The August Break: Fourteen

Wondering what the August Break is? Check out this post.

14. Favourite Smell

(Yes, that’s the Canadian/British/Australian spelling and I occasionally use it just because I grew up in Canada and I like the way it looks.)

I must admit that I don’t have a strong sense of smell. I’ve always assumed it’s because I had a lot of ear-nose-throat issues as a kid (4 surgeries before the age of 7,) was stuffed up a lot of the time, and became a habitual mouth breather. I no longer breathe through my mouth all of the time; still, it does seem to be clear that relying on me to tell you if there is a gas leak or something burning in the oven would NOT be prudent.

The connection between the senses is astounding.

One evening I was driving home along some Minnesota county highway, and the NPR radio program, American Routes came on. They were profiling an old timey bluegrass-country artist I had apparently heard growing up.  My grandfather, who was from Oklahoma, used to love that kind of music (Hank Williams’ and Loretta Lynn and similar) but this genre had also provided the soundtrack at one of our favourite restaurants in Ottawa–at that time, the only TexMex place in our part of Canada–called the Lone Star.

I had not connected any of this consciously, of course, but when that music started emanating from the car’s speakers, the smell of the best fajitas I’ve ever had filled my senses as well. I could even taste them in my mouth. The senses came to life so suddenly and powerfully that I was immediately starving and wishing I could pull off the road to eat.


What a fantastic experience to have had, though it did leave me rather dissatisfied.  Have you ever experienced something similar? I’d love to hear about it.

Here are a few more of my favourite smells:

sweet basil plants isolated on white


instantly transports me to summer. Reminds me of happy times with friends, delicious fresh food and this scrumptious drink:

Lime Basil Slushies

Natural Lavender Bunch on Wooden Background


is the scent I associate with getting a massage, relaxing in a hot bath and taking time to care for myself. A field in France also comes to mind…

I get a 90-minute massage twice a month and believe me…it’s not a luxury. It is literally the only time my brain actually stops sorting things out and I completely let go.  Over the last 20 years, through habitual massage, I have trained my body and mind to understand that this time is essential to restoration. Thank God for my massage therapists. If you are in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, I highly recommend:

Janet Fisher of Janet Fisher Massage

Sarah Wilkinson of Take Time for Yourself Massage

Liv Sulerud

planting flower seedlings, closeup


and the smell of the earth dug up in spring. The soil is teeming with new life and full to bursting with possibility. It’s my favourite time of year, without question.

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2 Responses to The August Break: Fourteen

  1. Teri August 14, 2015 at 9:42 am #

    Hey there friend – thank you so much for posting {August Break}! It has been just what I needed and inspiration to pick up my camera again and a gentle nudge to start blogging again. 🙂 Sending you hugs.

    • Rachel August 22, 2015 at 9:52 pm #

      Yay! Glad to hear it. xoxo

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