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Cousin Rufus on Sensory Overload

Dear Cousin Cletus,

Would you believe ah broke mah glasses last week? Old Bozo, mah hound, wuz sittin’ on mah foot one day. When ah leaned over to pet him, mah glasses fell off and landed over the edge of the porch. It shore wuz diff’rent, tryin’ to see while they wuz gettin' fixed.

That got me to thinkin’, Cletus, ‘bout all the senses the good Lord gave us. Where would we be without bein’ able to see—or smell—or hear—or taste—or feel?

When ah visit relatives in the big city, ah feel sorry they’s missin’ the simple things. You could call it sensory overload, ah guess, the way they live.

Take fer instance, simple smells. We wuz raised to live close to the land, so we can smell a rainstorm comin’ by steppin’ outside and sniffin’ the air. We know good, simple smells like onion grass after we mow, and hayfields after they get cut. We know the smell of bedsheets that get dried in the sun, newborn puppies, supper cookin’ on the stove.

Mah poor relatives in the big city got their noses overloaded with too much. You step in their house and about choke on air fresheners. They smell good an’ all, but hit makes a body wonder if they would even know what fresh earth smells like after a rain.

And then there’s eyesight. Ah get to see God’s paintin’ ever’ evenin’ when ah step out my back door and look at the bright colors in the sky. Ah wouldn’t have guessed purple and orange went together till ah saw how the good Lord did it. A body has to feel sorry fer the people that live around flashin’ neon lights all the time and blinkin’ game screens. Mah poor grandkids is missin’ life's best pleasures an’ don’t know it.

And hearin’ too. Ah like walkin’ down by the pond and hearin’ the spring peepers and the crickets and katydids in the summer. Ah kin still hear newborn kittens mewin’ for their mama, and it ain’t covered up by radios and TVs and traffic noise and sirens. Funny thang is, mah grandson in the big city has a machine that plays nature noise like ah hear all the time. Says it helps him sleep. See whut a blessin' ah has without payin' for it?

Even people’s taste is affected outside the holler, Cletus. They got so many foods to choose from, they have to load ‘em down with salt to stimulate their overloaded taste buds even more. Poor thangs.

Yep, ah’m mighty glad to be born back in the good old days, when life wuz simpler. And ah’m glad to still live in the holler, where simple is best.

Come see me sometime, Cletus. We’ll do somethin’ natural, like fishin’ down at the creek.

Your cuz,


What about you? Any words of appreciation for life's simple pleasures? Join the conversation below.


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