I always feel honored to be included in conversations and activities with the home-keepers in my acquaintance. We don’t have to chat about “momming” things or home-decorating ideas or time management tips every time we get together, but it is nice for me to be allowed to mingle on a peer level (I say “peer” as in a thirtysomething-fellow-grownup even though I’m currently not-married and not-momming) with these great women, so diverse from one another and so uniquely gifted with talents and insight and experience. I’m observing and sticking more closely to them than they’re aware sometimes, trying to tap into their wisdom by mere osmosis.

Some of the paths that the Lord has brought me along to this point have precluded me from having a home of [my] own to keep right now. I’m thankful for my current housing situation for many reasons, but with my dishes and silverware all boxed up in a barn, I do look forward to the day when it’s possible to unpack and put them to use again. For now, I try to do my share of “the chores,” and I keep my ears and eyes (and recipe file) open for future remembrance and implementation.

Today I thought of something under a topical category that might test some people’s threshold of endurance for crassness or pettiness, but I’m going to share it anyway. It has to do with the subject of AIR FRESHENERS.

The house I’m currently sharing with three other girls has a grandiose supply of deoderizer [reoderizer?] sprays and scented candles, designed for particular use in the more scary recesses of the bathroom or in the wake of the occasional kitchen-oriented disaster. These AIR FRESHENERS come in all forms and vary in levels of effectiveness, which is, I suppose, why we keep so many options in strategic locations around the house.

Now, I am not opposed to the practice of freshening air. In fact, I am a proponent. But today I was thinking that we as human beings are so prone to associate scent with memories and the connotations of those memories, be they pleasant or repulsive. Whenever I smell anything akin to Glade‘s “Apple Cinnamon” or Yankee Candle‘s “Cider Donut,” my olfactory nerves and cerebral cortex now associate those sort of scents with aforementioned scatological bathroom realities or kitchen disaster relief efforts. With my beloved autumn coming on, and all its blissful accouterments, I shudder to think how it would be to take a trip to the orchard and be slammed immediately with not-so-tasteful reminiscings. In a word, yuck!

Of all the Glade “flavors,” I’d have to say my personal fave is “Lilac Spring.” However, I thought of this today, too. Natural lilac fragrance has got to be one of the best scents in the universe! When I go out on a springtime stroll, I don’t want to be thinking, “Oh, this scent does such a great job covering up my oven-charred cheese!”

The inherent covering-up nature of AIR FRESHENERS is another thing that kind of bothers me, like the whole taking pain meds that only mask or postpone your symptoms thing. Lysol, on the other hand, actually expels odors more quickly and without the sweety-sweet aftertaste. It also seems to disseminate faster than the conventional flora-/fauna-fragrances do. Sure; the offending room may smell like a sterile hospital ward for a few moments, but “Sterile Hospital Ward” is one fragrance that wouldn’t bother me after a particularly odoriferous or germy household incident. In fact, I prefer the assurance that I’m killing germs and preventing illness at the same time I’m making it easier for people to inhale through their noses.

So that’s why I’ve decided to use more decidedly “neutral” or pungently “cleaner” scents in my future household, so that if my children smell Lysol, they can be confident of its what and why. On the other hand, if they smell “Apple Cinnamon” or “Cider Donut,” maybe they’ll think of apples! cinnamon! cider! donuts! in all their deeply-inhalable autumnal glory.

(Now…about the problems ascribed to aerosol cans and the doubtful healthiness of air + myriad fluorocarbons…well, maybe we should save that conversation for later. For some peer-to-peer discussion over donuts and cider, perhaps.)

*The above was a reprint of yesterday’s entry on my weblog, www.karagraphy.com.