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the smell of decency  RSS feed

 
paul wheaton
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This morning as I was making coffee, I remembered being at grandad's. Nearly every day was a lovely day. Simple things to be done, nice folks stopping by for a visit, listening to the radio come on the air at 6am. It's not like there was a parade or entertainment or anything like that. It's all about basking in the glow of decency. You can feel it in everything in the room: years upon years of accumulated decency. A flavor of decency that can only be built on top of previous layers of decency. I feel exceptionally fortunate to have experienced this. No matter how decent I try to be, it still feels like a cheap, plastic imitation compared to the real thing.

It's the smell of coffee and basted eggs frying in a cast iron skillet.
 
wayne fajkus
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I remember the smell of the "oatmeal" from elementary school. The stuff that was put on vomit when a child didn't make it out the classroom. I remember the smell after 40 years.

Thanks for the memory. Lol

Putting into your context it was winter days. Either reading mother earth news or listening to the garden shows on AM or watching the victory garden on pbs. 30 degrees and the winds howling. Listening to the show and craving for spring to get here. It was an exciting feeling
 
Marianne Cicala
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The days of unlocked doors, keys left in your car, waving & smiling to strangers, hot chicken soup dropped off when the flu arrived, fresh baked pies for a new neighbor and not hesitating to slow down and wait for an old woman so her door could be held. How lucky to have lived (and found somewhere to re-live) the life of common decency, which is not so common anymore~
 
John Polk
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Yeah. Little things like the 'Welcome Wagon'.
Whenever somebody new would move into the neighborhood, the old-timers would greet them with fresh baked goods, help them unload the trailer, (and of course, provide them with some much needed gossip).

Nowadays, it seems as if the new neighbor is distrusted until they can prove otherwise.

Speaking of locked doors, once my daughters came home 'late', and their mother locked their bicycles in the garage. Years later, they asked me if my mother had ever locked my bicycle in the garage. I had to think a moment before I realized "no". We had a hasp on the garage door, but never a lock for it.

 
Cassie Langstraat
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While trying to think of what the "smell of decency" means to me, I am coming up with nothing but food smells.. It must be dinner time. But in all honesty, the smell of a big chuck roast in the oven with a bunch of roasted veggies is the winner for me. To me that smells like the simplicity of sitting down for dinner together with my parents probably 5-7 nights a week growing up. It is such a simple thing but it is one of my absolute favorite things about going home to visit. They still do it, even though I am gone. Every night. Home cooked meals. Talking about what we all did that day and how it made us feel. It sounds so damn cheesy and cliche but it is something so simple and decent I had to share.
 
John Polk
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@ Cassie, I think that you are not alone.

No, it is not cheesy. It is something that all of us 'older folks' still remember.
Sit-down-family dinners seem to be a thing of the past.
Our world around us has become so complicated that it seldom happens anymore for the modern family.

Mom has to work late, Dad has his lodge to go to, sis has the glee club rehearsal, and bro' has late baseball practice.
Everybody now has their own time schedule, and seldom do they all fit together.

Other than Thanksgiving dinner, the closest thing is often calling the pizza delivery when there are more than two at home at dinner time. Home cooked meals are the exception, rather than the rule for many families. I believe that we, as a society, have lost a lot with the disappearance of the family dinner. Our individual lifestyles are eroding the family structure, slowly but surely.

 
nancy sutton
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Being raised by a single mom, with health and employment challenges, moving frequently, etc., I can't say that the 'sense of decency' being described was characteristic of my childhood.... not that there was anything 'indecent' about it.. in fact, much that was good. But I think there is another dimension here that is unacknowledged... a 'sense of security'. And I think our US culture has increasingly propagated, deliberately, an 'indecent' sense of 'insecurity'.
 
Rebecca Norman
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John Polk wrote:Yeah. Little things like the 'Welcome Wagon'.
Whenever somebody new would move into the neighborhood, the old-timers would greet them with fresh baked goods, help them unload the trailer, (and of course, provide them with some much needed gossip).


Old-timers greeting new neighbors is a wonderful thing, but "Welcome Wagon" was actually a commercial enterprise to get newcomers into local businesses.

Google it: "Welcome Wagon is a business in the United States that contacts new homeowners after relocation, providing them with coupons and advertisements from local businesses. The company's full name is Welcome Wagon International, Inc."
 
Cassie Langstraat
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John Polk wrote:
No, it is not cheesy. It is something that all of us 'older folks' still remember.
Sit-down-family dinners seem to be a thing of the past.
Our world around us has become so complicated that it seldom happens anymore for the modern family.


Yeah it really doesn't happen very often anymore. I mean I am in my mid 20's and it was even rare for people my age to have family dinners let alone the people my age starting families. I think it is SO important, I just cannot even stress it enough. It is just so simple and lovely.
 
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