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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Memories And Musings

As I flipped open the cap on my jar of petroleum jelly, I thought, "Wow. I can remember this stuff coming in glass jars!" Seriously! It was a very homey, comforting design. It was round and easy on the hands, with a screw-on metal lid. And a pasted-on label that was there to stay. It had a smooth sturdiness that said, "I am here to soothe you." Another thing that I miss: mentholated ointment used to come in glass jars as well. But not just any glass jar. It was a lovely dark blue. The color almost said that when you used it, there would be blues skies ahead. 

Of course, when I saw that blue jar, I knew that Gram was doing her best to make me feel better. This included some lozenges in a paper box with a waxed-paper liner. Sometimes, if I was not too sick, they were the cherry flavored ones, which were my favorite. But for the really sick times, there were the lozenges of torture. They may have helped me get well sooner simply because the stench made me want to throw up. They smelled a bit like raw bacon, but not in a good way. Kind of like a really old, dessicated piece of bacon rind. I probably faked feeling better more than once to avoid those lozenges! I finally got up the nerve to tell Gram that they turned my stomach, and she was kind enough to never make me take them again. If only I had figured out that simple approach about five years earlier, I could have saved myself a lot of rancid-bacon induced nausea. Her other throat-and-cough remedy didn't upset me too much, though. It was a home-made concoction of honey, lemon, and whiskey. Some of my cousins got very good at having fake coughs when they came over to visit!

In addition to the items I have just mentioned, Gram had mysterious and lovely grown-up things. Pink and white glass jars and bottles of various creams for her face. There was always a red lipstick. And a box of beautifully scented Coty Airspun loose face powder in a box with a flower pattern on the outside and a big powder puff inside. Sometimes I just want to go to the store so that I can smell that powder again. It would almost be like having her back for a moment.

There was also the magical button tin in the coat closet. No matter what color or style of clothing item you had, there was always a button, or set of buttons, that would go with it perfectly. The same with scarves, gloves, and costume jewelry. I know if I had ever needed stockings or handkerchiefs or an evening bag, she probably would have had them in her dresser drawers. It was more of a treasure chest than just a receptacle for clothing items. When I was older I found that the treasure trove included cards and drawings that I had made for her as a child. She had carefully saved them in boxes along with report cards and other mementos of my young accomplishments. What a lovely way to find out how much someone loves you!

I hope I haven't bored you with my memories and musings. Sometimes sharing memories makes them even sweeter.