Author Topic: things that remind me of happier times  (Read 2739 times)

Offline Mandy21

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things that remind me of happier times
« on: November 15, 2008, 03:43:42 am »
Hey gang, please forgive me for being sad tonight.  It's the 2-year and now 45 minute anniversary of my daddy's dying in my arms at the moment.  Feeling a bit something, not sure what, hope you don't mind if I rave.

My folks are both dead now, and their house 7 blocks over that me and my brother now apparently own, within a mile of each of us, is still sitting in exactly the same state it was in when Mom died on October 1st.  My brother is the guardian, with power of attorney and all that, but he and I have long-seated issues from our childhood, and he and I haven't been able to communicate or deal with the situation at hand since her death.  So the house just sits there, and for some reason, I keep going over there and just sitting in her chair, or on the kitchen floor, or laying in their bed, and crying.  The part that strikes me from the second I walk through the door, is the smell.  The smell of the Matthews' home.  The smell of the life of a family that lived there for 40 years, and nobody ever seemed to open a window, except for me.  (I've spent the rest of my life opening windows first chance I get, by the way.)

It's upsetting to no end, most importantly because I am not a wallflower by nature, sitting around waiting for a phone to ring.  And yet I have, for whatever misguided reason, bowed down to my brother's being unable to deal with the house.  He always loved mom more, and I always loved dad more, and out of the 4 of us, you wouldn't be able to find a single non-dysfunctional bone in our respective bodies.  Anyway, I'd just like to spell out a few memories, to get them off my chest tonight.  Please write back with your own memories, or whatever you have to say, or just ignore my entirely lunatic version of my childhood, as I remember it.  Of the five senses, I'll just start with favorite smells, cause it's getting kind of late tonight.  Maybe I'll throw out some more of the senses if anyone even cares to respond to this one.

- Dad cooking early Sunday breakfast -- scrambled bacon and eggs, hot buttered toast, simple as that -- it always roused the other three of us from our beds, even with all of our closed doors
- Mom's cigarette smoke -- I know that sounds odd, but back in the 70's and 80's, we didn't know much better, and it was always a comfort to walk through the front door after school and know that she was there and capable/well enough to light a cigarette (she was an alcoholic, by the way) and so all must have been right with the world and thus safe to enter
- Popcorn, the real kind, cooked in a pot on the stove, with melted butter thrown into the pot after you'd emptied it, and drizzled, sizzling, over the top of it all.  Always saved just for the Carol Burnett show at 9 on Saturday nights.
- Mom's perfume, on the rare, rare, rare nights that her and daddy actually went out, which was less than a handful ever
- Dad grilling burgers in the summertime, even when his little helper (me) dropped one off of the very important platter I was in charge of carrying from the kitchen (we never told anyone, but winked as to who was going to get THAT one)
- Books and magazines and papers, everywhere, all the time -- I grew up in love from day one, with the printed word and the way it smelled on parchment or newsprint
- Dad's English Leather cologne (I won't even TRY to explain that one, suffice it to say my taste has improved since then, VASTLY)
- Copper and counting pennies.  Dad would throw them all into a cup and when the cup got full, I'd roll them for him and get 5 cents for each roll.  We'd put our return address label on them when we were delivering them to the bank on a Saturday morning.  They didn't have counting machines back then in the 70's.
- Lilac bushes, rose bushes, honeysuckle, warm cherry tomatoes plucked from the vine
- The rubber from a giant inner tube me and the neighbor kids would jump around on in our back yard, with the sprinkler spraying across it, to make our falling all the more interesting
- Cool water and chlorine from swimming at pool parties in our backyard neighbor's big pool every summer day
- Freshly-washed flannel pajamas, straight from the dryer on a cool autumn night
- One Sheltie puppy named King whom we had for 14 years, and one mutt named Dawg who we had for 9
- My mom's hair after I washed it in the kitchen sink, when she couldn't manage to do it for herself any more
- Mom's chili, and lasagna, and mac and cheese, and especially, her oyster dressing for Thanksgiving
- Shoe polish for my daddy's fancy work dress shoes -- got a nickel for that one as well
- Sawdust from my daddy's basement shop, when he was making something clever for us
- Rain or snow thru an open window, because everything seemed to be allowed to slow down then

Lastly, but not leastly,
- the way my father smelled when I last kissed him
- the way my mom smelled when I last kissed her

I will always, always, always be able to smell all of these things, in a heartbeat.  Happy memories of home and life and growing up in a good place where you really don't need to be told that you're loved, because you can see it all around you.

Thanks, BetterMostians for letting me get that off my chest on this difficult night.  Was much easier than going for a couple miles on the treadmill at 1:30 in the morning:)  Take care.  Maybe some of you would like to add your remembrances of smells that remind you of your lost loved ones?
Dawn is coming,
Open your eyes...

Offline RouxB

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Re: things that remind me of happier times
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2008, 03:50:09 am »
ah, smell. now and then someone will walk by me wearing my mother's scent. I am immediately peaceful.

I'm so sorry your family is in pieces. Hopefully time will heal some of your wounds.

 O0

Heathen

Offline Shasta542

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Re: things that remind me of happier times
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2008, 08:40:20 am »
{{{{{{{{{{MANDY}}}}}}}}}}

Beautiful memories--thanks for sharing, Mandy.  :)
"Gettin' tired of your dumbass missin'!"

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


injest

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Re: things that remind me of happier times
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2008, 10:24:31 am »
since my sinuses have gotten so bad, Mandy, I dont' smell anything much these days (actually probably a blessing considering my life... :-X )

but I REMEMBER smells

the ones I miss the most:

the smell of the river ( I know, the river stinks) but we waded in it...using a stick to test the bottom and fished. I remember how relaxed and quiet it was.

the smell of a new book - I miss that one very much.

the smell of mimeographs? You remember the old purple papers the teacher ran off in the mysterious 'teachers lounge'?

honeysuckle

campfires


Offline optom3

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Re: things that remind me of happier times
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2008, 11:48:51 am »
My parents as you know are both still alive.I have not seen them for 4 years though and can't as I am landlocked. My mum refuses to fly so far and my dad will not leave her so I have to rely on memories at the moment.

I have some wonderful childhood memories.

Mum putting rags in my hair to make it curl.

My first pair of ballet shoes.Emma recently got some as now she is competing in her gymnastics at a higher level she is doing ballet ad well. What memories that brought back.She laughed when she saw me smelling them.I squeezed my feet into them and I can still do a pirouette. I was so impressed with myself,but so sad.

My dad building our tree hose and rope ladder up to it.
The dolls house he made for me.
The look on friends faces when they 1st visited, and saw our hall stairs and landing carpet were in our clan tartan.I cannot tell you how much that cost to get made or what an eyesore(to me) it was or the stick I got from my friends.
Every Sunday the whole house smelling of baking as my mum did her cakes and cookies for the week.
Summer holidays at the big open air pool, at a club some of our friends were members of.
My mum's long red finger nails and incredibly long slim fingers.
The fact that my dad knew the answer to every question I ever had.
Mums chicken soup when we were ill.
OMG the smell of tangerines at Xmas the only time you could get them.
Fresh paint, which always reminds me of Xmas too,we used to have the house repainted for Xmas.
English strawberries, which meant it was nearly my birthday.
Collecting lost golf balls at the course and selling them on.
My first cat Candy, poisoned my rat poison they put down on the bowling green behind us.
Sunday summers when the lawns were all mowed and the smell of the grass.
Mums perfume,Shalimar.
Dads aftershave, Aramis.
I could go on the for ever.
What a lovely thread, Mandy.

Offline Kerry

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Re: things that remind me of happier times
« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2008, 01:53:03 am »

I find smells particularly evocative of past times. Smells are capable of jettisoning me right back to another era, decades in the past.

This particularly happens to me when I'm least expecting it. I could seek out these smells for a deliberate, planned journey down memory lane, but that's not nearly as powerful as when I come upon a certain smell unexpectedly during the course of my day. It's the random, unexpected nature of the surprise encounter that makes the experience all the more startling.

A few such smells that do it for me:

* Carnations - My Mum grew carnations in the garden when I was a child. To this day (I'm 59), when I smell a carnation, I'm a little boy again in Mum's flower garden.

* Lavender - Yardley's English Lavender perfume was my Mum's fragrance of choice. For me, lavender will always be sacred to the memory of my darling Mummy.

* Patchouli - I had lunch with a friend last week, in one of Sydney's trendy inner-city cafe strips. We were making our way back to the car, along a crowded pavement. Someone in close proximity to us on that pavement was wearing Patchouli. Suddenly I was jettisoned back to the 1960s! I was a teenager again! 

* Jasmine - In the 1970s I lived with the man I love, in a beautiful place overlooking the ocean. Next door lived a gorgeous elderly gay couple, who had been together for many, many years. Jasmine grew everywhere throughout their beautiful, overgrown garden. To this day, when I smell jasmine on the evening air in late winter/early spring, I'm living in that house again, with the man I love.


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Offline Front-Ranger

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Re: things that remind me of happier times
« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2008, 02:25:38 am »
Here are the smells of Brokenback Mountain that I posted on the Roundup Topic:

Smells of Brokenback for your fantacizing pleasure!!

That fabulous after-rain ozone smell
 
Conversely, that dry dusty smell
 
Lodgepole (classic pine) scent, mixed with Ponderosa pine (a Cloroxy after smell, verging on come scent)
 
Animal shit and methane
 
Leather
 
Sage
 
Resinous scrub oak and juniper
 
Sulfur (from geysers and hot springs)
 
Horsemint
 
Oil, diesel and gasoline fumes
 
Chicken fried steak
 
Chocolate ice cream
 
Sweaty tent smell
 
Beer, whiskey
 
Cigarettes
 
New-mown grass hay
 
Kerosene
 
Exhaust fumes
 
Barbequed meat
 
Burned coffee
 
Fresh sheets
 
The smell of wind
 
Rocks baking in the sun
 
Too much to do. . .I don't have time to get old!

Offline southendmd

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Re: things that remind me of happier times
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2008, 06:12:05 pm »
Mandy, thanks for sharing your olfactory memories.

Makes me think of my own, departed Dad. 

Two smells stand out, mostly from childhood.

1)  Wintergreen.  Dad always had a roll of wintergreen lifesavers in his pocket.  Always.  Not peppermint, but wintergreen. Such a clean, fresh, bright scent.

2) Aramis aftershave!  Just like your Dad, Fiona.  I remember my Dad teaching me to shave (at age 12), and splashing on the Aramis afterwards.  Later, when he was sick in the hospital, and I was feeling particularly helpless, I offered to shave him.  I made a big fuss, with hot towels and all, and he loved it.  Plus, a little Aramis. 

Offline Kelda

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Re: things that remind me of happier times
« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2008, 03:21:56 pm »
just seeing this now Mandy.

 :-*


(((MANDY))))

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Offline min

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Re: things that remind me of happier times
« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2009, 05:27:07 am »
since my sinuses have gotten so bad, Mandy, I dont' smell anything much these days (actually probably a blessing considering my life... :-X )

but I REMEMBER smells

the ones I miss the most:

the smell of the river ( I know, the river stinks) but we waded in it...using a stick to test the bottom and fished. I remember how relaxed and quiet it was.

the smell of a new book - I miss that one very much.

the smell of mimeographs? You remember the old purple papers the teacher ran off in the mysterious 'teachers lounge'?

honeysuckle

campfires



I can't smell much of anything either.  The smell I remember best is that of my daughter when she was a baby and had just had a bath.

I hope things are better for you now, Mandy.  Both of my parents are dead too and I miss them both.