Orange is not a color to me. It is a smell.

I was born in a town surrounded by orange groves. Some 24,700 days subsequent to my birth, orange blossoms are the smell of home. It is still my favorite smell.

April in Lindsay, California, meant one thing.

Orange blossoms.

orange blossom

The smell was so strong and so sweet. It carries, still, the memories of warming mornings, doves cooing, and the annual Orange Blossom Festival.

Lindsay was a small town of about 5,000 residents back then. Everyone knew everyone. Teachers were friends of the family. The police officer drove you home if you got into trouble. The local paper (The Lindsay Gazette) covered birthday parties, births, deaths and the visits of out of town friends and relatives. It even covered the winner of the Chevrolet Kiddie Corvette raffle!


Don Jackson, Me, Barbara Gisvold (my mom)

The biggest town event was the Orange Blossom Festival. The obligatory parade had the local organizations making floats; the bands from all the schools in the area practiced their marching; the twirling classes tossed their batons and worked to stay in step; and the veterans looked for old cars to carry them. There was a pancake breakfast and a carnival. Lot of goings on.

My brother was the Master Counselor for the DeMolay group one year. The theme of that parade was Happiness is…


Jon Awbrey on the guitar and Dan Gisvold standing

We all helped make paper flowers. And the dog house, with Snoopy, lived in our living room for several years. The dog house and Snoopy were the brain child of Jon’s mother.

But it is the smell of orange blossoms that brings me home. When brother Bill was stationed in Alaska, when brother Dan was stationed in Germany, when I lived on a military base in Minot, North Dakota, April saw an envelope arrive from Lindsay. Wrapped carefully in plastic wrap and sealed as best she could, our mother sent us orange blossoms.

In April, in North Dakota, the windows of my home were still covered in ice. But my little townhouse smelled of the outdoors and the love of home.

Orange is not a color. It is a smell. The best smell in the world.


Categories: At home, Brothers, Lindsay, UncategorizedTags: , , ,


  1. Loved, loved, loved this. I felt you were using my thoughts. There’s nothing like the smell of oranges & orange blossoms. What A life we were blessed with. What a gift you have of capturing what we had. Thanks, Gizzy!! Afterthought: That picture is very similar to the one that makes me think of your mom & her painting. โค๏ธ

    Sent from my iPad


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Roses and orange blossoms. Heady stuff!


  3. You bring back memories of my time in Florida.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Beautiful thoughts! I still think of Lindsay when I smell orange blossoms. My neighbor has an orange tree that reminds me of growing up in Lindsay. He also lets me pick all the oranges I want! ๐Ÿ˜Ž๐ŸŠ๐ŸŠ๐ŸŠ

    Liked by 1 person

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