I grew up in Orange County CA. I was raised around my grandparents. Their home was my home away from home. I was their first grandchild and I like to think I was the favorite too, with everything they let me get away with.
Many of my years growing up were surrounded by homegrown herbs, veggies and fruit. My grandparents took pride in all their fruit trees. We had lemon, guava, plum, grapefruit, and my favorite, orange trees. Not only did our family get to enjoy them but the whole neighborhood would exchange amongst each other.
Many of the homes in Orange County still have orange trees today. Though known for our orange groves, there aren’t many groves left but the smell of oranges is still a clear memory of my days growing up at my grandparent’s house.
I remember oranges were my favorite snack to eat growing up. I loved watching my grandmother dig her long nails deep into the peel of an orange and begin to unveil my yummy treat.
My grandmother’s style of serving them was always peeled. She’d separated the segments and divided them among whoever was around. I would watch and stay close with anticipation of finding the smallest segment. I can still hear her say “aqui estan tus gajitos” , here are your orange segments. She always gave me mine first.
My grandfather’s style was more hands on. He would take all the grandchildren out back. He’d allow us to choose our orange straight from the tree. My cousins and I would stand around and wait for our turn to climb the latter to pick our orange. I would smell my orange until everyone had picked theirs. He’d then slice it up with a pocket knife and let us have our snack under the tree.
When I married I never imagined I’d move cross country let alone miss home and my family as much as I do. I’ve had my share of homesick days and traveled back to California 3 times during the first year away.
One day while cutting up some oranges for my kids, I realized it wasn’t the visits I needed. I needed something to remind me of home in my new home.
I now get to enjoy oranges with my kids the way my grandparents did with me. I have my days where I peel them and other days where I slice them up. I see their faces and their expressions and I see myself as a kid.
I may be far from home but being able to enjoy the citrus smell of oranges takes me back to Orange County surrounded with love and happiness with all my family.
Special Thanks to GAIN for allowing me to share my story at Scentalicious at Blogalicious!
DISCLOSURE: cmp.ly/2 I received gifts from GAIN for participating in this event.