Archive for May 11th, 2008


fleeing the stench of the past five years

The very first post that I wrote was about the stinky egg-sulfur smell that hangs over where I live.

I haven’t mentioned it since, but that doesn’t mean that it’s gone away.  It only means I’ve given up raging about it.  Until now.

For the past few days I was in Norfolk, VA for my step-father’s doctoral graduation from Regent University(whoo hoo, Ronster!)  Besides seeing my mother stick out her hand to shake Pat Robertson’s hand in a flurried moment of ‘what the heck, he’s kind of a celebrity’ craziness, one of my favorite moments was when I stepped out of the Norfolk airport into the fresh air of the rental car parking lot. 

Yes, we were in a parking garage, but immediately I could tell the difference in the quality of the air.  Trees had full, green leaves and the grass had been cut recently.  Norfolk gets a sea breeze off the Atlantic, so there is a watery-salty scent in the air, even inland where we were.   

Throughout the trip I couldn’t stop smelling the air.  It sounds silly, I know!  It just had a scent to it — I believe they call it “fresh.”  This is foreign to me in South Glens Falls.

There is plenty of fresh air in Upstate NY, though it has a different quality up here.  It’s “woodsy.”  There’s no ocean breeze.  The wind sweeps through the forests of the Catskills and Taconic Hills, picking up the scent of pine and sap. What Upstate NY lacks in economic robustness, we make up for with apple orchards, pick-up trucks and jedi squirrels.

The woodsy air floats on up to Glens Falls.  Here, it is tainted with the smelly waste products of papermills and, if smells had color, would turn greenyellowgray.  It seems to wait for me.

There have been many evenings that I drive home from work in the fresh air.  Bopping along with my windows down, I love life.  I turn left onto my street and coast down a small hill to my apartment complex.  BOOM.  The air takes an acidic turn at the bottom of that hill and I frantically put up all of my windows.  How is it that I live in the place where the stench seems to settle?  Could it be why my rent is so low…?

This is one of the reasons I’m pleased to announce that I’ll be moving closer to the Albany area within the month.  It’s not the reason but merely a glorious side effect of accepting a new job.  I look forward to the day when I can sit outside on a summer’s night and STAY outside, smelling the woodsy breezes of Upstate NY and listening to rusty pick up trucks rolling in the distance.