Photo Credit: Bigstockphoto

We’ve had a rainy spring here in northern Colorado, which isn’t all that unusual for this time of year. It has meant doing the dance of putting blankets on the horses when the temperature slipped to near freezing at night, and then removing them when the sun made a rare appearance.

Blankets on; blankets off.

It reminds me of years ago getting my son ready to venture outside and play in the snow.

Coat – check.

Hat – check.

Boots – check.

Snow pants – check.

Mittens – check.

The process of getting ready far outlasted the actual time spent outside.

So last week I had a lunch appointment with a colleague I’d just met. We’d planned to meet at my office and then walk to a nearby restaurant. Problem was it was raining hard. On impulse, I offered to drive since my car was close by.

That was before I remembered that I had horse blankets in the back.

Damp horse blankets.

And feed pans with a few nibbles of rain-soaked grain left in them.

These are good smells to most horse owners.

We adore the scent of our horses and have been known take deep satisfying whiffs as we groom, or sit atop, or just stand beside our babies. We love the aromas in the barn, and even the tack.

All that hay and sweaty leather smell good to us!

My colleague slipped into the passenger side of the car, buckled the seat belt and then became very quiet. I was chattering away, talking about the weather, the restaurant we were headed to and how glad I was that she’d called about lunch. It took me a few minutes to realize that she hadn’t said anything at all.

Not one word.

Maybe she’s shy was my first thought. After all, we’d just met so I had nothing to compare to.

As I pulled into a parking space at the restaurant, she cleared her throat. “You must have horses,” she said.

“I do. Two of them,” I said, my voice laced with pride.

She nodded. “I thought so.”

That’s when I got it.

She was overwhelmed by the horse smells that filled my car. I’ve grown so used to them, I can’t tell the good from the not-so-good.

I smiled. “Sorry about the wet horse blankets. I forgot they were still in the car.”

“It’s okay,” she said. “Once I figured out what I was smelling.”

I shrugged, and offered a weak laugh. “Welcome to my world!”

We had a good lunch with great conversation. I’m hoping I didn’t frighten her off, but the jury is still out on that one.

Way to make a first impression Jean!

Interesting isn’t it how smells evoke such immediate and powerful emotions? And how individualized they are?

Note to Self: Next time, remove wet horse blankets from car before trying to favorably impress a new acquaintance.