Saturday, October 27

Our Senses

Do you ever smell something, and it sends your mind back to a certain place, or person, or event? I do. Yesterday, as I was contemplating what to blog. I was thinking of a blog a friend of mine had typed, that asked the question: Do you have any simple pleasures? I thought about that for a minute, and of course I do have simple pleasures. One of my favorite simple pleasures is standing in the shower, letting the hot water pour over me, and there are no children to interrupt, no noise at all, just the sound of the shower hitting the tile. I think a lot in the shower. Do you? I think about all sorts of things. I think sometimes it is when my mind is the most focused, and clear. So while in the shower yesterday, I was thinking about the smell of the soap in my shower. Irish Spring. The scent made me think of other soaps that bring back memories. Like Caress, for instance. My Granny always used Caress soap, and her bathroom always smelled of Caress. Even as a very little child I can remember Granny's soap. That made me think of her ice tea. No one's tea ever tasted as good as my Granny's did. She never made sweet tea, it was Nestea. But whatever it was, it tasted wonderful. Maybe it was the water in Ada, Oklahoma that made it taste so good, but even today, when I buy Nestea, it never tastes the same. I also remember the smell of her house. It always smelled of soup. Really good soup. I can smell it even now, in my head, but there again, my soup never smells so good. This made me think of my Aunt Carla, and her bathroom. Why this is distinct to me, I don't know. Her bathroom always smelled of Lifebuoy soup and comet. At least that's what I think it smelled like. Maybe it was something else, but I remember the scent, like I am back there on Gruber St, in Antigo, Wisconsin. I only remember her bathroom on Gruber St, smelling that way. None of her other bathrooms smelled the same. Maybe I remember this particular bathroom so well, because I was a small child when she lived there, and I must have taken a lot of baths at her house. We did live there for awhile after our house burned down on 10th Ave. I remember her ceramic fish and bubbles hanging on the wall, and the flower decals on the tub, I think they were orange. Strange isn't it, the memories you carry with you? I was trying to remember a scent that reminded me of my other grandma, and the only thing I can vividly come up with that always makes me think of her is, salt water running from a fountain, in a shopping mall. This is a unique smell, and since none of the shopping malls around here have fountains, it's maybe a scent that I will never smell again, unless I go back to Las Vegas, to the shopping mall. If they still have the fountains, that is. Do you ever get a whiff of something that reminds you of school? Every once in a while when I was working at the grade school, I would get that whiff of nostalgia, that would bring me back to the 7th or 8th grade at Spring Valley School, near Antigo. To this day, I don't even know what town my little school was in. There were so many little towns out in the country, where I used to live, and we all attended this little country school. There were 4 of them in our little district. There was River Grove, Pleasant View, Crestwood, and Spring Valley. They were spread out all over the countryside, each in their little corner. We all attended the same high school in Antigo, but at that time, they all went to 8th grade. I remember the smell of our school being a combination of books and cafeteria food. Of course back then we had real lunch ladies who spent all morning cooking nutritious meals that were homemade. Now days it's all frozen pizza, chicken nuggets, and other processed foods. Another scent that sends me back to those good old days at Spring Valley is the cool smell of the mimeograph machine. We didn't have copiers back then. They were all done on the mimeograph machine. I can remember the teachers passing out the papers, and almost everyone smelling the page, because it smelt good. Another smell that sends me back there is the smell of valve oil that went in my trumpet. For some reason I love the smell of valve oil. Even today, the scent will sent me back. I guess I am just a very scentsitive person. I know when I purchase something, soap mostly, I am very particular on the scent. Like Noxzema, for instance. I love Noxzema. I have tried many different soaps from Mary Kay to Clinique, and I always go back to Noxzema, because of the smell. Same thing with body oil. I love the coconut scent of Hawaiian Tropic oil. Although I haven't tanned in years, you will always find a bottle or two of Hawaiian Tropic oil in my bathroom cupboard. I feel the same way about shampoo. I am very particular. My favorite scent is the coconut smell of Paul Mitchell's Awapuhi Shampoo. I usually buy it by the gallon, that way I have it for a very long time. My favorite conditioner is Nexus Humectress. Again, it's the distinct scent I crave. My obsession with scent goes all the way to cleaning products. I am obsessed with Pine sol. If my whole house could smell of Pine sol, I would be one happy women indeed. And the combination of Tide and Downy. There is no scent like that combination. I love it. Now, I will confess that I don't buy those brands of detergent unless I have a really good coupon. I usually buy Purex, because it's more economical. But the scent of Tide and Downy are indeed my favorite. I challenge you to think about the many scents in your life, and let your mind wander to another place and time. I'd love to hear about some. I wonder if my family members have some of the same memories that I do about scents.

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