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Scents of Memory

Have you ever noticed how certain smells take you back to a certain place and time? Ranch & home and farm & home stores do that for me. There’s a certain smell that hits me when I walk in the door of a ranch & home or farm & home store. It’s a combination of popcorn, animal feed, and leather.

I went to our local Atwoods Ranch & Home last Saturday for some supplies. The moment I walked in the door, I was hit by a memory of visiting a farm & home store with my grandpa and dad when I was a little girl. I don’t remember what the store was called because it was in the Ava, Missouri area, which I haven’t visited in well over 20 years.

Grandpa and Dad let me tag along because I adored Grandpa and wanted to go everywhere with him. I didn’t get to see him very often, so I followed him around like a lost puppy every time we visited. In retrospect, I’m glad I did because I was only seven or eight years old when he passed away.

I remember they picked up several bags of feed and some seeds for the garden that day. I still recall my awe at the sheer size of the 100 pound sack of chicken feed. It boggled my little mind that chickens could eat so much.

They let me look around, and I begged for a baby duck. I’d never seen one before, and it was the cutest thing in the world. I had visions of the duck sleeping in a box in my room and running around the house all day. Dad had a firm “No” stance, but I could tell that Grandpa was thinking about it. Dad’s word was final, and I did not get a duck.

Memories of my early years are more precious the older I become. I don’t visit Atwoods often, but I always think of Grandpa when I do.

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