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A Small Town Gal

Scents of the Season

Mel BooneDifferent smells remind me of different holidays. It really does.

Since August, my nose has been bombarded with the scent of pumpkin spice every where I go. Lattes, coffee creamer, tea, candles, body sprays, etc., the list goes on.

My nose has been bombarded with the scent of Fall, Halloween and Thanksgiving before October ever got here!

Now, the stores have included the scent of cinnamon and pine needles in with the pumpkin spice scent. Of course, the Christmas displays are out front and center before Halloween has been celebrated.

My nose is working overtime to wade through all the holiday scents in every store that I go to. I don't relish a cold, but I think my nose would enjoy being stuffy for a couple of days just so it could have some time off.

All in all, I will wade through the Scrooge routine and I will end up a happy person. The scents change with the season.

I know I don't mind all the different smells. I do enjoy them. I just get overwhelmed at times with so many floating around the air.

Sometimes, I need to step back and take a deep breath of, well, clean fresh air!. That is all that it takes to get me to kick the Scrooge routine and get me back to my normal happy self.

All these holiday scents also remind me that 2018 is almost gone. Where did the time go?

An old year will soon be gone and a new year will begin. Who knows what is in store for any of us, right?

Perhaps I should be more grateful of all of these holiday scents. They can serve as a reminder that I've at least made it this far.

With that in mind, I'm hoping for a Christmas of birthday present that smells like wildflowers or maybe lily of the valley. I'm ready for Spring.

autumn scents
Photo by Getty Images/johnandersonphoto

Unexpected Find

Mel BooneJust this past weekend, I went to the last tractor show of the season that I exhibited my Massey Ferguson tractor at. As with every tractor show that I go to, I enjoy going through the flea market vendors. I never really know what I'll find.

This year was no exception. The second day of the show I found one item that I had completely overlooked the first day.

I can't believe I missed it the first day and I'm so very happy that I did see it. It was a souvenir from the Shepherd of the Hills theater in Branson, MO., a 70-piece Old Mat's log cabin kit.

I couldn't believe it! I've been there once to see the show. That was about 30 years ago.

Got to the theater twenty minutes before the show started and left once it ended. I never got to buy any trinkets to remember the trip by. I did however, buy the book from a little shop at Silver Dollar City.

I was so delighted to find this log cabin kit. You would have thought that I had struck gold.

For a five dollar bill, it went home with me. I'm not sorry for buying it and my "inner child" wants to play with it!

It's a treasured item now, along with the book that Harold Bell Wright wrote well over 100 years ago. My book is by no means a first edition, but I've totally loved reading it again.

For the longest time, I have thought that the Shepherd of the Hills theater was closed, but a google search does show that it has shows this 2018 season. I know I won't make it back down there to watch it again this year, but who knows, perhaps I can make a trip back to it sometime soon.

Unexpected Find

Photo property of Mel Boone.


Mel BooneI received in the mail a few days ago, to monthly conservation magazine that I get from the Missouri Department of Conservation. I do enjoy that magazine! In that particular issue was the annual seedling order form.

Oh how I wish I had land of my own! I look through the order form every year with a wish list of trees and shrubs that I yearn to order. I have no land of my own except for what I day dream about.

I know what I would order if I had the land and the money to buy the seedlings. My place would have conifers like the Eastern red ceder, Eastern white pine and Norway spruce.

Hardwoods I would have would be a variety, Black cherry, black walnut, Cottonwood,Kentucky coffee tree, Cherry bard oak, Black oak, White oak and Osage orange Pecan and Persimmon. I'd top off my order with shrubs like the Carolina buckthorn, black haw, American beautyberry and Blackberry.

Perhaps I would even throw in the Deciduous holly, flowering dogwood, Pawpaw, Wild plum and Witch hazel. Boy what a list!

That's a day dream for me. I know it will never come to be.

Even if I got the land and the money, there's always the chance that I would or would not live to see the trees or shrubs grow to full maturity. I could only hope for the trees or shrubs to live for those who come after me to enjoy.

That is life. I can only wish, dream and hope. Perhaps there is someone out there that has the land to plant seedlings.

Whoever that is and whoever you are, I hope you do it. Even if your list is different than mine or even your wish list has more/less on it, I hope you follow through and get them and plant them.

The future will be glad that you did.

dogwood tree
Photo by Getty Images/michaelmill.

Fall is Coming

Mel BooneAccording to my calendar, August will soon be gone. Children here in my part of the Midwest will be soon starting school in just a few days. Some schools have already started this week. This is the time that tells me that fall is just around the corner. It makes me wonder where in the world the summer went to. It has come and gone way too fast.

Fall. It's not so bad. At least I'll take fall any day over winter, which is my least favorite season. Mother Nature is getting ready to get her paint brush out and paint the tree leaves their Autumn color before they cover the ground. I'm sure before long, I'll be cruising the back roads to view the beautiful fall foliage, taking in every beautiful scene before it slips away to it's winter sleep.

Fall, it's a season that has its own little traditions that make it fall. Adults will soon be out raking leaves into piles in their yards just to have their kids, along with a dog or two, shriek with glee as they jump into the leaves. Carved pumpkins will decorate porches as the scent of pumpkin spice fills the air. Football games, homecoming parades, and trick or treaters will be on the minds of many of us.

As much as I hate to let go of summer, I must do so. It would be nice to have the money to move to the southern hemisphere for a while. At least until summer comes again to the northern hemisphere. I know it would just blow my mind to be someplace where I actually celebrated Christmas during the summer! Just think, for those who make the southern countries their home, that's normal.

Alas, I don't have the funds. Oh well. I must accept the fact that Fall is coming. If I be patient long enough, summer will be back again.

fall foliage
Photo by Getty Images/Elenathewise.


Mel BooneI love a parade. I really do. Homecoming parade, tractor drive, Fourth of July or Thanksgiving parade, it doesn't matter. As long as it is a parade, I will watch and cheer as the parade goes by.

I've been in one or two as a kid. It was the local homecoming parade and I got to ride in it with an older gentleman that had a shed just down the street from my childhood home. I was pretty young at the time, so I don't remember much about him.

I think his name was Mr. Snyder and he used his garage to store his Model T Ford. It wasn't a homecoming parade without seeing him driving his car in it. Even though I've lost track of him and his car, I still feel like the luckiest gal in the world to ride in the parade with him. I regret not having a picture of me an him in that car.

I got to feel a similar joy just a few years ago when attending the Red Power Roundup in Sedalia, MO. I was lucky enough to ride in an International Harvester Highwheeler truck in the truck parade. The highwheeler was built back in the early 20th century and the owner was kind enough to take a picture of me in it when the parade was over with.

As a kid, it was how much candy you could get that mattered the most. Heck, most of the candy that I got, I didn't bother to eat. I was kinda picky on what kind I ate. Go figure! But looking back, I loved the excitement and joy that I got from those parades.

These days, I like what some of the tractor shows do. They line up their tractors and parade them around the town square for all to see. Sometimes that parade will go around to the local nursing home too. What a great sight for the residents who otherwise may not be able to go the show to see the exhibits.

It's been awhile since I've paraded one of my tractors. I hope that someday, if I'm lucky to be able to buy an antique truck that I've always wanted, I will be able to follow in Mr. Snyder's footsteps. I hope to be in that homecoming parade giving a kid a ride in that parade and a wonderful memory that will last forever.

tractor parade
2018 Mark Twain Old Thresher's Parade, Paris, MO.

Photo property of Mel Boone.

Recipe Collector

Mel BooneAs I was going through some papers this morning, intending to throw most of them out, I came across one I thought that I had stashed elsewhere. It was a recipe for "Dog Ice Cream." It goes as follows: Blend together three ripe bananas, one container (32 oz.) of plain yogurt and one cup of peanut butter. Pour mixture into ice trays and freeze for two hours. Serve.

Ok, I want to save that one. So I went to put it in it's place, with all my other recipes. I now know that I have another past mess to deal with. One whole shelf crammed full of recipe books and printouts of recipes I printed from the internet. Good grief, how did this happen?

Most of the recipe books I've forgotten that I had. There's a few that aren't there, so who knows where I've stashed those at (I'm sure I will stumble into those somewhere else where I least expect them to be.). I've got recipes that I printed off the internet three years ago that I haven't even tried yet. I don't even remember where I got a couple of the recipe books. Yikes!

I'm still scratching my head. How did I get started accumulating this mess? I barely enjoy cooking for myself only because I don't care to eat out at the fast food places on a daily basis. So it's highly unlikely that you will see me using any of these cookbooks or recipes to cook for anyone else.

As dumbfounded as I am, I walked away. It'll be there tomorrow. One of many "I have to sort through this to declutter my life" to do list. It's a slow process, sorting through the clutter. On the bright side, I have no excuse when it comes to not knowing how to cook something. If there's a recipe for it, I've got it. It's on that shelf, somewhere.

recipe collector
Photo by Getty Images/Stieglitz.

A Nation Celebrates

Mel BooneCelebrating the Fourth of July has always been fun for me. It's the time to celebrate our nation's birthday. My most frequent memory of celebrating July Fourth is eating watermelon and setting off fireworks at night. Of course now as an adult, I'd rather sit back and watch the fireworks than to be the one that sets them off.

Parades will be held all across America. Barbecue grills will be put to good use. Families will gather and will have a grand time. So what if the Fourth of July is on a Wednesday this year? No problem. Just take a few days off of work this year, if you can, and make a vacation out of it.

I'm proud to be an American. In fact, I'm grateful to call this country my home. To think that my ancestors, so many years ago, immigrated to a new land to call home and they chose America. It just boggles my mind that they chose this country instead any other. This is my country of birth and I can't imagine being a citizen of any other country.

As I get into my patriotic frame of mind, I think about the parades and little kids waving the flag. Fireworks that will fill the night sky and those of us who will "Oooh" and "Awww" with each one that goes off. I think about those who came here before me and those who will raise their hand to become naturalized citizens. I think about our military that serve us 24/7, both here and abroad. I think about the Native Americans that were here long before my ancestors ever arrived.

America is a big land and a melting pot of many nations. This country has seen good times and bad times. Somehow, as I lose myself in thought as I watch the fireworks while eating a piece of watermelon or apple pie, I can't help but believe that with each firework that goes off, there will be the hope of a good and better future for us all.

Fourth of July
Photo property of Getty Images/Choreograph.