I've been noticing a lot this week...things that most drivers wouldn't with their windows rolled up, roof overhead, radios on—all at 25-30 mph (more or less). I've noticed sights (dog), sensations (wet), and sounds (wind). Why not smells? My kids would say, "'Cuz it's weird." So for the sake of my kids, I didn't do anything too obvious. I didn't stop to smell the roses. Didn't walk with my nose in the air. I simply chose to breathe through my nose instead of my mouth & waited to see what would happen. It was harder than I thought. Had to keep reminding myself to stop mouth-breathing.
First thing I noticed? Nothing. Which I didn't appreciate (or even recognize) until I smelled something about 1 1/2 blocks later. What I was smelling was fresh, clean-smelling air. One of the blessings of living in a small, rural town. And what a blessing it is to step outside & smell absolutely nothing! It made me recall my visit to Addis Ababa & the almost constant smell of diesel exhaust. You just couldn't get away from it there. This morning, I did, for the most part. The "something" I referred to above was a city truck, hauling gravel. The two guys in the truck waved as they passed, and just as I was waving back, I got a noseful of Addis. The exhaust was intense, but short-lived. Other cars passed, but the fresh-smelling air prevailed. And continued until I reached the West side of campus where I experienced my final (and favorite) smell. It came from the cafeteria, which was probably in breakfast mode. The smell was a familiar one. Fried potatoes! I don't eat in the cafeteria enough to know how they taste, but the smell was divine. What a shame it would've been to not have noticed.
P.S. I was literally being followed this morning when I made my trash grab. A young woman was getting out of her car (across from campus) as I passed by & trailed me about 20 paces as we headed towards Main Street. About 20 paces in front of me (at the curb of Main Street) there was something white & litterish. I had just enough time to strengthen my resolve & think, "I don't care if there is someone right behind me or if multiple cars are passing by...I'm going for it." It was a Wal-Mart bag—a wet & drippy Wal-Mart bag. And, no, I did not smell it.