Tripping the (Mercury Vapor) Light Fantastic

Standing on my back porch in the suburbs late last night I inhaled deeply of the smells of summer.

Scents have the ability to transport me back in time to more excellent adventures than Bill and Ted could imagine.

The smell of freshly cut grass reminds me of mown hay curing in the fields of the old home place.

That bit of dust on the breeze is reminiscent of the old 1940s era cars grandpa had resting in peace on the edge of the farmyard. These were the first cars that we cousins ever “drove”, once someone got all the wasp nests cleared out.

Now fully transported to a place which now only survives in my memory, I recall the heavy oil smell of the machine shed where tractors, trucks and cars rested like horses at hitching posts.

The gently pungent smell of dairy cattle in the barn contrasted starkly with the acrid ammonia assault of the henhouse.

Smells of fried eggs, bacon, coffee and toast mingled with Prince Albert tobacco pulled from the bib of Key overalls.

And now I am on the back porch of the farmhouse at dusk. Cattle lowing and the sun dipping from view. Darkness descends only to be beaten back by the snap of ozone and the glow of the mercury vapor on the prairie. And I inhale deeply.

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