"…By what stretch of arrogance do you think a life form that looks like you is more important than a life form that doesn’t?”Joel Salatin

Nothing is more beneficial to your wellbeing than to look for and acknowledge those parts of everyday life that you enjoy.

"If you are happy where you are now, why does it matter how painful it was to get there?" -- Abraham

"It is no bad thing to celebrate a simple life." -- Bilbo Baggins a.k.a. The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien

"And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet, and the winds long to play in your hair." -- Kahill Gibran

“And forget not

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Fragrances of Life

fresh pumpkin pie
With the Pioneer Restaurant and IHOP south of my house, it isn't unusual to walk outside in the morning and smell breakfast cooking.  I love that!  It reminds me of early mornings around here, Ronnie tending to the pigeons, and coming back in to say, "Let's go someplace and have breakfast today."

I breathe in when I slice an orange, an apple or a lemon, peel a banana, open a bottle of grape juice or sweet pineapple juice.  The fragrance of chicken frying blending with sweet corn and potatoes boiling for mashing, pumpkin pies baking in the oven -- all delightful!  All full of memories.

When it rained recently, I stood outside and breathed in that sweetest of all fragrances -- that of rain on parched ground.

white clematis vine
I love the smell of rain, and clean fresh air.  I love the fragrance of a clean home and a new car or a clean old car. I enjoy the heavy aroma of the honeysuckle, the white clematis and Carolina Jasmine when it blooms in the spring, the light sweet fragrance of petunias. I love walking into a flower shop and smelling their characteristic bouquet of scents.  (And by the way, Folks, flower shops do not smell like funeral homes.  Funeral homes smell like flower shops because of the high volume of fresh flowers they host every day.)

We have a type greenery at the flower shop called "myrtle".  It's different from "crepe myrtle" and when we give the stem a fresh cut, it has a very pleasant fragrance.  So does the filler flower we get called, "wax flower".  I think it smells like lemons.  My sister in law once said it smelled like butter. Butter?  Really? Oh well, each to his own.

I always enjoyed coming home from work and Ronnie and the kids commenting that I smelled like flowers. I love smelling Seth when he comes in to say goodnight after he's had a bath.  I love the smell of new babies, cedar burning in my chiminea, the fragrance that clings to Shelbie after she's been groomed, clean sheets and pillow cases, clean clothes fresh out of the dryer.  In the old days, it was "fresh off the clothes line". I don't even have a clothes line any more, but some of these new fabric softeners that we use smell AWESOME.

One of my all time favorites is the smell of horses, and barns and hay. I love the smell of fresh mown grass. It also has many good memories attached to it, of my dad and the other men in our neighborhood in Wherry Housing at Sheppard mowing the big square and us kids playing in the mounds of moist, fresh cut bermuda.

I was going out and around with Deidre recently, and as I passed her bedroom, she stepped out with a spray bottle in hand.  "Want some of this?" she asked, offering me some of her new cologne that she'd bought online at a ridiculously low price with free shipping.  Beautiful tall slender bottle.

"Sure!" I said and she misted me.

At Breathe Yoga, we misted ourselves with the calming fragrance of lavender.

I usually don't remember to wear cologne, but I LOVE it, so the next day when I was going out to meet with fellow writers,  I remembered and when I opened the cabinet door to get my "Angel", I saw the last bottle of original "Polo" the kids bought for Ronnie.  I've kept it in what used to be his bathroom.  Occasionally we spray it on Seth because he remembers it and likes "to smell like Paw Paw."  My son uses it himself, sometimes when he's here.

My dad wore "Old Spice" and so did Ronnie's dad, so Ronnie always had a bottle of that around. I always enjoyed the original Aqua Velva, so he usually had a bottle of that too.

As the kids got older they introduced him -- and me to the more expensive colognes.

I don't have a preference.  I think it all smells good!

I worked with a woman who said her husband never wore cologne.  I thought, "how boring is that?"  It was always a treat to smell Ronnie when he finally announced he was "ready to go".

I also had a brother-in-law who only wore one brand -- never anything else, and I thought, "well how boring is that?" to limit yourself to one scent when there is such a wide variety of fragrances out there.  It seemed as limiting as eating the same thing every day. But each to his own.

The fragrance of life is all around us, from good to bad, from horrible to wonderful.  We can choose to smell the roses -- or the yard full of dog poop next door.  The choice is ours.

I picked up the bottle of Polo, sniffed it and remembered good times.  I think I'll spray it in my car so it will smell like that "brown eyed handsome man just got out of it."


  1. This brought a lump to my throat. Thanks for sharing. My Father always wore Old Spice. When he died, I requested a couple of his shirts because they still smelled (and felt) like him. Snoopy, when Rick or I go out of town, often spends most of that time resting on our pillows - which probably smell like us. Even animals respond to the scents of people they love!

    1. Oh, BTW, this is Shefali (I did the above comment.) :)