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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 ah waited to git ‘em 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.

When ah visit mah relatives in the big city, ah feel sorry thet they’s missin’ the simple things. You could call it sensory overload, ah guess, the way they has to 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. Mah nose feels like it’s on overload when ah visit them.

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 ha’ guessed purple and orange went together till ah saw how the good Lord did it. You have to feel sorry fer the people that live around flashin’ neon lights all the time in the big city and blinkin’ lights on video screens. Mah poor grandkids is missin’ the simple pleasures an’ don’t know it.

And hearin’ too. Ah like walkin’ down by the pond and hearin’ the spring peepers singin’ 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.

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 thangs is all around.

Come see me sometime, Cletus. We’ll go do somethin’ simple, like goin’ fishin’ down at the crick.

Your cuz,


What about you? What simple things are you grateful for? Feel free to comment below.


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