Rediscovering the incense girl/Celebrate

incenseWhen I was a young girl, I lived in California. When I wasn’t living in Colorado or Washington state, anyway. And one of the nice things about California was the availability of incense sticks. I could buy them at the local Kmart, where my dad was the store manager.

I always liked burning incense. And since I was a part of perhaps the last generation allowed to grow up innocent, I had no clue that older people used incense to cover up their illegal drug use. It was just a nice way to get a nice smell into your living space. And you got to use matches to light them! Which is a big deal when you are young.

When I was college-age, my dad got a job at Kmart’s headquarters in Troy, Michigan. I lived in Michigan when I wasn’t going to school in River Forest, IL. But in time I graduated, failed in my career, and ended up moving to Menominee county in Michigan’s upper peninsula, where I live to this day. And there was no incense.

From time to time, I would find a local shop that carried incense, but that was rare, at they usually went out of business or quit selling incense. Perhaps it was because the local drug-crazed aging hippies no longer felt the need to cover up their vice.  So I went through long incenseless years and forgot I’d once been the incense girl.

When a big Walmart opened up in nearby Marinette, Wisconsin, I found they carried incense— two brands. I bought the cheaper brand because of my poet’s level income.

I used some of my favorite ‘flavors’ of incense, particularly patchouli, for every day. On Sundays I used frankincense, because that’s the kind they use in church. I found it a nice way to mark off the Sabbath day.

But recently I found that my incense brand had gone downhill. The factory in China must have forgotten about quality control. Each box had incense sticks that were too thick and wouldn’t burn properly, and a few that were very thin and also hard to use.

I switched to the more expensive brand— half the number of incense sticks for twice the price— and found better quality, but fewer ‘flavors’ I liked. I prefer the old-fashioned scents of incense I remember from my childhood.

This month, since I had money left over from the months I was sick and buying very little food, I indulged myself and bought some incense from I found the HEM brand had the incense types I wanted for a decent price, so I bought some sandalwood, patchouli and frankincense.

The new incense is lovely, and the scents bring back memories of my childhood, when life was considerably more sane. Except for the Manson family, of course.

Celebrate the Small Things

This is a post in the Celebrate the Small Things blog hop, which takes place every Friday. You can find out more at:

My celebration this week: my house currently smells like sandalwood incense and not like the cat box.