Cross-posted from Cherry Blossoms The Blog.
Have I mentioned that my nose is bionic? I wish I could use it as a force for good but it’s mostly a nuisance.
One day a horrible smell met me at the door of the laundry room. I chastised myself for letting the kitchen rags marinate in their own juices for a couple of days and immediately started a load. I washed all the linens in the house and when I was done I could still smell that something was awry.
It was a couple of days for me to make the connection that our stinky laundry room shares a wall with the kids’ stinky bathroom, whose smell grossed me out more that week than ever before despite how often I cleaned it and ran the fan.
(We even pulled up the toilet and replaced the wax seal just in case there was a leak. I also had my husband climb up on the roof and run water down our vent stacks in case some leaves were obstructing the natural escape of the gasses.)
People often describe the smell of death as the smell of death. Somehow we are just supposed to know what that smells like, and historically that would have been true but in our sanitized modern society it is perfectly possible to get to your mid-30s without ever really knowing the smell of death. So to me it smells like old laundry (part kitchen rags, part dirty diaper) when I’m in the laundry room and it smells like boys’ bathroom when I’m in the bathroom. My brain immediately tries to connect the offending smell with things I know based on my environment.
The problem with it being an interior wall is that I can’t just open a window to waft away the smell. The problem with it being in the winter is that it’s too cold to open a window anyway. The problem with it being a wall is that I can’t afford to just pull it open, remove the carcass, and get on with my life. The internet advises me that our unfortunate little friend will be dust before too long and then the smell will be gone.
I have learned to never again scream “get out of my house!” when I hear a neighbourly squirrel skittering about. I believe I scared him to death because the smell began only two days later and we haven’t heard anything since. We haven’t yet confirmed his point of entry but Paul’s narrowing down the options and we hope to have it sealed up before someone else decides to leave the comfort of the big oak outside. For the record, a dead squirrel takes a whole month to stop smelling and I am so sorry that our home was his grave.