Monday, March 26, 2012

It Takes Me Back

I think the two most powerful things to instantly take us on our own time travel experience is smell and music.  IF only for the spark of a nanosecond, I am transported to another time in another place. 

I connect 3 foods with my mother.  Liver & onions, fried chicken livers, and salmon patties, all cooked in a black cast iron skillet.   I do not like any of them, but she did.  If I even see them on a menu, I think, "Mom".  The memory of my father is stirring his instant coffee in a green "Fire King" mug and then crumbling leftover cornbread (from that same cast iron skillet) into a glass and pouring milk over it, to eat with a spoon.  I'm sure there was some fired Bologna in there somewhere too.   The only thing I made for my family was the cornbread but we never poured milk on it.

The smell of a high school gym takes me back to gym classes in those awful one piece blue,  bloomer things we had to wear.  Every Monday morning I was practicing the acquired skill of ironing mine on a towel, on the floor,of my bedroom, because I had waited to the last minute and would get a demerit if it was wrinkled. 

Remember, I'm the girly girl that didn't want to sweat.  It just ruined your whole "ensemble" to have sweaty hair and smudged eyeliner if you had gym first or second hour.  Needless to say, I was not a high achiever in gym class.  The only thing I did at all well was tumbling because I had had dance lessons as a child so I could point my toes and had follow through in my arms and hands.  (Think gymnasts and then don't think of anything that was difficult... only the " ta da"  at the end". )  I could "Ta Da" with the best of them!!

That gym also held Pep Rallies every Friday afternoon before football and basketball games.   How many cheerleaders did routines to this?

I know it is barely Spring but, with all of these high temps lately,  my body clock is saying it's Summertime.

There is nothing that takes me to a summertime/vacation frame of mind faster than the smell of coconut oil and fruit.  It's in Bath & Body spray mist colognes with summer names like Aruba Coconut, Exotic Coconut  and Caribbean Escape .  It smells like suntan and tanner lotion and the beach to me.  The smell of chlorine, when I pour it in the washing machine, smells like swimming pools to me. Instant summer moment.

Back in my teen years, I tried that awful...awful... one more time...awful Coppertone instant tan lotion that turned your skin orange and between your fingers rust!

I've mentioned before that I wore "Ambush" as a young teen... I am curious as to how I would like it now.  I'm not even sure I wore because I liked it or just because it was the "in " thing at the time.   I have worn Estee Lauder's "Beautiful"  for about 25 years.  I still like it and my girls know that is their "Mom" thing.  Daughter # 1 wore "Red" in high school.  The other two didn't have a favorite.

The sound I like most, that is good for my stressed out soul, is the sound of steel drums from the Caribbean.  They put me on a white sandy beach with pretty turquoise water immediately.

What transports you?


Deanna said...

A long soak in B&B Works Lavender bubbly with oldies playing the background transports me.

We had those same gym suits minus the elastic around the legs (thank goodness). I hated gym class. We'd do things like square dance. I was never any good at anything athletic, so other than jumping jacks, I was bad at everything!

I wore Ambush in HS too. It was the "in" scent. You sure do take me down memory lanes! Thanks!

ps. I love liver and onion, fried chicken livers, and salmon patties. Your mom and I would have gotten along just fine.

Simone said...

I remember the liver and onions and salmon croquettes and salisbury steak and I hated all of them. My twin sister loved liver and onions and you'd think she'd take the rap and eat my portion but nope, never did. My mom also ate cornbread crumbled in buttermilk. I tried it one time and yuck. I just couldn't handle soggy cornbread.

What takes me back is Love's Baby Soft cologne, Lip Smackers Watermelon flavored lip gloss and having to share the bathroom with my sisters while trying to get ready for school.

Great memories!

Anonymous said...

Liver and onions? Did we live in the same house? I begged for the chicken liver and now love liver pate. I did cook salmon patties until we switched to fillets. Homemade hamburgs, Sunday roast beef, and pop corn come to mind.

Sweet Tea said...

When I was a teen I wore "Chantilly" (in the pretty pink bottle) and all the guys wore Brut, until English Leather came out. I too had a blue gym suit, but the legs were not "bloomer-ed", but just like regular shorts. I can't imagine that your teacher counted off for a wrinkled gym suit. We never ironed ours and did well to show up with a clean suit!

Just Stuff From a Boomer said...

That Anonymous is my sister, so, Yes Dear, once in a while Mom did make liver and onions. I don't remember any popcorn though.

My gym suit did not have elestic in the legs either, just a shorts type bottom, but there wasn't a picutre of it, so this was close enough to know a lot of us wore that gymsuit. Poor us!

missing moments said...

We often had liver and onions and I loved them! Still do but never prepare since NO one likes them. ~sigh~
And oh, I remember those blue gym uniforms. But we all didn't care if they were wrinkled. Most of us just threw them back into our lockers only to wear them next time, wrinkles and all!

Kathy said...

What a fun post! Thinking of liver and onions takes me back, too. My father-in-law always cooked it, and it was delicious. I haven't had any in years because I can't stand to cook it!
The smell of the men's cologne, "British Sterling" takes me back (do they even make it anymore?) as does the music of The Four Seasons, The Temptations, and The Supremes!
You were right, I should have listed "Top Gun" in my movie choices...LOL

Far Side of Fifty said...

Perfume always gave my Mom an instant headache..I didn't understand it until in my 30's..since then it has given me an instant headache. We try to be as perfume less as possible.
Your gym suits were way cool..we just had shorts and a t shirt.
Great memories today:)

Suldog said...

Absolutely right on concerning sound and smell. The fried bologna thing was My Dad, too. He had dishes he grew up on, in the depression, that he never let go of - the bologna, a piece of white bread with butter and sugar as a dessert, and chipped cream beef on toast (or, as it was known in the service, SOS - sh*t on a shingle - UGH).

Anonymous said...

YOUTH DEW by Estee Lauder. My mother wore it to work and my roommate in San Francisco wore it to work. I never liked it, though I tried to wear it for a short time. Now, I hate perfume of any kind.

Intense Guy said...

So many smells do this to me - some pleasant and some not.

An unpleasant one is fresh dog poop. My parents raised german shepards for the Seeing Eye and I was the one that had to housebreak them. My other two brothers played on sports teams at school, so I was home first.

One with just lots of memories, is hard to describe, its a burnt sand. The family owned a brass foundry, and the molding process used sand that was burnt when they poured molten metal into them. The tooling all smells of it. I keep some of it in the basement of the building I work at and each time I go down there, I smell it - and go back 20-30-40 years to memories of my grandfather, grandmother, and father, and many employees.

Lastly, the smell of salt air over a marsh by the seashore. It never gets old, chilly wind or broiling heat, I never get enough of it - and we had a mutt that went to the shore with us, and when we got close enough to smell that smell - her tail would start to wag like fury. She loved the beach house. :)

Chatty Crone said...

Liver and onions - I can remember that too - yuck! sandie

Cheryl @ The Farmer's Daughter said...

I agree about the scents and sounds! I can hear a certain song from the past and it will remind me of an old boyfriend. Shhh...don't tell my hubby! And I loved to wear Ambush! Do they make it anymore? A smell I remember from way back is the smell of bacon frying. My mother usually had bacon and eggs every morning. My dad like to start out his day with a big breakfast. And I remember the dreaded blue PE suits, ours didn't have elastic in the legs thank goodness. They were ugly enough! Ha! Great post!

Nezzy said...

Awwwww, to get carried away I put on a soothin' Kenny G CD, light some candles and climb into my jacuzzi tub! The world just goes away!!!

You've seen my BFF's ugly old green gym suit. Why did they do that to us??? Heeeheehe!

Love those Beach Boys!!!

God bless ya and have yourself a blissful weekend sweetie!!! :o)

troutbirder said...

Right on. Funny thing those food smells you remember are exactly the same ones from my childhood. And I still love them...:)

Jake said...

I'd forgotten about those gym bloomer thingies!!
I love liver and onions. I learned how to make salmon patties in "Domestic Science" class and persecuted the family every Friday with them, we were Catholic so no meat on Fridays.
I mentioned in an earlier comment that the smell of gin transports me back to Ireland in the early 70s as it was the first place I ever had a gin and tonic.
The smell of coconut oil absolutely!!

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