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Summer Nights: Honeysuckles and Young Love

The fragrance is sweet, and so is this 30-year romance.

On a summer night in Tennessee 30 years ago, my date humored me and rolled down his car windows so we could inhale the scent of honeysuckle in my parents’ neighborhood. He had to admit it was intoxicating.

Summer arrives early in the South and brings with it the delights of warm weather, porch-sitting-worthy evenings, and courting in shirtsleeves. The fragrances surrounding everyone’s homes are for sharing—and for making young lovers headier than they already are with infatuation.

I spend my summer nights nowadays with that same fellow. We still notice the smell of honeysuckle and are grateful for the sweet reminder of our first dates. Being married nearly 29 years has marred neither our sense of smell nor our eyesight, especially when it comes to looking at the one each of us loves.

The AARP Bulletin's "What I Really Know" column comes from our readers. Each month we solicit short personal essays on a selected topic and post some of our favorites in print and online. Reader Karen H. Phillips lives in Flintstone, Ga.


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