What does your house smell like?

        The other night I was thinking about what my house smells like.  We had a visitor over and I really wanted to know what our house smelled like to them.  Every one's house or apartment has a unique smell to it.  Sometimes it is a temporary smell  like something they were cooking or maybe they were just cleaning and the house smells like bleach.  But behind all of the transient odors there is a unique house smell for everyone.  Some of them maybe hardly noticeable while others may be down right difficult to deal with.  There may be the deep entrenched pet odors mixed with a touch of moth balls. Maybe it is the house that walk into and you know immediately that they have cats.  When it comes to other peoples house odors we can usually identify them pretty easily.  However when it comes to our own houses it is really difficult to pin down that unique odor.
       It wasn't until several years had passed after I moved out of my parents home that I could finally smell their house smell.  All the years that I lived there I never knew the smell of my own house.  This of course does not take into account the obvious years that we had a cat.  This past summer I think I figured out the mystery of being able to smell your own house.  We were away for about a month with no one staying at our house during this time.  When we arrived back home there was no food or people smell to interfere with the true house smell.  For once I was able to experience my house odor as if I was a stranger visiting for the first time.  Overall I would say my house smelled pleasant but a bit stale, presumably from having the windows shut for so long.  I was happy to know that my house didn't have any funk smell to it like some houses I have been in before.
      You see in my previous lifetime I was a paperboy and had the opportunity to visit many different house each week.  My paper route was made of about 50 to 60 houses and each week I had to knock on their doors and collect money for the newspaper.  Sometimes I didn't have to even step inside the persons house to get a whiff of the house odor.  After doing thing job for a while I was able to figure out the difference between cooking odors and regular house smells.   The cooking odors were usually the most enjoyable especially if someone was baking a cake or preparing and Italian dish.  They were the worst when the person was cooking fish or some funky vegetables.  There were a few people's homes who always had a fishy smell.  Those were the houses that I tried my best to avoid entering. 
      During the winter and when it was raining it was difficult to avoid entering some of my customers homes.  They were for the most part okay but there were a few homes that just killed my olfactory nerves.  Like the one house that reeked of cigarettes and full ashtrays.  The lady was so nice but I just wanted to get out of there fast.  There was another house which just smelled like humid mustiness mixed with bad foot odor.  I used to think that maybe some of my customers didn't take the time to clean there homes.  Or maybe they were just unaware of the unpleasant aroma emanating from their homes.  Whatever the case it always made me wonder about my own house smell.
       What I found out it that as long as you keep a clean home and you take time to air it out once in a while you will be just fine.  Another important point in keep your home fresh is to use an over the stove ventilation fan.  This is even more important if your are cooking fish, onions, garlic, some types of vegetables and greasy foods.  Every once in a while it is nice to burn a scented candle or to do some baking.  Those are some great ways to freshen up the smell of your home.  Just remember that deep down below all of the external odors is your homes true smell. 

#odor, #smells, #badsmell , #whatsthatstink , #youstink , #baking , #cooking , #fishy

What is the meaning of Life?

Today I will be alert to any sign of happiness, and I will clear the way for it to spread. This is one sentence of a daily mediation that I read today.  The word happiness sticks out and reminds me of something I read last night in Readers Digest.  I was reading an article about the Dalai Lama and a trip he took to a mountain ski area in the US.  It was a great story and I suggest that you read it when you have the time. For now I don't want to retell the story but just share a part that really touched me.  At one part the Dalai Lama is seated in a ski lodge restaurant with many monks and his hosts from the States. They are enjoying some hot tea and cocoa when one of the waitresses sat down next to the Dalai Lama and asked him a question. She asked him, "What is the meaning of life?" He was very impressed by this question and assured her that she was the first person to ask this question of him on his journey. He answered, "The meaning of life is happiness." He continued and said to her, "Hard question is not "What is the meaning of life?" No, hard question is what make happiness? Money? Big house? Accomplishment? Friends? or.......Compassion and good heart?" At this the waitress thanked him and then went back to her tasks in the restaurant.  I agree the simple and easy answer to the meaning of life is happiness.  The much more difficult question regarding what makes happiness may be different for all of us.  The Dalai Lama does not point her in one particular direction but he does provide some clues.  There is something about him mentioning having compassion and a good heart.  Maybe this truly is the key to happiness.  To have concern for the suffering and misfortunes of others. To show kindness and love towards the people you meet and encounter every day in your life. Maybe these are the obvious keys to our own happiness.  How can something that is seemingly so simple be so profound?  If we begin each day by asking ourselves what can be done to show compassion towards the people in our lives we are off to a good start.  This is not a religious thing, or a G-d thing, this is a living beings thing.  Putting out love and compassion to those around me is the way I choose to live today. 
#buddhism #compassion #meditation #relax #breathe