Pipe Smoking

My first pipe - savinelli roma

My first pipe - savinelli roma

Back in 1986, I was a freshman at the University of the Pacific and I purchased my first pipe from a great little pipe shop called The Tobacco Leaf in Stockton, CA. The pipe was a Savinelli Roma. At the time, it was I splurged and throughout college I enjoyed smoking a variety of tobaccos through that pipe. I continued to smoke through dental school and really enjoyed the romance of walking down the streets of San Francisco with smoke billowing out from my pipe. I continued throughout the early years of marriage, but once kids showed up I slowed down and found myself smoking less and less.

Why? Like many things in parenting, I don't think I had a great answer for my kids about smoking my pipe.  Truthfully, I was probably concerned with what people would think and rather than explain what I was doing, I just packed up my pipe supplies and decided to ignore my real and imaginary critics.

The current collection

The current collection

While that pipe was packed away and gathering dust in the garage, many tough discussions have surfaced with my kids regarding faith and behavior. As it turns out, my kids could handle many of those discussions. Likewise, I have also been freed from a lot of the religious behavior and bondage I was stuck in. I also really missed the smell and taste of good pipe tobacco.

So, earlier this year, I brought my pipe out of storage and with the help of eBay I began a new collection. The photo on the right shows the current collection of acquired pipes. I consider this post a coming-out of sorts as I let my readers in on the fact that I enjoy smoking good tobacco in a beautiful briar pipe.

I know this might sound inconsistent, but I still really can't stand the smell or appeal of cigarettes and cigar smoking. The smell from both is a bit offensive and I'm well aware of the dangers of chain smoking and the risk of cancer, so I personally don't understand the appeal of either. If you love smoking cigarettes or cigars, feel free to indulge, but forgive me, because I don't find favor in either. 

That being said, there are a few things I've discovered about pipe smoking in my life. First, my smoking has been a little sporadic. Since I don't smoke in the house, I don't smoke regularly. I find myself enjoying a smoke when I walk with kids, the back porch with my dad, or when I can sneak down to the local pipe shop. Because it is sporadic, it is something I look forward to regularly.

The second thing I have discovered is that smoking a pipe is a super relaxing aspect to my day. Slow puffing and multiple re-lights as I enjoy a bowl of tobacco force me to slow down and enjoy the slower pace of life. I find this slower pace often accompanied by good conversation and reflection on the day.

My pop at our Pipe club - e. crosby tobacconist, Modesto CA

My pop at our Pipe club - e. crosby tobacconist, Modesto CA

Third, the slowing down of life to enjoy a bowl of tobacco has led to a general increase in talking to the people around me as I savor the moments. We don't do enough of that anymore. I have found that enjoying a pipe smoke with Kendra or the kids or anyone leads to deeper conversations. I enjoy those conversations and the camaraderie that leads to with other pipe smokers.

Lastly, I have found that many people enjoy the smell of a pipe and it makes me chuckle when other women tell Kendra how lucky she is that I smoke a pipe. Kendra doesn't see the luck. ;) Some folks connect pipe smoke with a memory of a grandfather or a father, but for the vast majority of people who smell pipe smoke, they will comment how much they like it. I like that it brings others as much joy as it brings to me.

So, if you ever want to join me for a nice smoke, just let me know. I'd love to introduce you to my favorite pipes and tobaccos.

Quietly making noise,



Andy Fletcher

Andy "Fletch" Fletcher has been married for the past 22 years. He and his wife Kendra are the proud parents of five sons and three daughters, all of whom keep them laughing and on their toes. During the day he can be found fixing people's teeth, but in his spare time you can find Fletch stretching out a pair of flip-flops, creating a new pizza recipe, playing the drums, or rescuing a piece of his tie-dye wardrobe from his wife's donation pile. You can find him online where he writes on his personal blog: theMangoTimes and cohosts with his wife on the HomeschoolingIRL.com podcast.