Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - 8

MILL CREEK STORIES
By MOLLY DUGGER BRENNAN | Illustration by JOSEPH MACKARETH

Common Scents

T

here is a certain alchemy in aromas. Everyone
knows how marvelous the world smells right after it rains. So full of promise, just the right mix
of cleanliness and earthiness fills the air. How
about the summery goodness of fresh-cut grass?
Cut grass is a powerful scent, capable of eliciting a guaranteed response from humans, a deep
inhalation and a smile.
Do you ever catch a whiff of something and suddenly, you're 10 years old again? I am amazed by the power
of fragrance to teleport me back to summers long gone.
When my lilacs start to bloom, I am back on my greatgrandmother's porch, hidden by ancient lilac bushes that
were taller than the porch roof line.
You could spend all the time you wanted on the porch
enjoying the lilacs' pungent perfume, but you had to be
doing something useful while there. If you were awake and
not in the middle of eating a meal, you'd best be contributing. My great-grandmother ran a tight ship. Her house
had no indoor plumbing, no luxuries, but it was spotless
and it was decorated simply and beautifully. There are
decorating magazines galore now that espouse the style
Grandma Rose perfected through necessity. I learned how
to embroider pillow cases on that porch. I learned how to
graft fruit trees on that porch. I learned what "home sweet
home" meant on that porch.
How about roses? Old-fashioned, heady, heavy-blossomed roses, puts me in a pretty little sleeveless, white eyelet dress when I was six, being threatened with all kinds of

8

BLUERIDGECOUNTRY.COM

Letting sniffs
of the world
take you back
to childhood.

trouble if I got so much as a hint of dirt on me before we
got to church for my children's choir recital. My favorite
song in our repertoire was "This Little Light of Mine." I
could belt that ditty out with gusto. But who decided that
we should all wear white? Silly adults.
I do not know why they even make white clothing
for children. I know it's popular for fancy-shmancy family photos, but honestly it's just so impractical. Dressing
kids in white duds is like putting a target on them for
every drooling dog, face-wiping cat, jam splatter, dust,
finger print, juice box explosion disaster on the planet.
Personally, I was defenseless against it all. My mother
took to standing me in the middle of the living room with
my arms crossed until everyone was ready to get in the car.
I would have done better wrapped in cling wrap and peeled
on stage at the church right before the performance. I was
truly what my grandpa called a "mud magnet."
Another powerful scent memory for me is triggered by
watermelon. When watermelons were ripe, there would
be one chilling in a tub of cold water on the porch at least
twice a week. After supper, Daddy would cut the watermelon into canoe-size wedges and we'd sit on the porch
steps, letting the juice and seeds spill where they may.
I still eat watermelon and cantaloupe with a sprinkle of
salt, just like my whole family did. After the watermelon,
the tub of water was splashed on the steps to dilute whatever sticky melon mess was there. Truth be told, it might
have been more appropriate to throw the water at me
than at the steps because I enjoyed my watermelon to the


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Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019

Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - Intro
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - Cover1
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - Cover2
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - 3
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - 4
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - 5
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - 6
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - 7
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - 8
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - 9
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - 10
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Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - BRPG1
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - BRPG2
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - BRPG3
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - BRPG4
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - BRPG5
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - BRPG6
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - BRPG7
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - BRPG8
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - BRPG9
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - BRPG10
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - BRPG11
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - BRPG12
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - BRPG13
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - BRPG14
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - BRPG15
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - BRPG16
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - BRPG17
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - BRPG18
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - BRPG19
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - BRPG20
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - BRPG21
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - BRPG22
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - BRPG23
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - BRPG24
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