When I was a kid, my friend lived downwind from a cattle feeding lot. When I complained about the smell, her father said, “It smells like money.” Then I moved to an oil town and the smell of hyrdrogen sulfide that wafted over the town “smelled like money.”

Fresh, clean air should smell like money. Like life. I want to live downwind of a healthy planet.

Please use the open space below to share your first 50 words on the topic “downwind.”


Author: Virginia DeBolt

Writer and teacher who writes blogs about web education, writing practice, and pop culture.

3 thoughts on “Downwind”

  1. Not so long ago Chicago was hub to some now-gone activities stemming from presence of the Stockyards serving the area. There were glue factories; part of the Chicago River was named “Bubbly Creek” for the fact that carcasses were dumped there. Of course the Stockyards were home to slaughtering every day. Animals had to be transported there by cattle cars on freight trains arriving at sidings near city neighborhoods. Cattle and pigs also arrived in cattle trucks which could be heard, seen and smelled on and near suburban highways with connecting roads to outlying corrals. It was pretty difficult not to be downwind of one of these realities at least sometime. It’s all part of the nostalgia I feel since the core slaughter industry moved to Omaha. Isn’t it interesting that we long for the “good old days” even when they weren’t so good?

  2. I’m a child of the 60s, a Vietnam vet; at 70 years old I’ve never smoked marajuana, snorted cocaine, or shot heroin.

    Just last week my 37 year old son had to describe what MJ would smell like if I ever get downwind of it.

  3. And then there were days when Heera , the ayah ,would apply some aromatic oil, and dust the windows with great deal of enthusiasm. Those days, staying downwind of Heera, was sheer trauma. We had work to do at our desks, frantically adding finishing touches,to homework and projects, and prefects and monitors completing their registers.
    Assembly bell would ring at 9:45hrs and Heera would take her sweet time , dusting, sweeping and mopping the classroom. The smell would be so overpowering that it would stay in the air , lingering in its cloying thickness, gagging us and bringing out hankies.The aroma would be so interesting that it would ignite debates. Some one went so far as to offer Heera a scarf of her own .
    Next week we saw Heera’s youngest , playing in the dust, with Sudha’s priceless scarf tied around his waist like a lungi. Heera, of course continued to burst into colourful songs as she dusted the corners of the roof for cobwebs.

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