Our favorite guest blogger (Peter Kugel) kicks off 2017 for 70-something.com…
At 86, I’ve reached the age at which, as the lyrics of September Song put it, “the days dwindle down to a precious few.” And the days aren’t the only things that are dwindling down.
Judy recently asked me if I was enjoying the aroma her cooking was producing in the kitchen and I reminded her that I have pretty much lost my sense of smell. She asked me if I missed it. Somewhat to my surprise, I realized that I didn’t and I wondered why.
Smells are important. I remember what may have been the best breakfast I ever had. It was at a non-descript hotel in Oslo, Norway. It featured a variety of breads that had just come out of the oven and they had a smell that only fresh-baked bread has. The cheese and butter that were served with them also had memorable smells that the cheese and butter we get from the supermarket don’t, with subtle overtones like those that summer tomatoes used to have until they discovered how to make tomatoes out of cardboard.
Those smells, and many others, are lost to me now. But I realize that they were mostly lost to me when I was younger because I didn’t pay them much attention. Now that I don’t have all that many breakfasts left, I pay more attention. Although my breakfasts feature ordinary toast and ordinary butter, that I couldn’t smell even if they were special, I enjoy them more.
Gold isn’t precious because it’s wonderful. Iron is stronger. Aluminum is lighter. It’s precious because there isn’t much of it.
Perhaps that’s why they call them “the golden years".