Wednesday, January 25, 2012

"Mom, You Smell Like the Cabin!"

Of course I do. How often have I heard those words from one of our kids. After all, the fifty two year old cabin is totally made of absorbable wooden logs and planks throughout. I want you to close your eyes and smell the cabin with me now.

Think of wet bathing suits and towels, wet mittens, boots and jackets drying over the beams. Think of a fireplace burning brightly with hardwoods. Breath deeply. Dogs, several dogs. They were here.

Imagine fishes being cleaned in the kitchen sink, pot roasts, hams and meat loaves in the oven, Thanksgiving turkeys roasting. Now divert your odor receptors and fine tune your memory smells of all sorts of cookies, cakes, pies and puddings. Remember what they smell like? How about bacon sizzling in a cast iron pan? Coffee, tea, hot chocolate - do you like these? Burned chili or brussels sprouts?

Do you know the odors of pickling spices, dill, vinegar, lemons? Peeling hard boiled eggs? Apples and applesauce being made! A complete dinner consisting of just cooked corn on the cob! How about fruits, such as strawberries and elderberries simmering in a kettle in preparation for jams and jelly making? And then there is the paraffin warming to seal the jars. Speaking of paraffin, crayons! Then came permanent markers. Oh, I'm off on a tangent again.

The medicine cabinet supplies now; Vicks VapoRub, Resinol ointment, iodine, alcohol, Gold Bond products, Packer's Tar Soap, Lifebuoy, Old Spice. Cleaning supplies - specifically Clorox, Parson's Ammonia, Lysol, Pine Sol, Old English, Windex; Hoppe's gun cleaner! one of my favorite whiffs.

Camphor mothballs for the woolens, and Lindane, an antiquated and toxic pesticide that was once used for pests such as carpenter ants; each has it's own pungency. Then there are the glues holding things together - Duco cement, dum dum, super stuff, putty, caulk, spit.

During the last two years of my working days, we lived here in the cabin and I was always worried about smelling like "cabin." Maybe I did, but my co-workers were too kind to mention it directly to me. It's not offensive, just "cabin." Not fungus, mold, dirt or dust, but old. Honest!

Is your olfactory organ stimulated yet? I think you may get the idea of all the years of sweat and tears and life.

Hopefully you are! Today we're permeating the logs and walls and ceilings with the fragrance of baking a huge batch of chocolate chip cookies, from scratch, of course.

And we definitely smell like cabin!


  1. I smell your cabin and it smells like chocolate chip cookies to me.

  2. Hey nice post! Even though it's late as soon as saw that plate of cookies I wanted to grab a glass of ice cold milk!

  3. You LIKE the smell of Hoppe's gun cleaning fluid??????? No way. I hate when my hubby cleans his guns....I can hardly wait for the odor to dissapate. Now, cookies? That's a smell I can go far. As a matter of fact, that third and fourth paragraph made me hungry!!!

  4. I believe I would like the cabin! Right up my ally!