Thursday, March 7, 2013

Taking Notice, Part IV

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.

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