Column - Gassed by Mother NatureMother Nature tried to gas me from my home the other night. I live by a lake in a small development of about 12 homes and, since moving to the country, we’ve had to learn to deal with some unusual smells – dead fish, slough water, cattle yards – but never, and I mean NEVER, have I smelled anything like that.
By: Lori Mork, Alexandria Echo Press
Mother Nature tried to gas me from my home the other night.
I live by a lake in a small development of about 12 homes and, since moving to the country, we’ve had to learn to deal with some unusual smells – dead fish, slough water, cattle yards – but never, and I mean NEVER, have I smelled anything like that.
It was a ghastly experience that lasted several hours, all thanks to a little striped creature.
It was a beautiful evening with a soft, fresh breeze blowing, so my husband and I decided to leave the window open near our bed that night. The fresh air and the soft lapping of waves seemed to lull us to sleep.
Somewhere around 1 a.m., an odor seemed to creep into my subconscious. “Geez,” I thought. “Tess (our dog) really needs a bath. She stinks.”
It didn’t really pull me from sleep at that point, but it kept nagging at me until . . . SKUNK!
It was at exactly the same time that my husband leaped out of bed and began cranking the window shut as fast as he could, shouting, “SKUNK!”
Eyes watering, I flew out of bed to the bathroom, quickly closing the window, but, too late – we’d been skunked.
My throat closed up and I started to gag. It was nearly impossible to draw a breath without choking. It smelled as if an entire herd of those stinky striped creatures had wandered through our bedroom.
“What are we going to do?” asked my husband, Bob, talking through the pillow he was using as a filter.
“You turn on the exhaust fan in our bathroom, and I’ll get the one in the hall bath,” I said. We figured that maybe we could at least pull some of the smell out with those.
The fans didn’t seem to help much at all, so we debated turning on the air conditioner, deciding against it because it would pull air in from outside, which would then contaminate all the air ducts and – ugh.
“I can’t take this anymore,” he said. “Should I open the window to see if it’s any better?”
“No! You’ll just let more in if it hasn’t cleared up,” I replied. “Check the downstairs windows if you need to. At least it won’t be in here.”
No such luck. The air was filled with the eye-burning odor. All rooms, all floors – no escape.
The two of us lay in bed filtering the air through our pillows and sheets, finally falling asleep from sheer exhaustion.
The next morning the house was still filled with the foul odor, but the air outside had cleared and we quickly opened all the windows, relieving some of the stench.
I’m not sure what caused such a stir with that skunk, but if this starts happening on a regular basis, I may have to install those oxygen masks used by the airlines above my bed.