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The machine shed on the farm where I grew up.

The machine shed on the farm, Waseca, Minnesota.

This is a present-day photo, but it relates to my post from last Thursday where I mentioned the machine shed on the farm where I grew up.

Thanks to my cousin, Karen, for sending this to me! This is how the machine shed looks right now. If this were 30 years ago, conditions would be ripe for a climb! It didn’t get like this every year. For one, we needed enough snow, and it also had to be cold enough to pack down the snow and make it hard and crunchy in order to get a toe-hold.

Another thing about the machine shed: the smell of it inside was absolutely intoxicating.  It had a dirt floor, so there was something about the mix of dirt and oil and fuel that was pungent and unique. It’s not too often that I come across that smell these days, but when I do I’m instantly transported back to the farm; Grandpa and the tractors materialize before my eyes, as if in a sharp dream.

Perhaps this is why I love the smell of auto parts stores and mechanics’ garages. Similar enough, but not exactly the same as the machine shed.

If there was a smell that you could bottle because of its ability to conjure memories, what would it be?

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