I have few if any photos of my father with his pipe; mama always made Dad put the pipe away when the camera came out. I do however, rarely picture him in my minds eye without the pipe either in his hand or biting on it lips pulled back just a bit. I see him smiling around the pipe stem, grimacing as he hammered in the nail, or hooked the fish. All this comes to mind with the aroma. There one instance in particular I remember as if it had just occurred. Dad had laid a concrete slab to place our new home on, he was troweling it out even as I stood to the side and watched. He said to me"Now don't walk across this just yet, it is still wet." I said, in my chipper little voice,"Okay daddy." As I proceeded to traipse directly across the wet cement to him. I immediately realized what I had done, put both my hands over my mouth and stared at him. He dropped his jaw, pipe and all, barely catching it in his hand without the trowel. Instead of being angry or upset he opened his arm to wrap around me. I heard him explaining to mama later that the look on my face was enough for him. What I remember is the smell of his pipe
spiraling up to me from his hand he had tightly wound around me. These are the times the aroma brings to me. I remember the smoke rings he blew in our home from his big brown recliner the house having a blue smokey tinge through out. I never tired of asking him to blow smoke rings. This is when life was innocent and good.
When the smoke wafts past my nose it also conjures memories of campfires, and the smells of an undeveloped forest, little creatures and Forest Rangers, the only times I was in love with life.
photos thanks to jvnphotos and google image search.