Interesting how certain scents can bring back memories of the past.
My grandmother had roses planted beside her house – about 30 of them. She always said roses are like children, it’s no harder to take care of many than it is to take care of one so why not have lots of them. (This coming from a woman who raised 3 boys of her own and 2 grandchildren meant a lot)
We didn’t have any air conditioning when I was a child – the windows were always opened it seemed. Every time I smell roses it takes me back to my grandmother’s house and the wonderful fragrance that always seems to swirl around as the aroma of those beautiful roses made their way into each and every room.
Just outside the back door she had a little patch of spearmint that seemed to grow wild. Whenever she made tea or lemonade we’d pick some of that fresh mint to go in the glass. The scent would stay on your fingertips for hours.
Just the other day I was in an office and I smelled gardenias. I said how wonderful it smelled and how it remind me of my father. He loved gardenias. He loved them so much that he planted several gardenia bushes at every house he ever built. We also continued the tradition by planting a gardenia bush at our home. Everyday as I walk past a blooming gardenia bush I fondly remember my father and the wonderful tradition he started. Without even knowing it.
Bring me flowers while I’m still alive and plant a gardenia bush for after I’m gone so you can remember me – that’s what I tell my family.
Every summer of my youth (between two and twelve) my mama and I spent nearly all of our time at the beach. Virginia Beach. I have wonderful memories and some not so wonderful memories of those times.
I have pictures of my mama and grandmother and cousin (Karen) and me under an umbrella, playing in the sand and simply loving time spent with the people who loved me.
I can still smell the suntan lotion mama wore and if I think real hard I can feel the way it felt on her shoulders as I hung on while she waded out in to the deep water. You know deep, about 3 feet. Well to a 3 or 4 year old that was deep. I held on for dear life but was very excited at the same time.
I recall that we stayed in a tiny cottage down at the beach. I don’t even know if they still have those at the beach any more. I’m sure it wasn’t too expensive and I know it was very small. I actually remember mama making a bed for me in one of the drawers in the chest of drawers in the room and Karen my cousin slept on the floor. I think the first real family portrait that I remember ever having taken was at the beach. As I remember my family consisted of just the two of us. Mama always had the latest bathing suit on – very cool sun glasses and of course a swimming cap. My mama was a hair dresser and she would never think of being in the sun too long without a hat or something on her head to protect her hair and to go into the salt water was simply not something you did.
After a day or 2 at the beach we would drive back home. I remember how relaxed I always felt after spending that time there. I also remember not caring too much for the sand that got in some very uncomfortable places and I also remember the horrible jellyfish. Mostly though I remember just being glad I was with my family and feeling very loved.
So, being motivated and touched by my mothers journal entries I decided to write something of my own for my son to someday read. Here is my first attempt to write something I hope will touch his heart the way my mothers journal entries have touched mine.
I call this one Beautiful boy…
Close your eyes, have no fear. The monsters gone he’s on the run and your mommies here.
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful boy.
Before you go to sleep, say a little prayer. Every day in every way it’s getting better and better.
Out in the ocean, sailing away, I can hardly wait to see you come of age, but I guess I just have to be patient. Because it’s a long way to go. A hard row to hoe. Yes it’s a long way to go but in the meantime…
Before you cross the street, take my hand. Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful boy.
Baby mine, don’t you cry.
Baby mine dry your eyes.
Rest your head close to my heart,
Never to part baby of mine.
Little one when you play,
Don’t you mind what they say.
Let those eyes sparkle and shine,
Never a tear, baby of mine.
If they knew all about you,
They’d end up loving you too.
All those sane people who scolded you,
What they’d give just for the right to hold you.
From your head down to your toes
Your not much goodness knows
But your so precious to me
Sweetest can be, baby of mine.
Baby of mine.