de(tales): nostalgia and cigarettes

de(tales): nostalgia and cigarettes

de(tales) nostalgia and cigarettes

Sarah Joslyn is a new friend of mine, part of a sisterhood I have grown to love, respect and trust. Sarah herself has inspired and encouraged me with her words, written both to me and to the world. I am so happy to have her sharing her de(tale) here today.  Enjoy friends. 


de(tales) nostalgia and cigarettes

Smell and nostalgia have been best friends for eons. Like peas and carrots or peanut butter and jelly, these friends seem destined to return to each other with a loyalty I only wish I could mimic.

Should I ever have children, I envision myself being the kind of mama who bakes oodles of chocolate chip cookies so that even my grown-up children want to call me whenever they smell a warm oven.

But for me, cookies and memory are not intrinsically linked. I have a fondness for the scent of cigarettes more than the sweet smell of baking.

Nostalgia rushes over me and gently tugs me back to cold evenings and wool pea coats and Thanksgiving dinners each time a cigarette exhales a curled cloud of memories.

Confession: I have never once smoked a cigarette.

Even so, cigarettes smell like safety to a little girl with three grown-up sisters who took long walks in all sorts of inclement weather, lighting bright yellow flames against white tubes of tobacco and menthol. When the festivities turned to arguments and the smiles turned to clenched fists there were always cigarettes that needed to be smoked.


In the cold.

Where the devils left you alone.

It wasn’t until I was 26 years old that I realized an escape into the cold for a long walk on Christmas or Thanksgiving was not about the walking, it was about the smoking. Well, it was about the smoking and the escaping.

Maybe those walks are the reason I’m also fond of the rain and why I don’t like to be in a room where the tensions are quickly shifting into fifth gear, when I could just as soon put my boots on and take a stroll around a darkened neighborhood. And maybe I’ll never grow out of my affinity for cigarette smoke and wool. Maybe I’m okay with that.

There are rarely cigarettes any longer, but there are still long walks in inclement weather to escape the devils who dared to stay indoors.


Bio-pic-SarsI have a degree in journalism, but I sling coffee in the Pacific Northwest to pay my rent. You can also find me fiddling with widgets and editing photos and designing graphics over at SheLoves Magazine. And if I ever muster up the courage I’ll write and publish my memoir, because I’m pretty sure my family is weird enough to be immortalized in print. I’m a self-proclaimed writer-photographer-Jesus-lover-painter-adventurer-foodie. I have a near obsession with ending injustice and I’m a sucker for a good cause. I have a bad habit of saying YES! to every project. Find me blogging at or attempting to use Twitter: @sarsjoslyn.


You can check out the other de(tales) (so far) here.