sorrow up through my legs and arms seeping into my heart. I cannot undo it. I cannot undo anything, I can only hope she is willing to forgive.

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Joss-sticks and my beloved father

by Krishnaveni kk panikker
(Penang, Malaysia)

I love and hate the smell of joss-sticks for two different reasons.Both the feelings associate with my good old father.Coming from a Hindu family we use joss-sticks everyday during our prayers.Joss-sticks come in many smells.They are thin sticks that burn slowly producing a smell of incense.I loved (still do) the smell of rose and jasmine smell the best.I used to be a very small girl running after my father as he performed the morning and evening prayers.I would help to pull out the joss-sticks from the boxes for my father to light.Before I hand him the sticks I would take a deep smell of them first.At times there were either roses or jasmine flowers for prayers too.Oh! how I used to love the aroma of the joss-sticks and the flowers.Father and the alter would smell like a fresh garden from heaven.All these ended one evening when my father had a heart attack.He was placed in a beautiful coffin with rose and jasmine garland.There was also many joss-sticks around him.He had his eyes closed.I wanted him to smile at me,talk to me,carry me and put the holy ash on my forehead.Most of all I wanted him to pat me gently on my head as he often does after his prayers.From that evening onwards I hated the smell of joss-sticks.Though the smell of joss-sticks still lingers till today but not my good old father.

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Dirt and the Rodeo Arena

by Shelly Pope
(Petersburg, Alaska)

I was a senior in high school and the main event of the week was going to the Mesquite Rodeo to watch my boyfriend ride bulls.

It has been over 25 years, but the pungent aroma of freshly stirred dirt or the soothing sounds of lowing cattle will bring bring back memories of the fateful night that my life changed.

The last days of summer before I entered high school were coming to an end. I was so scared of becoming a little fish in a big pond. My school memories up to this point were fun and encouraging, but I had heard horror stories of bullies and losing friends that I was worried beyond imagination.

I had made the decision to raise and show a steer in the Ag program. My animal had arrived at the school ag barn that day and I was anxious to go make a new friend. I entered the barn and found a stall with my name on it and inside stood the most beautiful black angus steer I had ever seen. Yes, I was a little naive back then. Rowdy, my steer, stood waiting for me in all of his shining black glory.

The sound of others entering the building took my attention away from the newest addition to my family and there it stayed. He was dirty blonde with a well-worn cowboy hat sitting low upon his head. His bow-legged boot clad feet plodded softly toward me and I couldn't take my eyes off of him. He was only five or six inches taller than me but he was solidly built with wide set shoulders and well-muscled thighs. As he came nearer, he tipped his hat in my direction and his eyes caught my attention first. They were as green as a rich hay field. He introduced himself, we talked for hours and were inseparable from that point on.

I watched him ride bull after bull every weekend for almost four years. This was his first love, I knew it and was even comfortable with it. I at least came second. The last time I was able to talk to him was as we were driving to the rodeo. We were making wedding plans and deciding our future. He had just proposed the week before and I was so excited. I loved him so and I just knew we would have the most wonderful life.

I found my place in the stands and watched rider after rider, of course I was constantly comparing them to my rider. They always came up short. I saw him drop into the chute with Thunder, and I felt fear for the first time. My heart accelerated to a steady thump in my chest as I watched him settle onto the back of this 3000 pound animal. But this is what he loves. How can it hurt him.

He nodded his head and the chute came open. In slow motion I saw him ride for four jumps and then slip from the back of the bull. His hand was caught and he couldn't get away. I'm not sure what happened but he hung limp along the side of this mad animal until his rigging came loose. He fell still to the churned up rodeo floor and the clowns didn't get to him in time. The bull turned and ran toward my fiance's limp body and stomped him.

He was finally taken from the ring, but not in time. In a split second my life was changed. I no longer had a future with the man I loved and my heart would never be the same.

I eventually married another, but it doesn't matter where I am, the smell of cattle or dirt or any rodeo arena will take me back to the happiest and the worst day of my life.

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Smell Of The First Rain

by Vinod

All of us must have experienced the day when it rains.Likewise I too have experienced that first day rain when I was a cute young boy.Although it rains every where and every year, how ever the first day rain is very different from the rest. on one such occasion, I was promised to be treated with ice cream by my caring and loving dad. So I climbed up his Army Bicycle with endless excitement. We left our Military quarters after the rain stopped and the cloud was clear though grey. It was one of his longest cycle rides. He rode it with me sitting in the front.We were on the long strong wide flat grand trunk road in Chennai(Mount Road. Every pedal he pushed with his strong and mighty legs, I could feel the cold breeze touching my face and scalp. I sensed a sweet smell touching my nostril. As if they were cycling in the air towards us to meet me. The smell was reminding me of the paper found under the beer bottle cap I use to see in my dads Room. The Road was wet,mud was thick,air was clear,Leaves on trees were wet,all vehicles looked clean,puddles off the tar road.
This was the longest ride I took on my dad's bicycle. Oh God 8 kilometers was the distance from Saint Thomas Mount Chennai to pallavaram Military Canteen. I had no clue then when I was a boy how long we had gone to eat ice cream. It sounds ridiculous, this journey was not only to feed me Military canteen ice cream but to meet his seniors as well. Ha ha I was little selfish to think about my motives first than my dad's visit to the canteen. While having the ice cream I remembered the sweet smell of that clean air during the journey. Yeah it too smelled of this ice cream I am having right now.The smell rather came from the canteen ice cream cups stored deep inside the refrigerators. That was then. It's some twenty years ago. Now when it rains I get the same sweet ice cream and beer cap smell and also the sweet memory of travelling with my Affectionate Dad.

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My Father's Shaving Cream

by Adrienne

My earliest memory was of my father shaving. I think I was 3 or 4. He used a razor that I saw advertised on TV. He also lathered his face up with shaving cream that smelled so-o-o good and clean. He used to tickle me when he saw me. I would peek around the corner of the bathroom door to smell the glorious scent. My mother's perfumes could never match up! That shaving cream was the lightest, nicest, and cleanest smell. It still puzzles me because I am not sure what the name of it was. My father taught me phonics at an early age but I cannot recall the name; all I remember was that the heavenly scent came from a red and white can!

My father's legacy to me was not a lot of money but a lot of fond memories. His beginnings were meager. He was the last of 13 children of which 9 lived. His background was Mexican-American. He was the only one of his family born in the U.S. He was born in Arizona but his family moved to Los Angeles and were one of the first families to settle on Olive St. In those days, it was more important to have money than papers. The Mexican people were more affluent that traveled across the border. Almost all my father's side of the family was in real estate. They also were musicians, some professional and some not. Everyone would bring their instruments to all the family gatherings and 'fiestas' and play! It was fun and nowadays everyone parties and goes to fiestas! All the Mexican restaurants build their clientele on that.

As I mentioned, some of my family were in music professionally and my father was one of them. He and his two brothers were called in whenever Hollywood movies were being made and they needed Latin musicians. He was in the old Ronald Coleman and John Wayne films. He performed in the old musicals. When they needed big bands playing for singers like Carmen Miranda or famous ballroom dancers, they would call for my father or his brothers to play bass or violin or guitar! Sometimes I can catch a glimpse of him on TCM old movies.

My father was loved by the ladies in his younger years and is said to have dated Rita Cansino (who became Hayworth). I came across a book after he died that said ' love from Ava'....could that have been Ava Gardner? Anyway, he met my mother on the road with a bandleader named Tito Guizar and love ensued. She played piano and he played bass. They went on to form their own groups and then I came along. Years later when I was in Japan with my Air Force husband I saw Tito Guizar's orchestra at the base. I went up to him and thanked him for introducing my father to my mother!

As fate would have it, my father got older and we moved from the movie capitol. He became a barber and still played music at night sometimes. I never did smell that same scent of his shaving cream but to me he was the most loving Dad of all!

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The Cabbage

by Stephanie

As a child in the 1950's we visited the markets in Brisbane frequently - each Saturday morning we would be bundled into the ute and driven down to Roma Street. The smells of rotting vegetables, petrol, fresh fruit and the 'foreign men' with garlic redolent nylon shirts and hairy arms - all very exciting for a small girl.

One Saturday cabbages were on special and the whole pavilion rang with the call of the market gardeners trying to sell their particularly, big, smelly, green or small wrinkly cabbages.

Max pressed a sixpence into my small brown hand and told me to go a ' buy' one.
There was a large, boisterous, garlic smelling jovial man that I had bought things from before - he caught my eye - and perhaps saw the sixpence - and said 'Whicha one you gunna 'av girlie'? I pointed to the largest cabbage I could see...... he roared with laughter and with tears sprouting from his eyes - he called attention to all the other stall holders and said ' Ifa you cana pick ita up - you cana av it free'.

Not to be seen as a weakling I picked it up and carried it to my waiting parents - amid the hoots of laughter and clapping of the stall holders witnessing a huge cabbage 'walking' out of the markets - as all that could be seen - was two skinny brown legs - my head peering over the top with - a huge grin lighting up my face -.

Needless to say we ate cabbage in a large variety of ways over the next couple of weeks - with the smell of cooking cabbage or cooking vinegar filling the small cottage that we lived we shared on the outskirts of Brisbane.

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Cologne Of Love

by Jenna Thompson
(Fernandina Beach, Fl, US)

Every time I smell my Daddy's cologne it reminds me of him. It is a certain type of cologne that brings back the best of memories. I have always had a relatively good life. Being only of the age of eighteen, I have not experienced as much as others, nor have I been through anything horrific. However, I do know that my Father's cologne brings back very good memories of childhood, and even now. When Daddy wore that cologne, it was always on Sundays. It meant we would get dressed up for church, then go and freely worship the Lord. It meant family dinners and long car rides to Jacksonville. It mean spending time with my Mama and Daddy. These times meant so much to me. The cologne brings back memories of my Dad always being there for me. He taught me how to ride a bicycle, and the times he gave advice. When he would pick me up from band camp and buy me and him M&M's to eat and it was our "little secret" and even though that happened not too long ago, it made me feel like a little kid again. The smell reminds me that I am very lucky to have such a strong father figure in my life. Most of all though, the smell reminded me of my Daddy's love for me and my brother. He has never stopped and never will.

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Coffee With Old Friends

by Sarah Carrillo
(Silverton, Oregon USA)

The smell of coffee was the first scent any of us would smell in the morning. The aromatic scent of ground coffee beans and boiling water wafts throughout the house waking up all the children with a sense of home.

Even now, whenever I smell coffee, it will always remind me of mornings snuggling into my mother and father's bed. Mom and Dad had intentionally bought a king size bed that all seven of us ended up crawling into almost every morning while they sipped on steaming mugs of hot liquid.

I remember the first time I actually tried their coffee. My parents both drank it black and as a consequence my six year old little tongue did not like the taste of something so bitter.When I was little, I really hated the taste of coffee. It wasn't until I discovered half ‘n half that I realized coffee wasn't so bad. In fact I loved coffee. Sugar and cream turned it into a pleasant experience and one that I could even enjoy partaking of with the parents every morning.
For my family coffee was like a ritual. You reached a certain age and tried it, decided that you hated it, and vowed to never drink it again. You’d still end up drinking it again, but this time you drank it with the cream and sugar. After tasting the sweet, blissful, glory entering your mouth you’d end up deciding that coffee couldn't be all that bad and you decided you loved it.

Yet you weren’t a legitimate fan according to your older and more mature siblings. In order to be a true coffee fanatic, you had to drink it black. Otherwise, you were just drinking that sickly, sweet, stuff, and as we all knew, that was not real coffee.

In order to fit in, we slowly adapted drinking it black. It wasn't necessarily our favorite way of drinking it, but no one would admit to it.
We’d drink it black and fall into coffee snobbery.
I've actually even tried pre ground beans and honestly there isn't much difference, but to us, grinding our own beans made all the difference in the world.

We can all remember how our love for coffee started. Sitting on the end of Mom and Dad’s bed, snuggling down into their comforter, and smelling the familiar scent of coffee and moms perfume, reminded us all of one familiar scent. The scent of home.

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The Smell of My Late Mother's Thanksgiving Dinner

by Beatrice Barber
(Cypress,Texas, Harris County)

Late night before Thanksgiving Day, the smell of cinnamon, spices, herbs, mixing in the bowls for preparation of Thanksgiving Day Dinner. My mother was very sick , she could barely stand on her feet because of asthma and shortness of breath. She made sure we had a traditional Thanksgiving Dinner when we woke up. the smell of sweet potatoes, cinnamon, allspice, and other spices made the whole house smell good, and made us hungry. we would wait in line and fight over who would get to lick the bowl after the cake was poured out of it. I liked the smell of dressing and helping my mom finish cooking, because she had to sit down and teach me how to finish the dinner. I try to remember the steps my mother took when she was baking because I wanted to give the same results of smell to my own children. The smell and Memoir is all I have left to remember my mother and talk about year after year with my family.

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The Smell Of Love

by Judith McIntosh
(Manitoba, Canada)

Have you ever considered what love smells like? No? Well, I’m here to tell you that it smells like Brand X face cream. That was the face lotion that my mother always used and I learned that smell up close and personal. I’ll never forget it as long as I live—at least, I hope I don’t. To forget that smell would be to forget my mother’s love and that cannot happen.

My mother was one of those ladies who would not miss a day without a liberal application of her favorite face cream. I still remember the scent, a cross between baby powder and a very alluring adult female scent that was designed to evoke eroticism in the heart of that special someone in your life. And when my mother hugged me I almost felt the scent invade my pores so that there would be no possibility of ever forgetting my mother or the scent—or indeed, the special memories that her scent evoked in me.

Now I know that there are others who would remember with fondness the smell of their mothers and the image would be one of cookies baking or lemon pledge on the furniture or some other mundane scent, but for me it is the smell of Brand X face cream. It isn’t that I think my scent is superior to your mother’s. It’s just that my mother truly was the cookie baking mama that most of us dream of yet still my recollection is of this lotion.

I think this relates to the fact that she constantly sought to be the wife that my father could view as his sweetheart and lover and so she chose to present herself to him as the seductive siren, even though she was a stay-at-home mom. At least, that’s how I saw things growing up. She kept a clean house, baked cookies and pies, and in general was a wife that he could be proud of. But she was more than a wife and mom—she was a woman and proud of it. And she was happy to keep her man happy and a large part of that was related to being his lover.

That is where the Brand X comes in. I don’t suppose that she ever concerned herself with the fact that her daughters would in time figure out why she insisted on wearing this scent through time. But if she had, she likely would have realized that she was setting a good example for us girls. She was role modeling what life could be like if only the marriage partners respected and showed their appreciation and love for each other.

So to this day the smell of love in my mind is that of Brand X face cream.

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The Smell of Smoke

by Shyla
(U.S.A eustis Fl)

I was sitting around the campfire the smoke thick and heavy as we made smores. I couldn't enjoy them, though, my thought drifted back to the last time I smelled smoke.

My mom told me to put on my seat belt as we were driving home, thick smoke clouded the streets. I did as I was told. We heard a car crash and the wail of sirens and people scream. it was hard to breath with the smoke around.

"Hey, Shyla, are you okay?" a friend asked bringing me out of my flash back.

"I'm fine" I said. I just pray that the people in the crash were too.

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Smelly Barn to Others But to Me Precious

by Samantha Harshbarger
(Pulaski,Pa,United States)

I showed my first sheep this year and the sheep barn that smelt nasty to others to me it brought the memories of my like back it reminded me of all the little ponies we owned on my stepmothers farm.

Auction smells reminds me of time with my dad selling my sheep and horses. It also reminded me of the times I would got to the Mount Hope Ohio auction holding my daddy's hand and him caring on my shoulders to see all the pretty horses.

Cow smells always remind me when I almost got trampled by a bull but my daddy threw me in a pen with a donkey. And when I rode a cow and fell off.

When I am near Amish the smells remind me going with my dad all those years to drive Amish around and have them babysit me when he drove their family members around.

Hospital smells remind me when I had to sit like a frog and get x-rays of my hip because it didn't attach right.

The last smell that brings back memories is smelling hay bringing lots of hay home to the barn by truckloads was my favorite time with my dad!

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by Lexie B.

I walked down the carpeted stairs on my twelfth birthday, all dressed and ready for an interesting day at school.

As I come downstairs, I see a big vase sitting in the middle of the kitchen table, and suddenly I am reminded of what I told my dad I wanted for my birthday. One red rose. "My favorite smell is red roses!" I had told him. Instead, floating in a vase of water, are twelve shiny, pink roses with a note from my dad. The note read, "Happy Birthday, my little girl, bundle-of-twirl! I love you! Love, Dad." It was way more then I asked him for, and I was thrilled! Sadly, he wasn't there at the moment, and I couldn't tell him how much it meant to me, but I definitely would make sure to tell him after school.

They smelled wonderful and looked absolutely gorgeous! I couldn't stop smiling, and didn't want to go to school, but I knew I had to, so I forced myself to walk to the bus stop and talk amongst my friends.

After school, I bolted down the street and found my dad doing something by our blue mini-van in the drive-way. I jumped on him, giving him a HUGE hug, explaining how happy I was with the pretty pink roses he got for me. "Thank you, daddy!" I exclaimed in his strong, tan arms.

"Anything for my little girl, bundle-of-twirl," he replied.

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Bonfire night 1956

by Suzanne Wells

Dad had built a huge bonfire for our Bonfire Night Party. It towered imposingly over our small back garden. I was four years old and I thought it looked like a monster giant octopus. Its dead tree branches and bits of waste wood looking like tentacles reaching out to grab me.

Our guests had arrived and the bonfire was lit. It roared like the monster I thought it was, making short snapping noises as it crackled away. It is 5th November, 1956, Guy Fawkes Night. The smell of hundreds of bonfires burning through the night air pevades the whole of our neighbourhood and the rest of the country as it has done for hundreds of years. It is a national tradition to light bonfires, set off fireworks and cook chestnuts and potatoes on the fire. The mixture of all these things results in a unique smell throughout the country, that only happens just once a year. The firework display was wonderful, with Dad and my Uncles in charge. There was lots of clapping and oohing and ahhhing, I could see everyone's faces by the light of the fire and everyone looked so happy.
It all happened so fast, I thought Dad was laughing at first then I heard the most awful scream coming from my sister pointing at Dad. Dad was leaping up and down and yelping in pain and the right leg of his trouser was on fire. He looked as if he was trying to run away from himself with two of my Uncles chasing after him. He then horrifically tripped and fell sideways into the bonfire. My Uncle Ron grabbed him and pulled him out quickly and everyone was shouting “get his trousers off” Get his trousers off”!!! They did try but the fly zips in those days were metal and were just too hot to get hold of. Dad was rolled in a blanket on the floor to smother the flames.

I can remember it all so vividly, I also remember that I tried to scream but there was no noise coming out of my mouth. The one thing I remember most of all was a new smell, the smell of burning flesh. A smell I will never forget.

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