At our writers meeting at the Mt. Pleasant Public library, our first fifteen minutes or so, The leader of our group, Dr. Fred Adams usually will share some knowledge to make our writing better or to think in different ways as we write. Tonight, he spoke about one of the five senses that is often overlooked in the story lines. That is the sense of smell: aromas, scents, odors, or fragrances.
We shared thoughts on smells remind us of the different seasons, good smells, bad smells, and smells that conjure up images in our minds when we catch a whiff of them. We talked of unusual smells that we often overlook. The scent of rain when it hits a hot pavement or dusty a field, wood smoke or coal smoke, or the smell of hot brakes, diesel fumes, or car exhausts,
The talk about smells took a nostalgic turn when we mentioned the scent of the alcohol based ink from school and the mimeograph or the ditto machines, churning out the purple inked copies of schoolwork, tests, or information to take home to our parents. And in the same time era, the white mucilage based paste that made the tongue seem to go numb when it was tasted. I reminded them of the ozone smell of the “bumper cars” at the amusement parks and someone else shared the same smell from the old streetcars.
We were reminded of the smells of damp basements, dry dusty attics, and some of the foodstuffs as it cooked our homes. One gal even said she liked to smell snowflakes. Odors we didn’t like were newly laid asphalt, burned flesh, and garbage trucks in the summer.
We shared of how the smells of when we enter a doctor’s office or the hospital now, has changed from an pungent aroma of alcohol, antiseptic and medication to an area of almost no smell at all.
This season of autumn elicited scented thoughts of leaves, wet or burning, or turkeys roasting in the ovens, the spicy aromas of apple and pumpkin pies baking, and the mouthwatering aromas of soups simmering and waiting for families to come in out of the cold.