Sounds and Smells and Buttons

She is awake, but not yet ready to open her eyes. She hears the magpies on the back lawn where they often choose to have their morning arguments; complaining, scolding, squawking, and then flapping off in mad little bird snits.

She takes a deep breath of the fresh fall air, and detects just the smallest hint of wood smoke, all that remains of last night’s fire pit party next door. No echoes this morning of the teenage shouts and laughter. She imagines all of them blissfully sleeping in.

The clock radio buzzes and blasts out a bar or two of some inane music she can’t identify because her hand is so quick to reach up and silence it. There are more buttons to push, so she rolls out of bed. Computer button, coffee pot button, light switches, button to pull out to turn the shower on.

The shampoo smells like apples, the body wash like cranberries and the bar of soap like peaches. Then she spritzes the tub and tiles with something that smells like oranges. Thank God the coffee still smells like coffee.

There are still more morning buttons to push – the one on her electric toothbrush, the one on her blow dryer, the button on the garage door opener, and the one she can press to start her car if the mood strikes her.

Her hand soap has some kind of yogurt name and comes out foamy from a pump. It smells like summer. Her perfume smells like spider webs when she first puts it on. She knows this is a ridiculous thing to think, but there the thought is anyway. The scent mellows in a minute or two to something like a red door in the sunshine.

Her life is a strange parade of sounds and smells and buttons, she thinks. From habit she has been relatively quiet getting ready, although her husband is out of town for several more days, and she could have been singing at the top of her lungs and dancing on the table if she wanted to. Best not to get into that habit she supposes. Time to leave for work. No button to beam her there and back. But it’s Saturday, and there won’t be much traffic. She can breathe in the vanilla scent of her car deodorizer and push the buttons on the radio. Woot. And all day long she will have in the back of her mind that the next three days she is off.

She thinks it would have been really funny if the Plinky prompt for today had asked her to describe her life using nothing but sounds and smells and buttons. Of course it doesn’t do that, but she decides she will write about those weird things anyway.

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Making the World a Better Place

Our tent after the storm

The world would be a better place if we could just abolish camping. It’s one of the stupidest things we do to ourselves.

What idiot decided one day to pack up a whole whack of stuff he’d need to survive, travelled for miles, unpacked, got cold and hungry and rained on, put his back out sleeping on the ground, packed everything up again and travelled more miles to get home…..and then marvelled at what an excellent time he’d had as he tried to scrub the wood smoke smell out of his underwear? And how in the world did he convince other people to share similar experiences? It’s one of life’s mysteries how this demented pastime caught on.

I’m sorry, but I just don’t get it. I like my home and my television and my indoor plumbing. I like electricity and central air and clean sheets and daily showers. I’m not so fond of twigs in my hair and stinky sleeping bags and sharing my food with bugs. I can have a campfire in my backyard and drink beer and swat mosquitos and gorge on smores whenever I feel like it. There’s really no need to leave home. The sun shines just as hot here as it does in the forest or the mountains, and the wildlife isn’t as scary.

Stay home! Pitch a tent in the basement! The ‘After-Bite’ people won’t be happy, but probably a lot of bears will thank you.

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