Today I was driving to Deforest for a couple of piano lessons. I don't go out there very often. It's kind of a special circumstance, so I only go every few weeks. Anyhow, DeForest is just north of Madison, and you have to drive north through some farmy areas. Today was a weird day, weather-wise; cold at points, balmy at others, windy, sunny, rainy, big black clouds. Weird.
So I'm driving with my windows all the way down, about a mile past the airport and suddenly it hits me. The smell of cows. Manure. Poo. And I start smiling. And then I'm laughing out loud. Crazy lady in DeForest. Here we go...
There is something about the farm smell that gets me every time. I remember hearing somewhere that of the five senses, smell (or the olfactory sense for you big-worded nerds) recalls memories better than any of the other senses. As of today I'm pretty sure it's true.
There was Greenmeadow Farm somewhere near Alpine Valley where we'd go every October to get our pumpkins. We all had the chance to milk a cow there, and I lied and said I'd already tried it, so I didn't need to again. I was totally freaked out about touching a cow's wiener.
There was Wagner's Farm in Glenview, about ten blocks from where I grew up. That smell didn't travel very far, but when it was strong, it was strong.
There was Auntie Bridget's farm in Ireland where I would sit and watch the cows being milked by machines, 30 or so at a time. I distinctly remember watching one of them pooping in a steady arc (sorry, I can't help but be graphic when talking about poo. It's in my genes). I'll never forget what that looked like. This was always my favorite farm, even though I almost suffocated when I fell down between those round bails of hay, stacked four high on each side, and had to climb back out. I barely remember...this is what moms tells me.
There was every other farm that we'd go to or drive by in Ireland. We'd squeal and roll up the windows, but once the smell hit, it was in the car forever. You just can't get rid of it after that.
Regardless of the nauseating, foul associations these memories may seem to carry, I must admit...I'm really not that disgusted. Actually...god, how do I say this? There is something about the smell of farms and the smell of manure that is strangely comforting to me. And refreshing, in a way. And, apparently after today, I know that the smell of manure brings a sense of hilarity.
Seriously. After a strange week, and a weird, surprisingly stuffy day, apparently this was exactly what I needed. A good, strong whiff of manure.
Now that's the way to a girl's heart.
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