Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Pumpkin Pie, Perfume or Popcorn?


It's Thanksgiving morning, you walk into the kitchen and spot the pumpkin pie cooling on the counter, you peek in the oven to glimpse the turkey browning with it's juices flowing, you lift the towel over the bowl where the dough is rising to later make Grandma's homemade clover rolls. Everything looks perfect, but one thing is definitely missing.  There are no smells, no pungent nutmeg smell from the pumpkin pie, no delicious scents from those juices oozing from the turkey that later provide the base for that incredible mouth-watering gravy.   Can you imagine a Thanksgiving day without your sense of smell or for that matter any other day without your sense of smell?

I wonder if we tend to take our five senses of Smell, Taste, Touch, See, and Hear for granted. Each are gifts waiting for unwrapping to enjoy each and everyday.  And how even one sense, like smell would affect our day to day living with its absence.  Pause and think about your sense of smell and how you would sorely miss it if it suddenly disappeared.  No longer able to smell the freshness of the air after a spring rain, just cut mowed grass in the summer, or leaves burning in the fall.  Chili simmering on the stove, cookies baking in the oven, the aroma of freshly brewed coffee.  Linens dried on a clothesline now covering your pillow with it's outdoor freshness, bubble baths, lotions, scented candles, a vase filled with roses.  The list continues.

As my Mother aged, she lost her sense of smell.  No longer could she smell the Windsong perfume that she would dab on her wrists each morning, no longer could she enjoy the aroma of the food she prepared for dinner, or the flowers she received on her birthday.  It was a loss that she woefully missed.  Sometimes I get a whiff of Windsong perfume and reminiscences of my Mom flood my memories.

Odors such as gasoline fumes, an agitated skunk, rotten eggs, or fresh manure I can live without. But don't take away the mouth-watering aroma of buttered popcorn as I enter the movie theater, fresh baked bread from the local bakery, or the heady smell of lilacs blooming in the spring.  This sense is a gift that is easily taken for granted, not realizing how much this gift would be missed until it was lost.

This week stop and think about your sense of smell.  Share with us what smells make you happy, bring back a memory, or what aroma would you miss the most?  Capture a picture of a favorite smell and post it on our new Flickr group "Focusing on Life."

"Smell is a potent wizard that transports you across thousands of miles and all the years you have lived."  ~  Helen Keller

17 comments:

Carol said...

As someone who works with one of the 5 senses daily ( I am an audiologist), I can tell you that the loss of any one of them is devastating. Hearing small things - like the leaves crunching under your feet - are what keep you tethered to the world. This post is a wonderful place to start our gratitude for today. Thanks for the reminder not to take anyting for granted! Have a great day!

terriporter said...

Deanna, you have a true gift for gratitude and for encouraging the rest of us to remember to be grateful. Gratitude is something you have to work on every day. I agree, losing any of the five senses would be devastating in so many ways. I'm sure your descriptions of the things we would miss has us all thinking about being grateful for the things we do have. Thank you, my friend, for a wonderful, thought-provoking post.

Karen Harvey Cox said...

Deanna,
Have I told you that I love you.

Your writing and the way you color your photographs ALWAYS makes me smile. We do take so many things for granted, and our lives are embellished with so many blessings that it's hard to count them all. The sense of smell can bring you back to a wonderful memory, or make you feel welcome in someone's home, or just make you smile. My daughter uses this very fruity smelling shampoo. When she takes a shower the entire upstairs smells like a garden. It always makes me smile, because the town where my husband and I first met had a perfume factory. On the way to and from the road where we lived you could smell whatever flavor they were working on that day. The smell of my daughter's shampoo brings back all those lovely memories. I never thought of photographing something that would conger up a familiar or favorite smell. What a perfectly lovely idea. And to invite photos on our flickr group is brilliant.

Have I told you I love you Deanna, you are a gift.

Karen

Dotti said...

Such a wonderful post, such fun photos and thoughtful responses. I had to laugh when I read Karen's account of the town where she and her husband met. It reminded me of a town we lived in when I was a child that had a paper mill. Oh, my! That, my dear Deanna, ranks up there with aromas you'd just as soon forget. And what you say is true, not only do we take these wonderful senses for granted but the mere smell can bring back a long forgotten memory in a flash. So powerful!

AFishGirl said...

Lovely post, Deanna. Well, I hope you'll still be my friend because I actually like the smell of gasoline. As a child, waiting for the bus, I loved the bus exhaust smell. Yep. And, manure. Cow manure. Just cow. Whew. And just the odd whiff. I am a huge fan of the smell of crayons, lemon peel, most things citrus, bacon frying, sheets dried in the wind, pine, seaweed, fresh sweat, the hair of babies, new cars, Earl Grey tea, ginger cookies, blizzards (which have a smell), the thawing in the woods during spring time which I guess is the smell of rot mixed with growth (you're still my friend, right? Right?) and what else... real wool, red wine, white wine, whiskey, fish, rocks, water, rivers. Okay, I'll stop. Smelling is a big deal to me.

Claudia@DipityRoad said...

Kind of like Pam above some smells to me, though not the fragrant ones of a perfume really have a wonderful memory associated with it. Example: my favorite aunt and uncle worked hard on their Kansas wheat farm. they never owned a house with air-conditioning. To me a sweaty hot summer house is a smell of love to me. I know thats odd... but good people who loved me so unconditionally.

Some of the flowers I shoot are simply because of the fragrance-- just to be near them!

Hugs!

Blondie's Journal said...

I have a severe hearing lsos that gets worse as time goes by. I remember when I first got hearing aids...I could hear birds chirping, the dog's nails clicking on the floor, the drops of water coming from the faucet. It was totally eye opening to realize how much we need all of our senses and how important every little detail in our life is. Wonderful post!

XO,
Jane

leighlovedesign said...

Thank you for opening up a new way for me to sense photography!

Carol said...

So funny Pam, but your descriptions actually make me think of my family's Canadian cabin! Maybe these are the odor of Canada! I like it as much as you do!

Carol said...

Again, just as an audiologist - I'm so glad you got Them!

Kim Stevens said...

The drifting smell of pink jasmine . . . I had a hard time leaving the spot in the garden center where these were displayed today, drinking in all the aroma I could, and then some!! And as I did, I was truly thinking the same thing you just wrote about. Great post Deanna!!

Linda said...

Oh it would be so sad to lose my sense of smell! I would miss the smell of freshly baked bread most of all! I've heard that when your smell goes so does your taste, that they are related. Sad for me too since I like to eat so much! lol!

janel said...

The sense of smell is one of my favorite senses.... certain smells trigger powerful memories and it all happens magically. Thanks for helping me to slow down and enjoy!

stephmull said...

Oh, I love your post, Deanna!! The sense of smell connected with memories is so powerful for me! I can be transported back in time with just one whiff of something familiar! I actually took a photo this week of Mr. Sketch markers. I grew up with them and love to smell them as much as I loved to draw with them. I'll link that photo to our new flickr group. Thanks for bringing a smile to my face today!

Geneva said...

Deanna... you have a magical way with words! Thank you so much for this sweet post ... it was powerful!
Blessings!
Geneva

Michelle Renee said...

Hyacinths...I caught a whiff as I walked past them in the grocery store, then wheeled my cart over to drink the aroma in. Yes, we most definitely take our senses for granted.

susan said...

Love your way of writing. Thank you for making me stop and think today about appreciating our sense of smell. There are a couple scents that take me back when I smell them...'lily of the valley'...my favorite flower and scent. And...Old Spice. It's been almost 13 years now since my Dad passed away and every once in awhile I take out that bottle of Old Spice that he would put on every day. (yup...i still have what's left of it). So, thank you for bringing back a sweet memory with this post.

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