Monday, November 26, 2007


Mother of Queen Mommy supplied us with the big boy bed, Queen Mommy's bed from childhood, as well as a mattress pad. I ran the mattress pad through the washer and dryer. When I walked out into my laundry room I was overcome with the smell of my Gommy. Kerri Hand Lotion.

My mind whirled as I was awash with memories from 218 Gridley Ave. The love, the hilarity, the warmth, the comfort of my grandparents house. The sound of the tricycle on the side walk. Munch row. Root beer from Loblaw's. The Station. The Kakwa Club. The Manicore and lobster dainties. White sweaters and black patent leather shoes. Shirley temples. We were the pride and joy of Gom and Pa. And I loved every second of it. It is not often that we have these moments of memories evoked by the smell of a hand lotion. And when I do I cherish it. There are other smells of my grandparent's house that give me great pause. Herbal Essence shampoo. It reminds me of their basement shower. That they built their own house. The old fashion stove in the basement. The little refrigerator at the bottom of the stairs. The shiny gray painted floor. The peg board on the wall going down to the basement.

We went every summer to Gom and Pa's and I packed 3 weeks before we left. Now that I am a mother I understand why the Mother of Queen Mommy would wave her arms in exasperation when there were no clothes for us to wear because they were all in the suitcase. Now that I am a mother I understand why it is that although the Mother of Queen Mommy was excited to go Gommy's she didn't pack until the 11th hour of the day before.

Gom and Pa have been gone for a long time now. But I think of them almost daily. I went back to 218 Gridley Ave 10 years ago. The current owners could not have been more welcoming. They took me on tour of the house. I walked into Gom and Pa's bedroom and the smell of Kerri Hand Lotion permeated my senses. I saw the room as it was, not as it is. The lavatory to the right of the doorway. The closet to the left. The pictures have long been hung in other homes, but the outline on the wall remains. The giant horse hair bed. Pa's high boy dresser. Gom's Victorian marble topped vanity. The sewing table. The lamp. The dried gourd.

Delightful, comforting, love filled memories all from washing a mattress pad for a big boy bed.

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