Our big family of 10 kids squeezed into the smallest house in the neighborhood on Rockland Street. Dad continually added on to the little house as each new child was born. One of Mum's greatest dreams was to have a home that was finished. That wasn't ever going to happen on Rockland Street.
Completely surrounded by farms our home was the central gathering place for all the farm kids whenever they could be relieved from chores. When the neighborhood kids came to play our backyard often looked like a community playground.
About once a week the farmer directly across the street would hitch up his horses to a wagon and stop in front of our home to pickup all the kids in the neighborhod and ride about 2 miles to the cider mill at the end of the road.
We would jump out and the owner would let us all pick apples and drink some fresh cider from the wooden bucket. The smell of crushed apples and fermenting cider was delectible and something I will never forget.
To this day, if I close my eyes, I can smell that wonderful odor as if I was right there. We hardly knew we were broke as a family because of times like this. There is no substitute for a priceless memory.
That last line brought back a very sharp memory, and instantly. You literally hit a nerve because I truly believe that our olfactory senses have their own places in our brains; thus when certain smells hit our nostrils, the odors immediately unlock vivid memories.
If and when I am ready to post another story, one of them will be entitled "Instant Nostalgia." That is what I said to myself one fall afternoon in Hanau, Germany as I walked past a pile of burning leaves. The year was 1962. But when the odor of burning leaves hit my nostrils, it immediately took be back to the late 1940s and to my childhood. You really opened a lock, Tom.