Smells: Like Windows to a Wonderful World

English: Ocean Isle Beach, North CarolinaSmells:  Like Windows to a Wonderful World

by Angie Brown, Guest Author

We look ahead as we walk forward.  We look to the right and to the left when we cross the street.  We gaze at store windows and shelves to shop for merchandise.  We notice people rushing here and there, always looking.  Whether we’re bathing, playing or working, we use our eyes to recognize familiar things and faces.  Truly, our eyes are very important and necessary to our everyday lives.

But the sense of smell is also important and necessary; it can give us the feeling of both the past and the present. Oceans and sandy beaches, with their fishy smells, bring back memories of visiting Myrtle Beach or North Carolina Beaches with our southern relatives.  My granddaughter once commented, “It’s the smell of the south.” The musty moss and evergreen smells take me back to when, as children, we walked through the woods picking ground pine.  On our way to class, we often noticed the tantalizing smell of fresh bread coming from a nearby bakery.  The smell of chlorine greeted us when entered the YMCA pool area. And every classroom and locker room in school had their own distinctive smell.  You wouldn’t need to see it, because the smell would give it away!

The smells of the present are just as characteristic. A barnyard can be either pleasant or not so pleasant, but, either way, it’s a mighty homey smell to the farmer!  City streets have a different smell.  It’s a combination of several odors all mingled together: car exhaust pipes, trucks loaded with building supplies and dump trucks filled with debris all produce odors that are compounded into one strange mixture. Then there’s the smell of oil or gas as you pass a refinery or fill your car’s gas tank.  Stopping suddenly brings a smell of burning rubber. When lawns are mowed, there’s a sweet smell of clover blossoms and grasses in the air. Tightly closed houses in the winter may develop a stuffy smell, until Fido or your pussycat lingers at the open door before venturing out. After a heavy rain, the outdoors has a damp fungus smell for a day or so, but, eventually, the sunshine dries things out and removes it.

We all have our favorite smells, of course. One of the most pleasant smells I can think of is that of a home-cooked family meal on the stove, when everyone looks forward to dinner at the end of the day. But the best smell — one that can only be described as heavenly — is the soft, cuddly, precious newborn baby smell.

We need smells, along with our seeing eyes, to fully experience and appreciate the wonderful world around us!  What are you smelling right now?

(For more articles by Angie Brown, click HERE)

The Garage Sale: A Tale of Procrastination

Garage saleThe Garage Sale: A Tale of Procrastination

by Angie Brown, Guest Author

My house on “The Haskell” in Portville had sold, and I was preparing to move out and begin a new phase of life… at 92 years of age! The contrast between the cluttered garage next to the neat kitchen was very noticeable, so, labeling it an emergency, I started to sort the contents of the garage. This puttery work is time-consuming and boring, but by the afternoon, one corner of the garage had been transformed into something more presentable. I was contemplating having a garage sale in a few weeks when I happened to remember a commitment I had made. So, I stopped my work on the garage to fulfill my promise. This seemingly innocent detour turned into a parade of more fun and interesting interruptions that occupied my time and energy for more than a week; would I ever get back to preparing for the garage sale?

First, I received an invitation to go on a short trip, which I happily accepted. Returning full of energy and high spirits from the trip, I realized it was blueberry season. The blueberry farm was in the neighborhood, so I trotted over there and picked a good-sized basketful. On the way home, I decided to make some blueberry jam, something I hadn’t done in several years. So of course, I proceeded to make the preserves and stood admiring the full glasses on the counter.  “Home-made bread would be good with that,” I said to myself.

So, the next day I mixed up some dough and baked two loaves of bread. By that time, the jam was cool and set. I cut a thick slice from the heel of warm bread and smeared it generously with the freshly made jam. While standing at the kitchen window, I wolfed down the bread and jam and relished every delicious crumb. From the window I could see that the lawn needed raking. The grass had gotten rather long, and, when cut, had left clumps of dried grass, which were unsightly. Postponing the garage work again, I took a rake, and, expending some of the energy from the bread and jam, I raked up six bushels of grass clippings and piled them up on the compost pile.

The following day, I had a call from my sister in Rochester telling me she would visit soon. So after she arrived, we had a week on the town, shopping, eating out, and visiting relatives. The garage would have to wait!

Finally returning to the clutter in the garage, I began, reluctantly, moving and organizing things at a slow pace when I saw the mailman stop out front. I hurried out to the mailbox and picked out a letter from my daughter, who lived 160 miles away in Ithaca. Tearing it open and reading the contents, I found that they were short and to the point. “Mother,” it read, “I am coming Saturday to help you with the garage sale.” Uh-oh, I’d better get busy, now!

So, with a new-found sense of urgency, I sprang into action and sensed a powerful surge of energy. By the end of that day, I had everything under control. Only the signs had to be made and posted. I must say that I had a splendid feeling of accomplishment. Reflecting on the events of that day, I reckoned that the crime of procrastination can be solved by a little motivation!

(For more articles by Angie Brown, click HERE)