Certain scents and fragrances always trigger a special remembrance–of a person, an occasion or a time in our lives. When I smell green Palmolive dish soap, I am always struck by a wave of memories of my Mema’s house. My great-grandmother lived in a little house with a dirt basement and a beautiful rock garden across the street from my great-uncle’s greenhouses. My cousins, my sister and I spent hours together sitting with her and doing puzzles on her board by the window, playing dominoes with the old stone set she only took out sometimes, watching Jeopardy nightly, and playing game after game of cards.
When we weren’t too busy playing, we were eating meals together in a dining room covered from floor to ceiling with ornamental tiles that Mema had received as gifts. They had proverbs or just pretty scenes from places people had visited. After dinner, the kids would always have dish duty, which was really fun (even if we’d never admit it).
We’d use too much soap, look out the window over the sink, and end up sopping wet and giggling after bubble fights or getting a little too aggressive with the rinsing. Now, when I get a whiff of that detergent, it brings me back to those moments playing with my cousins in the kitchen sink.
Image by Tasha Lutek.