Sunday, December 28, 2008

The strongest sense

It's been a great few days here in Small Town, GA with Kitty and Mom. Guy and I flew into town on Xmas Eve, and Guy left on Boxing Day evening while I stayed here and will be leaving on New Year's Eve. Everyone has asked me what I got Guy for Christmas, and I said his gift was that he only had to spend three days with my family. It's the gift that keeps on giving. [head tilt, crossed eyes]

We've been going and going and doing and doing for the past few days, so today we decided to take it easy. Kitty and I went over to her hairdresser's house; she got a cut and her color touched up, and I just got a trim. Then it was back to Kitty's house for lunch, and then Kitty took a nap while Mom and I cleaned the kitchen. I mean seriously cleaned the kitchen.

Kitty will confess readily that she's not the greatest housekeeper, and the stress of final grades makes that even worse. Through her burnout this fall, the HKC suffered mightily, and no room so much as the kitchen. So, Mom and I tackled cleaning out from under some counters and chucking expired canned goods and plastic containers with no tops and tops with no containers.

As expected, I eventually had to make a Wally World run, only for contact paper for the shelves. I hopped in my old truck Boo-Boo, which Kitty now drives and treats with great care and proper maintenance, and zipped on over the the Home of Low Prices and Lower Expectations. (Is it just me, or does walking into Wal-Mart make everyone depressed?) I got the contact paper, sped through the self-checkout, and jumped back the Boo-Boo to get back to the HKC. Cleaning had not been going as fast as I'd hoped, and I really wanted to make a dent in the mess when Kitty awoke from her nap.

Just out of the access road to the main street from the parking lot, I smelled a scent I hadn't smelled in a long, long time. Dad. Every now and then, my dad would borrow my truck to go pick up some firewood or move something around on the his farm, and when I got the truck back, it would have sort of a dirt-and-sweat smell. Bear in mind that the truck has been well cleaned inside more than once since Dad died in January of 1997, so there shouldn't be any remnants of any chemical ever on his person...should there be?

But there it was. The truck smelled like Dad had taken the truck for a spin while I'd gone in the store, as if he had been cutting doughnuts in the parking lot while I perused long shelves of plastic mesh shelf liners. It was an odd and comforting scent indeed. I've heard that while vision is our strongest sense, smell is the most closely linked to memory. Christmas is also a time when memories flood back to us of times past. Usually, those memories are of pumpkin pie, pine trees, and fireplaces. My holiday smell memories are more along the lines of Dr. Pepper, red clay, and a hard day's work well done.

4 comments:

mizscarlett said...

My two cents - he was there and sent his love.

but with the economy now days, my two cents is really less than 1.

glad you're having a nice time.

ms. kitty said...

What a lovely experience, Pixie. Thanks for sharing it.

Miss Kitty said...

I've smelled that smell, too, upon getting back in the truck--glad to know it's not just me. Daddy's with us in spirit, riding around in the truck. :-)

Suz said...

Wonderful post. Thanks for sharing it.

Happy New Year!