Monday, March 1, 2010


My husband walked into the house a few days ago complaining about the "smell" outside.

One of the perks/downsides to living in West Texas is the smell. When the wind is out of the right direction you get a distinct aroma. Most people think that it is unpleasant. My husband thinks I'm crazy. Because when the wind is out of the right direction, I take a deep breath, shut my eyes and I am temporarily transported home.

At least to my childhood home. I grew up on a farm, with cows. So that smell,that distinct aroma of cow poop, for those brief moments sends me back to being 16 years old, standing in the barn with a CB radio antenna in one hand and a bucket of "cake" in the other as I go to feed the cows. My grandfather standing at the fence making fun of my antenna. It takes me back to good memories, to things that I miss having in my life as an adult.

Yes, I miss having cows, and the work that it involves. But what I miss the most - my grandfather. By most people's standards he was an honest, hardworking man. He never did anything out of the ordinary, at least by most people's standards. He was idolized by myself, and a few of my childhood friends. I had a special relationship with him, one that most people would now call - odd. Mostly because, given a choice, I would have spent most of my childhood following him around. He had endless patience, except for stupidity, he answered my questions - when they were legitimate. He helped me fail - repeatedly, so I could learn to do something right. He taught me more about life and common sense than most people get in a lifetime.

He taught me about cows and farming, and didn't think that I was crazy when I decided that I wanted to farm, or at least marry a farmer, so I could farm. He understood that need and that want to plant and harvest and worry. I ended up not doing either. I married a city boy, who wouldn't know a heifer from a cow. But the funny thing is, that city boy, would secretly love to farm, and have cows, pigs, horses, chickens and other farm like animals. That city boy would learn to love the smell of fresh plowed dirt on a warm day. He would learn to love the smell of cow poop. He denies it. That stuff gets in your heart and soul, but if he were to ever take up farming and ranching, when those scents were gone, he would long for them.

I know that most days I would give anything to be standing in that barn for just 10 more minutes, basking in the smells. In the memories. Even if those memories have me standing in cow poop.

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