I have oft been accused of owning an all too sensitive nose. Growing up, I tried to become obsolete on refrigerator cleaning day. "Have Julie smell this. Julie, has this gone bad yet?" In college, I stopped drinking the milk because, too many times, the dorm cafeteria's massive crate-contained two percent went warm and stale.
Once, I made my husband put his shoes outside the trailer during a camping trip so I could sleep without smelling their sweat. I always know when he's been working construction on a farm; I have to wash his clothes twice on those occasions to get rid of the manure scent.
Old ladies with too much cologne are terrible to sit beside in closed quarters. Doing a Master's soil science thesis on swine manure management, where we had to hand collect and apply the manure by bucketfuls on the field? Pure torture for this nose.
Recently, before our vicar came over for dinner, I smelled a horrible rotten odor on our main floor. In terror, I paced the rooms, trying to identify the source. It wasn't the bathroom--my son had just cleaned it and the plumbing was working fine. It wasn't my husband's hats or coveralls. It wasn't my son's shoes--I put them in the wash just in case. The dishes were clean, kitty litter scooped. I was frantic and embarrassed: what if vicar comes, and we still haven't found where the smell is coming from? I hastily sprayed fabric freshener around to no avail.
Finally, as my husband came in from work, the culprit was found: potatoes gone rotten. Having an ultra-sensitive nose can be a curse and a blessing.
I am a queer disabled poet, scientist and artist from Nebraska. I have earned my BS and MS in agronomy from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, and am a parent of two adult children. I have been published in several literary magazines. Two of my chapbooks won honorable mention in contests by Writer's Digest. I sell my art at Ravenwood in Norfolk, NE. For more, also read https://medium.com/@jpaschold. [she/they]
Monday, December 31, 2012
Friday, December 21, 2012
In the event of the death of a friend’s son
how much pain and relief you must feel
so close to Christmastide.
your Cole smiles on you
sees clearly now
and plays with the angels
But here your heart hurts
and in the season of a boy’s birth
there is an emptiness within your home.
I can’t fathom losing my son
and only Joseph can equal your grief
as his adoptive son died on a cross.
I pray for acceptance
with the knowledge of your son
at so small an age
touching oh so many lives.
for Cole & Chris Christensen
Julie Soaring Eagle Paschold
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