In Texas the smell that will forever say Texas to me is the smoke from a BBQ. In Washington the smell that forever says Washington to me is the scent that fills the air from Evergreen trees.
Today I went to my neighborhood Kroger. That is a grocery store for you who don't know Kroger. For you in the Northwest, Kroger is what bought Fred Meyer, to noticeable bad results, near as I can tell during my Fred Meyer visits whilst up north.
As I walked into Kroger today I was instantly transported back to Washington. I was slapped with an extreme Evergreen tree assault. I just stood there taking it in. Best thing I've smelled in Texas since I don't know when.
I figured the Christmas trees must be from Texas. I believe Christmas trees are grown out in the Piney Woods Region of Texas.
So, I was a bit surprised when I looked at the yellow tags on the trees to see that they were "ANOTHER "GEM" FROM THE EMERALD FOREST" from a Christmas Tree Company called EMERALD, based in Bellevue, Washington.
So, I really was transported back to Washington. Those were Washington Evergreens making Krogers smell real good today.
When I lived in Washington I did not notice the Evergreen smell as being so prevalent. I'd notice it if I was up in the mountains hiking, or sometimes when outside in my yard or slacking on the hammock on my roof deck.
But, in 2001 I drove back to Washington, solo, for my mom and dad's 50th Anniversary. As I crossed over the summit of Snoqualmie Pass I started noticing that the air was somehow seeming heavy and I started to be almost startled by how strongly the air smelled of Christmas trees.
Smelling Christmas trees constantly kept happening til I got re-acclimated by about week 3 and no longer noticed the smell. When I fly to Seattle I've never had the Christmas tree thing hit me in the same way it did driving over the mountain pass. I can be sitting in my sister's back yard or hiking some place, like Point Defiance Park, and it will smell like Christmas. But never again in that overwhelming way it did in 2001.
I think maybe the fact that that return in 2001 was the longest I'd been away, sort of made everything seem more vivid. I remember in addition to smelling Christmas trees I was struck by how shiny, clean and new everything looked as I drove west through Issaquah and Bellevue. I remember getting stuck in a traffic jam on the I-90 floating bridge and loving it. Mount Rainier was hovering big to the south, Lake Washington was sparkling, dozens of sailboats, everything looked, I don't know, as if Mother Nature had given it a good scrubbing til it sparkled.
Anyway, it was nice to have a brief visit back to Washington today, if only for a couple minutes.