Monday, September 28, 2015


Noses and Smells
On Saturday evening, I walked out of a meetinghouse and headed to my home, about a block away. I took a deep breath of the warm night air and smelled. . . honeysuckle. It smelled so good and sweet. Growing up in Alaska, I had read about honeysuckle and imagined how it might smell since none grew there, but now that I lived where honeysuckle grew, I knew it from my own experience. I loved the scent. As I walked, I thought about what a nice little blessing it was to walk through a warm honeysuckle-scented evening. I took several deep breaths, enjoying the perfumed air.

Until I was three houses from my own. Then the air changed. Drastically. And I knew what it was.

Four days earlier someone had hit a deer on our street. Its dead carcass had lain on the side of the road for all of the extra warm days since. First it bloated. Now it was deflated. And incredibly stinky. Today someone had tied a get-well balloon to its antlers. I don't know how they got so close. In the morning, the smell wasn't so bad, but by afternoon--and especially in the evening--it was horrid. We had to close the windows in our house and be sure not to leave doors open for any length of time. (Besides the stink, there were the flies!)

We had called and called for someone to pick up the deer, to no avail. The dead body lay there still, emanating waves of stink. I tried to hold my breath as much as possible as I hurried down the hill to my house. Luckily, it wasn't far. I ran up the front steps--grabbed the knob--and found the door locked!  I knocked  quickly and loudly. No one came. I rang the doorbell. I knew my son and his family were there. My husband was there. I saw an extra car in front of the house. We had visitors. There were people in that house, but they wouldn't answer the door! At this moment, I wondered if the sense of smell I had felt such gratitude for before was going to be the death of me. Was I going to throw up? I pounded on the door. And finally glimpsed my son coming to unlock it. I burst in and shut the door quickly. "Were you trying to kill me?" I asked him. He just laughed, but he knew what I meant. My daughter-in-law and I both have very sensitive olfactory senses. We smell things the men in our family can't smell. It can be a blessing. But it can also be a curse.

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