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On Wanting and Things That Smell

This is from fourteen years ago...

It is estimated that 65 to 75% of dementia patients are cared for at home by family members, including both spouses and adult children. According to the 2010 Alzheimer's Association Facts and Figures report, 10.9 million Americans provide unpaid care for persons with dementia.

I got that info off the website of But wait! There's more from the NIH...

The most recent U.S. life table (2010) implies that half of males born today will survive to 78 years and half of females will survive to age 83 years (CDC/NCHS, 2013). These ages were 55 and 58 years in 1900 (Bell & Miller, 2005). The increases in life expectancy mean that now most people will live to old age; and once they reach old age, they will live longer than they used to.

So, with fourteen years passed, one can only suspect that the numbers above have changed. I can't imagine how much they've grown since then. Especially with an aging demographic staying alive longer.

I remember when I was fourteen-- Whoosh! No transitional statement there --I volunteered with my girlfriend, Debby Cole at a local hospital, Good Samaritan Hospital in Phoenix. My girlfriend, Debby had cystic fibrosis (CF) and, back in the day, must have visited there often. I used to spend the night sometimes at Debby's house. She played the flute. Isn't that odd? But years later, I thought, her parents, who had adopted her, must have thought of the flute as a sort of therapy for the CF. Anyway, who knows now, right? But what I remember most about Debby is that she coughed all night long. This made for a sleepy following day. But her mom made the best breakfasts. They put strawberry jam on their eggs. I was grossed out at first but after that initial bite, Holy Pasta Fajoli! Num num.

Anyway, our volunteer service was called, The Candy Stripers. We got these cool official outfits. Well, I thought they were cool but then people called me a nerd back then. So...

Stylish? Right?

I was assigned the GI ward--gastrointestinal ward. I was told to do things, like get patients water and read to patients. I was told that patients enjoy it when you read to them. I lasted a week after they assigned me to one gentleman, the sweetest man, tall. He'd recently had colon bypass surgery, a colectomy.

Whoosh! I've always had the best sense of smell. I was born under the Year of the Dog on the Chinese calendar. I was born sometime between 1922 and 2030, if you must know. My astrological sign is Leo. Between these two animals and their incredible senses of smell, well, I believe and will say it under oath if forced to, that my incredible sense of smell is because of this. It's very scientific, you see. I'll post about it sometime soon.

So, as it turns out, elephants have the best sense of smell due to their long trunks. In fact, it's believed that elephants have the strongest sense of smell out of all animals on the planet.

I didn't write either of those two previous sentences. I got them from More information you may find entirely useless...

According to new research, African elephants have the strongest sense of smell among animals. Recent studies have found that the African elephant has the strongest sense of smell in the animal kingdom. A bloodhound is often referred to as a nose attached to a dog since these pooches have the amazing ability to scan a terrain with their nose. The male silk moth's large, elaborate, feathery antennae are filled with scent receptors that enable them to sense a single pheromone scent particle from a female more than seven miles away.

Maybe you can slip it into conversation with someone next time you're riding in a taxi or at a cocktail party. Maybe while you're at the buffet table sniffing the fare. And I never knew that the Male Silk Moth could smell. But these are the things we learn when we dig around for information. And snakes! Snakes have a sense of smell. I learn so much when I write.

Maybe that's why I write. Because I learn so much.

An aside: The other day, I wrote that I loved reading for the words. Someone commented, "How sad." Now, I can go back and say, "Ha! It's not only for the words but also for how much I learn! So there!" I can say to them if I choose.

And now, I'll come to the point of this post (if there even is one)...

There are many smells in life. Some good. Some bad. Some in-between. A Goldilocks of smells, if you will. And these smells are a lot like the people we will meet along our life paths.

We can be appalled by the smells, love the smells, or just say, "That smell isn't offensive at all and yet, it's a little offensive if you think about it." And we can celebrate the smells of these people we meet along the way. I'm using smells now as a metaphor. Did you get that?

It doesn't matter.

Anyway, we can either choose to hang around a smell or leave a smell or only visit a smell once in a while. What we do not get to do is be nasty about a smell. We smell ourselves.

Not the act, the thing. Or maybe the act. I don't know if you smell yourself, the act. Maybe you do. Maybe some of us do both, the act and the thing. I'm not the judge. So have at it.

So, in furtherance of metaphor... we either smell nice or bad or so-so or not at all. But sometimes we forget when we smell and when we don't. And yet we seem to always notice other peoples' smells.

The real point is this: don't be a butthead just because you don't like someone else. Because, we lower ourselves to the same level. You may feel superior for a minute. Afterward, you start to self-talk (assuming you have one iota of a moral compass) and you will want to apologize.

Or maybe that's just me.

The following excerpts are about comparing yourself to others. Sometimes we compare to feel better than others and, sometimes we compare because we feel less than and want what they have or what they do...

Matthew 7 "Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you".

This means. If you think someone smells, smell yourself first because you might smell bad too.

Galatians 6:4-10 "Don't compare yourself with others. Just look at your own work to see if you have done anything to be proud of".

This one is a favorite because it's the "shut up about it verse" on comparing yourself to others.

Philippians 2:3-11 "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves".

That one's for politicians.

2 Corinthians 10:13 "Be happy with the sphere that God has given to you"

And this one means, sort of, look around yourself and be thankful for all you have. I like this one a lot. And I couldn't choose which one to use so I used them all.

God bless you all.

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1 Comment

Jo szcz
Jo szcz
Jun 13

Smells also bring back memories ... both good and bad!

Love you!


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