Jekyll Island Beach 2012

Jekyll Island Beach 2012
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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Riding the Orange Blossom Special

The Rogue Speaks:

I'm not going to whine and complain about the current lack of my typing skills--I'm just going to give you a post I wrote two springs ago.  The orange and lemon trees are in bloom right now, so I know that spring is really here.  I hope Miss Jenny, our Alphabe-Thursday teacher, gives me a good grade on this essay!!


O.k., not oranges, but they smell great!


RIDING THE ORANGE BLOSSOM SPECIAL
Spring, 2010


Just as I was finishing this post, Rod came home from the golf course. He noticed that our little girl, Precious, had peed on the tile floor. She is 13, which is 91 in dog years. Whenever this happens, which is more frequently the older she gets, we put Clorox in the grout lines, then wait a few minutes and mop the floor with Fabuluso Limpiador Multiuso(remember that we are only 85 miles from Mexico). Clorox is pretty strong stuff, and not something we use on a daily basis. In fact, we only use it for pee stains on the tile. The odor gets in your nose and makes your eyes burn. It is NOT eco-friendly!


After I finished, I thought I would go outside to try and get the odor of Clorox out of my head. This is not an easy task. It gets into your mucus membranes and hangs on for dear life. As I sat there trying to clear my nose of that noxious odor, I remembered a field trip that our 4th grade class in Atlanta, Georgia took to the Kraft Food Company. It was pretty interesting, I guess, but the thing that I will never forget ever is the smell of Velveeta cheese being made. This is not a pleasant smell, even though the cheese makes pretty good queso when mixed with Rotel.


My point is that I have NEVER forgotten the smell of that cheese factory, nor have I forgotten the smell of salted pistachios my parents used to buy when I was VERY small. Our noses can bring back memories like no other organs in our bodies.


I remember the smell of the salt marshes off the coast of Georgia, where we vacationed when we were children. I love that place! Whenever we go back for a quick trip to our old summer stomping grounds, the first smell of the marshes brings such peace to my soul.


I still remember the smell of a dear friend's aftershave when we were in high school. He was always a lot of fun! We used to play the piano together, and dance latin dances in my living room, and make up stories about giant cockroaches trying to take over the planet--all the usual things you do with your friends. He even took me to get my driver's license after I failed the test the first time and my dad told me I was on my own the next go-round. Whenever I smell that aftershave, I think of him. He died of heart failure several years ago, but he is still alive in my mind.


I remember, too, the smell of my babies after their baths--the smell of Johnson's baby lotion and powder that gets into the creases of their little necks and releases that clean aroma when you nuzzle them, just before you put them down for the night.


I know you thought that The Orangeblossom Special was a song about a train, or whatever. To me it is the breeze that shows up in Tucson about this time of year when the citrus trees are blooming. It wafts over southern Arizona, bringing with it the most wonderful fragrance! You cannot go anywhere around town these days without that aroma filling your nostrils.


The pastel pictured above, "Lemons in a Blue Bowl," really doesn't do justice to that fragrance. The canvas would be HUGE and covered with vivid blue skies, glossy green leaves, and splashes of yellows, oranges, and creamy whites. I did paint a pastel of oranges on a silver tray, but didn't photograph it before it sold, so the lemons will just have to do.


If there were a blue bowl in the painting, it would be the biggest one you have ever seen! We don't have any citrus trees in our little yard, but they are all around us. Our neighbors and friends give us bags and bags of citrus, on a weekly basis. We eat it fresh, squeeze it, and freeze it for pies in the winter. We pile the lemons, oranges, and grapefruits in bowls on our counter and dinner table. Some of our friends make marmalade, but quite frankly, I am just not that ambitious. Besides, we  buy a five pound bag of sugar maybe only every two years, if even that often.


But getting back to that aroma--the reason I am writing this. It will be here for a couple more weeks, but then that fragrance will be replaced with the smell of jasmine and honeysuckle for a while. This time of year always makes me feel especially good, because my olfactory senses are bombarded in such a way that it goes straight to my brain and settles there until the monsoon comes and replaces it with the smell of the creosote bush after the rains come.


When I am very old, like 95 maybe, and I smell the aroma of citrus blossoms, I will remember my life here, and how wonderful it was, and how creative I became, and just how fulfilling the southwest has been for me.


I hope that whoever cares for me when I am old, will put a little Johnson's lotion on my tissue-paper skin, so I will remember the aroma of my babies.  On second thought, I don't think I will need a reminder at all.

22 comments:

Pondside said...

Oh my goodness, I'm glad you posted this again because I don't remember reading it before. What a beautiful post. I'd love to smell that citrus-laden air!

Vicki/Jake said...

I too hate the clorox smell...but coming over here for a blog quickie, I'm lingering instead. If I close my eyes and read your words...I can smell it all. Ummm, ya. Goes along with my post today. Mwahaha. Btw, if we're lucky enough to be in the same place in our nineties, we'll have a J&J lotion/powder session with each other, then spend the rest of the day breathing deeply and smiling. They'll all be jealous....

upinthecosmos said...

Great post, smell is one of the greatest senses and I do love the smell of citrus! Love the taste too, I sort of think the smell and taste go together quite well, it wouldn't be so fun to have one without the other:-)

anitamombanita said...

Judie Judie Judie...that was purely delightful! I don't know what grade Mrs. Jenny's gonna give you, but if I were the teacher, you'd get an A++.

I am super-sensitive to smells. Good ones can send me soaring into giddiness and not so good ones plummeting into the depths of crankiness. Clorox...yes, it's gross and powerful, but it represents something being clean to me, so I can tolerate it. Pinesol and Lysol, on the other hand...make me want to retch and remind me of bad smells covered up with even worse smells. Certain perfumes can send me hunting for fresh air and excedrin.

The smell of bread baking, jasmine, roses, the ocean breeze, freshly cut grass and most things in nature are divine.

Hope you have a wonderfully odiferous day!!

Jo said...

That was a beautiful post Judie ... I am so glad you reposted. Sending you healing thoughts and wishes!

BEAR's Mom said...

loved this post Judie...
i have many smells that would send me to the bathroom. but when the honeysuckle are in bloom here in PA i'm in heaven...
have a great weekend !
~victoria~

ChrisJ said...

Your writing allows us to vividly imagine the scents of those memories - oranges, salt marshes.

Hope you're getting some relief from pain.

Ames said...

This was so sentimental it made my eyes water. I too can summon up memories through certain smells.

You know I have noticed more and more that the products available in our stores are now bilingual and sometimes completely in spanish. I have mixed feelings about this. I really believe that anyone coming to our country should learn the language...American English, especially if they want to reside here permanently. However I wouldn't want to visit a foreign country and oh lets say buy a spray can of deodorant to only find out I sprayed bug spray in my pits!
Lovely story my friend. I sure hope you get some relief from your discomfort. I am thinking about you!~Love ya mean it!~Ames

nothingprofound said...

Judie, what an exquisite post and one that brings back fond memories of my Tucson days. Now, sitting here at my computer, I can smell those orange blossoms from three thousand miles away.

Judie said...

Ames, I rarely see products that are totally in Spanish. In fact, I have never seen any in our local supermarket, only in specialty grocers. It doesn't bother me that the labels are bilinguial. In fact, it's kind of fun!!

bluzdude said...

Wow! It sounds... I mean "smells" wonderful.

The only smell I get when I step outside in Baltimore is that of crabs and poverty.

askcherlock said...

I have never smelled orange blossoms, but your post helped get as closest to them as I ever might! Loved your last line too, about someone putting Johnson's oil on you. For me, it will always be the aroma of morning coffee.

Karen S. said...

Hello Judie, I was so happy to see your smiling face and read your comment on someone else's Saturday Centus today! I had to come check out your comment about what you posted ....I sure do hope things get back to wonderful for you, and so sorry for your painful time. Just know I'm sending good and goofy thoughts (cuz you're such a joking kind of gal) and HUGS your way...okay we'll all send a kiss to make it better too, with a great team effort it's sure to work! Be WELL!

Sandy said...

After reading your post it brought me back to the smell after a rain.. the grass and dirt filling my nose! Thanks for that trip down memory lane...
Sandy

KDL said...

I remember the smell of my uncle's (by marriage) meat packing plant. It was almost enough to convince me to go vegetarian. I also remember the smell of my Grandma's house. It was a combination of dusting powder and strawberries I think. I've never smelled anywhere quite like it. Thanks for the reminder of this precious prompter of memories.

beckyp said...

great post... I end up diluting my clorax with water and even then the smell is over whelming.

Annesphamily said...

This is a beautiful post and I did not get to read it the first time around. I really love remembering smells. Like the roses that grew in my favorite aunt and uncles rose garden. The smell of my mothers roast beef or fried chicken on a Sunday after church! Sweet smelling babies. Lilacs outside my bedroom window when Spring really comes to Colorado!
Clorox is not a favorite smell but it sure kicks pees but! We use Fabulouso too! Ha Ha!
Love visiting you always. Anne

Betty (picture circa 1951) said...

Gosh, from time to time when the air blows in a certain direction we smell the chemical plants. I know I'd like the smell of your air better.

Jenny said...

I still use Johnson's baby lotion...for me and the Grands and even on Mr. Jenny's hands when they get super dry!

That is the most wonderful fragrance.

And the oranges. Oh my heaven. Nothing smells like citrus in bloom!

Thanks for this really wonderful post, Miss Judie!

Sorry about the grout issues. We hired a professional steaming company...it was sooo worth it!

Hugs and A+

Splendid Little Stars said...

aawww....
aaahh....
Smells--oh how they can take you back in time!
Once, a number of years back, my family drove through Florida in the spring when all the citrus was in blossom. Every breath was like heaven.
I got a Meyer lemon tree last fall and right now is the second time it's bloomed. smells heavenly!

Sue said...

I loved this and boy, could I relate! I am pretty much led by my nose in life. Smells are very important and evocative for me. I grew up in a home where my yard had 14 orange trees, and so I know well the fragrance you speak of. I also love baby lotion and use it myself at times, along with baby powder. My front walkway has jasmine that wafts in my door every day of the spring and summer.

You painted some wonderful olfactory pictures here!

Just lovely. (And I wish I could have seen the painting!)

=)

H said...

For me, the smell of holidays is the salt tang from the sea or the warm grass enclosed inside a newly pitched tent before the groundsheet goes down. Wonderful, wonderful smells!

What a marvellous post. I loved it :)