Friday, July 31, 2009


I know it drives Marty nuts but I am constantly quizzing her. First, I'm trying to figure out how she feels and she is not always the most forthcoming about how she is feeling, talking helps me hone in on what's going on with her. Second, I want to challenge her brain a little, exercise her cerebellum a bit. Third, it's a pretty good way to make conversation with someone who has had brain damage. Last, and maybe most important, I still kind of like to drive her a little nuts, it gives her a sense of normalcy.

The questions are always pretty routine. Where were you born, when were you born, what are your kids birthdays, where do you live, that kind of stuff. All of this pretty routine information she has retained, but it depends on the day as to how quickly and how accurately she answers all of them. As to where do you live, we have lived in a lot of places so that's going to be a bit confusing from time to time. Some days she is dead on, other days its Hillsboro or Muenster or for some really weird reason LaMarque (I have no idea).

I'm not sure why, maybe it's all of the Facebook name 25 this, or 20 of that, or answer 5 of these questions to determine your true sex, but I began thinking of our own five senses and what are the things that most stimulate or please each of these senses. I took some time to sort of figure that out for myself but as part of my "drive Marty nuts" campaign I wanted to ask her, to really kind of drag this information out of her for all of the reasons previously listed. It wasn't hard, she answered all of them willingly and quickly.

Touch -- Marty said being with her kids. I interpret this to mean having Matt and Erin around kissing and hugging her. She loves, not being poked, but physical affection from her family, friends and most of all her children. For me -- I can't just have one thought -- so, I really like the cold spots in well worn sheets and pillow cases and the soft touch of a woman's hand on my cheek (any of the cheeks will do).

Smell -- Marty never paused before saying fresh, clean linen. How simple, how true for her. She always loved this. Me -- it's hard to beat the smell of fresh cookies being baked but I really like the smell right before a cold front brings rain. It smells clean, crisp, new.

Sight -- Again, Marty never really hesitated when she said being outside and seeing the grass, the shrubs, the flowers. This surprised me a bit because Marty was never much of an outside kind of girl, now she does like sitting out on our back patio looking at the fauna. Because I am such a visual creature it was hard for me to pare down my list; but being in the mountains and seeing a completely clear piercing blue sky, or seeing my wife smile completely, or watching the sun set almost anywhere I have ever been all really top my list.

Hearing -- Marty immediately said, "hello, how are you". So how does that fit? Well I think it's a couple of things. For one, for Marty to greet people like this as she often does it makes her feel normal. She also said it's because she wants to be recognized, greeted, treated normally. Sounds like Marty. For Larry, again, it's hard to limit, but first and foremost comes Marty's laugh, it's the best. I also really love the first measures of Led Zepplin's Stairway to Heaven, and really deep, big wind chimes.

Taste -- Marty likes almost anything that is sweet but her first answer was pudding and fried chicken, both of which she really likes but not what I would have suspected. I suspect Diet Coke is way up there too. For me it almost has to go to food. I love the taste of sweet stuff and salty stuff and savory stuff. I like it all, but chocolate ice cream is the best ice cream and a really cold watermelon is outstanding. The more esoteric answer would have to be a first kiss, there's really nothing like it, is there? Sorry kids, I know the thought causes you pain.

So what does all of this accomplish? Very little really. It's kind of a fun exercise to make you think about those things in your life you really enjoy, you really love, that really make you enjoy the things around you. Some of those, in fact most of those, are really very simple. In the final analysis maybe simpler is better. Let us know what your five are?


Matt said...

Touch -- Warm shower after a day of hard skiing.

Smell – Mom’s vote of clean linen is spot on. She always made a point of putting clean sheets on the bed when I came home from college. It made all the difference.

Sight – I’ll second your mountain sky…but it’s at it’s best at the top of an uncluttered, freshly powdered ski slope.

Hearing – Hearing a really good song for the first time and realizing that it’s really good.

Taste – Dressing. Thanksgiving. Period.

Andrew said...

Touch- removing shoes after a long day's work
Smell- hmm.. gasoline? freshly cut grass?
Sight- the capital building in Austin, lit up at night
Hearing- "Big Old Jet Airliner" by the Steve Miller Band... good song obviously but for some reason I'm catapulted to another planet when I hear it...
Taste- Ninfa's chips and salsa