Cow shit and Leather – sounds like a country song doesn’t it?

ImageNostalgia can be lovely. Of course it can be horrid and more than unpleasant as well – but that can be said about most feelings. Especially ones that conjure memories, be them pleasant or not.

There are songs like that for me – ones that instantly transport me to somewhere else … an old boyfriends car, an 80’s dance floor, the statue of Mary I knelt beside on my wedding day … but I don’t have any sordid flashbacks. And for that I am thankful.

Food can do that too. Places. Tangible items. Smells. I imagine a lot of people correlate mothballs to old people – I know the mere mention of a mothball makes me think of my marmalade eating, pearl wearing, English grandmother … the smell of Jean Nate of my mother-in-law … Drakkar Noir of the first man my mother dated after her divorce – to which, I might add, makes me want to vomit anytime I inhale the smallest whiff of the nasty black bottled cologne.

But then there’s the smell of leather – old leather. Worn leather. And cow shit. Mixed together it becomes more than a memory it becomes an entire time … summers long gone. When I was young I used to spend those hot days at my Great Uncle’s farm. And during those days, though I probably stepped in umpteen piles of cow shit, I was also fortunate enough to learn how to saddle a horse, shoot a gun and debone a fish. And while I don’t exactly recall the finer parts of my one time honed skills, I do remember the smell – because it always smelled like that when I was with him. And to this day, I still find the combination of cow shit and aged leather as comforting as anything in the entire world.

By the way, does anyone really know what a mothball is? I used to think they were eggs – but it doesn’t make any sense to surround the clothes you are trying to protect from moths with their unborn now does it?

This post inspired by the Daily Prompt: Humans have very strong scent memory. Tell us about a smell that transports you.



    • Holy shit I shouldn’t have read this while stopped at the red light. I’m laughing so fing hard people are staring at me!

      Shauna Nosler The Flavored Word

  1. You are, seriously, the only other person I have ever encountered that likes the smell of cow shit. It almost seems like a perversion when I tell my children that I do. But it evokes, with the wood fire, memories so ingrained and precious. Namaste.x

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