Sweet Scent Memories Still Exist

This week I was reading two novels that mentioned sweet scent memories. They were extra special because I have the same memory, my father’s Old Spice after shave. Yet, as sweet as this memory is, there is a sweeter one. The aroma of cherry pipe tobacco smoke.

First Seeds of a Memory

At just two weeks old, I didn’t retain full memories, but these early weeks were when my bond with my father formed. It was the time between Christmas and New Year’s, when I imagine Dad had received the special cherry pipe tobacco as a Christmas gift, perhaps from my mother.

Mom was dealing with two baby girls in diapers and asked for help from her husband, my father. Although he put in long days as a farmer, an orange grove caretaker, he was happy to help with me. I was an easy baby; no colic, no difficulty taking a bottle.

I have a visual memory of a photo of my tiny self, propped on my father’s thighs as he holds my bottle in one hand and cradles his pipe in the other, smoke tendrils winding heavenward. He’s dressed in a white Hane’s t-shirt and still has on his work pants as he props himself against the wall behind the master bed.

How Specific is Scent Memory?

Sweet scent memories are very specific for me. I don’t care for all pipe smoke, only cherry pipe tobacco will do. How specific are your scent memories? I’ll bet they are very specific too. Is it cinnamon raisin bread baking, whole wheat or white bread in the oven?

Do you take action to expose yourself to your sweet scent memory? I sure did. Near the end of my Dad’s life he still occasionally smoked a pipe. He preferred Captain Jack in the gold pouch. And I always bought his preference, but I’d pick up a bag of cherry tobacco, hold it close to my face and take a big breath in. I think it brought me back to my two-week old self, securely cradled in my Dad’s lap, my tummy full of nourishment.

Books That Take You Down Memory Lane

The two books that stirred my memories this week were Tiger Drive by Teri Case and Stillwater by Mary Jo Hazard. Tiger Drive depicted a very different life than my own, but I identified with seventeen-year-old Carrie in many ways. Teri built her characters fully, giving me plenty of reason to care about the Sloan family. I highly recommend it.

Stillwater took place in a small town in upstate New York, during the approximate time of my childhood. The twelve-year-old characters in Stillwater spent a lot of time in activities my sister, cousins, and I enjoyed; playing in clubhouses or trees, riding our bicycles, and listening in on grown-up conversations. Both these books took me on a trip down my own memory lane. And isn’t that what books should do? They allow your own sweet scent memories to waft in and around the words on the page.

Are you reading a book that stirs your memories? I’d love to hear about it. Leave a comment below or email me. Better yet, signup for my newsletter and we can have a weekly conversation.

Onto the next book,

Life After Life – a Book Review

Although I knew my friend Kim Moore had written a book about mediumship. I had not purchased it. That is not like me. I purchase books a lot. Then Kim placed an unusual birthday post on her business Facebook page . She was giving away three parts of herself; her book Life After Life, an Everything House Blessing Kit, and a 30-minute reading. All she asked was a Facebook comment with your preference.

Choosing is Sometimes Difficult

Imagine this scene. You love ice cream and the corner drugstore is giving away samples of vanilla, chocolate or strawberry. They say you can have them all, but you must start with just one. Now you have to make a decision. How many people listen to their intuition? Would you?

I checked into my intuition and realized I really wanted to read her book. Conversely, authors have a little agreement with each other. If you receive a free book from your author friend, you naturally buy one too. I felt a little guilty, but I put my preference for the book in my comment and then forgot about it.

Where’s the Review Already!

The full title, Life After Life: A Guide to Connecting with  Your Loved Ones in the Spirit World, tells you a lot about the content. Kim explains all about mediums, grief and loss, spirits and connections, and common signs from our loved ones in spirit. She also shares the dialogue from an actual session.

Not sure what to say when the loved one of a friend passes on? There is a section with guidance on what to say or not say to Them. And Kim’s personal experiences are sprinkled throughout.

My favorite quote from the book:

”By sharing my stories, I hope to leave people with the knowledge that their loved ones in the the spirit world are still with them. Always remember, love never dies.”

There is so much comfort in this book for anyone in grief. And I know from personal experience that Kim’s words are true for me.

Parting Message

The love Kim exhibits for all, resonates on the pages of Life After Life. If you are at all curious, invest in a copy on Kim’s Website.

Oh, and I received my first copy as the winner of Kim’s birthday giveaway. Thank you, Kim!

Peace and Love,

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Use Watercolor to Connect with My Inner Child

Two unrelated events merged together last week showing me to use watercolor to connect with my Inner Child.

The First Event

My son asked if I had any recommendations for my granddaughter concerning learning the art of watercolor.

My first reaction was sending her some of my supplies, as I wasn’t using them. Secondly, I thought, her world is so different from my experience learning watercolor in the 1980’s. Perhaps I should see what new beginning watercolor books are out there. The third book that caught my eye won my purchase.

The Watercolor Book

Creative Watercolor: A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners, by Ana Victoria Calderon has everything a budding watercolor artist needs. The book is packed with recommendations for materials, and photographs, illustrating technique and method. Ms. Calderon builds an easy progression of skill into the hands of the reader.

As I looked inside the book before purchase on Amazon, a lightness filled my chest and a smile lit up my face. My memories creating paintings flooded my thoughts. I pushed them aside to focus on the matter at hand, finding the basic tools my granddaughter needs to pursue an interest that brought me so much joy.

Watercolor Tools

I found Strathmore 140 pound, cold press paper in a spiral pad, Windsor and Newton Cotman half-pan watercolors with the palette and one small brush included. My final purchase was a four-brush set of watercolor brushes from Cheap Joe’s. I felt that completed the basic equipment needed to learn watercolors.

Yes, they weren’t exactly recommendations. Hey, I’m a grandmother and finding something my grandchild actually wants led me down the empty cart path on Amazon.

The Second Event

Do you find it difficult to follow your gut feelings, your intuition? Sometimes, I do. It takes a lot of practice to tell the difference between what’s in your heart vs. thoughts of our mind. One of the tools that helps me connect with my intuition is Oracle Cards. I occasionally use them for extra clarity understanding my feelings.

The second event was pulling the card, “Imagination / Inner Child”. Sonia Coquette, the author of my Ask Your Guides cards, suggests this card is about honoring my Inner Child through inspiration, creativity, art classes or simply play.

The most playful way I could imagine to return to my watercolor was through the same Creative Watercolor book I bought for my granddaughter. I went to order another copy for myself and found they were out of stock in hard copy, but available on Kindle. Reading through this book on my iPad brings joy to my heart.

Now, where are my art supplies?

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Enjoy this new month!