A fine smelling run through town

The Covington News - - Second opinion -

Yes­ter­day, in a rare mo­ment of phys­i­cal ex­er­tion, I took a brisk walk from my house to the down­town square and back. All told, I walked over four miles and had a great time. Sure, I came back ex­hausted, but I was re­freshed, re­newed and de-stressed. And I learned some­thing on my walk. I learned that there are in­ter­est­ing smells ev­ery­where, if you’ll just get out of your fancy, air-con­di­tioned car and hit the side­walks.

The first smell that hit me was fresh pine bark. One of the neigh­bors was spread­ing bag af­ter bag of bark, and the scent was amaz­ing.

At my pre­vi­ous house, the builder had ground up a truck­load of pine trees and left a pile of bark that would ri­val the mounds up in Etowah. I spent week­end af­ter week­end with a wheel­bar­row, mov­ing the bark to other parts of the yard.

Once you haul a few tons of pine bark, you never for­get the odor.

The next in­ter­est­ing smell was a mix­ture of gaso­line, sweat and grass. You know that one. It’s the smell of lawn­mow­ers and weed trim­mers — a smell that re­minded me of cut­ting the grass at my par­ent’s house. That’s a smelly chore I now leave to some­one else, but the mem­ory lingers in my mind and in the air. The next odor was odd. It was ei­ther an open sewer or some­one’s dryer ex­haust vent. I didn’t stop to fig­ure that one out. Not ev­ery smell is worth in­ves­ti­gat­ing.

One smell that was def­i­nitely worth avoid­ing was the one in a small pile on the side­walk. But, I was care­ful and watched where I stepped, so I didn’t have to smell that one all the way home.

My fa­vorite scent was the freshly cut tree. We had a big storm in town, and it knocked over a mas­sive pine that had to be cut into smaller pieces be­fore it could be hauled off. When I walked by, I was hit with the in­cred­i­bly sweet smell of pine tree sap.

I had a great ad­ven­ture with all these smells, but on the last mile of the walk, all I could smell was me, a sweaty, stinky, mid­dle-aged man who had just ex­er­cised and en­joyed it. That’s a sur­pris­ing, new smell for me, one that I haven’t ex­pe­ri­enced in a very long time. I might just get used to it. If I’m lucky.

David McCoy is a Cony­ers res­i­dent. He can be reached at td­davm­c­coy@bell­south.net.

David McCoy

Colum­nist

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