The Nose Knows

 by Patti Pateros, Director of Community Building

One of my best features is my nose. It's cute and small, fits unobtrusively in the middle of my face, holds up my glasses, and has perfected its sense of smell.

There is always a flurry of activity going on at our parish. I can be anywhere in the building and tell you what's going on - by its smell, some good, others not so much. Remember Anne Teeple? A gracious, elegant woman who moved to Kentucky several years ago to be with her family. I always knew when she was in the building because of the perfume she wore - a clean, fresh scent. I think it was called something very appropriate like "Happy," which her daughter, who worked for Clinique, always gave to her as a gift. Even now, so many years later, when I get a whiff of someone wearing that perfume, it makes me smile.  I miss Anne and her smell.

It's great to see the number of men - young and old, married and single, from various backgrounds, occupations, and even churches - get up before daybreak every Friday and gather for fellowship, conversation, and reflection at the Men's Fraternity. But I've got to tell you, when I walk into the building at 7:30 a.m., the place reeks of men! It's a combination of odors - a cross between a locker room and the men's cologne counter at Macy's. I suggested to Bob Patin that it should be in the Men's Fraternity by-laws that participants are not allowed to wear after shave/cologne. But after thinking about the alternative, i.e. locker room smell, I should just bite my tongue and hold my nose.

In contrast, the air in the Great Hall was filled with the smell of chocolate and eucalyptus during the Women's Retreat on January 23.  My nose had a field day with retreat activities that focused on the senses and stressed taking time "to smell the roses" - literally!

There is the delicious aroma of George Kezios. When he and his little elves are in the kitchen baking the communion bread, it makes my stomach growl. It's a warm, cozy smell and I need to control the urge to grab one of the small daily loaves, smother it with butter and jam, and wolf it down with a hot cup of coffee. Yum.

When you walk by the first floor nursery on a weekday morning, there is no mistaking the fact that babies are in the building. ATB&B has classes for children as young as fifteen months old - much too young to be potty trained! In spite of their dirty diapers, they're still very cute.

You know it's a Baptism Sunday when you smell the mini-quiche cooking. Melanie Stieber, who hosts the receptions, claims that no matter how many quiche we prepare, we are guaranteed to run out - quickly.

Then there are the occasional smells. The breakfast-for-dinner at the Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper. The Easter lilies in the closed up church. Incense used during the Thursday Healing Service. The roasted lamb served at the Maundy Thursday Agape Meal. The freshly made popcorn at the Family Movie Nite. The homemade applesauce ATB&B prepares every fall. Fruit for the Thanksgiving Food Drive that was left in the parlor too long. The Living Crèche animals doing their thing on the front lawn. The decomposing bat that was found in the mechanical room . . . like I said, some good, some pretty nasty.

Sight and sound certainly make life easier. But smells are what memories are made of.  Just take a whiff  . . . ahhh!