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Cedar Smoke

Blog by: Lloyd Tackitt , Texas 12/29/2014
Nostalgia hits us harder each year that we live on this spinning ball, and sometimes an attack is brought on by a smell.  I had one of those yesterday afternoon.

When I was a young kid we'd get to visit our grandfather's ranch a lot of the summers and some of the winters as well.  In the winter our grandfather would often take us fishing or hunting.  His house was heated by a sheet metal wood burning stove in the living room.  The rest of the house just got as cold as it was outside, only the living room had heat.

We would help cut wood any time we were there, wood cutting was a year round thing as there was never enough wood piled up to make the old folks feel comfortable for a winter.  The wood pile was as big as a mountain to me and as small as a gopher pile to my grandparents.  The wood was a mixture of all kinds, including some cedar.

His house was up on top of a ridge, and all the land he owned was down hill from the house.  When we'd go fishing or hunting we'd be climbing back up to the house on our return - and in the winter the wood stove would be burning, day or night.  And sometimes there would be cedar in the stove and the smoke from cedar is the most distinctive and something beyond pleasant.  Cedar smoke, from up close isn't much to brag about, but from a little distance it is one of my favorite smells in the entire world.  

So there were those cold, wet, windy days that we'd be out and about the place and would smell cedar smoke and even at the age of five years old I knew it was always going to be one of the best smells I'd ever smell.  And yesterday I was out for a walk and it was cold, wet and a bit windy and someone somewhere was burning cedar and it was like I had stepped into a time machine and I stopped and closed my eyes, and just enjoyed that wonderful odor.

And while my eyes were closed I was truly transported back to my grandfather's ranch, and I was five years old and climbing up that ridge to the house.  It didn't last long, but it was so intensely clear that it was almost as good as actually being there again, tempered by the years in between and all that has gone past during that time.  

Those are good memories.  Usually they are just faint memories, but sometimes when I'm not expecting it and get a good whiff of cedar smoke I can go right back in time and it is as strong as today's reality.  

I love cedar smoke, loved it when I was a kid, love it now.

Blog content © Lloyd Tackitt
Blog Comments
Attila64, TX   12/29/2014 2:38:04 PM
excellent story. I could smell the cedar as I was reading it.
HeavyC, CO   12/30/2014 9:17:25 PM
Thanks for sharing!
FishingJunkie, CO   12/30/2014 9:55:36 PM
Thanks, Lloyd - enjoyed reading it.
Ajax5240, CO   12/30/2014 11:41:49 PM
I know the smell you speak of, takes me back to my youth in Northern Vermont. Thanks for the reminder, and the grin that joined it. Cheers
woollybugger, WY   12/31/2014 8:59:32 AM
Those are wonderful memories. Mine are with my smoker. Nothing better than a cedar taste too. I purchased a ranch in northern Idaho years back for my retirement and to my excitement are a cedar mix on my mountain. We still do logging in this country so I panneled my walls and ceiling with cedar. Cedar saunas are way cool too. When I lived in Montana I built one that my wife claims as a closet...figures. My memories of cedar are with my dearly departed hunting and fishing buddy who sitting in my upper cabin hunkered by the heater. Cedar is certainly a wood that can make memories.
Bassnfly, CA   12/31/2014 2:14:11 PM
Great smelling memories!
Tbubb, CO   12/31/2014 6:16:56 PM
Ever toss a fillet or two on the flue?