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Haunted House, Touch and a Coffee Mug,

and wholenessThe house must once have been splendid, with its graceful lines and elegantly defined windows, its generous size and natural setting, but who could live there now? Mildew creeps down the crumbling stucco and the sagging roof sheds its shingles—the house is molting. Vines and overgrown landscape features, once ornamental, now crowd in, choking off what might have been a spacious yard. Nature reclaims her territory. Darkness hovers over the setting; mountains in the distance and an overcast sky add to the gloom.

Object:A hand thrown pottery mug. Rounded as if a ball could fit into it. The glaze covers pits and bumps like black ice on asphalt.The spherical shape is flat on the bottom, which remains unglazed perhaps to keep it from sliding off tables and counters. The handle is ergonomically satisfying, solidly attached to the lip and the base of the vessel. The lip itself is a half-inch high, perfect for sipping and slurping too. The mug is easy to grab, and right in its size. Filled with coffee it is neither too heavy, no so insubstantial it requires extra careful handling.

Beach Scene: Sand sucks my feet back into their own footprints. I curl my toes and it oozes between them. I side-step ashore onto pebbles bumpy to my tender soles. Ouch! I lurch into the water. It laps around my ankles, warms them.The breeze picks up as the sun vanishes. I step out of the water. It's chilly now. I grab for the hoodie poking out of my beach bag and snuggle into its embrace. I zip it tight and savor the enclosed warmth. I hop into one flip-flop, rinse the sand from my other foot, and shove the thong between my big toe and my second toe. One foot clean and shod. I dip the sandy foot into the water with the flip-flop, rinse it clean, and for an instant, I'm free of sand. The beach sugars my damp feet as I haul myself and gear back to my car. 

Smell I like: Line-dried sheets, a distillation of outdoors. Brought inside by the armful, in an embrace of wholeness.

Smells I don't like: Old Lady Perfume smells like blunted senses, the struggle to recapture something forever gone. -

Smell: Limburger cheese: Did something die in here? Should I examine the soles of my shoes for what I may have tracked in? Limburger cheese smells revolting, yet the thought of its robust, smoky ooze applied to a cracker makes my mouth water. How can something that smells so awful taste divine?  Lusty limburger is a celebration for those of us willing to brave its social impact.Limburger is best stored in airtight containers and eaten out of doors with a like-minded companion. Beer is a good idea too, or maybe whiskey. Limburger is not for the faint of heart.

Sound: I figured my office is a really quiet place and I'd have a challenge hearing much of anything for this exercise. Instead, I filled the page of my notebook. Here goes: My stomach growls. The baseboard heat--radiates? A blowy vibration emanates from the panel underneath my window. I scratch my forehead. Fingernails to skin make a noise. If I'm quiet enough I can hear it along with the fan on my computer. Electrical sound abounds, although it's less distinct and identifiable--more a buzzy blur.

My Siamese gives a brief beep and leaps onto my desk. Her claws scratch across the teak surface, her tail thuds my keyboard.

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