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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Smell (the sense of smell) (07/29/10)

TITLE: I Smell Popcorn


I Smell Popcorn

“I smell popcorn,” my son says, just before he breaks down and cries like a baby, and he's thirty-three years old. Because of nasal polyps, it's the first time he's been able to smell anything for the past seven years. He went under the knife and had surgery, now he's just beginning to get his sense of smell back.

A sense of smell is something a lot of us take for granted. It's one of the things we don't think about having, until we lose it. We may lose it because of something such as the common cold, or in my son's case, something more serious.

Ah, the joy of waking up to the smell of fresh steaming hot coffee, like my grandson says, “The best part of waking up, is soldiers in your cup.” (I think he means Folgers.)

And there's nothing quite like camping under the stars, then having your senses awakened by the aroma of bacon frying. A stack of golden brown hotcakes, fresh off the griddle, smothered with butter and maple syrup, starts the day off right.

The beauty of the woods invites you to walk the trails, while stopping every few feet to smell the wild flowers. The red Bee Balm is so pretty and the Hummingbirds love it. My favorite is the Wild Roses, but if you get too close, beware of the thorns.

Or maybe a short drive that brings you to the beach, with the smell of the sand and the surf. Gathering pebbles along the shore is a favorite past-time.

After a day of fun, it's back to the campsite for a meal that's been cooked in a big black dutch oven, over an open fire. Just the smell of the chili simmering makes your mouth water as you reach for a bowl and a handful of crackers.

After supper, it's bath time for all the little rug-rats. There's nothing like hugging a wee one who smells so fresh and clean, in a pair of Spider-Man pajamas, with their hair combed just right.

With nighttime duty's finished, chairs line up around the campfire. Out come the graham crackers, marshmallows, and Hershey bars, for everyone's favorite, smores. Food taste better with a steaming mug of hot chocolate to sip, while dad comes up with his best scary story.

When it's time for bed, we snuggle in cozy sleeping bags that have been draped over the line all day, making them smell as fresh as all out doors.

Our sense of smell is strongly linked to our sense of taste. All you need is one smell to bring back a memory from the past.

I remember walking in the house after school to the smell of mom's roast in the oven, and it brought cozy feelings of being loved. We'd load our plate with carrots, potatoes, and gravy from a roast that was so tender it fell off the bone. We'd sit down together and everyone tried to catch mom's attention with what they thought, was the most exciting part of the day. The smell of roast always brings back memories of mom and home.

And I never get a whiff of Old Spice, without thinking of daddy.

During pregnancy, you can blame those hormones again, some women have a heightened sense of smell.

Inhaling a newborn's fresh and clean breath, untouched by the world, is calming to the soul. Give them a bath, put on some baby lotion, and you can't stop the kisses. At least until they need the next diaper change, but even be glad if you can smell that, because a loss of smell could be an early sign of Alzheimer's.

Dogs can even sniff out drugs, or find lost loved ones. A small study even reported that dogs can sniff out cancer.

So many things can be shown by our sense of, or lack of, smell. So let's get out there and take a big whiff of life, and thank God, who gave us the gift.

“I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.”
Psalms 139: 14

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This article has been read 393 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 08/05/10
You did a great job describing all of your favorite smells. I was sniffing along with you as I read it.
Jeanne E Webster 08/06/10
Your "smells" run off in many tangents here, making for a loosely wrapped piece. A focus on your son's sense of smell would make an excellent story. A terrific opener too!

Well written and an interesting read. More, more... :)
Verna Mull 08/08/10
A little too many smells, but still very interesting. I too, would have liked to have heard more about your son, but each smell did have a great description. You have a great ability to describe.
Patsy Hallum08/16/10
I walked down the trails with you. Thanks for the smell down memory lane. Keep writing.