Raymond L. Snoke
---- — The sense of sight is probably second only to our ability to smell things. Different colors trigger an assortment of varied memories. Orange is the first color that comes to my mind as I begin to write this week’s column. It is most commonly associated with autumn and, of course, Halloween. What else can bring back more pleasant thoughts than a field full of brightly colored pumpkins? Right off the top of my head, I can’t think of anything else that has more uses than “the great pumpkin” this time of year, except maybe the apple. Despite what many people might have been led to believe, pumpkins don’t just come in the familiar orange hue. My Grandpa Brock raised a type of pumpkin that was more of a pale peach color. I can’t remember the color affecting the eventual taste of the pies once they came out of the oven. I consider myself an equal opportunity pumpkin pie enthusiast. Just think of the many uses that there are for this late summer and fall garden favorite. Everything from soups, breads, pies, spreads, and who knows what else they might be good for. If you think about it, we are buying something that has on average, a thickness of an inch or so of edible fruit, while the remaining portion consists of seeds, skin, stem, and of course, a large air pocket in the center to boot. Just how much extra are we paying for the air? The color orange draws back many more wonderful memories besides pumpkins. Candy corn was and always will be one of my all-time favorite confections. I suppose one might realize that there is not one bit of resemblance to the grain that covers so much of our state. I’ve also come to the conclusion that there is absolutely no similar taste between corn and candy corn. Oh, I’m sure that there is some sort of corn product such as corn syrup in those pieces of candy that look more like vampire fangs than kernels of corn. In the long run, no matter what that desirable candy looks like, or for that matter, what ingredients are in it, there will always be a yearning in my heart for a handful or two of that Halloween favorite. My mother use to adorn cupcakes with those, triangle shaped candies along with candied pumpkins, which by all accounts were probably made with the exact same ingredients. I’ve been told by a reliable source that honey is the secret ingredient in many of our fall candies. Anyway, my mind will always be flooded with thoughts and memories of those long-ago days of innocence and sugary confections. Christmas is of course associated with many things, and color is right at the top of the list. Can you all, without taking much time, think of a couple of colors that remind you of this sacred holiday? Of course, red and green most always will trigger happy times when we were growing up in small town U.S.A. Gold, silver, orange, blue, and so many other visionary delights come to mind also. What reflects the colors on a Christmas tree more than hundreds of thin strands of aluminum draped on nearly every branch of our tree? Then there are the multitude of ribbons, bows and wrapping paper that surround the base of our Christmas trees. Let's not forget what is going on outside of our warm homes as well. Winter is busily creating a wonderland of snow on everything in sight, while Jack Frost is applying works of art on our windows. Just how does this elusive artist ply his trade on our windows? I’ve come to realize over these many years that some mysteries are just better left to our imaginations. Springtime seems to enhance our senses, especially our sense of sight. What is more appealing than a yard or field full of dandelions? I’ve never had the initiative to eliminate such a desirable flower. I think that stems (get it, stems as in flowers) back to my childhood when my mother made me dig them up. I’ve mentioned that before, so let's rule out digging dandelions as being a pleasant childhood memory. Cut grass and lilacs are two of the most wonderful scents that have ever entered my nose. Am I the only one who thinks a new litter of puppies smells good? Along with the smell of sweet straw lining their nursery, there is just something wonderful about a new puppy smell. It outranks the new-car smell by a long shot. After washing your car right here in Lebanon, you can pick from three deodorizers to freshen the inside of your car including one with the aroma of a new car. Just what in the world do they put in a can of that deodorant to give it such a smell? I wonder if our local stores will ever carry new-puppy smell in a can. I just love the smell of field corn right after the tassels begin to pop up. I’m not sure it is the tassels or the fresh ears of corn that my nose is enjoying. I guess I don’t really care, as long as it smells good. I have never found the odor of pigs attractive, though my grandparents use to tell me that it was the smell of money. Strangely enough, I find the aroma of cow manure rather pleasant. I don’t know why, but ever since I was a small child I have loved to pass by a herd of cattle and inhale deeply, making sure not to miss any of that wonderful country air. Contact Raymond Snoke at Shark_guy2@yahoo.com.