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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Grandparent(s) (04/03/08)

TITLE: The Smells of Love
By Donna Carrico


I have wished many times I could have known all my grandparents. Unfortunately, my grandfathers were deceased when I was born or shortly afterwards. I only knew my grandmothers.

My grandma, Emma Alice, was always so kind. Her house always smelled of sugar cookies. From her 'Etta Jennick' shoes and print dress down to her ankles, she was the perfect picture of a grandma. I remember how her long naturally curly dark hair with very little grey was randomly pulled up to the top of her head with a few well chosen pins. It squiggled out along the edges, just like mine does now.

She would make me crochet doll dresses. When she sewed with her treadle machine I would be at her feet. She trusted me to help her pump as her arthritis kept her in such pain. I can still remember the smell of the machine oil she would have me put on the levers.

She had the most beautiful lilac bush by her front door. She knew how I loved the color purple and she would let me bring several stems into the house. We would set on her porch swing for hours, just cuddling and swinging with the beautiful smell of those lilacs wafting in our nostrils. I loved that smell of those lilacs.

My other grandma, Lily Mae, was also ready to give me a much needed hug. Her specialty was pot roast with potatoes and carrots along with apple pie. She always wore an apron. Since she was so well endowed, she hated the string around her neck. She would fold the neck string under and use big diaper pins to secure the apron to the front of her dress.

She was more of a fixer upper. She wore makeup with rosy cheeks, loose face powder, and perfume. I never got a hug without getting some of it on me. Her silver grey hair was usually permed and fluffy from her weekly visits to the beauty shop.

She would let me roller skate in her basement. I would swing around the poles and go in and out among her wonderful smelling laundry. I was always careful not to knock any of it down.

When I was ten, I would ride my bicycle to her house on school lunch hours. Many times I would linger in her bathroom admiring all her things. One day, when I came out to get my hug goodbye, she asked, "Have you been in my powder again?" We laughed as she gave me a squeeze making the sweet smell of 'Cashmere Bouquet' powder became even more evident. Although it is not as easy to find a place to purchase it, the smell of that powder still comforts me yet to this day.

Each one of my grandmas gave me some of the love I needed so badly. I cherish those memories of my grandmas and those wonderful smells of love.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Debbie Wistrom04/10/08
Yes, the smells we remember. This was a delight to read.
LauraLee Shaw04/10/08
I could smell the memories with you. I think my gramma wore the same powder. I love some of the unusual details you included to give the story its very special character. Like this one:
Since she was so well endowed, she hated the string around her neck. She would fold the neck string under and use big diaper pins to secure the apron to the front of her dress. TOO funny!
K. J. Cash04/11/08
Roller skating in the basement. How cool! Your grandma's were quite the characters.
Millicent Njue04/12/08
Yeah...those wonderful smells live with us forever. Good account of the memories we love to cherish.