Fresh Joy From Home Fragrances

by Audri Carli

Gladness welled as I realized anew the joy that can be savored from home fragrances. The insight surfaced after I had become extra busy, taking time to eat sandwiches with salads rather than simmering aromatic foods on the stove.

I still lived in our family home, although my children had grown up and my husband had passed on. I still had morning and eve-ning devotions. I had the same furniture, same writing interests and still planned to find more family recipes someday. I still planted flowers and cleaned the house. All of these had given me a feeling of home; however, I had become too rushed at times. I later found what I had missed.

As I walked into the kitchen and smelled the simmering barbecue beef I would serve my visiting son and daughters for dinner, a smile soaked into me as I recalled one of the special joys of family life.

The aroma filled the kitchen and swept me back in time. In earlier years, I had cooked the same recipe to surprise my children on special occasions. The fragrance had always been linked with a chocolate layer cake with dark icing, with “Happy Birthday” written in white frosting. I wanted to savor another fragrance of yesteryear, so an hour later I smelled the chocolate aroma of the baking cake.

Later, I cut up celery and carrots for the dill dip, and the mingling scents of the dill and vegetables put a soothing glow in my spirit.

When I dusted the end tables with lemon-scented polish, I recalled the cleaning days when the children napped and I rushed to get the housework done. It was as if they were sleeping in their beds again at that time. The smell seemed to whisk me back to young motherhood and the coziness of being a family together under one roof.

When my family arrived to celebrate my son’s birthday, I told them, “I finally discovered that the fragrances in this house made it come alive with the scents of family living again.”

My children gazed at me with delight shimmering in their eyes. Each told me that their memories flowed when they smelled the various aromas of the foods they had enjoyed as children.

Each daughter and my son recalled fragrant items they used that reminded them of home. “I like the same shampoo, Mom, because of the good smell and my hair feeling clean from it.”

“I always use the same barbecue sauce recipe, Mom. I always felt good when I sniffed the aroma—and then just last week I told my friend, Alice, that I remembered all the times I walked into the house from school and smelled the delicious supper.”

After my family went home, I made a plan: I would cook an old family favorite recipe for a meal at least once a week, so I could revisit earlier family days. I would blend yesteryear’s fragrances into those of today. I would cook the same foods when I invited friends and family to share in the snacks, lunches or dinners. Or I would savor them alone while reading a book or looking at a photo album, sitting in cozy silence, feeling fresh contentment.

Daily, I would celebrate family joy that soothes today by filling my home with memorable fragrances. V
Audri Carli lives in Michigan.

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