Thursday, July 25, 2013

Back to my Childhood

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?!


  1. I took a bike ride out to Coburg and the Bottom Loop last week and was so happy to ride past a few mint fields. There is something about the mint smell that just brings the memories back like a flood. I rode past where many of our friends grew up, past irrigation pipes watering the fields and past fields where we picked beans.

    Riding back into Coburg I went past the grade school, past the church and past our old house. It was Coburg Golden Years weekend too!

    We definitely share some of the same memories. They are planted deep within!

  2. What brings ME back to my childhood?? The smell of rain! And the smell of schnitzel, and hay, and snow. (Yes, there is definitely a smell to snow! Haha!)

  3. Going to San Francisco and walking out on a dock where my dad took me fishing. Or being at Camp Tadmor where we went for family camp for years. Haven't been back to either place in....forever!

  4. My childhood memories are not only of my mom's garden, both grandma's garden and the Big Garden, and sometimes the corn patch. Yep! The Patty Big Garden. And if I wanted to play with Steve or Joyce and they had to work in the garden I often joined them. And I'm really sorry Josh that we threw rotten tomatoes and cucumbers at you. Joyce didn't. :)

  5. It incorporates drifting, kayaking, climbing, sky jumping, hiking, scuba plunging, cruising, bicycling and significantly more! adventure lifestyle