The power of a smell.

In a burst productivity (and a continued search for my food processor), I decided to organize the basement a little and see if I have enough junk to warrant my own garage sale.  I went into the process with the thought: “Do I really want to move this?” etched into my brain.  Get rid of emotions…do I really want to pack, load into a truck, drive, unload and unpack all of this stuff.  No.  If I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again:  I should just burn it down and start over.

You watch, my house will burn to the ground tonight.  It won’t be my fault but the insurance company will see this and think that it is because I said it outloud.  That’s the way things go.

What do you keep?  What do you get rid of?  Am I saving all this stuff to go through every couple of years when I decide to move?  I mean, some of this stuff is on its fifth or sixth move by now.  And some of it…

My goal tonight was not to purge.  It was to find my food processor.  My basement storage currently has everything in totes.  Genius, right?  Sort of.  They are all the same color: green.  Remember, I moved at Christmas last time and if you buy up every tote at Wal*Mart, you get green or red.  So if you think you know where, say, the “much loved but not often used” kitchen appliances (e.g. Air Popper, FoodSaver, Food Processor, Pressure Cooker) are stored, you are probably wrong.  You may get into the tote of scrapbooking supplies or of your deceased husband’s shoe collection.

I’m just saying.  Frustrating.

I continued to search every tote.  And I would label the contents of the tote.  Not going through.  Not throwing away or making a yard sale pile.  Just labeling.  And a minor bit of sorting. 

Will’s life now fits into one tote.  Stephen’s fits into four.  Soon to be three as soon as I donate his shoes.  Maybe smaller.  In my travels through totes, I found one thing I was looking for: Stephen’s cologne.

I picked it up and held it in my hands for a while.  My brain said, “Tote it, woman.  Don’t smell it.  Put it away.”  My body?  Ached to inhale.  I may not remember his voice exactly but I remember his smell.  He didn’t wear it every day.  This is the one he wore when we were dating and engaged.  This is the pre-kid smell.  Mix this with the smell of smoked meats and I might just become a puddle.  Imagine you’re me.  Would you smell it?  Of course you would.

His scent is stuck in my nose hairs, it’s on my hands, it’s back into all my gooey parts.  I didn’t even spray it.  I took the cap off and brought it to my nose and that is all it took.  It all came back. 

Melting into him.  Crying through our vows.  Waking up and catching him watching me sleep.  The music.  The bar.  The sticky summer nights and the daytime that caused time to crawl because we weren’t together.  The decision to start a family.  The proposal.  The big dreams of a cabin in the woods of northern Minnesota.  The four boys we just knew we were going to have.  His red XTerra.  My purple Dodge Dakota. 

All in one concentrated sniff.  Powerful stuff, smells.

I did get everything labeled.  But I never did find my food processor.


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