Sunday, September 16, 2012

On unsweet aromas

Shep, 8 weeks old


Sumpin in my van is stank. 

It's been stankin' since last Saturday after I took the kids to a cool splashpad called Bailey Park with the Austin Ethiopia adoption group when I saw all the cute little Ethiopian girls running around and wondered if anyone would notice if I just accidentally took one home with me while I heard all the stories about how the So-and-Sos started the process at the same time, even later! than we did with God's Children's International America Wide Hope Agency and they've had their child home for so long she's not only learned English but some Spanish and is in fact reading the bible in original Greek blah blAH BLAH.

It smells like wet towels. Which made sense because "make sure you bring EV!ERY!THING! IN FROM THE CAR" must sound like original Greek to my recalcitrant slobs little darlings.

But there are no wet towels to be found in the confines of the T&C. I've looked. There's no wet anything within sight. So the musty, wet towel-morphing-to-dirty-sock smell just lingers and every time I open my doors and catch a whiff of it I ask the kids 'what IS that SMELL?' and they roll their eyes and say 'MOM we don't KNOW we've LOOKED there's NOTHING.'

At least it's just the smell of something wet. That's not so bad. There have been worse, far worse.

When Shep was a baby, teeny tiny weeks old, my overambitious postpartum self bought a pumpkin to carve for Halloween. Then, in the drama of getting a 30lb carseat full of newborn and the 30lb diaper bag I took everywhere (what on earth was in there? By the third kid I sometimes remembered to toss a diaper in my purse) I couldn't handle also bringing in a 30 pound pumpkin.  Okay, more like 10lb pumpkin, whatever, new baby. So I just left it in there, for a while, till I could get it, and eventually it just rotted and disintegrated all over the back of my trunk.

I then learned what Hell smells like: rotten disintegrating pumpkin in Houston heat.
Follow Jesus now, y'all. Pray that prayer and get yourself saved because Hell hath no Fabreeze. 

Couple of summers ago, another mystery smell emanated from the back of my van. This time it took at least a week for me to figure it out. You know how sometimes you bring in all the groceries from the car except that one bag that gets left behind? I'm not the only one who does this, right? Right? Just make sure - write this down now - make sure that the one bag you leave in the back for a week doesn't contain the frozen fish sticks.

The worst though, the absolute worst, happened last spring. And it's no small mercy that it was spring and not summer. For over a week, whenever I turned a corner, I would catch the most horrible whiff of what smelled like warm death. And when your car frequently sends you whiffs of warm death, your imagination can run a tad wild. Dead squirrel? Dead possum? Dead rat?? Live rats?? Does my car have rats?? Do rats live in cars?? How do I get rid of rats in my car?? IS THERE SOMETHING CRAWLING UP MY LEG oh thank you Jesus it's just the iPhone charger THERE'S THAT SMELL AGAIN do I have dead and/or live rats in my car??

I tore the back of the van apart - the back, you know, where the kids live - looking for the dead whatever. Nothing. A ghost. A dead rat ghost??

Then one day, all of us were gussied up and headed to church when I dropped something (betcha it was an iPhone) on the floor, reached under the passenger seat, and clenched a lovely squishy week old hard boiled egg. 

It was Ike, so you know. But as bad as it was, it still wasn't as bad as rotten disintegrating Houston pumpkin. Beloved, if you died tonight would you see Jesus or go to Pumpkin Hell? Repent!! Halloween is nigh!

Any stinky car stories to share?

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