Saturday, August 20, 2011

Smells That Bring Happy Memories

A wonderful memory for me was visiting my maternal grandmother, Florence Sterling and step-grandfather, Virgil Scott Hilligoss, known as Scott, and my great grandmother, Elsie Eldridge whom I called Gram, in Florida.  We went there every year for the first two weeks in July when dad got his vacation. (Read Gentle Hands) Scott was married to my grandmother before I was born, so he truly was a grandfather to me.
The family homestead property included a garage that my grandfather ran. He purchased it from his father-in-law who first ran it. Scott pumped gas and as a great mechanic worked on many cars.  I came to love the smell of gasoline.

It also brings back the happy memories of traveling from Massachusetts to Florida by car, stopping to refuel, picnics at rest stops for lunch, going over the George Washington Bridge and all the other wonderful and familiar sights.  I remember when I was about twelve-years-old  laying there in the back seat with a pillow under my head looking up at the clouds.  I even made up a song about the clouds that I remember to this day. (My very first poem.)

I'd like to be a cloud up in the sky when I die
So I can look down and see the world all around.
And as I go by a certain house
I'll look in the winda
At my dear Linda
My lova Linda dear.

Scott, age 70
1891-1969
Soon we would be there and I could watch my grandfather pump gasoline, and see the fumes spiral upward in the hot Florida sun.  I would also visit with him in the garage and watch him work with his strong hands covered in grease.  When it was time for lunch, my grandfather would go over and pick up the small blue glazed tin bowl that sat on a wooden shelf between the two very large doors.  He would then go to the rain barrel that sat just outside to fill it and then returned to wash his hands.  This is the second smell I fell in love with, lifebuoy soap.

To this day, these two smells always bring back the happy memories of being with family that I loved so dearly.

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