Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thoughts on Friday

The scent of mandarin oranges whispers "Christmas" to me. My parents would buy a box or two and keep them in cold storage in the basement. Each orange, wrapped in green tissue paper, had smooth skin that peeled easily, filled the air with exotic citrus, and tasted sweet.

Do you remember the wooden boxes? After the oranges disappeared, the box became any number of things - a shelf, a doll bed, the frame for a house. I think those wooden orange boxes started me on the path of a-box-for-everything.

For me, mandarin orange scent is Christmas, but for my children, who grew up in the jungle where mandarins grew year round, the scent reminds them of home. 

A couple of mornings ago Tim pointed out the full moon - in the morning! In the half light between night and day it shone fat and bright, framed by a few skimpy forsythia branches just off the deck. 

We're going through a cold spell - temperatures just below freezing at night, warming up to cool, but brilliant sunshine. Ice in the garden stays all day. 

I took a quick stroll with my camera around Government House on Thursday. How surprising, given the chilly nights, to see these fuschia plants so hale and hearty.

Rounding another corner on the path I spied hellebores just beginning to flower. Such beautiful creamy blossoms. 

Something else happened at Government House - but that will be a post for another day.

Back to the mandarins - what scents evoke Christmas for you? 


  1. Mandarins do it for me too. Growing up in Alaska we didn't always have access to fresh fruit - but our dad would order a box or two of mandarin oranges - also wrapped individually in paper - and they have remained favorite to this day. My friends and I would use the boxes for all sorts of fabulous things, just like you did. Beautiful photos.

  2. This was such a delightful post, Lorrie. Don't you love how scents can bring back such sweet memories.

    As for me, I would have to saw the smell of a fresh pine tree reminds me of Christmas. Enjoy your weekend, dear friend. Hugs!

  3. I don't know if any scents really remind me of childhood Christmas celebrations--though I know we had Christmas trees and, if I recall, a mandarin orange--among other things--in our Christmas stockings. Now--Christmas has me craving for the scent and taste of any citrus fruit, evergreen boughs and tree, cinnamon and other spices, etc.
    Stay warm! We're experiencing very cold nights here as well:)
    Blessings, Aimee

  4. Tangerines usually wrapped in tissue with the occasional one in silver paper - since when I was a child citrus fruit was scarce in the UK in the post war years they were something we never had any other time of year. Also the scent of Christmas trees real ones back then of course.

  5. Oh I could smell that incredibly zesty smell reading this. Yes, mandarins/clementines/satsumas
    are definitely Christmas 'past' for me , too. But the top fragrance just has to be that of the pine - fresh Christmas tree. When I was little we always had a real had such a presence, it seemed like a person, almost. I used to sit in the dark at its foot, listening to the silence and the occasional tinkle as a pine needle fell or brushed against one of the delicate glass bells. Quite magical, it was. : )

  6. I love mandarins as well as pomegranates, they symbolize the winter season to me.

    Mersad Donko Photography

  7. Like you Lorrie, one of my evocative scents was Citrus. We always had a tangerine in our stocking when we were children. The other scents are the once a year cigar that my Grandpa smoked, and the lovely pinecone scents from the fire.

  8. In those simPlier times, not so very long ago, the mandating oranges were such a treat, eagerly anticipated, each one savoured...
    When my kids were small, we would make Christmas pomanders by studding limes with whole cloves, preferably in a decorative pattern. That combination of scents still evokes those Christmasses for me...hmm, maybe I should make those up again with the grandkids...

  9. Anonymous4:12 AM

    Bags of fresh cranberries mean Christmas to me - fresh cranberry sauce, cranberry bread with orange zest of course, and cranberry anything. LOL I love fresh cranberries. The photo with the ice crystals is beautiful. We, humans, struggle to be creative but Mother Nature takes the top spot every time.

  10. trying to think of the scent ... my mom has a candle that is green ... had it for years. my dad doesn't like when mom burns candles. so it has been through many season ... but it is so Christmas. i feel i can feel the berries in the scent. pine trees. it is just that great after so many years. can you imagine what it was like when it was new? i love the turkey dinner smell ... the sweet potatoes, the pumpkin pie, stuffing, turkey, cranberry sauce, etc. that is heavenly for this time of the year. ( :

  11. Behind again in blogging. Yes, I do remember oranges and wooden crates in the winter. We also had an orange and an apple in our Christmas stockings. Then oranges really were seasonal fruits and a special treat, not something that mom bought year round. Your fall banner is beautiful. Oh, and thank your country for sending a blast of very cold winter weather, snow included for free, I would imagine. Do have a wonderful week end.

  12. Since living in Pennsylvania for 21 years, Clementines are a part of our tradition. Growing up I guess it was peppermint sticks! We only had them at Christmas.

    I enjoy making cloves studded oranges now too.

    I love the sights and scents of this season!


  13. Tangerines for me!!! Brings me back to my parents living room EVERY TIME I peel one! I think their fragrance is very similar to your mandarins, Lorrie. (pretty photos!) We never had them any other time of the year, except Christmas.
    Funny since now my grands get those little "Cuties" & "Halos" in almost every lunch box. LOL

    Thank you for the info on your beautiful dishes. I just love them & I see that Target carries them here. I may have to brave those crazy Black Friday shoppers.

  14. Oh I do remember the boxed Japanese oranges!
    My Father used a couple of the wooden boxes to make a stable for our family Nativity Scene.
    I purchased a box of th organic mandarins yesterday and had one with my afternoon was delicious!
    Your Government House walk must have been refreshing and brisk...did you meet up with any of the resident deer population?

  15. A beautiful smelling apple wrapped in tissue. That's what was in our SS Christmas goodie bag along with candy. Like you said, in SA oranges were every day fruit, but apples were imported and expensive.

  16. Oh that fuchsia is just glorious!

    Just stopping by to say I hope that you are enjoying a wonderful long holiday weekend.

    May you have good food, friends and family.

  17. Anonymous4:27 PM

    Lorrie, it's been chilly the last few days here too. No ice yet. Your ice picture is gorgeous! Holiday scents - oranges and cloves and pine as well. Happy Friday!

  18. Oh I love walking in the Government House gardens. The B&B we stayed in was just on the other side of the block. I remember the first time I met Santa he handed me an orange and a candy cane; so orange do remind me of Christmas and Santa.

  19. I have similar memories about the mandarin oranges, wooden boxes and all. I bought a box (cardboard now)from Japan this week, and we've been eating them every day since. Yum! Mandarin oranges do speak Christmas for me too.

    Wishing you a beautiful weekend.

  20. I suppose fresh pine scent for a child we always had a fresh tree.

  21. Mandarin oranges are on of my favorite fruits and I enjoy their fragrance as well. I make a fresh cranberry salad with them for part of my holiday eating.
    Ever since I was about 4, I have enjoyed the scent of fresh evergreens during the holidays. We used to have fresh cut trees, but now we do artificial, but I always purchase some fresh greenery. Today I got a wreath with 4 different kinds of evergreen branches and it smells heavenly to me~

  22. I think it's all about the Christmas tree scents for me. That's probably why I haven't bought a fake tree yet. It really has been cold. We have to tread carefully on the deck as we head out so we don't go sliding and ending up on our tush! Have a good week!


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