I realized that a typical Throwback Thursday is a photo of some sort. I do have a photo included, but that isn't the throwback. A smell is my throwback for the day.
I know that the smells can be a very powerful memory trigger, both good and bad. Just the other day I was talking with my daughter about the t-shirt she was wearing. She had commented that it smelled funny. I knew it was clean because I had washed it not three days prior. So I leaned over and smelled it. She was right, it had a different smell to it. First, it was dried out on the line. (Side note: many people LOVE the smell of clothes dried on the line. The freshness you get just can be beat. However, living in the desert you risk getting the smell of dust, especially if it hasn't rained for two months. I have tried to find a fabric softener that will last through the extra heat and wind we get at my house, but so far no such luck.) Second, it had been in my daughter's wood (maple?) chest of drawers she inherited from my grandmother. It is not cedar lined, but I'm thinking that should be added to my list of indoor improvements.
I laughed a little and told her that there was a bit of a stale smell, but that the shirt was fine. In fact, it reminded me of my grandfather. I don't know why, but all of his clothes had that same stale, stored in the closet near not the best wood, smell. Even though my grandmother did all the laundry together, his clothes were the only ones with the smell. I will agree that it isn't the most pleasant smell, and thankfully isn't the ONLY smell I associate with my grandfather, but it still brought back his memory.
Then this morning at work after putting an extra dose of lotion on my feet and rubbing them a bit (we could all use an extra foot rub a day, right?), I went to the kitchen to wash my hands. The bottle of hand soap in there is Dial Gold antibacterial. Nothing fancy really, but after just two pumps the memories came flooding back!
My grandmother strongly believed in hand washing. There is nothing wrong with hand washing. I insist on hands getting washed at my house too. In fact, when I tend my great-nieces they're so used to it now, that when they get down from the dinner table they walk to the bathroom like a scrubbed up surgeon; hands in the air so they don't touch anything until they are clean. I warned my husband about my grandmother's hand washing requirements before I took him to meet her. He didn't believe me, until he experienced himself. He asked me later if I ever had skin grafts done, because he couldn't see how I could still have skin on my hands after being raised by her. We had to wash our hands at all the normal times; before and after meals, after using the toilet, etc, but also other times you wouldn't normally think of. For example, if we had sat down to dinner and the phone rang or someone came to the door, we were not allowed to answer the phone/door OR sit back down to our plate until we washed our hands again.
The only soap grandma would use was Dial Gold. For anyone who has used it, they can attest to the fact that it has a very distinct smell. There was a bar in the kitchen, one at the bathroom sink, and one for the bathtub. Grandpa didn't like it, so his bathroom had bars of Palmolive instead.
So while washing my hands after lotioning my feet this morning I was reminded of my clean handed childhood. What smells remind you of your childhood?
Now, before I go on to my next task, I need to wash my hands....again.