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Smells Like Summer PDF Print E-mail
Written by John D. Buerger, CFP®   
Thursday, 22 July 2010 08:03
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John Buerger

I like summer. Do You?

I'm good with the heat.  When I was young it gave me more time to play and relax.  Now it gives me more quality time with my kids, Austin and Alexa, without the demands of high school studies and schedules on either of us.  It also allows for some travel.

What I like BEST about summer is that everything smells different ... and better.

This summer I got to revisit the Thunder Bay Colony - a small group of cottages on the beach on the Canadian side of Lake Erie across from Buffalo.  This retreat was established by my grandfather, a prominent Buffalo area lawyer, back in the 1930's (yes, during the Great Depression).  It is also a place loaded with fond memories from my own childhood when we would fly back from California and visit for a few weeks every other summer.

Thunder Bay smells different, too.  From the sweet smell of freshly mowed grass (East Coast summer grass smells different than West Coast lawn grass) to the more pungent odors coming off whatever washed up on the shore after the latest thunderstorm rolled through to an interesting mixture of sunscreen, leather and new tennis balls - each day brought a smorgasbord of  olfactory treats.

One sniff in a split second put me back to my childhood and a load of great memories.  It's amazing how our brains work and how quickly memories from 40 years ago can come back to life as though it was just yesterday.  I haven't accessed those synapses in many years, but they were firing in full force right from the get go.

Of course it doesn't hurt that Thunder Bay Colony has remained essentially unchanged in 80 years.   The cottages are all open-wall cedar (which also smells great, by the way).  The colony roads are gravel (which makes a wonderful long crunching sound as cars slowly move along) and the beach and water are clean, pleasant (72 degree water temperature) and well maintained by mother nature.

I enjoyed a great visit with cousins who (like me) are grown up now with kids of their own.  I was thrilled at being able to share that part of my life with my kids and to watch them as they enjoyed much of the same lazy fun and relaxed lifestyle we favored in our younger years.

I mention all of this because I think it is an important reminder to each of us to take some time to revisit our roots and share those experiences with those we love.   I think it makes each of us more whole - more of who we are at the core - and allows your system to recycle and rejuvenate.

There is an old phrase that says it is critical to "stop and smell the roses" from time to time.  I encourage you to do so yourself ... and encourage your kids or other young people to literally slow down and absorb all the senses of this most enjoyable time in their lives.

That way in 50 years they can come back to it and relive the experience all over ... with one deep breath.

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Comments (1)
1 Friday, 06 August 2010 22:35
Mike Howe
It is amazing how smell can trigger memories isn't it? I agree, the grass does smell different, Why is that? I think the rain also smells different from coast to coast also.

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Last Updated on Thursday, 22 July 2010 15:11