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
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.