Friday, September 2, 2016

Swamp gas

Allie preparing to take care of her baby sibling
Tessa and Maya harvest Shanna's corn and carrots. Huge ears of corn; tiny carrots though the girls selected the smallest ones as they were so cute
Maya at our house
I liked this travel poster of San Francisco. Hopefully we will be there in a couple of months
I got this 3-D paper art. Needs to kept away from direct sunlight. It would look perfect in my beach themed bathroom but then no one would see it
large ceramic trivet

It is said that one retains the memory of odors longer than those of the other senses. How true!
When I was 5, we took a trip from upstate New York to Florida and back going through coastal Georgia and South Carolina. Did they have I-95 then? I don't think so as we wound through town after town.We went in the heat of the summer. Our cars never had air-conditioning (though to be fair, I don't think any cars did). Some of the towns smelled so bad, this pungent sulfurous cloud of funk. It made me gag. How could people live  in this miasma of stink? They get used to it, my mother said.
On the way home, my one year old brother became so ill that they thought it was necessary to take him to the ER in a small town hospital on the coast. It was dark and hot. I could hear the loud buzzing of cicadas. The air reeked of putrid decay. I was left in the car by myself as for some reason, it took 2 of them to deal with the doctors. Of course these days, leaving a 5 year old alone in the car would land them in jail. I felt I was in that car forever. At one point, several ambulances came screaming in. Huge traffic accident nearby which set my brother further back by triage. Finally I started to scream on the top of my lungs. Someone heard me and brought me into he waiting room where it wasn't dark and smelly. Why couldn't they have let me wait there in the first place? My parents lacked common sense.
What smelled so bad? Paper mills, my father thought.

We went back to Florida several times but from Michigan, one takes a inland route far from the coastal swamps. After we were married, Steve and I took the coastal route to Florida from NYC but we were on I-95 and it was winter. No bad smells.

Once when working in Detroit, in a walk-in  refrigerated storage, I smelled it again. Not sure if was a single chemical or a mix .

However, when I crossed the wetland portion of the trail in Delaware, I smelled the putrid smell again. It must be the swamps as they wouldn't dare have a paper mill anywhere near such a fancy area. The odor must be due to some sort of decay in salt water swamps though I must have been near them in the NE and never smelled that odor. Maybe only in the south. And the odor wasn't as nearly as strong as I remembered as a 5 year old.

The last de facto week of summer. The kids had their school open houses, with Shanna dealing with 3 different ones on the same day. Maya is now enrolled in the neighborhood school where she shall remain for a while. Three girls from her Young 5s also will go to her school and all the parents wanted the girls kept together. They were told they would be but from the class lists, the three are in separate classes. Worst, Maya has been placed with an elderly, rigid woman who was there when my older kids were there. Naomi had her briefly as she was in charge of her first grade reading group. Naomi was in the top group because she was so fluent. However, no one noticed the entire year that she had no idea what she was reading. I would like a teacher more on the ball. Turns out the young principal coached basketball at Naomi's high school and remembers her. She agrees this woman is not a good fit.

It is cool and sunny out, perfect for me. I have been visiting various friends over the week and in general, have enjoyed myself. Sad that soon it will be winter.

1 comment:

Elephant's Child said...

Excellent that the principal realises that the fit is not good.
And you are so right about smells. Good and bad.


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