Tuesday, October 7, 2014

I smelled a memory

I didn’t realize just how much a scent can invoke a memory until a couple of weeks ago.  One Sunday morning I was taking Jack on his morning walk.  As we were headed home we passed a neighbor’s house.  They must have been cooking breakfast because the smell of bacon and pancakes was unmistakable.

But, it wasn’t just the smell of food that got me.  That odor was mixed in with the smells of grass and leaves and flowers.  Combine all that with the morning dew dripping off the trees and the birds singing and I was right back at Camp Marydale walking to Saga Lodge for breakfast.

When we were growing up our family vacation every year was a week-long trip to a camp in Kentucky run by the local Catholic diocese.   The accommodations were pretty rustic, wooden cabins with concrete floors and metal framed cots.  The “deluxe” cabins, The Timbers, had their own indoor plumbing.  If you stayed in the other cabins you had to hike on over to the shared bathhouse.  

Regardless of which cabins you stayed in, all meals were served at Saga Lodge.  That was pretty rustic as well, another wood framed building with concrete floors.   The tables were the standard folding ones with the molded plastic chairs in colors typical of the seventies, burnt orange, gold and avocado green.

The food was served family style but nobody could eat until grace was sung.  Yes, sung.  We never said grace.  It had to be sung, loudly, boldly and joyfully; and, if the food smelled particularly good – quickly.

Oh, the Lord’s been good to me.
And so I thank the Lord
For giving me the things I need:
The sun and the rain and the apple seed.
The Lord’s been good to me!


A-a-men.  A-a-men.  A-a-men.  Amen.  Amen.
Bless, Oh Lord.  Bless these gifts.
Gifts that come from Your great love.
A-a-men.  A-a-men.  A-a-men.  Amen.  Amen.

Saga Lodge circa 1980

Now pass that bacon!



  1. I love those kind of memories...I know when I smell certain foods...I think about breakfast when I was growing up. My mom always made us breakfast probably why it's one of my favorite meals!

  2. That's awesome! Bacon and outdoors sounds like an amazing combo, and it sounds like a fun memory as well.