Summer is coming to an end, and I haven’t touched this blog since May. It wasn’t intentional. I was pulled away by baseball games, concerts, fests, shelter dogs, and family.
Oh, and there was that little bit of “real” writing I needed to make time for. Those pesky books won’t write themselves. I completed a short story in July that will be part of a Christmas Anthology published this December, and my coming-of-age novel, A Penny on the Tracks, is slated for an October release.
So, the coming months give me something to look forward to, besides the fact that we are heading into my favorite season. I absolutely love the fall. Even though it would be so tempting to move to a mild climate that sees no below-zero weather, and sports clear blue skies most of the time, I can’t live without experiencing the shift to the season of falling leaves.
Fall is crisp autumn leaves, apple cider, early sunsets that bring out the ‘cozy’ in me, Halloween, scary movies, sour apple and caramel suckers, pumpkins, Thanksgiving (minus the turkey, please), and hoodies with long shorts (because that’s the way I roll).
I had meant to close out the summer with a total solar eclipse, but a nasty and stubborn cold kept me from making the hundred-plus miles to Carbondale, Il. I had a motel booked in Troy, the closest city I could get to that suddenly popular college town in southern Illinois.
My solar eclipse glasses and a guide to all I needed to know about a total solar eclipse sat waiting to be packed. My tank was full. Supplies were bought, including pepper spray because a woman traveling alone should never be too careful. I had cash in my pocket and water bottles chilling in the refrigerator.
What I didn’t have was a capable body. The trip was not meant to be, and I was stuck at home with a stuffy nose and a throbbing throat, watching a solar eclipse on a cloudy day.
I watched the Carbondale coverage on my TV without being too bitter. Good for those people who witnessed such a spectacular sight. I have 2024 to look forward to, right?
There was one silver lining in getting sick though. I now appreciate so much the ability to taste and smell. Being without those two senses for even two days took so much away from me. I’ve had colds before that limited my senses, but I never before considered what if this were permanent? No matter what I ate or drank, I couldn’t taste a thing. Every food was the same, just different texture. I can’t imagine living in such blandness.
I thought of the the former INXS singer, Michael Hutchence, who had lost his sense of smell and taste during an altercation with a cab driver that left Hutchence with a brain injury, triggering his senses loss. Hutchence would die five years later of what was reported to be a suicide. The people who knew him best said he changed after the accident. Not being able to taste or smell anything had changed him.
Hutchence was described as a sensual man who loved wine and fine dining and women. I can only imagine the depression that settles in when you can no longer taste or smell that which you love, and that which brings you the most satisfaction in your life.
There is definitely a level of intimacy that you lose with the world around you when you can no longer taste or smell anything it offers.
I don’t know how I would cope walking outside on a fall night and not being able to smell the leaves scattered all around, or the musky air filled with that raw earthy scent I love so much. I’m grateful I can smell Fall, my favorite season.
Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net