Around late May each year, I drive a little bit out of my way in search of it… You see, while I live in the burbs of a small’ish metropolitan area… it really doesn’t take more than 15 minutes to get completely out of the city and into the country… and this is definitely a country thing.

For the first half of my life, I was completely oblivious to this.  Like, it just didn’t even register.  And then shortly after college, it started calling to me.  And so each May, I start the search.  Sometimes I get lucky and find it right along my drive to work.  And then sometimes, I have to take some detours to locate it.  Because depending on prices in any given year, it can be quite elusive.

And it has to be located early on, because the window is extremely small.  Mid to Late-September, depending on how the weather cooperates… that’s all you get…


d_t_c__bath_body_works_interior_storefront

Apologies to those of you that read this far in thinking there was something more along the lines of the above photo…  I mean I can sort of understand…  My wife can spend hours in this store…  For me though, I get a headache just walking by the store in the mall…

So yeah…  This is not that kind of aromatherapy…  It took me until my late 20’s to realize it… And it took me on into my 40’s to put it into some kind of perspective…

So here it is…

My favorite smell in the world is the smell of peanut vines that have been freshly overturned in the field…


So I’ve blogged a good bit about those cows we raised when I was growing up…  Well, late spring through early fall, they’re pretty self-sustaining…  Grass grows, cows eat… Its the circle of life…

circle-of-life

Okay… okay… we sometimes had to plant some of the fescue, but seriously…  During the warm months… There wasn’t a whole lot of upkeep required.

The winter months however were a totally different story.  As it turns out, my dad was way ahead of his time…  He had this Uber-Green solution to keeping the cows fed during the winter months that would make your favorite tree-hugging friend proud… You see, my dad owned 20 acres of farm land, but the cows only needed a small fraction of that to do their thing.  The rest of it, he rented out to local farmers.

That’s right, I grew up on a farm, that we didn’t actually farm ourselves.  You’d be surprised how much farm land is “farmed” by someone other than the owner.  Nonetheless, we still had a regular churn of corn, cotton, & soy beans on our land.  But the one stipulation was always this…  At least one of our fields had to have peanuts planted on it.

Because as it turns out, cows are crazy about peanut vines…  So after the “farmer” came through & stripped all the peanuts from the vine, the vines are left in the field discarded.  That’s not the money end of the crop…

Enter the Uber-Green solution…  My dad had the vines baled up and stored as winter feed for the cows…  That sounds really simple, but oh my… There’s so much more…


Possibly my favorite childhood memory of all time was the annual harvesting of the peanut bales.  I’m still not quite sure why that is, but I have a few guesses.  For starters, there were rare opportunities when I was young to stay up late & hang out outside after dark.  But the task of moving bales from the field to the barn took all evening and usually well into the night.  So that’s just a super fun thing in & of itself as a young boy…

But more than that… Dragging all those bales around & tossing them into the barn loft required some manpower.  That usually meant that my brothers-in-law came in to help out.  Given that I had no brothers growing up, that was always a treat.  And if not them, it was other men that were friends of the family.

When I was younger, the whole event was just open play time for me…  Jumping on & off the tractor… the trailer… the loft…  Climbing all over the bales…  As I got older, I became more involved…  Dragging bales around in the loft… Driving the tractor… Eventually, tossing bales into the trailer or into the loft…  It was some difficult work at times… But still…  It was just the absolute best thing ever…


I’ve come to understand over the last decade or so, that the Kingdom of Heaven is always calling to us… Ezekiel tells us that God gives us each a new heart and along with it, an imprint of Heaven… So my natural conclusion is this… If something makes my heart leap with joy, PAY ATTENTION!!!…  Because that something is probably of the Kingdom…

If that’s not making any sense for you, perhaps C.S. Lewis said it better like this…

“If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.”


There was something about that night every year…  Just the men in my family & sometimes their closest friends… working together towards a common goal…  There’s something about this that echoes of the Kingdom of Heaven…  Of this, I’m thoroughly convinced…  And that smell is my closest remembrance of it…

And so… every spring, I go in search of those fields in my area that have peanuts planted on them.  All so that somewhere during late-September, I can drive by the field after its been overturned… And with the windows down… Breathe in deeply…

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