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The year is 1805, and a young bride is carefully wrapping her wedding gown in paper and placing it in her trunk. On top of her gown, she places the family bible her mother tearfully gave her the night before. It was her legacy now to take with her to her new home. Beside the Bible, she placed her collection of cross stitch patterns, a few pieces of china, and the dolls from her childhood. Her mind drifts to the possibilities of the future as she tucks away these moments from her past. The ship is leaving in a few hours and she and her new husband will board together, leaving behind the people and land they’ve known all their lives. These precious objects will go with her, smelling of home, and grounding her as she explores the new American land.

The young couple and their trunks toss on the sea and finally land on the eastern shore of America. While she is quite certain it is all the same planet, it feels as if she has entered a new world. People sound different, food smells different, the air feels different. She holds fast to her husband’s hand, her other hand resting on the trunk and feeling the safety of the reminders within.

The young couple and their trunks toss on the wagon as they ride towards their plot of earth in the thick woods of western New York. He goes to work on the land, and she settles in the small home. She opens the trunk and smells the scent of safety and home. The wedding dress stays folded, but she brings out the dishes, the bible, the patterns, and the doll. The doll goes in the corner, happily waiting for the little one who will be joining them in the next year. Life is hard and new, but they face it together and as they are tossed in life, they make their way as Americans.

The baby comes and is joined by another. Others come to their area, and the couple feels restless and crowded. It is time to pack the trunk again. She tries on the wedding dress again before packing it away. The hard work has ensured that it fits just fine. Back in the trunk goes the family bible with its new names, the patterns, and baby clothes. Her daughter will carry the doll. They say goodbye and head West.

The family and their trunks are tossed on another wagon as they head west to Colorado where they will carve out a home in wide-open spaces. They start from scratch, building a shelter themselves. Once it has walls and a roof, she unpacks the trunk. The smell takes her back once again. It smells like love, family, and safety. It is the smell of cedar.

There is a reason that cedar has been used for trunks for generations. That unique and wonderful smell has become associated with memories because it has preserved so many precious treasures for so long.

Cedar wood has a natural chemical, thujaplicin, that is both antibacterial and antifungal. This protects the wood and anything it is holding. Cedar also has insect repellent qualities and is strong, stable, and rot-resistant. This stability means it will not expand with time or moisture, preserving its strength and avoiding cracks.

Because of these traits, cedar has been used for countless projects:

  • Decks
  • Fences
  • Trunks
  • Shelves
  • Furniture

If you’re considering either adding either a cedar fence or deck to your property, you’ll find that there’s much to love about this strong choice of wood. First, cedar will not need a sealant in order to last for a very long time. Because of its natural resistance to rot and disease, you won’t need to apply any chemical treatments at all. Most people enjoy the look of cedar as it fades and changes colors, but you can stain it if you like to keep the bright color of fresh cedar. The strength of cedar makes it durable and stable wood. It will not bend, warp, or crack. A cedar fence around your home or yard will be a beautiful addition with staying power.

Things that take time generally cost more. Cedar is no different. However, it will also endure without costly treatments or repairs, and that investment is valuable and cost-effective. Spending more money up front will save you in the long run as you can sit back and enjoy it without maintenance. As our young bride who carried her cedar trunk across the country could attest to, it is worth the effort to build things that last.