I have had the feeling lately that I need to practice writing. I do not have any aspirations to write the next Hunger Games or any other book for that matter. I just feel the need to practice. Without further explanation, here is my first writing exercise.
All it takes sometimes is the tiniest molecule to send me back in time. The molecules I am speaking of are scent molecules and the time I am speaking of is when my husband and I lived in Sonora, CA.
We had just landed our first job post, college degrees, in Sonora, California. After traveling two days and two states later we arrived at our first home. We house sat for a retired Seventh-day Adventist minister and his wife. Their home was beautiful with white creamy carpet, a dining room and a separate breakfast area and a room completely devoted to whatever this minister decided to do in his spare time.
As we traveled, the gigantic moving truck we rented with its equally large trailer for our VW bus, were always thirsty for the good stuff. That’s right, diesel and lots of it. That is the first smell I associate with our move to California. Allen Palmer, my father-in-law, always shielded his hands in gloves while fueling our caravan. I had never smelled diesel in my life. That was back in the day before every passenger truck on the road was a loud, gurgling diesel-guzzling machine. Now, when I get a whiff of this particular vintage of petroleum product, I am whisked back through time, to many a service station we patronized while on our journey to our new life on our own.
We arrived at the end of December, leaving 17 degree Utah for 55 degree California. I thought we were in paradise! It was raining and there was a distinct smell of vicks and burning wood in the air. Hungry to see what was lurking behind the front door I let myself into my new home. What was that smell? Earthy, musty, damp, and kerosene? Our new home was equipped with the latest energy saving heating system. On the side of the garage sat a 200 gallon vessel that contained the liquid heat that would keep us warm. Kerosene was a new, headache inducing smell that my pregnancy shark nose immediately found offensive in the first degree.