Thursday, June 05, 2008


It's funny how pervasive smell is. I was doing my 45 minute run in an unusual place today- Orange. I was on a back road, Travis City, maybe- something city. And the smell of manure hit me.

Now you don't get a really good whiff of manure that often anymore. At least not living down on the shoreline here in CT. I grew up in farm country. The only school I ever went to (K-12) was downwind from a chicken farm. Our cross-country course (and all cross-country courses in the area) went through a cornfield. The biggest social event of the year was the Schaghticoke Fair (yes, that's spelled correctly- I googled it to make sure).

And I had the strangest thought when I smelled it. I thought of my mom and dad and how they had this really strong bond. It was really random. I don't think about them that much- Dad died when I was 8, Mom when I was 19. Dad grew up on a farm and would have been a farmer if he hadn't gone off to fight in World War II (I was adopted by some seriously older parents).

Who knows what actually made me think that- a smell familiar from the place I spent most of the first twenty-years of my life, my dad's connection to farming, or just random thinking.

It sure is funny the things that are hidden inside your head, and the observations that you make, even when you're young. It makes me wonder what Ian is picking up along the way- he talks about family all the time and his idea of what a family is a little too rigid, but understandable for a three-year old.

Maybe the bottom line is, when I smell manure, it doesn't gross me out. It just makes me think about a place I can't go back to. A place that doesn't really exist anymore and in the way I remember it, probably never really did.

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