Tuesday, August 20, 2013


That is a photo of Charlotte NC that I took from a beautiful peaceful and surprisingly quiet park near downtown.  I think it was called the 4th ward Park.  LOVE it and Charlotte.

Another gray day.  If it isn't actively raining it's cloudy.  :-(

Mary, of  Out My Front Door published a great blog Monday regarding random things of meaning to her.  In it, she mentioned smells etc and I in my comment almost had a blog there.  I was talking about the "time machine" that fragrances are to me.  I mentioned this phenomena several times in the old MSN blog.

Smells, fragrances if you will are very evocative at least to me.  I told Mary that the smell of hot tar, asphalt then, takes me back to a sliver of time when I was five years old.  I was deposited with my cousin Richard outside a grocery store while my aunt, Richard's mother was inside.  We were out there perhaps half an hour..maybe..not sure but it was as HOT a summer's day as you can get in Roanoke any given summer.  We were outside the city at the time I am speaking of..grocery day.. however, a more rural area and I recall a two lane road.  But of course in the ancient days, all roads were two lanes except for the occasional three laner.  *smile*

As I said.  Hot.  And the smell of hot asphalt rose and took charge of our nostrils!  Me and Richard were miserably hot..dying of thirst and eventually we were able to get a coin apiece to get a coke out of the machine that was too warm and was like drinking Tabasco sauce might be if you did such a thing.

To this very day as I drive somewhere and catch the smell of tar or asphalt I am mentally transported to another time and another place in a life that has gone with amazing speed to this point where I sit and tap this put.

Smelling the oils (Naptha oil??)  that used to be put (maybe they still are in public places, dunno) on wooden floors takes me straight to my grandmother's beautiful home in Roanoke.  Her floors  gleamed like glass always.  I can smell coal in the air as I think back- as coal was the most used method of heating and Roanoke had quite the rail yards for transporting coal in and out.  There was a railroad called N&W that we saw and heard if we were in the right part of the City.. Norfolk and Western, long defunct now I think.  When we were at our cabin in Summers at Glenvar, we heard it all of the time and me and my brothers walked on the trestle over the Roanoke River.  The brothers, 8 and 10 years older than I would lay their ears along the track listening for a train.  Then we would make our way along the track to the other side.  Gives me the jimjams to think about now.  I was really little.

Grapevine ropes to swing on out over the Roanoke River and dropping like a rock down into the water, my brother cracking his head open on a rock as he dropped off the vine into the river and 20 stitches in it...those were the days indeed.



  1. What a lovely post. We so take the smells and sounds we hear etc. go through us without a thought until one pops up and reminds us when we first connected it with something. One for me is a sound of a train. It reminds me of the trains we used to watch going along the tracks across the river from us.

  2. What wonderful memories Twin. I have memories that flood my mind when I smell certain things. The photo of Charlotte is beautiful!

  3. I used to have memories that would be triggered by certain scents too, lovely, hazy, rose-coloured childhood memories. :-)

  4. What great memories. Was that the last time your brother ever jumped? Scents take me back immediately to times and places in my life- xo Diana

  5. Great memories! I've never been to Charlotte, but your picture is beautiful.

    I have good friends from Roanoke. I don't know if we mentioned this that long-ago time when we met. They went to Thomas Jefferson, and visits there often included a drive to Craig's Creek where there was a cabin.

    I hope you are enjoying August. It is quickly passing!

    xo Nellie

  6. Long ago I was born in the Charlotte Presbyterian Hospital. Is it still there?

  7. One thing that has really struck me is how different things are from the childhood I had. I wonder if we all think that as we grow up??

  8. What a wonderful post. We do take for granted many smells. They bring back a lot of memories for me too. I could probably write a post on them as well. Are you from Charlotte. We have family that lives there. We live in Western N.C. Blessings, xo

  9. Wonderful post Carole! And yes.. scents are so important to us in our lives! They bring memories back to me faster than tastes and sights. I have a friend who has no sense of smell. Of course, she doesn't know what she's missing.. but i'm grateful for my strong sense of it. I can't imagine being without it! I can feel the heat through your description here, and smell the tar. You write it so well, and it's so vivid! xx

  10. Hi sis!
    Your photos of Charlotte Nc you has few years in wonderful time I beleve that when try to went go it every time Sis!
    I need in importand things what a plesure to those new pictures are the most beautiful things I have seen,I will have to go there with you Sis!!
    It is so extremely beautiful.oh,and by the way regarding your comment about that your sons well.
    Are you thinking about your mother of the fragrance it's scent stay outside your home?
    I will be back to my golfing "It not raining day"...
    Still raining day for too many days.
    I hope you are very will Sis!!
    Sis.Katie.Miyuki and Victoria

  11. Yeah, smells can be very evocative. When I was a child and the family drove from VA to NH each summer in the 60s, we had to pass through northern NJ. The smell of chemical processing was horrible. Every time I smell harsh chemicals, I am reminded of the misery of the NJ Turnpike. And in fact, my favorite fantasy spoof book 'Bored of the Rings' describes the evil swamps of Mordor as "not unlike Passaic, NJ", LOL.

    On the other hand, while I have little personal interest in recreational machinery, I find the smell of gasoline generally pleasant. I also like a FAINT whiff of skunk too. Go figure...

  12. Interesting how we frame our cities..... I kind of like the older brick piles of buildings...

  13. Hello!
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    Thank you!




  14. Scents, smells do bring up memories! When I think of asphalt, it reminds me of the time we walked to school. And especially summer, asphalt smell strong in heat! You have wonderful memories..but the episode of your brother cracked his head sounds scary. My brother cracked his head when he was small, too. Several stitches. It is long time ago. I wonder if he remembers it.

  15. Smells really do have a tendency to open the archives of memory don't you think? It's always been a powerful thing for me too...sometimes it's brings good memories other times bad...either way I can't deny it triggers my mind.

  16. We don't always think about how smells have memories, but they most certainly do. Loved this post! :)

  17. What a great post, my friend! I love the memories! The picture is wonderful, too. ~xo~

  18. Love the header photo. It looks very much like the John Hancock Building here in Boston. You can take a similar photo with the old John Hancock building reflecting on the newer one.
    This was a very good post Carole. Why didn't I think of it?

  19. What a great photo. Absolutely love it, and what an amazing building. I also envy you for all your childhood memories. I have so few that I can recall. Great post!

  20. All the scents of my childhood are trapped back east! Nothing here reminds me of the best times: at the shore, on the beach, in the ocean. Lovely, but thousands of miles away. xxoo