Getting in touch with a sense

Published 2:23 pm Wednesday, May 31, 2006

By Staff
Readers may have heard or seen me this past weekend, getting in touch with one of my senses.
I was tooling around during this warm holiday in my old convertible with the top down.
Being in an office all day, or in a vehicle with the windows up and air conditioner on, I had forgotten what it is like to be aware of all the smells in our daily world.
Granted some of them aren't the most pleasant. The multiple times I experienced road kill I could have done without.
But I was struck by the delicious aroma when I passed Nelson's Herbs on Dailey Road between Edwardsburg and Cassopolis. I am not sure what flower I was smelling, but she has a huge patch of lavender I know.
When the heat was at its highest, I smelled the water and bathers who were wading in the low part of Indiana Lake, trying to cool off from the more than 90 degree temperatures, unusual for May.
Later when the rain was coming, you could smell it heavy in the air.
Freshly mowed or plowed fields have their own unique fragrance, common, yet unknown to all those who live in the big cities.
I love horsey smell, but you can keep the pigs and cow ones. Still they are all part of what I love about living in the country.
This weekend also found our populations in Southwest Michigan exploding. Memorial Day is traditionally the beginning of the summer exodus out of Chicago and to the shores of our many lakes.
We really need to embrace these summer residents as they add so much to our communities. Our restaurants, grocery stores and fundraisers benefit.
Both the Sister Lakes Lions and Indian Lake Fire Department held pancake breakfasts the Sunday before Memorial Day.
Coming to our gas stations is probably a thrill to these people who are used to paying even more than we do.
I was also able to attend a few graduations. The Cassopolis Adult Education graduates actually receive diplomas just like the ones I saw received Sunday by the graduates of the Ross Beatty Class of 2006.
I always feel the words of wisdom delivered by the guest speakers are probably wasted on these young people. Those in the audience who have still failed to achieve their dreams are probably the ones who are inspired much more than the youth who are waiting to see who will attend their graduation party later that afternoon.
The entertainer at the adult ed graduation, Craig Tournquist, combines singing, audience participation and visuals. He tells the tale of how he was inspired in grade school to become a comedian by a teacher who encouraged his beginning talent of mimicking voices.
He also put on a screen photos of three individuals who influenced him, after that teacher sent him to the library to learn everything he could about his craft.
Bill Crosby, Lucille Ball and Jay Leno were the three he chose to give a background about to the graduates and their families and friends.
All three could have given up many times, but they didn't. They worked harder than ever each time they hit bottom.
The show “I Love Lucy” happened after the redhead was 40 years old and told she would never make it. Jay Leno traveled the circuits and went to each radio station in the towns he traveled to offer to do a lunchtime show for free - just to get his name out around the country.
Inspiration doesn't have to come from a famous person. Many of the graduates have someone special in their lives, a grandfather perhaps or aunt who has had many trials in their life, but continued to get up and start the day with a smile.
We all won't become famous, but I was excited when a woman at the pancake breakfast I attended said she loved this column.
She said she could relate to what I talked about each week.
I really don't think what I write is so special, they are just the thoughts of everyday life, but I am glad they are being read.