My husband and I have lived in the countryside most of our lives, with only two exceptions. After we were married, we rented an apartment near center city Allentown. Two years later, we moved into a townhouse in Lower Macungie Township. We stayed there for 10 years, then moved to our current home in Old Zionsville and back to our country roots.
After 12 years away from the rural atmosphere, it didn’t take very long to re-acquaint ourselves to the smell of freshly cut grass, the cleaner air, the smell of burning leaves in fall, skunks, apples rotting on the ground, horse manure spread on the fields, and other aromas that go along with living in the countryside.
As we walk outside to shovel snow or spread salt on the ice during the winter months, the wonderful smell of someone burning wood in a fireplace fills the air. I can just picture the flames gently reaching out as they warm the house. It sometimes makes me wish our home would have a fireplace of its own.
During the warmer months the township work crew is sometimes busy chipping piles and piles of branches and debris. The smell of pine from the Christmas trees dropped off at the township’s yard waste site wafts through the air. I wish I could put it into a spray bottle for later use in the house.
Our neighbor has a lilac bush in the back yard, and when the flowers bloom the smell of those lilacs permeates the air. Sometimes we will cut some of the flowers off and place them in a vase on the kitchen table to enjoy.
And the honeysuckle. That is one of my favorite fragrances. In the springtime the aroma drifts into the open windows and spreads throughout the house. I love walking down the street in the afternoon for the mail. The honeysuckle grows along a small creek near our mailbox and the sweet smell makes carrying the bills home a bit easier.
As spring turns into summer, the smell of chlorine from swimming pools throughout the township fills the air. You can hear the children, as well as adults, playing and enjoying themselves on a hot, humid day.
On a walk through woods, you can smell the different plants and trees. The decaying leaves and branches have a musky sort of odor, while the pines and spruces give off a fragrant smell.
Another great aroma is that of a smokehouse. Just on the other side of the Upper Milford Township border, along Route 100 toward Hereford, is the local butcher, H.R.Waterman. If you visit him on a Thursday, you will be treated to a wonderful, woody smell in the air. It’s the day he smokes hams and bacon and some sausage. It makes my mouth water just thinking about the smokehouse.
You only get those smells in the country.