Friday, July 18, 2014

Simsbury summer

How to describe that particular smell: the steamy, oily, tar-laced goo of summer? It's unmistakable but it also takes me back to summers as a girl in Simsbury, Connecticut. It seemed the day school let out in June, the tar trucks began their rounds and continued all summer.

The 300-year-old town of Simsbury spread for miles in all directions so I couldn't ride everywhere on narrow back roads. But I rode my bike through those summers: through neighborhoods the back way to the dime store and to friends' houses. Sometimes I simply jumped on my bike and rode our one-mile circle like a maniac for the pure freedom it offered. I loved how the wind whipped my hair (no helmet of course) and the cool New England  air cleared my head. And mixed all through was that smell of winter-beaten streets being repaired and resurfaced.

Yesterday Bill and I biked to a city park for a picnic by the Olentangy River. About halfway there, I smelled it: Simsbury in summer. That is, a tar truck was surfacing a street or perhaps it was only a driveway. Immediately I was ten years old again, riding to the dime store, hair flying and legs pumping.

Amazing how the sense of smell stays with us and carries us. What smells take you back?

1 comment:

Kathleen said...

That unmistakable smell of chlorine with sun lotion.