I grew up in the Willamette Valley in Oregon, an area once publicized as a 'promised land flowing with milk and honey.'
The land is indeed rich, fertile and lush, with literally hundreds of thousands of acres of land that produce everything from grass seed to Christmas trees to every sort of berry, nut, fruit and vegetable you can imagine (well, except for all the tropical ones!)
As a child I remember the sights and sounds of growing up in a small farming community: trucks lumbering through town piled high with produce headed for the cannery, tractors rumbling through on their way to work, combines purring through the night to get the cutting done, the "whoosh" of huge sprinklers giving the thirsty plants their drink.
But for me one of the most memorable things about growing up there was the pungent fragrance of the mint fields nearby.
My friend's dad had a farm that grew mint for Wrigley's - yes, to make Doublemint or Spearmint gum. I'm not sure which variety it was, but there was no mistaking the sweet smell of that mint in the air, particularly at harvest time.
We moved from Coburg, that small farming community, when I was twelve. But two years later I begged my friend to let me come back and work on her dad's farm for a few weeks, moving irrigation pipes.
In the mint fields!
Moving pipes was not as "dreamy" as I imagined (aka: really hard work for a 14 year old girl!), but oh the smell of the mint fields. It's something I've never forgotten all these years!
Claire was visiting a friend yesterday to say goodbye, and came home with some beautiful produce from their garden.
All of it was lovely and delicious (we ate some of it for dinner!), but the prize was a big plastic bag stuffed with mint leaves.
Oh that luscious fragrance!!! Took me right back to my childhood.
This is one of the familiar views of my kids' childhood...and how it looked yesterday evening.
I wonder what will be the sights, sounds and smells that will take them right back to their childhoods?
And what brings YOU back to your childhood?!