Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Thursday Thirteen--Smells

Our ability to smell is amazing, if you think about it. God created us with a complicated system of nerves, including the olfactory nerves, which are “the first pair of cranial nerves that arise in the mucous membranes within the upper part of the nose and transmit impulses concerned with the sense of smell to the forebrain” (Webster)! In a less technical sense, odors and fragrances can bring us many pleasant sensations and even trigger memories.

Here are thirteen of the most delightful smells I can think of:

1. lilacs—When I was a child, I spent a lot of time playing under a huge lilac bush, and I have always loved the fragrance of the blooms.

2. gardenias—My father bought my mother a corsage of gardenias when they got married; my brother and I bought a big bouquet of gardenias for our parents’ fiftieth wedding celebration.

3. honeysuckle—During my growing-up years, there was a big honeysuckle vine outside my bedroom window, and I could smell it at night during the summer; those were pre-air-conditioner days, and the windows were always open.

4. dill pickles—Yum! They are the best on sandwiches.

5. fresh mint—I love fresh mint in iced tea.

6. garlic—I’m trying to learn to cook with fresh garlic; it is so much better than canned garlic.

7. vanilla—We have a twenty-year-old Christmas ornament, a bird made from vanilla beans from South America. During the year, it lives in a can. When we open the can, the whole room smells like vanilla for a little bit. We let our 7-year-old grandson open it this year; his eyes grew big, and he said, “Wow! Smell this bird!”

8. cinnamon—It makes chocolate chip cookies smell and taste even better.

9. the air just before it rains—There’s a dusty-leafy smell in the air. Sometimes the tap water in our small town smells and tastes this way.

10. coffee—Ah, yes! A steaming, hot cup, as I curl up on the couch to read my Bible early in the morning.

11. pine cones and all evergreen trees

12. a fire in a fireplace

13. compost—leaf mould—dirt


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